Mountain resorts celebrate early-season snow

Photo: Skier in Orange
Skier in orange

Business is up compared to a year ago, with a good base from last fall and more snow hitting the mountains in the past few days.

Overall, the state’s resorts have seen skier visits jump more than 20 percent through the end of December as compared to last season.

There are signs those numbers could continue through the winter and spring.

"What we’re seeing from our resorts in terms of bookings for the coming months leads us to believe that we have a good season ahead of us after a strong start," Jennifer Rudolph with Colorado Ski Country USA, which represents 21 resorts statewide, said.

Rudolph says an improving economy could be helping draw more visitors to Colorado's slopes but mostly the season's success depends on the weather.

"In the end, it really is the snow that drives the skier visits," Rudolph said. “It tends to trump a bad economy or high gas prices, it really is about the snow.”

Some ski areas in the state got more than a foot of new snow this past weekend.