STOWE – Business at the state’s ski areas rebounded this season with 4.5 million skier visits – a 16 percent increase over the previous year and the best season since 2001, the Vermont Ski Areas Association reported Tuesday at its annual meeting in Stowe.
The 2012-13 season also marks the second best season on record since VSAA began collecting data in 1992.
Nationally, skier & rider visits had the biggest one-year leap in 30 years, with the Northeast posting the biggest gains in the country. With 4,513,041 skier visits this season, Vermont’s 18 resorts ranked number one in the East and third nationwide for skiing and riding.
“The 2012-13 season stands as a remarkable rebound from the prior year with record early openings thanks to our 80 percent snowmaking coverage, perfectly timed snow for the holidays, blizzard snowfall that buried our core markets’ backyards and an epic March that we haven’t seen in years,” VSAA president Parker Riehle said in a statement. Riehle said the season netted the state more than $170 million in tax revenue from rooms and meals and sales taxes, surpassing pre-recession levels for the first time.
The annual meeting held at Stowe Mountain Resort was attended by a record 300 industry members and marketing partners.
Gov. Peter Shumlin gave opening remarks and National Ski Areas Association President Michael Berry presented the national perspective and continued efforts to attract new participants into skiing and riding.
Jay Peak Resort president Bill Stenger was presented with the Industry Achievement Award, and Jeff Boliba, vice president of Global Resorts at Burton Snowboards, received the Friend of the Industry Award. Career Employee Awards were presented to two longtime ski area employees at Okemo Mountain Resort, Barry Tucker and Barbara Johnston.