background image
skier visit represents a person participating in the
sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of
one day at a mountain resort.
Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is the not-
for-profit trade association representing Colo-
rado¡¯s 21 ski & snowboard resorts. CSCUSA is
the global voice of the Colorado ski industry. The
Association¡¯s primary functions are concentrated
in marketing, public policy and public relations.
Information about CSCUSA and its members can
be found at www.ColoradoSki.com, on Twitter @
ColoradoSkiUSA and on Facebook at:
www.Facebook.com/ColoradoSkiCountryUSA
Nature & Wildlife
2014 February
Pg 10 - The Sunshine Express
son. Skier visits at CSCUSA resorts were up by
22 percent during the first period of the 2013/14
season, defined this year as opening day of the
season (October 13, 2013) through December
31, 2013, compared to the same period of the
prior year. Significantly, this season¡¯s first pe-
riod skier visits also exceeded the five-year first
period average by approximately 6.7 percent.
¡°Riding momentum from last spring and
buoyed by early season snow this fall, the sea-
son got off to a very positive start,¡± commented
Melanie Mills, president & CEO of Colorado
Ski Country USA. ¡°While we¡¯ve set a brisk pace
there is still a lot of ski season left. With such
wonderful conditions we¡¯re optimistic that the
momentum will continue.¡±
A deluge of early season snow across much of
the state allowed several resorts to open early
and open more terrain and lifts than is typi-
cally available in the beginning of the season.
The heavy snow helped get the word out about
ski conditions in Colorado and drove visitation
around the holidays.
Occupancy at Colorado mountain resort lodg-
ing properties got a boost from early season
skiers. CSCUSA, in partnership with DestiMet-
rics, reported certain Colorado lodging figures
for the beginning of the 2013/14 ski season.
Occupancy at Colorado resort lodging proper-
ties increased 11.6 percent during the October
through December period of the 2013/14 ski sea-
son compared to the same time last season.
Additionally, the booking pace for January and
Koch popularized a new skiing
technique that resembled ice
skating on skis, now known as
the skate-skiing cross-country
skiing technique. The freestyle
skiing technique has been used
in Biathlon competitions since
1985, has been mandatory in
Nordic Combined since 1985,
and has been part of all cross-
country skiing competitions
since 1982.
Hamilton Wins World Cup Race
On December 31, 2013, Simeon ¡°Simi¡± Hamilton
of Aspen won Stage 3 of the 2013-14 FIS Tour de
Ski, a 1.5 kilometer freestyle sprint. In doing so,
he became the first American male to win a World
Cup race since Bill Koch won the Sarajevo 30k in
February of 1983.
Simeon ¡°Simi¡± Hamilton (born May 14, 1987) has
competed in cross country skiing since 2000. Ham-
ilton attended Middlebury College from 2005-
2009, during which time he competed for its ski
team, individually earning several All-American
NCAA Championship results. It was announced
on 29 January 2010 that Hamilton qualified for the
2010 Winter Olympics. Hamilton competed in the
15 kilometer freestyle, 1.5 kilometer classic sprint,
and 4x10km relay races. He paced all Americans
in the field in the 1.5 kilometer sprint by advanc-
ing to the medal rounds and finishing 29th of 96
competitors. In the relay, Hamilton pulled away
from the Estonian skier in the anchor leg to secure
a 13th place finish.
Bill Koch was the first world-class cross-country
skier from the United States, who in 1974 became
the first American to win a medal in international
competition, placing third in the European junior
championships. Koch won the silver medal in the
30 km event at the 1976 Winter Olympics, becom-
ing the first American to win an Olympic medal in
Nordic skiing and remains the only North Ameri-
can male to win an Olympic medal in this event.
Koch has the world record time for 30k set on
South Pond in Marlboro, Vermont.
February 2014 was ahead of last year¡¯s pace
by 1.8 percent for the same time period, as of
December 31, 2013.
¡°Excitement surrounding the early snow,
combined with positive economic news,
has prompted strong early season bookings
in Colorado,¡± commented Ralf Garrison,
DestiMetrics¡¯ director. ¡°A favorable holiday
experience along with forth coming Olympic
coverage could help sustain positive mo-
mentum.¡±
With popular ski weekends in the months
ahead, and skiers and snowboarders taking
advantage of the snowy conditions CSCUSA
resorts have to offer, it is important that
visitors remember to practice safe behavior
while on the slopes.Skiers and snowboard-
ers are encouraged to know and follow Your
Responsibility Code; widely regarded as the
key to skier and snowboarder safety on the
slopes. Simply referred to as The Code, it
is comprised of seven principles that col-
lectively outline on-mountain skier etiquette
and safe skiing practices. The Code can be
found at: blog.coloradoski.com/2014/01/07/
colorado-ski-country-resorts-promote-slope-
wise-skiing-and-riding-for-national-safety-
month
Skier visits are the metric used to track par-
ticipation in skiing and snowboarding. A
Skier Visits Up
20 Year Effort Pays Off
Colorado Destination Lodging
Rises Along With Skier Visits
Colorado Ski Country USA
(CSCUSA) announced on
January 13 that its 21 member
resorts reported an increase in
skier visitation for the begin-
ning of the 2013/2014 ski sea-
Pictured: The
Arkansas River,
Colorado¡¯s
newest Gold
Medal waters.
Colorado Doubles Gold Medal Stream Miles
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is
pleased to announce the upper Arkansas River as
the newest addition to the statewide list of Gold
Medal Trout Waters.
The Gold Medal reach is 102 miles long from the
confluence with the Lake Fork of the Arkansas
River, near Leadville, downstream to Parkdale at
the Highway 50 bridge crossing above the Royal
Gorge.
The designation has been 20 years in the making,
and although anglers have enjoyed the improved
conditions for years, it is an official acknowledge-
ment of the myriad efforts undertaken by state
and federal agencies to turn an impaired river into
one of the most popular fishing destinations in
Colorado.
¡°The upper Arkansas River fishery is the best it
has been in over a century thanks to the efforts
and hard work of many agencies and individu-
als that have recognized its great potential,¡± said
Greg Policky, CPW Aquatic Biologist. ¡°I am very
pleased that this outstanding river has received
the Gold Medal designation and is now ranked
among the elite trout fisheries in Colorado.¡±
In order to receive a Gold Medal listing, a body
of water must consistently support a minimum
trout standing stock of 60 pounds per acre, as well
as consistently support a minimum average of
12 quality trout - trout larger than 14 inches - per
acre.
In the last 20 years, the upper Arkansas River has
undergone a habitat transformation. Fish popula-
tions in the area were impacted by heavy metal
pollution from mining in the Leadville area.
Because of the pollution, trout could not live in the
area, and they did not live beyond three years old
further downstream.
Today, trout are living up to ten years old due to
habitat restoration, improved water quality and
creative fishery management. The present-day fish
population has benefited from these habitat efforts
and has met the Gold Medal designation since
1999 for both the quality of trout per acre and the
standing crop.
The Arkansas River ranked as the favorite fishing
destination for residents of Colorado, according
to a 2012 angler survey. Angler use reached a
significant milestone in 2012 when an estimated
100,000 anglers fished the river throughout the
year between Leadville and Parkdale. More
than 65 percent of the river stretch is open to the
angling public via federal and state-owned land
and numerous state-controlled fishing leases and
easements.
With the addition of the Arkansas River, total Gold
Medal stream miles in Colorado increases by 50%
to 322 total miles. It will also be the longest reach
of Gold Medal water in the State.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state
parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all of
Colorado¡¯s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor
recreation. For more information go to: www.cpw.
state.co.us