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Early Snow May Cause Best Tourism Season Since Recession

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Breckenridge (credit: CBS)

Breckenridge (credit: CBS)

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – With early snow falling in the mountains tourists are flocking to Colorado at a rate not seen since the winter of 2007.

Ralph Garrison runs Destimetrics, a company that measures 17 mountain tourism destinations across the western United States.

“This year is tracking better than last winter season. Occupancy is up nine percent and total revenue is up a whopping 14 percent. Better than the last five or six years,” said Garrison.

He says the increasing economy and snow equity are helping book hotel rooms and lift tickets.

“We closed last year’s winter season with good snow. There’s been early snow this year. So good snow equity helps in the process,” said Garrison.

This winter nearly half of all hotel rooms are already booked.

Breckenridge has seen pre-winter bookings increase 11 percent over last year.

“It is a good amount. People are booking early and they’re making their reservations further out. We’re seeing a lot of folks traveling from farther away, so a lot of destination guests,” said Rachel Zerowin from the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.

She says this tourism rebound isn’t all about skiing.

“We have all these new activities and I think that’s just widening the pool to arts and heritage and we’re seeing more people coming to Breckenridge,” said Zerowin.

Garrison said it’s too early to tell if this season will exceed the pre-recession year.

“Although there’s half of the business already on the books, there’s half yet to go. Both the economy and the weather are hard to predict,” said Garrison.

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