US Skier Visits Down 3%

TomWhiteTomWhite expert
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 620

Skier
visits at U.S. resorts dip about 3 percent

Staff Report

news@summitdaily.com

May 5, 2018

Skiers and a snowboarder disembark from the
new Montezuma Chairlift during this season's opening day on Friday, Nov. 10 at
Keystone Resort.

Skier visits at U.S. resorts were down an
estimated 1.5 million or 2.8 percent this season compared with the prior winter,
the National Ski Areas Association announced Friday.

A preliminary study showed ski areas tallied
53.3 million visits this year compared with 54.8 million visits in 2016-17.

"I am pleased that the 2017-18 season was
right in line with our 40-season average, with the Rocky Mountains and the
Pacific Northwest performing above the 40-year average," said Kelly
Pawlak, NSAA president and CEO.

A skier visit is the purchase of a lift ticket
for a full or partial day. It is the standard business barometer for the ski
industry.

While the overall number was in line with the
40-year average, this season produced the lowest amount of skier visits in
seven seasons, according to NSAA's data. In addition, it was the third-worst
season in 18 winters.

Only 2011-12 with 50.97 million skier visits
and 1999-2000 with 52.2 million visits were worse.

The average for ski visits over the past 10
seasons, including this campaign, was 55.65 million.

A savage winter in the Northeast region and
low snowfall amounts early in the season in the southern and central Rocky
Mountain region prevented the industry from boosting business overall.

"The Northeast region held steady at 11.8
million visits, less than 1 percent down from the previous season," NSAA
said in a statement. "The Rocky Mountain, Pacific Northwest and Pacific
Southwest regions were down slightly more, ranging between 5 and 14
percent."

The Rocky Mountain region was down about 5
percent, according to an NSAA spokeswoman. That equates to a loss of about 1
million skier visits from the 21.73 million that hit the slopes in 2017-18.

Comments

  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 1,180
    Are season passes not counted? Or are they counted as a paid visit each time they are scanned? If they are not counted, then perhaps the proliferation of mega-passes contributed to the lower number? Surely eastern weather whacked their stats...
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited May 7 Posts: 2,220
    "The Northeast region held steady at 11.8 million visits, less than 1 percent down from the previous season,"


    Considering what I experienced this winter, I am pleasantly surprised that it wasn't closer to 10%.
  • PeterPeter intermediate
    Posts: 74

    Are season passes not counted? Or are they counted as a paid visit each time they are scanned? If they are not counted, then perhaps the proliferation of mega-passes contributed to the lower number? Surely eastern weather whacked their stats...

    Visits by passholders are factored in.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 1,180

    "The Northeast region held steady at 11.8 million visits, less than 1 percent down from the previous season,"


    Considering what I experienced this winter, I am pleasantly surprised that it wasn't closer to 10%.
    True. Interesting if there is a ripple effect into next year; March hopefully made people happy enough to forget late Dec through Feb that they don't stay away.
  • slathamslatham advanced
    edited May 7 Posts: 197

    "The Northeast region held steady at 11.8 million visits, less than 1 percent down from the previous season,"


    Considering what I experienced this winter, I am pleasantly surprised that it wasn't closer to 10%.




    I agree, and I'll bet revenue is down more than 1% and probably closer to 10% as they lost high priced holiday skier days and made up the total skier visits via lower priced March/Spring skier days.

  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 197
    Peter said:

    Are season passes not counted? Or are they counted as a paid visit each time they are scanned? If they are not counted, then perhaps the proliferation of mega-passes contributed to the lower number? Surely eastern weather whacked their stats...

    Visits by passholders are factored in.
    I wonder how this is factored in at areas that don't scan? I have a small and unique data set, but neither of the areas where I have passes scan them.
  • PeterPeter intermediate
    Posts: 74
    slatham said:

    Peter said:

    Are season passes not counted? Or are they counted as a paid visit each time they are scanned? If they are not counted, then perhaps the proliferation of mega-passes contributed to the lower number? Surely eastern weather whacked their stats...

    Visits by passholders are factored in.
    I wonder how this is factored in at areas that don't scan? I have a small and unique data set, but neither of the areas where I have passes scan them.
    Some places count cars and use a formula based on historical average car occupancy.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 1,180
    Peter said:

    slatham said:

    Peter said:

    Are season passes not counted? Or are they counted as a paid visit each time they are scanned? If they are not counted, then perhaps the proliferation of mega-passes contributed to the lower number? Surely eastern weather whacked their stats...

    Visits by passholders are factored in.
    I wonder how this is factored in at areas that don't scan? I have a small and unique data set, but neither of the areas where I have passes scan them.
    Some places count cars and use a formula based on historical average car occupancy.
    Or they do like the owl in the Tootsie Roll Pops ad: "Ah, one, two..."
  • flbskiflbski advanced
    Posts: 103
    Once saw the marketing dept where I worked scanning tickets at top and bottom lifts.  Why?  Gotta get the numbers any way we can......

  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 197

    From Sugarbush's Win Smith:

    "Our pass sales and skier visits were slightly over last season, and given the changes in the industry and the volatile mid-winter weather, we were delighted with those results.  Our day-skier visits were down slightly, due to the frigid holidays in December and January. Our season pass visits more than offset that, especially with the spring conditions we experienced. It was great to see passholders getting in more days this year."

    They scan passes so obvious track closely. So while skier visits, driven by pass holder visits, were up slightly, day ticket sales were down. So I would suspect a hit to revenue.



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