Former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told leaders of the ski resort industry gathered in Orlando for the National Ski Areas Association conference that operating successfully in business is far more difficult than operating in government.

"Business is very unforgiving," Romney said. "Government just bonds it to cover over its sins. Every dollar spent in government only has value if it represents goods or services in the private sector.

"You understand where jobs come from and that profits provide the working capital that builds businesses and create jobs."

Gov. Romney drew heavily on his experiences as head of the 2002 Winter Olympics In Utah. "I discovered that America is the only nation in the world where medalists put their hand over their heart on the podium."

He noted that the key elements leading to America's economic leadership are in serious decline. He cited eduation, family life, work ethic, and how successful businesses reflect the values and spirit of their founders. "Washington is smothering that spirit."

Romney responded to a question on how the ski industry can overcome the perception it doesn't have a future by pointing out the U.S. population will continue to grow.

"Keep the 'try it you'll like it' concept to attract newcomers of all ages," he said. "Hold on to the baby boomers. Golf has found a way to keep people way beyond their ability. Age shouldn't end skiing."

Romney's message resonated with an aduience that just concluded its second best year on record despite the economy. He received two standing ovations.