McLean, VA – Despite a very tough economic climate, new participants could be found on slopes, trails and in the terrain parks of ski resorts across the country last season, according to data released today by SnowSports Industries America (SIA).nParticipation increased in every snow sports discipline during the 2008-09 season, from downhill skiing to snowshoeing. Snowshoeing, one of the most economic of snow sports, enjoyed a 17% increase in participation last season and the health benefits of cross country skiing were enjoyed by about 300,000 more Americans.
For the past three seasons, SIA has been working with six other major governing bodies and trade associations in the sports, fitness, outdoor and leisure industry to form a research partnership — The Physical Activity Council (PAC). The goal of the partnership is to identify key trends in sports, fitness, and recreation participation in the U.S.
SIA says that they will release a detailed report on snow sports participation in May 2010. The 2010 PAC participation survey has a sample size of 41,141 completed interviews that provide a high degree of statistical accuracy.
“The purpose of this unique partnership is to create a single set of data which accurately measures national interest in fitness activities, competitive team sports, individual pursuits, and general recreation,” said PAC Chairman Tom Cove, president of Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. “More than 40,000 Americans were interviewed online, making this the most accurate and reliable sports and leisure participation study ever conducted.”