Harsh Winter Was Great (For The Ski Industry)
It was a long, cold and snowy winter- that was good news for New Hampshire’s ski areas. Karl Stone, Marketing Director for Ski NH says the numbers are good for the resorts AND the state’s economy in general.
How has the 2013/2014 season stacked up?
Right now the numbers look really good… last year was our 5th best on record, and we’re tracking relatively even with that.
New Hampshire has seen a record number of visitors on the slopes, and that’s good news for resorts; but what does that mean for the state and local businesses?
Last year we conducted an economic impact study… the numbers came in a $1.1 billion of total spending throughout the state. Only $359 million were spent directly at the ski areas. Lodging and dining… tolls, gas, taxes- all those benefits across the state during a time when there isn’t a lot of (other) tourism.
There were many years of below average snowfall; did that have a dramatic effect on the ski industry?
The snowmaking infrastructure is so strong here… it has to be with the competitive environment… but it is important to have that natural snow… we call it ‘the backyard effect’. It’s just a natural motivator.
Years ago the industry was struggling, and there was a period of consolidation with some smaller areas going out of business; has the industry turned around?
It’s an ongoing challenge for the entire industry. Different trends revitalize things… snowboarding, shaped skis, technology improving… it’s growing but at a very slow pace. Ski areas are now working together to introduce new people to the sport.
Many resorts have added zip lines, bike trails and other summer activities. Has that translated into more business overall?
(Summer) is the peak of our tourist season, so it’s a great way of getting them on the mountain and see the views we have and realize there’s something special going on in the winter months as well.