Salt Lake City, UT – Along with impressive 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 Utah ski and snowboard season was still going strong this past weekend at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort.
Some earlier record seasons were set in winters when Utah had snow and other regions of the country didn’t. This past year, however, Utah ski resorts faced an uphill battle as preliminary estimates released by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) suggest ski areas nationwide had their best season on record with numbers tallied around 60.1 million skier days. Snow conditions were better than normal this past winter in most regions across the U.S. Utah’s 2007-08 total nonetheless 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 Nathan Rafferty, president of Ski Utah, the marketing firm owned and operated by the 13 statewide ski resorts that make up the Utah Ski and Snowboard Association. “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, 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 at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort 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 according to figures released by Ski Utah.
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.
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