Warmer winter left Colorado ski resorts dry

9:35 PM, May 2, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

For some perspective, the worst season for the resorts was back in 1976 to 1977, when only half of the state's ski areas were open by Christmas.

This season, Colorado's snowpack was half its normal level. Skier visits were down about 7 percent total.

According to 9NEWS Chief Meteorologist Kathy Sabine, Colorado's snowpack was 100 percent or greater last winter.

"In the mountains, oh my goodness, we're down now. Our statewide average is 20 percent and the snowpack numbers continue to diminish. So it all has to do with La Nina," Kathy said.

Kathy says there was a slight adjustment in the La Nina pattern which produced a warm winter and overall boring ski season.

"Around this time of year there's usually a little more snow you would be able to see. As you can see behind me, there's a little green popping out," Loryn Kasten with Steamboat Resort said as she stood in front of a dry mountain.

At Vail's resorts, skier visits went down about 12.6 percent compared to last year with the cumulative snowfall down about 50 percent over the past season.

One of the remaining survivors of the dry spell is Arapahoe Basin, which plans to close for the season Sunday. The earliest they've ever closed was on April 30, 1981.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

Most Watched Videos