Skiers flock to US resorts during Covid

15th June 2021, by Abi Butcher

After Covid restrictions US skiers flocked to ski resorts like Steamboat, above

After Covid restrictions US skiers flocked to ski resorts like Steamboat, above

Skiing has been needed more than ever during the Covid pandemic, according to the latest figures from the US. America’s National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) announced last week that the 2020-21 ski season was the fifth-best in more than 40 years, despite unprecedented challenges faced by coronavirus.

It appears that after a summer of restrictions and distancing, skiers and snowboarders were desperate to get outside and enjoy nature and freedom across more than 300 ski resorts in the US. Some 78 per cent of ski area operators said the 2020-21 ski season exceeded their expectations as NSAA reported 59 million skier visits to resorts across America — the fifth best ski season since records began in 1978. A visit is considered to be the use of a lift ticket for any part of a day.

As in Europe, ski resorts in America were forced to close in spring 2020, with the US ski industry reporting losses of at least $2 billion but most ski resorts reopened, requiring skiers to wear masks, stand 6ft apart in queues and offered no dine-in services or drinks for apres-ski. Some ski areas restricted the number of visitors they allowed on the mountains each day and the smaller ski areas did well with skiers choosing to visit areas closer to their home rather than get on a plane for a bigger trip.

“Americans yearned for safe outdoor recreation and ski areas across the country delivered,” said Kelly Pawlak, NSAA president and CEO. “What a year it has been. From utter uncertainty to a top-10 season in terms of participation, it shows the wide spectrum our industry bridged this year.”


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