Utah just set a new overall record for skier visits with 4,584,658 skier days∗ during the 2016-2017 season. The number is a 2.85 percent increase from the 2015-2016 season (which equates to 127,083 more skier days in total). And compared to the five year average, this season had an 8.35 percent increase (which equates to 353,311 more skier days in total).
*The National Ski Areas Association defines ‘skier days’ as one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing/snowboarding.
The rise in days on the mountain has a significant economic impact, which was tallied at 1.43 billion this past season in contrast to 1.17 billion in the 2014-2015 season, for example. The escalation in skier days inevitably contributed to the increase in profit, but so did the average expenditure per skier, which went up from $276 in 2014-2015 to $296 in 2016-2017.
On the national level, skier days went up 3.7 percent this season compared to last season, from 52.8 million to 54.7 million. So, should Utah’s fantastic snow season be given credit for the increase in skier days, or has the industry just grown? Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty believes that it’s a combination of things, as “Credit can be evenly distributed between Utah’s 14 resorts, the tremendous support from the Utah Office of Tourism and cooperation from Mother Nature.”