In the 2003/2004 ski season, 494 ski areas operated in 39 states on more
than 90,000 acres of public land. They had a total of 56.8 million skier visits
- the third best season ever - that generated approximately $3.8 billion in
revenue. A skier visit (or skier day) represents one person visiting a ski
area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing or snowboarding.
Generally, ski areas in the U.S. are divided into five regions: the Northeast,
Midwest, Southeast, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific West.
The table below shows the number of skier visits (in millions) in each of
these regions in the 2003/2004 season. Source of the data is the Kottke National
End of Season Survey 2003/2004 Report, prepared by the National
Ski Areas Association.
The breakdown compared to the record 2002/2003 season is as follows. The
Pacific West grew by 8.4 and the Rocky Mountain Region was up .3. The Midwest
and Southeast both declined by 3.5. The Northeast dropped 8.9. Substantial
pre-Christmas snows in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies gave areas
in the Pacific and Rocky regions an early season boost. Skier areas are also
actively exploring ways to "keep their skiers skiing."
This topic hub is based primarily on information provided in a handbook titled
"Greening Your Ski Area - A Pollution Prevention Handbook." The
handbook was released in January 2002 and is highly recommended reading. It
provides environmental improvement strategies for on-mountain operations,
as well as for management functions that can impact environmental performance.
The handbook was a project of the Colorado Department of Public Health and
Environment Pollution Prevention Program, with funding through the Environmental
Protection Agency. It was produced by Tetra Tech EM Inc. It can be found in
its entirety at: peakstoprairies.org/p2bande/skigreen/.