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SAM Magazine—June 13, 2012—During its annual meeting, held yesterday at Mount Sunapee, Ski NH released its end-of-season numbers, which were down approximately 21%. New Hampshire hosted 1.9 million skier visits, down from 2.35 million in 2010/11. The state also hosted 96,000 xc visits and 93,000 tubing visits during the 2011/12 season. The drop comes as no surprise given the lack of snow in the Northeast where Concord, N.H., recorded the lowest snow year in 46 years. In fact, conditions were so dismal, Ski NH chairman, and GM at Pats Peak, Kris Blomback joked that EBITDA now stands for "Every Beer I Take Decreases Anxiety."

The drop in visits, however, was not the news of the day. Notably absent from the gathering were the three Peak Resort-owned N.H. resorts, Wildcat, Attitash and Crotched. Peak Resorts has decided to withdraw its membership from Ski NH, which will lead to a $63,000 cut in Ski NH's budget. Tim Boyd, CEO of Peak Resorts, told SAM: "Our stance with Ski NH is that we are looking more for a trade organization than a marketing one."

According to Alice Pearce, Ski NH president, the group is headed in that direction. Several organizational changes were announced during the meeting that include reducing the number of trade tickets in the market (from 24,952 to 8,700), more emphasis on membership services and a refocusing on the marketing end. Ski NH is also aiming to become more active in government regulations. The overall budget for the organization will also be reduced from $830,000 to $650,000.

One of the bright spots highlighted at the meeting was the steady increase in summer visitation. The State is looking at 400,000 visits this summer, and this number is growing fast as more areas jump on board with ziplines, canopy tours, slides, coasters and more. Otherwise, the summer will be spent weatherproofing winter operations with improvements mainly in snowmaking, plus several new lift installations.