Ski industry posts fourth-best season |

Ski industry posts fourth-best season

Scott Condon

United States ski resorts posted their fourth best season on record during the 2004-05 winter despite a drought that turned the season into a dud for resorts in the Northwest, according to the National Ski Areas Association.The organization reported during its annual convention last weekend that preliminary data shows resorts posted 56.4 million visits from skiers and snowboarders.Four out of the last five seasons have been among the ski industry’s best-ever, the organization’s announcement said. Preliminary data showed customer visits were up 2.4 percent in the Rocky Mountain region.The Rocky Mountain region had about 19.33 million skier and rider visits, which is a new record for the region. The Northeast was up 6.3 percent from last season. The Southeast was down 0.7 percent; the Midwest was down 3.3 percent; and the Pacific West plummeted 13.9 percent.But as the Rockies go, the industry goes because there are so many resorts in Aspen Skiing Co. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales David Perry, who used to head Colorado Ski Country USA, a statewide trade association, said resorts concentrated on two main points to reverse its sagging fortunes in the late 1990s. The industry realized it needed to do a better job of retaining customers and getting “echo boomers,” the kids of baby boomers, to try the sport.Vail, Colorado

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