The 22 ski resorts on the U.S. Forest Service land, paid a record high $20.61 million in rent for the slopes to the federal government last season. Denver movers explain how annual rent payments are based on lift-ticket and season-pass sales, ski school and on-mountain services; such as dining and ski rental – just last season resorts earned more money than ever from on-mountain activities.
Much of the spike is attributed to “visitor attitudes and spending,” according to Don Dressler. He states that he was pleasantly surprised to see these numbers.”
The amount of visitors that took to Colorado’s ski areas, reached a record 12.6 million in 2013-2014. In total, there are 122 ski areas in the U.S. on Forest Service land, with rent that totals to about $30 million a year. The 25 ski areas typically account for more than 20 percent of the nation’s ski visits.
Vail Resorts, which also owns three other Denver, Colorado ski areas with the highest rent bills, saw mountain revenue climb 11 percent from 2013 to 2014. Furthermore, lingering drought in California’s 27 ski areas are likely to push free-spending vacationers to snowy Colorado.
According to Don Dressler, “when California is having a poor winter, people are looking to travel where the snow is.”
Last season, every resort saw their payments grow. All but four ski areas counted 2013-2014 as their highest-grossing year, according to their revenue-based payments.
All in all, Vail ski area paid the highest rent at $5.36 million. Breckenridge was next, at $3.51 million, followed by Keystone at $2.07 million, then Steamboat and Snowmass.