Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ski Resorts are retaining senior skiers

One of the most significant trends in the ski industry is the fact that skiers are getting older. The 2008 National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) National Demographic Study remarks the continued aging of the visitor base, with strong growth in skiers and riders aged 45 and older.
A third of all resort visitors in 2007-08 were age 45 or older.
Since 1997-98, the percentage of visitors age 45 to 54 has increased from 14.0 percent to 19.9 percent; the percentage of visitors age 55 to 64 has doubled, from 4.6 percent to 9.2 percent; and the percentage of visitors age 65 and over has also increased, from 2.4 percent to 3.8 percent.The loyalty and staying power of older participants has helped fuel the increasing visits tallied in recent years, culminating in a record 60.50 million skier visits nationwide last season. The study also suggests a continuation of a “three-generation phenomenon”, as the Baby Boomers (ages 44 to 62 in 2008) continue to participate along with persons young enough to be their children and grandchildren, leading to an overall broadening of the participant age profile.
This year’s study also indicates continued growth in helmet usage. Forty-three percent of survey respondents were wearing a helmet when interviewed in 2007-08, up from 25 percent in 2002-03.A total of 114,010 surveys were completed during the 2007-08 season at 83 participating ski resorts.
The annual demographic study is available for purchase at nsaa.org.