In a downturn, small resorts are seeing the biggest numbers.

What does Gerald Petitt know about the ski industry that other ski resort owners should learn? In a year when resorts across the country watched their visitor numbers tumble, the Aspen resident who owns tiny Echo Mountain near Idaho Springs saw its numbers rise 30 percent, one of just three ski areas in the state to post gains. What’s his secret? Partly it’s timing. Opened in March 2006, Echo Mountain is Colorado’s newest resort and it’s on the upswing. Partly it’s snow. At 10,500 feet, it gets plenty. Partly, it’s formula. Echo Mountain boasts being Denver’s “closest, cheapest and freshest ski and snowboard area,” a winning combination in a struggling economy.
By David Frey, Nov. 22, 2009

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