Vermont ski areas recorded 4,354,621 skier visits for the 2007-08 season, announced the Vermont Ski Areas Association at its June 12 Annual Meeting held at Mount Snow Resort. This marked a 14% increase over the prior year’s tally, and was well ahead of the industry’s 10-year average.
“The resounding theme of this year’s season was well-timed and record-setting snowfall that greeted skiers and riders with fresh powder for just about every weekend and holiday period,” remarked Parker Riehle, President of the Vermont Ski Areas Association. “From start to finish, Mother Nature’s bounty matched resorts’ ever-improving snowmaking technology to enable Vermont ski areas to open early with more terrain than most rival ski states and continue right through April and into May.”
The ski industry’s improved business levels were welcome news for the Vermont economy in a year when the Vermont legislature faced $25 million in revenue shortfalls for FY09. Total rooms and meals tax receipts for the ski season saw an increase over last year, with the month of February alone exceeding February 2007 by nearly 14%. The state’s sales tax receipts for the season also topped last year’s totals, with February revenue 9% ahead of last year. In addition, the Today Show’s four-hour national broadcast from Sugarbush garnered immeasurable coverage and exposure for not only Vermont’s ski industry but for the entire state’s unrivaled beauty and brand identity.
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas offered welcoming remarks to the nearly 200 attendees, and James Chung of Reach Advisors gave the keynote presentation. Also at the VSAA meeting, John Cueman, former President of Bromley Mountain Resort, was presented the Industry Achievement Award, and Jeff Nelson, principal hydrology engineer with VHB Pioneer Environmental Associates, was presented the Friend of the Industry Award.