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Colorado Mountain Towns: One Of Best Summers For Tourism

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KEYSTONE, Colo. (CBS4)- This year’s summer tourism season is shaping up to be one of the best ever for Colorado’s mountain towns. And it’s likely to keep improving.

“We are watching destination guests come to Colorado in bigger numbers, stay longer and spend more money than ever before,” said Director of DestiMetrics Ralf Garrison.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DestiMetrics compiles and tracks lodging trends for resort communities.

Garrison studies the numbers on a nearly daily basis. This year the one thing that helped bring more people to Colorado was the lack of a major wildfire.

“The last two years were very dry weather conditions, fires and not the kind of images you associate with Colorado,” said Garrison. “This summer advanced reservations really took off because of the more temperate weather conditions.”

There has been a trend over the past few years where winter destinations are getting more summertime guests.

“It’s a secret being learned and now being applied better every year by the resort communities,” said Garrison. “There are many more summer candidates for the summer than winter. There are only about 12 million skiers in the U.S. so the summer market is much bigger but the season is much shorter.”

The number one thing is attractions like concerts and events.

“It serves like a carrot that we can dangle to bring guests from afar, a perfect example is the Pro Challenge this week,” said Garrison.

The peloton passes through the start finish line during stage one of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge on August 18, 2014 in Aspen, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The peloton passes through the start finish line during stage one of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge on August 18, 2014 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It’s also likely those numbers will continue to grow.

“As time goes on mountain communities are transitioning to year-round communities. The peaks are leveling out and the valleys are filling in which creates a broader economic foundation but a better guest experience,” said Garrison.

With the Labor Day holiday quickly approaching as the unofficial end of summer, economics are looking once again to winter.

“Positive momentum is a good thing. We look six months into the future which allows us to see through about January of this next winter season and the winter season looks very positive,” said Garrison. “We just don’t want to talk about it too loudly yet.”

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