Vermont alpine ski areas recorded a 14.7% increase in skier visits during the 2000-2001 winter season, reports the Vermont Ski Areas Association. Resorts throughout Vermont tallied up 4,538,114 skier visits this past winter, compared to 3,957,457 in the prior year. With tourism playing a large role in Vermont’s economy, the robust ski season may have helped to stave off a recession, according to Vermont state economist Jeffrey Carr. The Vermont ski industry accounts for more than $1 billion in direct and indirect spending by skiers and snowboarders.
Although Vermont is coming off a strong ski season, last year’s visits are still below a peak of 5.2 million set during the 1986-1987 winter season.
“Our goal of achieving 5.5 million visits remains a difficult challenge but one which could reward the entire state by providing an additional $50 million in tax revenues for state coffers,” remarked David Dillon, Ski Vermont President.
“We have a tremendous partnership with the State of Vermont and look forward to working with the state to strengthen our position in core markets and attract new visitors,” Dillon said. “Skiing is an integral part of Vermont’s tourism economy and an aggressive advocate for Vermont’s agriculture industry. Ski areas support agriculture through cross promotions and the marketing and sales of Vermont products in an effort to strengthen the Vermont brand and sustain Vermont’s working landscape,” he added.
In order to promote Vermont agriculture, ski areas in the state will expand Vermont Agriculture Promotion Days, held during the past two ski seasons.
The Vermont Ski Areas Association will also continue the Vermont 5th Grade Passport program, which allows Vermont fifth graders to receive a passport to visit every Vermont alpine and nordic ski area without charge. More than 10% of Vermont fifth graders took advantage of the Passport offer last season.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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