Record Snow Boosts Ski Resorts' Holiday Season


Snow is piling up in record amounts in the western part of the U.S. That's good news for the snow-dependent ski industry, which like most travel and tourism industries, has limped its way through the economic downturn. The Christmas-New Year's holiday is the make or break time for most ski resorts and hotels.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


And some good news for Colorados ski resorts, snow keeps piling up and the week between Christmas and New Years Day is typically the make or break time for resorts.

As Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC reports, bookings are up over last year.

KIRK SIEGLER: At the Winter Park resort in the Colorado Rockies, Dave Sears takes a breather after skiing down the Parkway Run.

Mr. DAVE SEARS: We prepared pretty well, trying to keep hydrated and everything and exercise a lot, so its been good.

SIEGLER: Colorado is a lot higher and colder than Sears hometown of Destin, Florida. But hes not complaining. Ski resorts arent complaining either now that business is picking back up.

Mr. RALF GARRISON (Economist, Mountain Travel Research Program): Its like frugality fatigue, and after being a good boy and saving my money for six months or a year I get itchy, and its time to get back on the mountain.

SIEGLER: Economist Ralf Garrison tracks hotel bookings at western ski resorts for the Denver-based Mountain Travel Research Program. He says resorts have adapted to tough times by offering a cocktail of deals to lure destination visitors. Theyre also using social media to tout the bountiful early season snowfall.

Mr. GARRISON: So after a divot, a significant divot two years ago, there has been the beginnings of a return to normalcy.

SIEGLER: So many resorts around the West should be breaking open the champagne and pouring the eggnog in light of where they have been in the last couple of years?

Mr. GARRISON: They should be thinking about buying the champagne in a few months.

(Soundbite of cross-talk)

SIEGLER: And resorts are encouraged to hear more people like Ron Rogers say the still struggling economy didnt factor into his decision to book a ski holiday in Winter Park.

Mr. RON ROGERS: Were all gainfully employed.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ROGERS: So the recession really hasnt affected us.

SIEGLER: Snowfall amounts that are being described as epic probably arent hurting either.

For NPR News, Im Kirk Siegler.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.