According to a recent released by Colorado Ski Country and Vail Resorts, the ski-industry generates $4.8 billion in economic activity in Colorado annually. This study has revealed that the industry has almost doubled over the past decade, since the last study that was conducted a decade ago revealed that the industry had a $2.5 billion economic impact annually. The ski-industry has a large impact on the “mountain economy’ throughout the state that supports tourism, recreation, tax bases, and employment.
“This report confirms the importance of the ski industry to Colorado, both as an economic driver and a globally recognized symbol of our state,” said Melanie Mills, the head of the 21-resort Colorado Ski Country USA trade group, in a statement.
The recent study revealed that skiing and snowboarding in Colorado supports 46,000 year-round jobs in the lodging, retail, recreational, and food-service industries which accounts for $1.9 billion in earnings annually for those employees. These ski-industry jobs provide income for many local residents that would be unemployed if the ski areas weren’t around. About 500,000 Colorado residents skied in the 2013-2014 season, which accounted for about 5.6 million of the state’s all-time high 12.6 million skier visits that year.
The other 7 million visits that season came from out-of-state skiers that spent an average of $300 per visit, which was a single paid day on the hill, and those skiers accounted for more than 8.4 million nights in ski resorts and lodges. Those out-of-state visitors accounted for 588,000 deplanements, which came out to be 8 percent of all non-connecting arrivals at Denver International Airport during the winter season. The importance of the ski industry is becoming more and more obvious as time goes on and the impacts seem to be nothing but positive.
“The ski industry is very much a part of the Colorado brand and economy. Resorts are evolving to provide year-round offerings, extending economic impacts well beyond the winter season,” CU professor Rich Wobbekind, the executive director of the Business Research Division at Leeds, said in a statement.
Since the 2002-03 ski season, state taxable retail sales in Colorado’s six largest counties are up 62% for hotels and other lodging, 75% for food and beverages, and 106% for real estate, rental, and other forms of lodging. Vail Resorts, which includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone Ski Area, account for more than a quarter of the state’s ski business. Vail Resorts appears to have taken the results of this study to heart because they are currently investing $25 million in summertime activities and infrastructure at both Vail and Breckenridge to enhance visitation and increase the year-round employment.
“As Colorado’s largest ski resort company, Vail Resorts is proud of the incredibly positive role the ski industry plays in Colorado’s economy, and to the impact we have in the strong, local economies of every community in which we operate,” Kelly Ladyga, vice president of corporate communications for Vail Resorts, said in a release.
Colorado has over 25 ski resorts that offer up some terrific powder skiing and world-class terrain that attracts skiers from all over the world. The ski-industry is only growing and it has numerous economic benefits for the state of Colorado as a whole. This amazing state has taken some revolutionary steps towards modernization and the ski-industry has definitely made that possible.