Bus loads of church and teen groups, out-of-state visitors and Front Range residents all flocked to the ski slopes during Christmas and New Year's Day. They were drawn by early season snow and more open terrain than last year. Crested Butte offered package deals that brought in the bus loads of people -- sending the line for ski rentals out the door at Christy Sports. The chain trucked in 800 pairs of skis and boots from Denver to meet demand. Near Denver, Winter Park benefited from new snow falling overnight and sunny days for skiing. Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga says people tell their friends about the great skiing conditions. Early snowfall has helped build the base at Colorado resorts where the average mid-mountain base in 37 inches -- compared with 28 a year ago.
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