Frisco, Texas — In theory, the United States ski industry should have had a rough winter. It was the warmest recorded winter ever in the U.S., and a few regions struggled due to variable conditions. However, guests still came out in droves.

Yesterday, the National Ski Area’s Association announced at its National Convention that the ski resorts in the U.S. received 60.4 million visitors this season. This total marks the fifth most visitation on record since they began recording during the 1978-79 winter. While the past two winters saw record visitation in the U.S., this ski season was hampered by a slow start and early closures at some mountains, especially in the Midwest. The average seasonal snowfall was 158”, a sizeable decrease from 225” during the 2022-23 season.

Kelly Pawlak, who’s the President and CEO of NSAA, said the following in the press release about this ski season:

“Some ski area operators described the season as a roller coaster, and I applaud those same operators for being flexible, reopening to take advantage of a late season storm or making snow in late March to squeeze in one more week. Skiers are a hardy bunch and responded enthusiastically. The strong skier visits speak volumes to their passion for sliding on snow.”

This season also saw various revivals. Seven more ski areas operated compared to last season. Also, a new ski area opened in Colorado. The total number of operating ski areas was 487.

Lots of projects are on tap for this offseason, with nearly $500 million in capital improvements planned at ski resorts across the country. This will include 71 new or upgraded lifts. This is a notable decrease from $754.3 million spent on capital improvements (out of 130 ski resorts that detailed their capital projects to NSAA) for the 2023-24 season.

You can read the full press release here.

Image Credits: National Ski Areas Association

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