Nationally ski visits last season increased 3.7 percent to 54.8M, but the numbers varied by region and within regions. SE ski visits increased to 4.18M but NC/TN/AL visits dropped 7.2 percent due to warm weather, according to Kottke National End of Season Survey for 2016-17.
There were 481 operating ski resorts, an increase from 463 the previous season. Average lift ticket weekend price was $113.49, $73.96 in SE.
The SE region is huge in area, running southward from Pennsylvania to Alabama and diverse in weather and ski conditions with WVA, getting snow and cold temps, reporting a 9.9 percent increase, VA/MD a drop of 0.5 percent.
In North Carolina, the 2013, 14 and 15 ski seasons were strong but 2016 and 17 were not. Last season warm temps (including rain) reduced the season length, snowmaking ability and market interest, the report said.
Average days open in NC dropped from 92 to 88. It was 103 two years ago (though the SE increased from 74 to 97 last season). Unscheduled midseason closings were reported in NC and the SE in January, February and early March. Below average snowfall from November through February compounded the problem.
Snowboarding decreased nationally by 26.8 percent and was down in the SE as well.
Nationally the NE region was up 27.7 percent to 11.9M ski visits after a miserable 2015-16. MA reported the largest state increase (39.7 percent) and New Mexico the biggest decline (20.8).
According to Kottke Survey, Pacific NW was down 2.6 percent to 4.0M, Pacific SW down 1.3 percent to 7.3M, Rocky Mountains down 2.5 percent to 21.7M, Midwest down 1.7 percent to 5.4M.