Spring snowstorms that brought June skiing to Aspen and, later, slushy Fourth of July turns at nearly a dozen other U.S. resorts, pushed the 2010/11 season into the record books with the most skier visits ever.
The National Ski Area Association announced Friday that an end-of-the-season survey recorded 60.54 million visits, edging out the previous record of 60.5 million in 2007-08 by just 0.1 percent. The figure is a .06 percent increase from last season’s 59.8 million visits, and it is just the second time the U.S. ski industry has broken 60 million.
"The association announced preliminary figures in May projecting that, at an estimated 60.1 million skier/snowboarder visits, the 2010/11 season was the second-best on record. However, an unprecedented turn of events that saw many ski areas operating late into the spring, and even summer, helped fuel the industry toward setting the new visitation record,” wrote Troy Hawks, spokesman for the National Ski Area Association. “As an illustration of the late-season surge in visits, it’s estimated that nearly 50,000 skier/snowboarder visits occurred over the July Fourth holiday alone, in which nearly a dozen ski areas were either still in operation, or had reopened..."
...This year most regions in the United States experienced noticeable increases in snowfall including the Pacific Southwest (up 43 percent), Northeast (up 35 percent), Rocky Mountains (up 33 percent), Midwest (up 27 percent), and Pacific Northwest (up 19 percent), according to the Lakewood, Colo.-based National Ski Area Association. The group also said that snowfall was up 29 percent at U.S. ski resorts this ski season, the highest in decades.
A couple Fourth Of July videos that came out of Snowbird this past season: