Vermont and New Hampshire combine for nearly 7 million skier visits

Vermont and New Hampshire more than did their part to contribute to the second best winter for skier visits in U.S. history. Both states issued their final tallies for the 2010-2011 season this week, with nearly 7 million combined skier days.

Vermont and New Hampshire both reported their skier visits for the 2010-2011 ski season on June 15, 2011, with the two states combining for nearly 7 million skier days this past winter.

The Vermont Ski Areas Association announced at its annual meeting at Sugarbush Resort that Vermont's ski resorts recorded 4,365,906 visits for the 2010-11 season, marking the best year since 2004-05 and maintaining Vermont’s ranking as the third-largest ski state in the country, behind only Colorado and California. 

In what was the third snowiest season on record, Vermont ski resorts saw a substantial rebound in snowfall and consumer confidence over previous years.

“Amid the lingering effects of the recession, the ski and ride industry once again proved its resilience as a cornerstone of Vermont’s economy, bringing rooms and meals tax revenues 5 percent ahead of last season’s expenditures and generating 6.5 percent more in sales tax revenues for the winter months,” said Ski Vermont President Parker Riehle. “The post-recession rebound in skier/rider consumer confidence was evident on and off the mountains, and the outdoor retail industry reported record numbers not seen in years.” 

Nationally, skier visits were the second best on record, with the Northeast posting the biggest gains of any region in the country. New Hampshire's alpine and cross country ski areas recorded a total of 2,355,100 alpine skier and snowboarder visits, up 5.6 percent from the winter of 2009-10, making it the third best on record for skier visits in New Hampshire, just missing the state's all-time record of 2,366,706 in 2007/08.

Preliminary reports show the Northeast region (including the six New England states and New York state) up 4 percent from last season. New Hampshire compares favorably, with a 5.6 percent increase from the prior winter. The 2010/11 season was also 8.3 percent above the ten-year average for New Hampshire alpine skier and snowboarder visits. 

New Hampshire businesses were also able to benefit from the successful winter. An economic impact study conducted during the record 2009/10 winter showed a total of $910 million dollars spent by guests visiting N.H. ski areas. Of that total, only 12 percent was spent directly at ski areas, with the remaining 88 percent spent on ski visit-related expenses such as lodging, restaurants, gas, tolls and retail.

“This was the kind of winter New Hampshire skiers and riders dream of. We had numerous stretches with the snow as nice as anywhere in North America. Simply put, ski seasons like this one are fun for everyone involved,” said Karl Stone, Ski New Hampshire's marketing director.

--Peter Kray

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