Based on preliminary estimates released by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), ski areas nationwide tallied 60.1 million visits for the 2007/08 season, making it the best season on record. The new record represents a 9.1 percent increase from the 55.1 million visits recorded in 2006/07, and a 2.0 percent rise from the prior record of 58.9 million visits set in 2005/06.
Over the last 10 seasons (1998/99 – 2007/08), the average number of visits recorded nationally was 56.16 million visits. The 2007/08 season represents a 7.0 percent increase from this 10-year average. By region, the Northeast was up 9.0 percent from its 10-year average of 12.91 million visits, tallying 14.07 million visits this season. The Midwest, with 8.09 million visits, was up 10.1 percent, the Rockies were up 9.9 percent with 21.33 million visits, the Pacific West was up 1.4 percent with 11.37 million visits and the Southeast was down 1.3 percent with 5.21 million visits in 2007/08.
The study cites strong increases in snowfall as a contributor to the record season. Snowfall in the Pacific West was up 62 percent, up 39 percent in the Rocky Mountains, up 35 percent in the Midwest, and up 26 percent in the Northeast. Only the Southeast reported a decrease, down 7 percent.
Aspen Skiing Company has just announced that it will open the top of Aspen Mountain for skiing this weekend, June 13-15 to celebrate a winter of record snowfall. Snowbird announced that the Utah resort will be open for skiing and riding on weekends through Sunday, June 15. Skiers in Mount Hood, Oregon also take advantage of snowy conditions.