Skiers Wanted in Colorado

Ski Resorts slashing prices to attract New Year's Eve business

Colorado ski resorts expected to be swamped with customers this New Year' Eve, instead their scrambling to pick up last minute bookings. Business is down for the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Resorts across the state are having trouble booking guests, which is quite unusual for this time of year. Crested Butte, Aspen Vail, Telluride and Steamboat all report plenty of openings still available.

"Everyone anticipated that bookings would be better than usual, we were wrong, sadly wrong" Carolyn Bird, spokeswoman for Crested Butte, told the Denver Rocky Mountain News.

Resort officials won’t say how far bookings are down, but it’s enough that they’re beginning to slash the prices and relax the minimum-stay requirements. Last year holiday bookings were down because of poor snow conditions and the stocks of three publicly traded ski companies took a dive. This may be another slow start this ski season.

There could be several reasons bookings are down this year. Many people are reluctant to travel because of the possible Y2K computer problems, others just want to stay home with their family to ring in this monumental New Year and it could have been just because the prices were so high. Colorado ski resorts and many destinations around the world inflated their prices this New Year thinking they could make a huge profit. It looks like those plans didn’t work.

If you tried to book at room at the Crested Butte Sheraton earlier this year it would have cost you $1,188 per person for a seven night stay and six days of skiing. Room prices now are just $193.06 a night. The Marriott has brought down its prices too. Three nights of lodging and two days of lift tickets for $375. If you have kids they pay their age to ski. A seven-year-old would pay just $7 for a daily lift ticket.

Other resorts around Colorado have decreased their prices at least 25 percent. Many are even offering packages with include free nights and special lift ticket deals. Steamboat Ski resort just announced a holiday ski package that includes five nights of lodging and four days of skiing starting at $513 per person.

The bright side in all of this is for consumers looking for a deal. If you were still considering travel this would be a great time to make a reservation. If you live in Colorado you can really cash in on the deals.

Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News

DATE: 11/5/99

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