Denver, Colo., June 8, 2005 – International skiers and snowboarders are
flocking to Colorado ski resorts and driving all-time record growth from
the international markets. Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA), the
not-for-profit trade association for the Colorado skiing industry,
announced today at its 42nd Annual Meeting and Forum, the 25 Colorado
ski resorts had a record year in terms of overall growth for
international skier visits. At an estimated 11.81 million total skier
visits, or an increase of more than 550,000 visits, Colorado Ski Country
is reporting its third best year ever.
“Our visits grew by more than a half a million and naturally we’re
pleased with the results,” stated Rob Perlman, President and CEO of
CSCUSA. “Colorado offers the best product from the snow to the service,
but as always there were a few external factors that played in our
favor. Obviously, the favorable currency situation combined with our
increased international marketing efforts propelled us to record growth
for that particular market segment.”
International skier visits are up 28 percent year-over-year in Colorado.
As with many destinations, Colorado ski resort’s international visits
significantly dropped after September 11, 2001. However, Colorado’s
international skier visits have been rebounding quickly, with an
increase of more than 200,000 international visits since 2002-03. The
United Kingdom remains Colorado’s largest international market with a 31
percent increase over the 2003-04 season; however Australia and Latin
America also saw huge gains of 25 and 16 percent respectively.
With an increase of more than half a million skier visits over last
year, CSCUSA is reporting its third best season ever. According to
preliminary industry research, Colorado had a six percent gain in
destination visits(visits from states other than Colorado and countries
other than the United States) this season while the remainder of the
Rocky Mountain and Pacific West regions are estimated to have had a four
percent drop in the coveted destination visits. As a result, Colorado
remains the market share leader accounting for 55 percent of the entire
western United States’ total destination skier visits.
“Attracting more destination visitors to Colorado has been a primary
goal of ours for the past several years. When you have more than one in
five skiers in the United States choosing Colorado, you know you’ve got
the best product in the business,” explained Perlman. “Of course, we
can’t forget that Coloradoans are skiers at heart and make up
approximately 40 percent of our overall business and saw gains there as
CSCUSA reports and distributes skier visit numbers in three overall
categories: Destination Resorts, Front Range Destination Resorts and
Gems/Front Range Resorts. All three categories reported impressive
gains over the 2003-04 ski and snowboard season making up the state’s
550,000 total skier visit growth. Front Range Destination Resorts
posted the largest overall growth totaling an increase of more than
350,000 skier visits year-over-year. The Gems resorts also saw solid
gains with nearly a five percent boost over prior year. The Destination
Resorts ended the year with a three percent increase over last season.
1) Destination Resorts – Destination Resorts are resorts more than a
two hour drive from Denver with a resort bed base. They include Aspen
Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Crested Butte, Durango Mountain
Resort, Howelsen Hill, Silverton Mountain, Snowmass, Steamboat,
Telluride and Wolf Creek
2) Front Range Destination Resorts – Front Destination Resorts are
classified as resorts within a two hour drive from Denver with a bed
base. They include Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain,
Keystone, Vail and Winter Park.
3) Gems/Front Range Resorts – Gems/Front Range Resorts are resorts
either within a two hour drive from Denver and/or with no bed base.
They include Arapahoe Basin, Eldora, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski
Cooper, SolVista and Sunlight.
# # #
* A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing
or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort.
*These numbers are preliminary results and subject to final adjustments
by the individual resorts. The decision to release individual numbers is
up to each individual resort. Skier visits from previous years can be
found at www.media-coloradoski.com in the Press Room.
Colorado Ski Country USA is the not-for-profit trade association
representing Colorado’s 24 ski & snowboard resorts. Information about
the Organization and its members can be found at www.coloradoski.com.