Ski areas across the U.S. have reported unprecedented visitor numbers in the 2022-23 season. Preliminary numbers show a total of 64.7 million visits, a 6.6% increase from the previous season. This is the second consecutive record-breaking season, a signal of health in the American ski industry.

Several factors may have caused such a spike, including a robust snow year in the Rockies and Pacific Southwest regions and increased options for season passes. The post-pandemic bounceback remains a factor as confidence in the industry returns and, despite some closures, the number of operating ski areas grew from 473 to 481 this season.

Record snow totals at western ski areas drew visitors from all over, with an average snowfall of 224 inches across the country, a 30% increase over the 10-year average of 173 inches. The powder hounds were out in the States, while much of Canada got it rough.

The money also kept rolling in. Ski resorts look more like country clubs each year and it shows, with capital investment totalling $812.4 million, another industry record. With lift infrastructure getting the majority of investment.

For the fourth-straight season, season passes surpassed single-day lift tickets, with season pass holders accounting for 50% of visits, while standard lift tickets accounted for 33% As conglomerates continue to shift their pass sale priorities this way.

Increased visitation continues to put a strain on the already-in-crisis housing situation across the country where the landscape is dominated by Airbnb and second homes while affordable housing continues to vanish.

The record-breaking visitation in the U.S. ski industry is a testament to the country's love of our sport with cheaper season passes and greater access more people than ever are flocking to the ski hills but with continued shortages of employee housing and increasingly variable winters, it remains to be seen how sustainable this growth will be.

Photo: Unofficial Networks