Spring break students eye Denver as hot spot

To many vacationers, life's a mountain, not a beach.

An online service that tracks flights that travelers are researching for spring break found interest in the Mile High city is climbing, with a 49% gain in flight searches taking place this year in the weeks before spring break when compared to a similar period in 2009.

And this development comes after Denver's Front Range experienced an unusually frigid winter, with a record number of gray days, accompanied by temperatures that routinely dove below zero. Also curious is the fact that the majority of searchers hailed from states including New York, California, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts, said Scot Carlson, Skyscanner's U.S. and Canada country manager.

"Maybe it's the popularity of the Winter Olympics, but it seems that this year's spring break might just manifest itself on the ski slopes," Carlson said. "Breakers will enjoy less ice on the runs, almost balmy temps at the bottom of the mountain and find cheap tickets to Denver not hard to come by."

Denver officials also report that they've fielded more questions from travelers, with a 20% jump in traffic to Visit Denver's web site over last spring, said Jennifer Elving, senior public relations manager for Visit Denver, a nonprofit charged with increasing convention and tourism business in the region.

But are travelers following through on this interest and booking trips?