Heavy snowfall across the state this winter boosted visits to Colorado ski resorts, especially Purgatory Resort.
Purgatory saw a 47% increase in visits from the 2017-18 season to the 2018-19 season. It also saw an 8% increase compared with the 2016-17 season, according to data released from the resort.
Purgatory received more than 30 feet of snow during the season helping to draw in powder hounds.
“This year was one of the snowiest years on record since the resort has been tracking,” Purgatory spokeswoman Theresa Graven said.
It was a marked departure from the 2017-18 season when snow was scarce.
Graven said she was surprised the resort didn’t see a bigger increase in visits between 2016-17 season and this winter. But it is possible the monthlong closure of Red Mountain Pass may have prevented some skiers and snowboarders from visiting, she said. It is also possible that some potential visitors were lured away by heavy snow at other resorts in the state, she said.
The comparison between the 2016-17 season and this winter was also skewed a bit by a change in how the resort counts visits. It no longer includes employees, resort spokeswoman Stacey Glaser said.
A ski resort trade association expects visits to Colorado ski resorts to be up 13% from last year after a snowy winter and spring that extended the ski season.
The Denver Post reports Colorado Ski Country USA released its projections Thursday, showing a nearly 12% increase in visits from the five-year average.
The group, which represents 23 resorts, expects the season to end with 13.8 million skier days, which measures people participating in skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a resort.
The Rocky Mountain region is projected to end the season with 24 million skier days. The region includes Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.