Vt. Ski Areas Saw 4.3 Million Visits in ’10-11

WARREN, Vt. (June 15, 2011) – The Vermont Ski Areas Association announced at its annual meeting at Sugarbush Resort that Vermont’s ski resorts recorded 4,365,906 visits for the 2010-11 season, marking the best year since 2004-05 and maintaining Vermont’s ranking as the third-largest ski state in the country, behind only Colorado and California.

In what was the third snowiest season on record, Vermont ski resorts saw a substantial rebound in snowfall and consumer confidence over previous years.

“Amid the lingering effects of the recession, the ski and ride industry once again proved its resilience as a cornerstone of Vermont’s economy, bringing rooms & meals tax revenues 5% ahead of last season’s expenditures and generating 6.5% more in sales tax revenues for the winter months,” Ski Vermont President Parker Riehle said. “The post-recession rebound in skier/rider consumer confidence was evident on and off the mountains, and the outdoor retail industry reported record numbers not seen in years.”

Nationally, skier visits were the second best on record, with the Northeast posting the biggest gains of any region in the country.  With 80 million people within a day’s drive of Vermont’s mountains, Ski Vermont has continued to focus its efforts at converting first-timers to life-timers with innovative learn-to programs through VSAA and its member resorts.

The annual gathering of more than 250 industry professionals was presented with VSAA’s efforts over the past year in governmental affairs, marketing and public affairs, and NSAA President Michael Berry gave an overview of the season from the national perspective.  In addition, Reach Advisors President James Chung presented the latest industry trends and research.

Green Mountain Coffee Senior Marketing Specialist Roger Garufi was presented with the Friend of the Industry Award, and the Career Employee Awards went to industry veterans Timothy Hahn, Wayne Smith and Betty Merrill, all from Killington Resort.