Utah skier visits up 4 percent, ‘Bird open until the 4th - SNEWS

Utah skier visits up 4 percent, ‘Bird open until the 4th

Utah announced near a near-record 4.2 million skier days this season. But that total will keep pushing upward as Snowbird still has so much snow that the area could be open as late as July 4th.
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Ski Utah announced that the 2010-11 ski season was its second best season on record, with an estimated 4,200,000 skier visits at the state’s 14 resorts. That number will continue to grow as Snowbird Ski Resort continues to keep the lifts turning, with plans to extend operations until July 4.

Ski Utah’s record of 4,249,000 skier days was reached during the 2007-08 season. Still, this season’s estimate suggests the 2010-11 winter season was up four percent from the previous year. Record snowfall, and a boost in consumer confidence are being credited with contributing to the increase. Though in some cases all that snow may have diminished skier turnout. 

“Although Utah is famous for the quality and quantity of its snow, this season may have actually delivered too much of a good thing,” said Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty. Rafferty noted that heavy snowfall and other weather related issues adversely affected resort operations and transportation around key holiday periods deterring many skier visits.

Rafferty said other factors contributing to the season’s success include a steady stream of industry improvements, as well as several collaborative industry marketing efforts and the number of resulting accolades earned by Utah resorts. He added that the 2011-12 winter season will mark the ten year anniversary of the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games. Utah has seen a 41 percent increase in skier day visits since hosting the Winter Games. 

Total Utah statewide skier days for the past six years are as follows:

Season

Skier Days

Rank

2010-11

*4,200,000

2

2009-10

4,048,153

5

2008-09

3,972,984

6

2007-08 

 4,249,190

1

2006-07

4,082,094

3

2005-06

4,062,188

4


*Estimated total: exact number to be released upon completion of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resorts 2010-11 ski and snowboard season.


--Peter Kray


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