The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has released preliminary end-of-season data on the ski industry throughout the 2022-23 season, and things are looking good for the resorts.
Overall, this season (which has yet to end in some areas of the country) has seen a record 64.7 million skier visits to the ski areas, a 6.6% increase from last years record setting 60.695 million. The 2010/11 season now sits in third place with 60.540 million visits. The number of operating ski resorts also grew this year, moving from 473 last season to 481 this season, though that likely had little to do with the increase in visitors.
Of the six regions throughout the country monitored by the NSAA, only two saw a decrease in skier visits, the Southeast and Midwest. Both the Rocky Mountain region and the Pacific Northwest marked new records, with the Rocky Mountain region (25.25 million visits last season) recording 27.9 million visits and the Pacific Northwest (4.1 million visits last season) recording 4.5 million visits. Both the Pacific Southwest and the Northeast recorded season to season visit increases but reached only the third highest season on record.
The industry also saw a record season for capital investments, totaling $812.4 million dollars. Season pass holders now make up 50% of skier visits across the country, with daily lift tickets taking up just 33%. Ski resorts also saw a healthier season in terms of staffing, with 60% of resorts reporting being understaffed compared to last season’s 81% and ski area wages increasing by 18% (the national average wage increase was just 4.6%).
I don’t know if this news is great for us skiers and snowboarders, but it’s certainly great for the resorts. Part of me is glad more people are getting into skiing in snowboarding, part of me hates the lift lines and traffic.
Image Credit: National Ski Areas Association via Facebook