Rockies ski areas see 7.2 percent drop in visits

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In the worst ski season in 20 years, the winners stayed flat and the losers lost big.

“I think we dodged a bullet,” said Dave Riley, chief of Telluride Ski Resort, where visitation remained steady through the 2011-12 season while visits nationally fell 16 percent to 51 million, a 20-year low.

Telluride joins a few Colorado ski areas — including Eldora, Wolf Creek, Echo Mountain, Durango Mountain Resort and Aspen Skiing Co.’s quiver of four hills — that saw visitation remain similar to the record season of 2010-11. Wyoming and New Mexico, home to the thriving Taos Ski Valley, were the only states to show annual increases in visitation. Overall, the Rocky Mountain region, which includes Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, bested the national 16 percent decline with a mere 7.2 percent drop to 19.4 million visits. Resorts in California were on the other end, with visits plummeting more than 20 percent in a season that saw an unprecedented snowless December.

Read the rest of the story at The Denver Post.

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