Teton Village, Wyoming (CNN) – At the Apres Vous chair lift, Nick Merluzzi is always quick with a smile and a greeting: "Have a good run, sir," is his sendoff to one skier. "How are you doing today?" is his greeting to the two that approach next.
It is a firsthand look at one of Wyoming's leading economic indicators: Visitors to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which is hoping for a rebound after big drops in consumer spending and confidence hurt business last season.
"This feels good right now," Jerry Blann, the resort's president, said of the early weeks of the season. Christmas week was up from last year, and the resort says bookings for the rest of January and February also look on track to eclipse last year's numbers.
"I think people have been conservative, been holding their pocketbooks pretty close for a while," Blann said. "I think they are ready to jump out."