In 2017, Colorado had a dry, warm fall. But this fall’s early season storm is setting up the ski industry, which brings in about $4.8 billion annually, for something different. Meteorologists are predicting a moderate to weak El Nino winter, which historically has been good news for snow in Colorado.
So, what can riders expect from Colorado’s resorts and slopes this year? A handful of big resorts across the
state have upgraded chairlifts. Chris Linsmeyer is the public affairs director for Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade organization which represents the industry. He says there are six new chair lifts at five major ski areas, including a gondola at Winter Park.
There’s also a handful of new restaurants opening up.
“One of my favorites is the Taco Beast at Steamboat,” said Linsmeyer. “It’s going to be a roving Snowcat that serves tacos and beers throughout the season.”
There are a few ways to get the most out of the season and not go broke, but the best way is to spend a little money up front according to Lindsmeyer. Both Vail Resort’s Epic Pass and Aspen’s Ikon Pass offer access to multiple mountains, and individual resorts offer their own packages.
Lindsmeyer’s advice for those looking to save money is to search for bundles.
“If you are going to be doing lodging and rentals and lift tickets, a lot of resorts offer a package that can help you save a lot of money,” he said. “So, the earlier you look, and do your research, the more money you are going to be able to save in the long run.”
If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, there are other wintery activities to do in Colorado mountain resort communities, including ice skating, tubing and sledding on the slopes. The resorts have continued to invest in summer activities as well, to offset costs when Colorado experiences a mild winter -- but if you do your snow dance, shouldn’t be the case this year.