Friday, October 10, 2008

How does the economy affect Ski Vacations?

I thought you might like to see this article from the National Ski Area Association on the impact of a poor economy on skier visits. If the snow is good the skiers still come. is forecasting a good year for the Northern Rockies so we will look forward to seeing all of you in Steamboat this winter :) Keep up your snow dances. Fares are very good into Steamboat this winter so don't leave us spoiled locals alone to ski it all for ourselves... we will get lonely eventually.

SAM Magazine—Lakewood, Colo., Oct. 9, 2008—A special NSAA report prepared by RRC Associates concludes that snowfall will be a greater indicator of visits this coming season than the economy. The report is based on an analysis of visits, snowfall, economic conditions, and consumer confidence over the past 30 years.

RRC outlines two different scenarios for the coming season. In the first, the economy and consumer confidence are weak, but snow is plentiful and consistent throughout the season. In this case, snow quality, temperatures, and timing of snowfall will determine area visits. The clearest example of this is from 1981-82, when the economy was in recession but good snowfall led to a rebound in visits from the previous poor season—from 39.7 to 50.7 million visits.

If the economy and consumer confidence are weak and snowfall is erratic, however (the second scenario), poor snow and a weak economy can combine to reduce visits dramatically. Such was the case in both 1980-81 and 1990-91, the two years with the lowest visitation over the study period (39.7 and 46.7 million visits respectively). The report concludes that if snow is good, even a significant economic downturn will likely have only a “moderate” impact on visits.

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