Colorado Ski Country USA recently reported that skiers and boarders from Great Britain and Australia make up one third of Colorado’s internatrional ski traffic. That Australia is mentioned in the same breath as Great Britain is astonishing, but then again I don’t know the breakdown of this 33%. However, I believe that Australia has been producing the highest rate of growth into Colorado, from any one country, over the last 2-3 seasons.
Of course, this is the sort of destination skier any resort absolutely loves. Typically, out of state vacationers stay on average about 5.8 nights. International visitors average 9 nights per vacation. I suspect Australian skiers are even more than that, as to make the long trek from one hemisphere to the other worthwhile, and “swap” seasons in the process, a 10-14 trip (or more) is warranted. Internarionals spend more also while they’re here.
The weak dollar has made destination Colorado an even more attractive proposition, and I know for a fact that Winter Park Resort has being wooing the Australian public and wholesalers alike in an ongoing effort to increase brand awareness and destination business. It must be a tough sell though, primarily because of the effort needed to get here. I’ve made the trip “down under” – to New Zealand – and I can tell you it was one of the “weirdest” adjustments I’ve ever had to make. I flew there at the end of April, as Colorado was (technically) going into spring, and arrived as they were heading into winter. Total flight time is around 22-24 hours, and with a 7-hour time difference (Australia is actually 17 hours ahead, so you actually arrive 2 days after you leave) I felt totally discombobulated. In reverse direction, you have to add 9,000 feet elevation to the equation.
So, hats off to all the Aussies making the long trip over. You are extremely welcome. Apparently you’re fairly good at cricket too, but still need to work on your rugby game.