Winter Sports in Colorado
By: Seth Greer
In 2015, the ski and snowboard industry in Colorado generated $4.8 billion dollars, making it a massive industry in this state. This money, as a division of the massive tourism economy in our state, goes into infrastructure and other areas, and funds thousands of salaries a year.
With winter coming on strong, most residents of Estes Park and Colorado are looking for a sport or activity to participate in during the long, cold months. Skiers and Snowboarders, however, are just tuning their boards, preparing for a winter of shredding. But what is so appealing about these winter sports? Why do people spend so much money and time to go out in freezing weather and perform these activities?
“[Snowboarding] is a good way to connect with people in Colorado, because almost everyone here does it,” said senior Ivy Todd.
According to a 2014 poll by the Denver Post, 12.6 million people visited Colorado’s resorts at one time or another during that year. Many people find skiing to be an exciting bonding experience.
“I like to race with my brother. Just watching everyone go down the slopes at their own pace is fun to watch,” said sophomore Sam Leonard.
As these winter sports are often taught to beginners by their parents, and they can be a good way to interact with family and friends. Skiing and snowboarding are also excellent ways to get winter exercise, as the fast-moving nature of these sports can often be strenuous.
“It’s just a good activity to do in the wintertime. When I first moved here, I wasn’t too excited about the winter, because it’s usually too cold to run. Being able to go ski, especially in the back country, is nice, because I can get that cardio in and also be able to go explore these open areas,” said Alex Harris, the biology teacher at EPHS.
Many people see winter sports as somewhat of a Colorado tradition, as this state is often associated with the activities. Many people see these sports as a part of the experience in the state of Colorado.
“It comes along with part of the Colorado outdoor adventure, hopping on the idea of being a true Coloradan. I think it’s intimidating to some degree, but I really like the snow so I’m excited. It’ll be a good experience,” said Emily Bochenek.
Skiing and snowboarding can be intimidating to many, due to the breakneck speed and vulnerability to the elements, but there are many reasons to get into these activities.
Sophomore Nathan Zurfluh knows what a lot of these reasons are. “I enjoy skiing because it’s a really great means of exercise and it really gets you out into nature, and that’s why I’d encourage people to do it. It’s just a really beautiful, gorgeous, amazing sport,” said Zurfluh.