Ski resorts send a record-setting rent payment to the federal government after 2017-18 season |

Ski resorts send a record-setting rent payment to the federal government after 2017-18 season

Colorado’s D.C. delegation once again unites on legislation allowing Forest Service to keep more ski-area fees in the state.

Skiers disembark from the Paradise lift at the top of Paradise Bowl at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, February 14, 2019. The Paradise lift accesses intermediate terrain in Paradise Bowl and the more difficult terrain of the North Face to the west and the High Lift to the east. The Paradise lift has taken much of the skier load up the mountain since the closing of the Teocalli chairlift at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. At times the Paradise lift has had its share of problems. Many skiers were forced to walk out of Paradise Bowl to the base after the lift stopped due to repair issues in weeks past.
(Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado ski resorts operating on public land have once again sent a record rent payment to the U.S. government. The payment for 2017-18 — based on revenues collected at 23 Colorado resorts — was $26.8 million, the highest ever. 

Those payments are expected to continue reaching new highs as resort operators sell hundreds of thousands of season passes and seed year-round business at hills that once hosted only winter visitors. And the state’s national forests could start keeping more of that money under new legislation proposed last week.

Last week, Colorado’s U.S. senators, Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, again floated legislation that would allow some Forest Service regions to retain fees collected from ski resorts inside their boundaries. 

The Ski Area Fee Retention Act, which the pair proposed last year, would allow land managers in forests such as the White River National Forest — the most trafficked national forest in the country — to retain as much as 50 percent of the fees it collects from some of the world’s busiest ski areas, including Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain and Aspen Skiing Co.’s Snowmass.

Read more from The Colorado Sun.

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