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May 16, 2009

National Skier Visits Down 5%

Skier visits numbers came out and were not as bad as one might have expected:

PORTLAND, Maine - The economy may have fallen off a cliff last year, but the ski industry's drop was a lot more gentle.

Preliminary figures show there were 57.1 million visits to ski slopes across the country during the past winter, a 5.5 percent decline from the record 60.5 million visits the year before.

It could've been worse without favorable weather in most parts of the country that helped offset the slumping economy, the National Ski Areas Association said Friday.

The figures were released as ski executives attended the association's annual convention and trade show in Florida, where spokesman Troy Hawks said many ski managers felt they had dodged a bullet.

"The positive thing is that it was a fairly strong snow year," Hawks said. "Many of the resorts said they would probably rather have a bad economy and a good snow year, versus a good economy and a bad snow year."

The industry makes its money off of all of the ancillary items like lodging, food, entertainment, etc. It isn't just skier visits that matter, but apparel sales and so forth, but given how bad unemployment is and a host of other factors, just being down 5% isn't too bad.

Posted by Justin at May 16, 2009 11:51 PM