“I always think it’s incredible that it’s a billion-dollar industry that depends on something you have zero control over,” Ms. Duke said.
Skiers said they were cautiously eying the weather and forecasts of snow.
Phillip Luxner, 44, of Denver, said he waited until the “last minute” to purchase an Epic ski pass, which grants access to numerous resorts throughout the season. He said he had bought his passes on Sunday, while sitting on his patio in 60-degree weather wearing shorts and sandals.
“Buying ski passes in flip-flops feels weird,” Mr. Luxner said, noting that he did not plan to head out to the slopes soon. He said he would wait for a series of significant snowstorms to hit and for the resorts to open more terrain.
“I have no desire to ski up there on a green run with a thousand people,” he said.
Collin Race Fenimore, 27, said his first ski trip of the season on Friday at Summit County’s Copper Mountain Resort had been uncomfortably hot. The slopes had started out icy in the morning and then turned to slush, he said, adding that only a few lifts and ski runs had been open.
“It was probably a high of 50 degrees, but it really felt like 75 with your ski clothes on,” Mr. Fenimore said. “Early season is never great snow, but I’ve never really been a part of one that’s been this bad. So it’s definitely a bummer, and I’m hoping we get some more snow.”
Resorts are hoping to make up for the steep losses they incurred when pandemic restrictions shut down all Colorado ski areas in March 2020, during the high season. The closings reduced ski visits by about four million, Melanie Mills, president and chief executive officer of Colorado Ski Country USA, said.
That season was devastating, said Alan Henceroth, chief operating officer of Arapahoe Basin in the Rocky Mountains.