On June 19, 2024

Vermont ski areas hosted over 4 million skier visits despite weird weather

Despite facing many weather challenges Vermont’s Alpine ski areas reported 4.1 million skier visits for 2023-24, reported the Vermont Ski Areas Association June 12. That’s down less than half a percentage point from the 2022-23 season. Visitation this season remains 4% above Vermont’s 10-year average and outpaces a 6.2% decrease in Northeast region visits (12.4 million) and a 6.6% decrease in national visits (60.4 million).

The historic peak for skier visits in Vermont was in the 1986-87 season with 5.2 million. (See year-by-year list below.)

Vermont remains the top ski state in the east and fourth largest in the nation, measured by skier visits, a key performance indicator for the snowsports industry. For the 2023-24 season, the state’s ski areas averaged 124 operating days—one more than the 10-year average, and an average seasonal snowfall of 199 inches—a 32-inch increase over last year, and 15 inches above the 10-year average.

“This is a positive result considering the often-challenging weather, particularly during the first half of the season. Such a slight change in skier visits compared to last year highlights the efficiency and sustainability advances that Vermont’s Alpine ski areas have made, particularly in snowmaking operations,” said Ski Vermont president Molly Mahar. “Aggressive investment in new technology, agile and flexible operations and hard work delivered the conditions to keep skiers visiting this season – important not only to ski areas but also for all the businesses that rely on strong skier turnout for their own success.”

After a slow start and inconsistent weather for two of the three peak visitation periods, late-season snowstorms and the total solar eclipse helped boost ski area visits in March and April for a strong end to the season. Ski areas operating in the path of totality reported 100% occupancy and strong visitation, and all across the state many guests took advantage of the late-season snow. Several areas also extended their seasons, with Jay Peak and Sugarbush skiing into May and Killington again offering skiing June 1 for the longest season in the East.

Ski Vermont’s 26 cross country ski area members reported a statewide total of 202,485 skier visits, a decrease of 49.6% from the previous season. Cross-country ski areas are more heavily dependent on natural snowfall and some areas were not able to open until the second week in January. Some areas reported that the decrease in revenue was not commensurate with skier visits thanks to season pass sales and other revenue streams.

Skiing is an important economic driver and employer in the state, particularly in rural areas where many ski areas are located. Ski Vermont’s Fifth Grade Passport helps to get approximately 3,000 children on the slopes annually and partial proceeds from the program support Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports.

Annual skier visits: 

2023-2024: 4.1 million

2022-2023: 4.1 million

2021-2022: 3.8 million

2020-2021: 3.5 million

2019-2020: 3.7 million (ended in March, Covid-19)

2018-2019: 4.2 million

2017-2018: 4.0 million

2016-2017: 3.9 million

2015-2016: 3.2 million

2014-2015: 4.7 million

2013-2014: 4.5 million

2012-2013: 4.5 million

2011-2012: 3.9 million

2010-2011: 4.4 million

2009-2010: 4.1 million

2008-2009: 4.0 million

2007-2008: 4.4 million

2006-2007: 3.8  million

2005-2006: 4.1 million

2004-2005: 4.4 million

2003-2004: 4.2 million

2002-2003: 4.4 million

2001-2002: 4.1 million

2000-2001: 4.5 million

1999-2000: 3.9 million

1998-1999: 4.0 million

1997-1998: 4.3 million

1996-1997: 3.9 million

1995-1996: 4.1 million

1994-1995: 3.6 million

1993-1994: 4.3 million

1992-1993: 4.2 million

1991-1992: 3.8 million

1990-1991: 4.1 million

1989-1990: 4.6 million

1988-1989: 4.5 million

1987-1988: 4.8 million

1986-1987: 5.2 million

1985-1986: 4.5 million

1984-1985: 3.8 million

1983-1984: 4.1 million

1982-1983: 3.0 million

1981-1982: 4.0 million

1980-1981: 3.1 million

1979-1980: 2.1 million

1978-1979: 3.2 million

1977-1978: 3.6 million

1976-1977: 3.0 million

1975-1976: 2.6 million

1974-1975: 2.8 million

1973-1974: 1.6 million

1972-1973: 2.3 million

1971-1972: 2.6 million

1970-1971: 2.6 million

1969-1970: 2.4 million

1968-1969: 2.3 million

1967-1968: 1.8 million

1966-1967: 1.6 million

1965-1966: 1.6 million

1964-1965: 1.1 million

1963-1964: 1.1 million

1962-1963: 1.0 million

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