Senator Writes to Congress on Behalf of Ski Resorts Requesting Economic Relief Due to Early Closures | Resorts Could Lose $2-Billion

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Almost all of the 473 ski resorts across the USA have been forced to close early due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, many due to orders from state governors. It is estimated that the financial loss to ski resorts due to this could be in the region of $2-billion, prompting the industry to press Congress for economic relief.

The US ski industry contributes $55-billion to the country’s economy, according to Bloomberg. Many resorts are on Forest Service land and pay fees to lease the use of the public lands. It is these fees, totaling $50-million annually, that the 122 ski areas on National Forest land are requesting are waived.

“Our ski industry in Colorado not only generates billions in local, state, and federal taxes, but the industry also serves as the primary economic driver in many of the rural towns they occupy. The economic impact from the loss of business due to early closure of the ski resorts will be devastating. – Sen. Cory Gardner

Senator Cory Gardner last week wrote to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to waive the remainder of the 2020 leasing fees paid to the US Forest Service. The USDA has yet to respond, according to a Gardner aide.

The letter written by Senator Cory Gardner

The early closure of ski resorts, during what is considered the second highest-earning month, could cost the economy as a whole up to $5-billion in lost revenue.

US Forest Service Ski Area Facts:

  • Of the 473 downhill ski areas in the US, 122 operate under special use permit on National Forest System (NFS) lands
  • Ski areas are permitted on 58 National Forests; in seven Forest Service Regions; and in 12 states
  • Ski areas under permit occupy 182,095-acres – about 0.09% of the 193-million acres of NFS land
  • Ski areas operating on NFS lands return about $26-million dollars to the annual Treasury. Among Forest Service activities, only the timber program contributes more to the Treasury
  • About one-half of US skier visits occur at ski areas that are located at least partially on NFS land
  • 16% of NFS visitors listed downhill skiing and snowboarding as their primary reason for coming to the National Forest

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2 thoughts on “Senator Writes to Congress on Behalf of Ski Resorts Requesting Economic Relief Due to Early Closures | Resorts Could Lose $2-Billion

  1. That’s a hilarious estimate.

    That works out to $4.2 million per resort. Firstly, many small resorts don’t make that much in an entire season. If they made that much, there’d be no more double or triple chairlifts around. Secondly, almost nobody is buying day tickets or lodging past mid march. The reason almost every ski area closes by April 10th is because that’s around when it’s not profitable anymore. Thirdly, many of those 473 are in the northeast, and the northeast has had terrible conditions since the start of the month. They would have had to either make manmade snow or close down anyways. This virus may have actually saved certain mountains money that otherwise would have had to been spent on snowmaking/grooming when nobody was showing up due to shite conditions.

    Even before the ikon/epic passes, the majority of people skiing in late march/early april were season pass holders.

    As I said before, $4.2 million per resort is a hilarious estimate. Sure, when resorts like Jackson Hole, Snowbird and Vail come to mind, it seems somewhat realistic. Maybe in Colorado the average is $4.2 million per resort. But when you think of the wider industry, it’s just way too high of an estimate.

  2. You have to be kidding me! What ? These are private companies , some of them who now have monopolies and control most of the major resorts ….Vail…….Alterra….. and raised prices with no justification or control. Screw them. I hope they all go under.

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