By Felicity Long

DENVER -- Ah, the champagne-powder snow of Colorado. Longtime skiers swear by it, and it should come as no surprise that of the 10 most-visited ski resorts in the U.S., seven are in this state. In fact, there are so many ski resorts in Colorado that someone has gone on record as having skied 16 resorts in one day.

Other items of interest follow:

* The greatest number of skier visits ever recorded in one state in a single season was 11,395,572 in 1995-96 in Colorado.

* Overall, 20% of all U.S. skier days occur in Colorado.

* A candidate for the most intriguing name of a run in Colorado is Everkrisp at Beaver Creek/Arrowhead.

* The first ski resort in Colorado was Howelsen Ski Hill, which opened in 1914.

* It is estimated that about 35% of lift tickets will be sold to snowboarders by 2000.

* The highest base elevation of any Colorado ski area is Arapahoe Basin, at 10,800 feet.

* There are 24 Colorado ski resorts located on National Forest System lands.

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