Aspen suffers as skiers hit Japan
The picturesque US ski resort town of Aspen is suffering from a lack of g'days.
Australian touristsm, and a healthy bunch of New Zealanders, usually flood the Colorado winter paradise in January, but this year, local businesses are reeling from a drop in Australasian visitors.
Tim Clark, a partner in Frias Properties, Aspen's largest manager of apartments, said revenues from Australian visitors has plummeted 22 per cent this season with the number of nights stayed by Aussies down 19 per cent.
"It's significant because they (Australians) stay for longer periods - generally two or three weeks," Mr Clark told The Aspen Times newspaper.
Joe Raczak, general manager of the North of Nell Condominiums, estimated revenues were down 10 per cent, while room nights had fallen 14 per cent.
The exodus is partly being blamed on big discounts Japanese ski resorts have offered this ski season.
The Japanese industry is looking to bounce back after last year's devastating tsunami and earthquake, with cheap deals drawing skiers away from Aspen.
Not all locals are disappointed with the lack of Aussies. On the Aspen Times website local Addison Chouette complained Aussie tourists "don't tip" so "send them home so the people here can make a living".