11:27am

Thu January 27, 2011
Business

Snow Show Opens Amid Positive Economic Outlook

It's a busy week for ski resorts and other snow-dependent industries in Colorado. Just as the Big Air freestyle competition wrapped up in downtown Denver, the annual S-I-A Snow Show got underway today at the Colorado Convention Center.

It's billed as the largest snow-sports industry trade show in the world with about 19,000 people expected to attend. At a kick off press conference Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper touted the industry as a lead economic driver for the state.

"Certainly in terms of Colorado's connection, we want to make sure that snow sports are to Colorado, what oranges are to Florida, that people see it, they hear it, and they respond to it," Hickenlooper said.

And there is some good economic news coming out of this year's event. A forecast showing that the improving economy globally is pushing up sales of ski gear and apparel to a record $3.2 billion this year. But there are concerns the celebration will end as early as next year, due to predictions of rising production costs in Asia.

The S-I-A show runs through the weekend with events in Denver and product demonstration planned at the Winter Park Ski Resort.

Meantime, another big ski event kicks off tonight in Aspen; the ESPN Winter X Games.