In July the National Ski Areas Association announced that "U.S. ski areas set a new all-time season record of 60.54 million skier/snowboarder visits during the 2010/11 season." Impressive, especially so given that we're in a "recession."
Or are we? Can record resort visits be counted as a positive economic indicator? After talking to local resorts and vendors, we sure think so. Keep an eye out for our article on the state of the ski industry in our Snowrider's Guide, on stands Oct. 27.
In the mean time, chew on this (all info from the Kottke National End of Season Survey, performed by NSAA):
- “Snowboarding has clearly plateaued, accounting for 30.5 percent of visitation nationally in 2010-11, similar to the 30.5 to 31.0 percent range recorded in the prior three seasons.”
- "Total season pass sales and visits surged, while paid ticket usage declined, a continuation of long- term patterns in both respects. Season pass visits accounted for 36.3 percent of total visits this season, up from 34.3 percent in 2009/10 ..."
- "Visitation was very strong at the beginning and end of the season, and mixed in the middle." Obviously, since that's when we got dumped on.
- "Gains in visits occurred in most regions, including the Pacific Northwest (up 4.9 percent from last season)." The PNW experienced greater gains than any other region in the country.
So yeah, things are looking rosy in the snow-riding world.
photo: Matt Maloney