NSAA Reports 57 Million Visits in 2003-04

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SAM Magazine--Lakewood, Colo., Aug. 11, 2004--U.S. ski areas tallied a total of 57.07 million visits during the 2003/04 season, according to the NSAA's final 2003/04 Kottke End-of-Season Survey. That represents the third best season in the industry's history and continues a hot streak: The past four seasons include the industry's three best seasons ever.

All regions were above their ten-year averages, especially the Southeast (up 11 percent), Midwest (10 percent), and Pacific West (9 percent). The Rocky Mountains and Northeast were up one percent.

Two noteworthy trends involve children's lessons and snowboarding. Children's lessons have grown to comprise 47 percent of all lessons, up from 42 percent four years ago. This suggests more kids are becoming skiers and riders. Snowboarding now accounts for 30.6 percent of all visits, up from 29.8 percent for the previous season, but the rate of growth has clearly slowed. Snowboarding was basically flat in the Northeast and Rocky Mountain regions, at 26 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

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