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Utah Ski and Snowboard Industry Announces 2011-12 Skier Day Visits

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - The Utah ski and snowboard industry announced 3,802,536 million skier day visits during the 2011-12 winter season, down 10 percent from the previous season’s 4,223,064. The 2010-11 season was Utah’s second best season on record only a hair short from the 2007-08 season, which recorded 4,249,190 skier days.

Low snow totals plaguing resorts nationwide and the persistence of a wavering economy are credited for the decrease at Utah ski and snowboard resorts this season. As snow totals have accumulated well above the state’s 500 annual inch average the past four seasons, this year’s below average snowfall was all the more difficult for powder lovers to endure. Despite the downturn, Ski Utah is confident awareness and demand for the Utah wintersport product is headed on a positive trajectory. Utah skier day visits performed quite well in comparison to the national average down 15% from last season according to the National Ski Area Association.

“Utah ski and snowboard resorts did an exceptional job compensating for the lack of early season snow with a record level of snowmaking,” noted Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty. “Unfortunately, by the time Mother Nature joined the effort many consumers had already turned their attention away from skiing and snowboarding.”

Ski Utah also observed that while participation in on-snow activities declined this season many complementary businesses, such as restaurants and shops, reported steady to strong business indicating many visitors supplemented their vacations with other activities.

Total Utah statewide skier days for the past 10 years are as follows:

Season          *Skier Days     Rank
2011-12          3,802,536         8
2010-11          4,223,064         2
2009-10          4,048,153         5
2008-09          3,972,984         6
2007-08          4,249,190         1
2006-07          4,082,094         3
2005-06          4,062,188         4
2004-05          3,895,578         7
2003-04          3, 429,190        9
2002-03          3,141,212         11

*The National Ski Areas Association defines ‘skier days’ as one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing/snowboarding.  Abundant early season and record snowfall, and a boost in consumer confidence are credited with contributing to the increase.

For a complete history of Utah’s skier days visit http://www.skiutah.com/media/story_starters/utah-skier-days-table



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