Happy-to-spend tourists are back in Colorado, and if their wallets remain open this summer, mountain resort towns are on track for a record year.
After a slow recovery from the recession, many resort towns logged record sales-tax revenues for the 2013-14 ski season. And the rapid growth of summer tourism in resort towns — including Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge — is tracking to continue this summer, leaving 2014 looking like the best year ever for high-country destinations.
Mountain communities are working hard to lure visitors to town in the warmer months, using an endless stream of concerts, festivals, contests and general weekly celebrations to fuel growth in summer tourism.
This isn’t just more people in town. This is more people leaving more cash in their wake.
“It appears visitors are spending more in restaurants, lodging and retail,” said Stu Fraser, the mayor of Telluride, where summer sales-tax revenues in 2012 and 2013 eclipsed winter collections, establishing the box-canyon town as