The final Kottke End of Season Survey shows 60.5 million skier/rider visits to U.S. resorts last winter. That's a 2.7 percent increase over the previous record of 58.9 million visits set in 2005-06. Credit good winter weather and lots of natural snowfall in all regions except the Southeast.
Snowfall was up 61 percent in the Pacific West; 45 percent in the Rocky Mountains; 34 percent in the Midwest; and 28 percent in the Northeast. Snowfall was down 6 percent in the Southeast.
The Kottke Survey showed that all regions of the country and resorts of all size categories contributed to the record season.
"Among the regions hardest hit by poor weather last year (2006/07), the Northeast rebounded by 20.8 percent, the Midwest rose by 12.5 percent and the Pacific West improved by 12.4 percent. The Southeast gained a more moderate 6.5 percent and the Rocky Mountains rose by 2.3 percent this year en route to setting their fourth consecutive record. Additionally, each region except the Southeast exceeded its 10-year average from 1998/99 to 2007/08," said the National Ski Areas Association.
NSAA reports international visits played a role in the increased skier/rider numbers, as foreign travelers took advantage of a weak U.S. dollar against Canadian, British, and European currencies.
International visitors were up 28 percent last season, accounting for 6.3 percent of visitors, up from 5.4 percent the year before.