N.H. Resorts Tally $1.15 Billion Economic Impact

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SAM Magazine—North Woodstock, N.H., Feb. 21, 2014—Winter resorts in New Hampshire generated $1.15 billion in direct and secondary sales for the 2012-13 season, according to Ski NH’s most recent economic study. That impact stemmed from visits by 3.26 million winter and summer guests at the group’s 33 member areas and more than 200 lodging properties.

The financial impact was a significant increase (26 percent) from the $910 million impact Ski NH reported for the 2009-10 season. The numbers place the state fourth nationally in terms of state ski revenue per capita, according to Ski NH.

The report demonstrates the far-reaching impact resorts have on local economies. "Only 11 percent of the total direct and secondary sales generated by ski area visitors actually took place at the ski areas," said Alice Pearce, president of Ski NH. “This reflects the substantial contribution these ski area visitors are making through spending at hotels, second homes, restaurants … and other service facilities."

Highlights of the 2012-13 economic impact study, prepared by the Institute for New Hampshire Studies at Plymouth State University:

• Direct spending by resort visitors at resorts and in ski towns totaled $300.4 million during the winter season, up from $282.2 million in 2009-10. An additional $58.6 million was spent by summer and fall visitors, for total direct spending of $359 million between May 2012 and April 2013.

• This direct spending led to an estimated $786.5 million in secondary spending within the state, up from $592.4 million in 2009-10. The largest share of secondary sales benefited housing ($295.6 million in wages, salaries, profits and rents), followed by retail ($107.4 million).

• During the winter season, skier/rider spending made up 45.3 percent of total traveler spending in the state’s northern and western travel regions.

• Capital investment at resorts totaled more than $121 million during the past decade—$38.4 million in snowmaking equipment, $31.4 million in ski lifts, $22.2 million in new and improved lodges, $15.6 million in trail grooming equipment, $7.6 million in off-season/summer facilities, and $5.9 million in trail improvements.

• The majority of N.H. winter resort visitors are from Massachusetts (46 percent) and New Hampshire (34 percent).

• Summer and fall account for 19 percent of the visits to ski areas, with direct spending of $58.6 million, up from $35.3 million in 2009-10—a 66 percent gain.