Utah’s Destination Visitors Increase After Olympics

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (Oct. 23, 2003)-The 2002 Olympic Winter Games areturning out to be the gift that just keeps on giving according toresearch conducted last winter by RRC Associates of Boulder, Colo. Ofthe 4,400 skiers and snowboarders surveyed at 12 Utah resorts during the2002-03 winter season, 56 percent were from out of state, up from 49percent in 1999-00. In addition, many of those surveyed indicated thatthe 2002 Olympic Winter Games strongly influenced their decision tovisit Utah.

“This research confirms what we already knew,” said Kip Pitou, Ski Utahpresident. “Seventeen days of the world enjoying themselves in Utah’smountains is more valuable than any advertising campaign money couldbuy.”

Other motivators for out-of-state winter visitors included quality ofskiing and snowboarding, snow conditions and the accessibility ofmultiple winter resorts to Salt Lake City. Proximity of the Salt LakeCity International Airport to the resorts was another visitation driver.”Utah’s incredible access is one of the messages Ski Utah and its member resorts have been hitting really hard over the past few years,” Pitou said. “It is nice to see that the word is getting out.”

The survey also revealed that snowboarding has a stronger foothold in the Beehive State than previously thought. Thirty-five percent of local snow sliders were on a snowboard; and 26 percent of out-of-staters were riders. Both figures came in above the estimated Rocky Mountain snowboarding average of 22 percent. “All the effort Utah resorts have put into terrain parks and halfpipes in the last few years seems to be paying off,” Pitou said.

Utah visitors continue to use the Internet as an information source when planning their trip, but 46 percent are now using the Information Super Highway to book at least a portion of their trip, up from just 25 percent in 1999-2000.

For more information on Utah’s 13 mountain resorts, contact Ski Utah at 801.534.1779 or visit the redesigned www.skiutah.com.