Ski resorts have strongest season in three years
April 22, 2001
DENVER (AP) Every spring the question at ski resorts arises: What if nature provides a snow storm and nobody comes?
And that’s why most of the Colorado resorts still open on Sunday closed at the end of the day despite as much as a foot of fresh snow and some places, excellent skiing weather.
“There isn’t even any wind,” said Joan Christensen, spokeswoman for Winter Park.
“From my perspective one of the most frustrating things about spring skiing is that we have some of our best snow and we have to close for lack of interest. So for the next few weeks I will be looking out my window at a six-foot base and not be able to do anything about it except snowshoe,” said Joan Christensen, spokeswoman for Winter Park.
Aspen, Snowmass, Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Breckenridge and Vail closed Sunday. Beaver Creek, Telluride, Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs closed a week earlier.
After two dismal seasons, most Colorado resorts fared better this year. “The skiing has been fantastic all year and the market responded. Word of the fantastic skiing has carried far,” said Jim Felton, spokesman for Breckenridge.
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Breckenridge has been one of the few Colorado areas able to increase its numbers during the two years of late-arriving snow. Last season’s Y2K fears kept tourists away during the peak Christmas-New Year’s period.
Christensen said, “What’s great about this season is that it got everyone back on track, thinking of how good the skiing is in Colorado. Around the country and even around the world people know we are back in our snow groove.”
Much of the recovery can be attributed to discounted ski passes as well as the better conditions. For the more remote destination resorts like Aspen and Crested Butte, who live and die on guests from outside the state, times remained tough. Both Aspen and Crested Butte have announced layoffs.