RESORT VISITS TUMBLED 16 PERCENT IN 2011-12
SAM Magazine—San Antonio, Tex., May 10, 2012—National resort visits totaled an estimated 51 million this past season, a decline of 15.7 percent from the previous year’s record total of 60.54 million, according to the Kottke National End of Season Survey. The total was the lowest since 1991-92.
Visits were down in all regions, and in nearly every state—only Wyoming and New Mexico posted increases. Thanks to a warm, relatively snowless early season, visits were down 30 percent nationwide through the New Year’s holiday.
The biggest declines occurred in the Pacific Southwest (California, Nevada, and Arizona) , -26.3 percent, Southeast, -24 percent, Northeast, -20.2 percent, and Midwest, -18.4 percent. All regions except the Northwest were below their 10-season averages, as was the industry overall, with a drop of 11.2 percent from the 10-year average.
Not coincidentally, snowfall nationwide was also the lowest since 1991-92. All regions of the country except the Pacific Northwest recorded below-average snowfall, as this winter ranked among the three worst in the past 20 years in all regions except the Northwest. In some regions, it was the worst season for snowfall in the past 20 years. The Northwest was 6 percent above it’s 10-year average.
Due to the warm temperatures and light snowfall, the average number of days open declined by 10, to 116.
On a positive note, revenues declined less than visits. Though the Kottke report did not detail financial results, it noted that season’s pass sales, a higher percentage of overnight and international visitors, and relative strength of snowsports school helped boost revenues.