When It Rains, It Doesn’t Snow

The 2011-2012 winter season did not see snowfall totals anywhere near the usual across most parts of the country, even Colorado. Unfortunately, it seems as though the 2012-2013 season is following in its predecessor’s footsteps as snow fall totals are still down, causing many businesses to resign to the fact that there just won’t be enough snow for a valuable year. What does this mean for Vail vacation homes and resorts? Revenue is definitely down, but do not write off a trip there just yet.

Lower Revenue, Yet Sales Still on the Rise
Recently, one Vail company that owns several major resorts in the area announced that they were altering their revenue projections for 2013 from $50 to $60 million down to between $39 and $49 million, according to the Huffington Post. This change in projections comes despite the fact that there have reportedly been upticks in lift ticket sales, ski lessons, dining, and retail—highlighting that this season’s weather has been much better than last, just not as much snow as once was.

Last year’s ski season was reportedly so bad, as stated by the Denver Post, that nationally the ski industry took a 15 percent hit, and that Colorado so almost no snow in March, thus ending the season prematurely.

Making Snow, Making Profits
Many resorts do not rely on the temperamental Mother Nature as much as they used to in years past. Now, many resorts across the country make their own snow when they are not given it. Snowmaking is not new, but it is becoming more widely accepted—it is even being utilized in the Swiss Alps, according to the New York Times.

The Denver Post article reported that some ski resort owners call themselves snow farmers and that there are some times when there will be a bad ‘crop’ of snow, which is why snow production is so important. The Times report expanded on that belief, citing that resort owners prefer to have natural snowfall whenever possible, but snowmaking allows them to keep their visitors happy and their businesses running. It wasn’t but 30 short years ago that a lack of snowfall as has been seen in recent years could be disastrous for vacation home resorts in Vail or elsewhere in the country—now when Mother Nature is stubborn, they can just make their own.

Whether the natural snowfall has been ample or lacking, Mother Nature does not have to get in the way of a fun and exciting ski trip to Colorado. Do not fear your trip will be ruined by a dry season as the snow will be there for you to enjoy—even if they have to make it.

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Chuck Stevens is an avid blogger always looking to share his experiences and recommendations. He grea up on the mountains of NH skiing at an early age and eventually learning how to snowboard.  You can follow him on Twitter @chuckstevens12.