Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-06-09 00:37:44 –
By Thomas Paypart, Associated Press
Despite the public health restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, ski resorts across the United States experienced a strong backlash this winter.
According to the Colorado-based National Ski Resorts Association, the number of skiers visiting US resorts this season was 59 million, the fifth highest ever.
Kelly Paulack, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Association, said: “From complete uncertainty to the top 10 seasons in terms of participation, the wide range our industry has bridged this year. Shows the spectrum “
Resorts across the country were forced to close in the spring of 2020, and many mountain communities were overly affected by COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic.
The US ski industry lost at least $ 2 billion that winter, and skier visits fell 14% compared to the 2018-2019 season. Ski resorts in the United States recorded approximately 51.1 million visitors during the shortened season. Visits are considered to be the use of lift tickets at any time of the day.
However, about seven months later, the chairlift began to spin again, and guests embraced a new routine while skiing and snowboarding.
They wore masks, rode the lift alone in groups, and stood in a row 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart. There was no food service and no large gatherings for Apreski’s drinks.
With 34 resorts in the US and Canada, Vail Resorts has taken it one step further by requiring reservations.
However, skiers and snowboarders did not hesitate despite the restrictions, and according to a survey by the National Ski Resorts Association, 78% of ski resort operators said they were better than expected this season.
“Americans crave for safe outdoor recreation, and ski resorts across the country have come true,” says Paulack.
“It was definitely a tough season for all of us,” said Catherine Fuller, a spokesman for Arapaho Basin Ski Resort in Colorado.
“But people wanted to ski and horseback, which felt like one of the few things they could do outdoors,” she said. “We were just like rolling it and it worked. It was much better than we expected. I think people really enjoyed it.”
Ski resorts near the Continental Divide limited the number of skiers and snowboarders in the mountains per day based on terrain, the number of lifts in operation, and public health instructions at the time. It ended Sunday’s winter season.
According to the association, the average ski resort in the United States has been open from 99 days in the shortened season of 2019-20 to 112 days this season. Most ski resorts continued to operate as originally planned.
On the other hand, small and medium-sized ski resorts, which are determined by lift capacity, performed well as more guests chose to stay near their homes for ski trips. Capacity limits, remote work opportunities, and school flexibility have increased the number of skiers and riders on the slopes on weekdays, reducing the congestion typical of weekends and holidays.
“During the pandemic, people had to change their habits, and ski resorts were no exception,” Paulac said. “When I tried new things, I quickly realized that not only did they work as planned, but many of these“ workarounds ”improved the guest and staff experience. “
The National Ski Areas Association is an industry association for ski owners and operators, representing more than 300 alpine resorts, which account for more than 90% of skiers and snowboarders nationwide. The organization has been tracking visits to ski resorts since 1978.
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59 million skiers visited U.S. resorts in the 2020-21 winter season Source link 59 million skiers visited U.S. resorts in the 2020-21 winter season