10:18am

Tue October 16, 2012
Ski Resorts

Colorado Ski Resorts See Slight Uptick in Winter Bookings

Despite coming off a bad snow year, an early look at winter reservations in Summit County suggests the possibility of a strong ski season ahead.

Ski Area Magazine reports mountain resort bookings through March 2013 are up 0.5 percent over this time last year in four Western states, including Colorado and Utah.

Denver-based Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP) tracks advance reservations for resorts in the western U.S.

But MTRiP director Ralf Garrison says it’s not an across-the-board increase for all winter months. He tells Steamboat Today that while bookings are up for October, November and February, they’re down for December, January and March.

Still, preliminary bookings are pacing slightly ahead of where they were last year for much of January, February and March.

"We intuit that guests are still a little hesitant based on the lack of snow this last winter season, and perhaps waiting a bit longer than otherwise to see if Mother Nature will give them some direction and some confidence," Garrison told KUNC.

Garrison says the economy and the weather remain wild cards, which hotels and resorts can offset by offering deals or first-rate packages. He estimates about 40 percent of ski season bookings are in place.

This week Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced it plans to open Wednesday, Oct. 17, the earliest opening date any Colorado resort has announced for the 2012/2013 season. In a press release, A-Basin says it will have one lift open to mid-mountain, and expects to have an 18-inch base.