[Cover Photo:Maurice King]
The massive winter in Utah pushed the beehive state over the record mark, making the 2016/2017 ski season the busiest ever. Colorado on the other hand had a marginal snowfall season but still saw its second highest number of skier visits since record keeping started.
With just under half the amount of ski areas, Utah notched just over 4.5 million skier visits compared to Colorado’s 7.3 million skier visits. Utah’s previous record was set during the 2015/2016 season which saw 4.4 million skier visits. That uptick represents a 2.8% increase in ski area visitation in just a single year. Ultimately, that audience growth resulted in Utah ski areas contributing a grand total of $1.43 billion of revenue with a big chunk of that sum being delivered to the state through sales taxes.
“While there is still room to grow, we could not have asked for better results this year. Credit can be evenly distributed between Utah’s 14 resorts, the tremendous support from the Utah Office of Tourism and cooperation from Mother Nature.” – Nathan Rafferty, Ski Utah
Nationally speaking, skier visits were up 3.7% from the past season with a recorded total of 54.7 million folks getting on the slopes at some point between November and June of the 2016/2017 season.
If the winter hadn’t been so lackluster during the months of February and March, Colorado would likely have broken records but dry weather and warm temps in the Rockies kept many Front Range pass-holders at home instead of visiting their participating resorts.
There’s always next year Colorado…