Skiers and riders took plenty of vacations and have spent lots of time on the snow so far this season. Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) reports that visitor numbers are up 10 percent at its 22 member resorts.The count is good from opening day through the end of 2010, compared to the same period the year before.

Melanie Mills is the president and CEO of CSCUSA, and credits the crowds to consistent snow and reliable conditions. "There is a lot of ski season left but we've set a good pace, have great snow conditions, and hope the momentum continues."

Most of the state had plenty of early season snow. Resorts were able to open more terrain and fire up more lifts than usual on opening day. Big storms in November also helped get the word out and make for a busy Thanksgiving weekend.

Christmas week was good, with great conditions. But then the temperature dropped. "Skiers and riders turned out in strong numbers to enjoy the slopes during the holidays, until the cold temperatures of the New Year's weekend sent them in search of hot chocolate," said Mills.

A skier visit represents a person participating in the sports of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort.

Vail Resorts' four Colorado mountains ski areas are not members of CSCUSA. 

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