Apres-Ski USA 2008

By: Roger Munns

As summer approaches, many ski resorts plan to suspend their winter sports for the season.

Colorado's ski season is coming to a quick close. More than half of Colorado's ski resorts have already closed for the summer. The remainder will be closed by the first week of June. Some of the more popular resorts like Aspen, Keystone and Vail have already closed. Summertime for Aspen, as well as other Colorado resorts, means camping, concerts and plenty of park activities.

In California, Lake Tahoe ski areas closed at the end of April. During the summer months, Lake Tahoe provides just as much fun for outdoor enthusiasts: golf, fishing, rafting, hiking, biking, sailing and lake cruises, just to name a few. Youth camps and extreme summer camps for kids are available during the summer. The resorts also offer gaming and other indoor activities.

Utah is also closed for skiing holidays. The Snowbird resort won't be closing their ski season until May 26, but will be open only Friday through Sunday during May. Summertime activities in Snowbasin and other Colorado destinations include fly fishing, water skiing, windsurfing, backpacking and sightseeing. Of course camping is also an option in your favorite wintertime ski areas.

Recent weather conditions have caused some ski resorts to close early for the season.

Some North Carolina ski resorts expected to be open until mid-April, but closed earlier in March due to above normal temperatures and inconsistent weather patterns. Asheville's Hawksnest in Seven Devils was set to close near the end of March. Seven Devils offers a lot to do during the summer months as well as the ski season. Golfing, hiking, fishing and area theme parks are among some of the attractions. Asheville, North Carolina is also home to the grand Biltmore estate, which is a very well-known tourist attraction during the summer months.

Several European ski resorts also closed early. Through the years, many resorts have remained open through June, but this year most are already closed or will do soon due to lack of snow. Of course this causes concern for resort owners for coming years. Some are concerned that global warming is causing shorter winters and less snowfall. Others simply believe it is due to a mild 2007-2008 winter.

Abondance, one of the smaller resort towns in the Alps, was the first to shut down permanently due to lack of snow. Abondance, though not a functioning ski resort for a year now, offers marked snowshoe paths with guided tours and 10 km of cross-country ski tracks. For cheese-lovers, this small town offers up its specialty cheeses made from cows raised locally. Family discovery holidays are very popular in Abondance.

Many other resorts in the Alps offer great summertime holiday packages. Some packages include camping, hiking and even language classes for those who wish to learn French. Some of the more popular summertime camps offer guided tours of museums and art galleries throughout the Alps. Hiking, biking, windsurfing, paragliding and ballooning are very popular summertime activities enjoyed by summertime visitors.

Additionally, you may choose to take an air-guided tour to experience a true birds-eye view of the Alps.

Ski resorts offer much more than skiing and snowboarding. Many people often don't consider these resorts when planning summertime holiday destinations. Ski resorts world-wide welcome summertime visitors and offer many unique activities for individuals and families.

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