Record snow should benefit resorts both this year and next

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This year’s snowfall has benefited every ski area in Colorado.
Kelly Ladyga, a spokeswoman for Vail Resorts, which owns the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckinridge and Keystone ski areas, declined to discuss skier visits or other sales data, citing Vail’s status as a public company, but confirmed that a big snow year has a positive effect on future business because Colorado’s image in the ski community improves dramatically.
Ladyga said that she’s never seen a snow year like this one.
“As of the 13th, Vail has set an all-time record for snow fall,” she said. “We had 16 feet in December and January, which puts us at 23 feet total for Vail and Beaver Creek. And it’s almost as deep at Breck and Keystone. Since December 1st, there haven’t been more than handful of days — five or six — when it hasn’t snowed. It’s the true definition of an epic season!”
At Wolf Creek, the Colorado ski area which traditionally receives the most snow, the resort had received 433 inches as of Wednesday, or a little more than 36 feet.
And at Copper Mountain, Wednesday’s daily snow condition bulletin proclaimed that “The great skiing continues with another timely dump coming.”
Nick Bohnenkamp, a spokesman for Colorado Ski Country, an industry-funded promotional group, described resort operators as “ecstatic.”
“When you get good snow, we’ll see reservations go up for subsequent seasons, and of course Front Range skiers tend to increase their visits,” he said.
If there’s a fly in the ointment, Ladyga and Bohnenkamp agreed, it’s that the snowfall has sometimes been so heavy that skiers haven’t been able to get to the resorts.
“I drove up to Vail from Denver yesterday and after Georgetown it was snowing all the way to Vail,” Ladyga said. “The snowbanks beside the road were 6 to 8 feet high, and that’s after CDOT has cut them down. It’s just phenomenal. And, not to make a pun, but it does create a snowball effect for our industry.”
John.Hazlehurst@csbj.com