Good snow, a rebounding economy and shrewd marketing is being credited for a solid rebound in January and February for Colorados skier visits.
"We made up a lot of ground in January and February, with the trend of strong out-of-state numbers continuing from the first period," said Rob Perlman, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA.
Colorados ski season is divided into three periods, October-December, January-February and March-April.
"Looking ahead into the key spring break weeks, resorts are reporting solid reservations and there are some fabulous deals out there for skiers and riders to take advantage of during the spring skiing months of March and April, which will provide some of the best skiing and riding of the season," he added.
In the second period Colorado counted 4,982,652 skiers visits, an increase of 3.54 per cent over the same period the previous season and 4.78 per cent over the five-year average.
The numbers buck the trend of the first period, where skiers visits were down 9.2 per cent to 2,671,532 compared to the previous year.
The second period increase also benefited the three types of ski areas identified by CSCUSA. Destination resorts saw an increase of 6.08 per cent, front range destination resorts reported a gain of 2.57 per cent and "Gem/Front Range" resorts saw a modest 1.34 per cent increase.
"With the economy on the rebound, great snow conditions, world class events and solid destination and in-state numbers, we now have tremendous momentum to take us through the final stretch of the season," said Perlman.
Overall the CSCUSA figures are slightly behind last year with 7,652,257 skier visits this season for a 1.21 per cent decrease compared to the previous year. Still, its an 8.05 per cent increase over the five-year average, which is low because of post Sept. 11 fears, a sluggish economy, and lower than average snowfalls.
Colorado Ski Country USA is a non-profit trade association representing Colorados 24 ski and snowboard resorts. Their reports can be found at www.coloradoski.com.