New Hampshire was a success for skiers and ski area operators alike. Mother Nature’s cooperation provided excellent skiing and riding conditions for much of the 2012-13 ski season resulting in impressive business levels. New Hampshire’s resorts hosted more than 2.5 million skier, snowboarder, and snowtubing visits, according to numbers released by Ski NH.
Alpine ski areas recorded a total of 2,276,370 alpine skier and snowboarder visits, a 20.9% increase from the prior winter and a 4.7% increase over the ten year average. This number is the 5th best downhill ski season on record for the state. Cross country areas also had a very successful winter, hosting 151,276 visits, a 57.2% increase from the prior winter and a 14.8% increase over the ten year average. Areas with snowtubing parks reported 113,058 snowtubing visits, a 23.4% increase from the prior winter and a 7% increase over the ten year average.
New Hampshire’s extensive snowmaking infrastructure went to work before the December holidays and got the slopes ready for the vacation period. At that point resorts welcomed a lengthy stretch of regular snowfall and outstanding skiing and riding conditions. Most of the holiday periods had excellent business levels thanks to enjoyable weather and snowfall. In contrast to recent years, the winter weather continued right through March making for excellent skiing and riding conditions well into April.
Mostly without the benefit of snowmaking technology, cross country ski areas really enjoyed the abundant natural snowfall. The storms cooperated and spread the snowfall relatively evenly across the state, allowing entire trail networks to be opened and guests enjoying snow-covered scenery.
Since 2000, New Hampshire has recorded 8 of their top 10 ski seasons showing the success and growth of skiing and snowboarding in the Granite State. New Hampshire businesses rely heavily on the ski industry. An economic impact study conducted after the 2009/10 season showed a total of $910 million dollars spent by guests visiting NH ski areas. Of that total, only 12% was spent directly at ski areas, with the remaining 88% spent on ski visit-related expenses such as lodging, restaurants, gas, tolls, retail, and other.
"After a difficult ski season last year, this winter was what everyone was hoping for. New England skiers are resilient and realize how much snow our ski areas can make, but there’s no substitute for the excitement and fun consistent natural snowfall produces", noted Karl Stone, Ski NH’s marketing director.
"With 8 of our top 10 winters occurring since 2000, we’ve got a great deal of momentum for skiing and riding in the state. It’s always a good sign when our ski areas close with snow still on their slopes and trails due to guests moving on to other activities and not a lack of snow", summarized Alice Pearce, Ski NH’s president.
Ski NH is the statewide association representing 33 alpine and cross country resorts and more than 200 lodging and guest service properties in New Hampshire.