NEW YORK — A $15-million profit for Denver’s metro area as the state’s tourism industry is recovering from a major snowstorm, as well as the effects of the devastating storms that devastated New York City.
Colorado Springs-based Travel + Leisure reported Thursday that its first-quarter revenue grew by 15.6% to $1.9 billion, with the region accounting for more than half of the nation’s travel and tourism industry.
Denver, home to Denver International Airport and the city’s ski area, posted a 12.4% rise in revenue, fueled by the region’s influx of people who travel to the metro area to ski.
The state’s economy, which has been hurt by the fallout from the blizzard, has been on a tear since the storm.
The Denver-area’s tourist revenue has risen by 17% to an average of $14.35 billion, a 5.7% increase over the same period last year, according to Travel + Lisure.
The tourism industry grew more than 8% in the metro region last year.
The region is still recovering from the storm, with snowfall forecast for parts of the country on Tuesday.
“Colorado Springs has seen a remarkable resurgence in tourism over the last few weeks,” Travel + lisure president and CEO Steve Hickey said in a statement.
“We’ve seen a spike in our visitors, and we’re expecting that trend to continue.”
The economic boost from Colorado Springs is the latest sign that Colorado is heading in the right direction.
The metro area recorded a 12% jump in visitors to the resort in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same quarter last year — a sign that tourism has picked up since the snowstorm struck.
The Colorado Springs-Loveland International Airport recorded its highest daily traffic number in a decade in January.
The airport is expected to see more traffic after the storm ends.
In the first three months of the year, Colorado Springs recorded a record-breaking number of snow-related deaths, including 11 deaths in one day.
More than a dozen people have died at the airport since the start of the blizzards, including an infant who died while riding a snowmobile.
Travel + Leasters CEO Mark Cundiff said in the statement that the business is enjoying a “really good year.”
The Colorado tourism industry has grown more than 80% since the blogs last winter, Cundiffs statement said.
Colorado is also the first state to receive an additional $1 million in state funds to help alleviate the crisis, he said.
Travels chief executive Joe Kuczynski said he thinks the economic boost will help boost the state even more.
“We’ll have the same bounceback we had a couple of years ago,” Kuczyns statement said, adding that the tourism industry in Colorado will continue to thrive in the coming months.
Kuczynski’s company expects that the economic impact of the snow storm will continue, as it will have an impact on the state economy.
“Our forecast for the state is we’ll have some more jobs added in the tourism and hospitality industries,” he said, noting that Colorado Springs also has been expanding its dining options.
The blizzard has also led to a decline in the number of businesses opening, which is a big concern for tourism companies.
“I think it’s going to be a very, very long summer for tourism,” Kynson said.
“There’s a lot of concern, and the uncertainty of the economy, that we’re going to see some layoffs,” Klysnson said, explaining that the number will continue as tourism stays strong and business continues to grow.
Travelers should check out this travel guide from the National Association of Travel Agencies, which recommends traveling to Colorado to save money and get out of the city.