RECORD BREAKING WINTER IN THE USA
10th June 2019 | James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Last modified on December 19th, 2019
The numbers are in, the snow depths have been measured and last season will go down as one of the best ever. UPDATED
Last weekend Breckenridge called it a day and Aspen decided to stay open for this coming weekend:
“Colorado ski area operators invest tens of millions annually to keep facilities in tip top form and there’s nothing like Colorado’s genuine ‘we are really happy you’re here’ welcome anywhere else in the skiing world.”
It is a similar picture elsewhere after the huge snowfalls of last winter.
The Rocky Mountain region ended its winter with 24 million skier days.
The region includes Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana.
And the good news wasn’t just confined to the Rockies on the west.
Ski Vermont on the east called the season “historic.”
Resorts opned early and closed late.
Vermont ski areas, that include resorts like Killington ans Smugglers Notch, had 200,000 more visitors this season than last.
That’s an increase of 5%.
It put the total number of skier days at more than 4 million – the most since the 2014-2015 season.
Mad River Glen had the longest season in its 70-year history and was open for 135 days.
New Hampshire and Maine also saw an increase in the numbers.
As many as 100,000 more people hit the slopes of New Hampshire’s ski resorts – a 5% increase on the previous year.
Maine saw a total of 1.23 million skiers – a 12% increase on 2017/18.
Overall across the whole of the USA The National Ski Areas Association reported earlier that total skier visits topped an estimated 59 million for 2018-19 – up nearly 11% from the prior season.
We reported on it at the time.
Businesses are said to be delighted with their numbers and this has a knock on effect with higher taxes and more money spent across the resorts.
At least five ski towns boasting record sales tax revenue for the 2018-19 ski season
A tally of taxable sales from December through March for Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Winter Park and Telluride reveals record spending in the towns.
Margaret Bowes, the executive director of the 32-member Colorado Association of Ski Towns, said the investment by Winter Park is reflected across other Colorado ski resorts and there is a knock-on impact.
“They are all putting their money back into their communities, with things like infrastructure, affordable housing, trail systems and recreational amenities. Things that benefit both the resident and the visitor,” said Bowes.
Winter Park saw taxable sales hit records every month of the winter.
It had a total of $78.8m for the season, more than double the sales from 2008-09.
The season is also expected to provide record rent payments to the US government.
Figures have not yet been published.
In 2017-18 Colorado ski resorts operating on public land paid $26.8m.
This year it is expected to be much higher after the good snow.
2017-18 was a generally bad year for snow.
The 122 US ski resorts that operate on public land send revenue-based rent payments of about $37m to the US Treasury.
Portions of the money are then handed back to different regions of the Forest Service.
Obviously we have no idea what next winter holds in store but if it is anything like last winter then perhaps 2019/20 might be the time to visit the USA.
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