Utah Sees Third Best Season Ever Despite Economy, Warm Temperatures

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (May 22, 2003) – In the face of an uncertain economic and political climate as well as unseasonably warm temperatures throughout much of the winter season, Utah mountain resorts today announced 2002-03 as the third best season on record for skier days (the National Ski Areas Association defines skier days as one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing or snowboarding).

Total skier days for the 2002-03 ski and snowboard season totaled 3,141,212, a 5.3 percent increase over last season’s Olympic year. Only two seasons, 2000-01 (3,278,291) and 1998-99 (3,144,328) saw more visitors to Utah resorts. Total skier days for the past 10 years are as follows:

2002-03 3,141,212
2001-02 2,974,574
2000-01 3,278,291
1999-00 2,976,796
1998-99 3,144,328
1997-98 3,101,735
1996-97 3,042,767
1995-96 2,954,690
1994-95 3,113,072
1993-94 2,808,148

“It’s clear that the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 were successful in driving our destination business,” reported Ski Utah president Kip Pitou. “We made great strides attracting out of state business. Unfortunately, Mother Nature arrived late this year which kept some of our local skiers at home. Had we seen just an average snow year, I have no doubt we would be reporting record numbers.”

Utah’s official ski season continues through Memorial Day, May 26, at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort where over 35 inches have fallen since May 1. Summer operations at many other Utah resorts begin as early as Friday, May 23.

For more information on Utah’s 13 mountain resorts, contact Ski Utah at 801.534.1779 or log on to skiutah.com.