Rental prices rise as ski season heats up

Written by by Brittany Spanos, CNN Snow may be “pouring” into parts of the northern Rockies, but that’s not stopping the slopes from being booked up. “We’ve been slammed this season from Day 1,”…

Rental prices rise as ski season heats up

Written by by Brittany Spanos, CNN

Snow may be “pouring” into parts of the northern Rockies, but that’s not stopping the slopes from being booked up.

“We’ve been slammed this season from Day 1,” says Tom Rafferty, the owner of Magic Mountain ski resort in the Rockies. “It’s been very busy.”

Located about 50 miles south of Colorado Springs, Magic Mountain has already had a 140% occupancy rate, according to Rafferty.

The near-record-setting popularity is affecting some ski areas, said Colorado Ski Country, the national trade group for Colorado-based resorts.

The group expects mountain accommodation prices to see a “big spike” this week. Snow Valley Mountain Resort, one of Colorado’s busiest ski areas, has been open since March 17, with anticipated 500 reservations for Thursday alone.

Snow Valley Valley Resort, one of Colorado’s busiest ski areas, expects 500 reservations for Thursday alone.

“An incredible $400-an-night rental”

The positive trend follows a brutally long winter for ski resorts.

“(We) experienced an unusually long and dry winter,” said Steve Corson, president of the Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau in a statement . “Our resorts are busy with visitors looking for affordable lodging. Vacationing in Colorado is as simple as booking a room through a hotel or resort and choosing the mountains.”

The Colorado ski season hits its peak in mid-October, and for many national parks, it runs between October and April.

Dozens of ski resorts in Utah, including the resort town of Park City, are “very active” this month, said David Parker, a spokesman for the Utah Ski & Summer Resort Association , the trade group for ski areas in Utah.

“Business has been extremely healthy,” he said.

Parker added that demand this year has been particularly strong because of “favorable weather.”

Slope inns are flourishing and empty; the number of ski-in/ski-out is also on the rise. Colorado Mountain

“We’ve had some areas without days of skiing, where we’ve had to fly out and get people in the park (to ride bikes),” Parker said.

Slope inns are flourishing and empty; the number of ski-in/ski-out is also on the rise.

Short bursts of warm weather that typically keep mountain conditions uncharacteristically sloppy have created a growing phenomenon known as “hang gliding,” or side-to-side gliding.

“We’re going to leave today and get to Seattle and for the longest time, it’s really beautiful, incredibly clear,” says Tom Adam, a ski instructor at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. “It’s absolutely perfect. It’s one of the best days I’ve had here in 30 years of skiing.”

About 30% of snow resorts in the Rocky Mountains are in Vail , Beaver Creek, and Steamboat

Salt Lake City

While “hairier” resorts are seeing drops in occupancy rates, ski resorts in Salt Lake City are busier than ever, according to Gail Miller, president of Visit Salt Lake City , the city’s convention and visitors bureau.

The city’s resorts have seen a record number of skiers and snowboarders this year, and are enjoying demand for lodging and dining options.

Whether it’s hot or cold, resorts across the northern Rockies are gearing up for big business.

With Colorado set to have its warmest summer on record — and a region that’s battled drought for years — ski resorts — and diners – are looking forward to the upcoming cold season.

The resort town of Breckenridge, at 11,200 feet above sea level, tends to have a strong sense of community. “It’s a very tight-knit area,” says Rafferty. “The little hometown feeling that local people have to their mountains is something that really works to their advantage.”

This summer, the town is planning a summertime concert series. At times, temperatures can reach the triple digits in the Rocky Mountains, with their mountains located in a valley.

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