SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH- Along with record snow totals, the 2007-08 winter season brought Utah's ski and snowboard industry its fifth consecutive record-breaking year. The state totaled 4,258,900 skier days during the 2007-08 season. (The National Ski Areas Association defines 'skier days' as one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing).
Preliminary estimates suggest ski areas nationwide had their best season on record with numbers tallied around 60.1 million skier days. Utah's 2007-08 total represents an impressive 4.3 percent increase over the previous record set in 2006-07 season. Meanwhile the Rocky Mountains (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) gained a 2.3 percent increase.
"We are very pleased to see the industry thrive nationwide," said Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty. "The nation's snowsports community depends on the support and participation of snowriders everywhere to continue future growth and development of the sport."
Despite a slow start to the season, Utah's snow totals reached epic proportions well surpassing 500 inches at many resorts and reaching more than 700 inches at others. The Utah ski season began Nov. 16 and continued through June 15 with additional skiing still being considered at press time.
"As the snow piled on so did the skiers," remarked Rafferty. "Utah's incredible snow, unparalleled accessibility and world class resorts continue to attract new visitors making it a crucial source of revenue for the state."
The Utah ski and snowboard industry substantially impacted the state economy generating an estimated $1.04 billion during the 2007-08 winter season. This figure includes all in-state spending on skiing and snowboarding related purchases such as food, apparel, entertainment, etc. (excluding airfare) by both residents and non-residents. This is the first time the industry has surpassed the one billion dollar mark.
Utah's ski and snowboard industry supports nearly 18,000 jobs statewide.
Utah's statewide tourism product has seen a significant increase in visibility over the last several years thanks to a surge in state funding dedicated to promoting the state's many tourism offerings, from skiing and snowboarding to southern Utah's five national parks. The ski and snowboard industry looks forward to another successful season in 2008-09.
Total statewide skier days for the past 10 years are as follows:
Season Skier Days Rank
2007-08 4,258,900 1
2006-07 4,082,094 2
2005-06 4,062,188 3
2004-05 3,895,578 4
2003-04 3,429,141 5
2002-03 3,141,212 7
2001-02 2,984,574 9
2000-01 3,278,291 6
1999-00 2,959,778 10
1998-99 3,095,347 8
Ski Utah is the marketing firm owned and operated by the 13 statewide ski resorts that make up the Utah Ski and Snowboard Association. The organization has been creating brand awareness of and demand for the Utah wintersports product since its inception in 1978.