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RECORD BREAKING WINTER IN THE USA - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Monday June 10, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

The numbers are in, the snow depths have been measured and last season will go down as one of the best ever. UPDATED









The US season of 2019/20 will remain long in the memory for those of us lucky enough to enjoy it.

And much of it was down to a single reason: snow.

And another reason.

More snow.

Seemingly endless snow.

Huge amounts fell across the season as we reported through the winter.

Here's what it looked like:

Winter Park snowWinter Park, Colorado

























Mammoth LakesMammoth Mountain, California
























A BasinA Basin, Colorado
























Jackson Hole in springJackson Hole, Wyoming

























Last weekend Breckenridge called it a day and Aspen decided to stay open for this coming weekend: 
The figures for Colorado have just been released with visitor number up around 12%.

That translates to 13.8m skier days.

The numbers come from Colorado Ski Country that represents 23 resorts in the state.

"The 2018-19 season was one for the history books," said Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO, Melanie Mills to PlanetSKI.

"Not only did the industry set a new statewide record for skier visits, but there were substantial investments in capital improvements across our member resorts and snowfall was plentiful across the entire state."

"For British skiers and snowboarders willing to travel, Colorado offers a dependably long ski season and a wide variety of uncrowded terrain including immaculately groomed beginner and intermediate slopes, thrilling steeps, terrain with a backcountry feel, tree skiing, above- treeline skiing and long pistes that will get your thighs burning!"

"Colorado ski area operators invest tens of millions annually to keep facilities in tip top form and there's nothing like Colorado's genuine ‘we are really happy you're here' welcome anywhere else in the skiing world."

Aspen beat a 21-year-old record for skier and snowboarder visits with 1.55m visits.

PlanetSKI's senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, was in Aspen back in February:

Katie Bamber, Aspen HighlandsKatie Bamber, Aspen Highlands

































 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a similar picture elsewhere after the huge snowfalls of last winter.

The Rocky Mountain region ended its winter with 24 million skier days.

The region includes Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana.

And the good news wasn't just confined to the Rockies on the west.

Ski Vermont on the east called the season "historic."

Resorts opned early and closed late.

Vermont ski areas, that include resorts like Killington ans Smugglers Notch, had 200,000 more visitors this season than last.

That's an increase of 5%.

It put the total number of skier days at more than 4 million - the most since the 2014-2015 season.

Mad River Glen had the longest season in its 70-year history and was open for 135 days.

New Hampshire and Maine also saw an increase in the numbers.

As many as 100,000 more people hit the slopes of New Hampshire's ski resorts - a 5% increase on the previous year.

Maine saw a total of 1.23 million skiers - a 12% increase on 2017/18.

Overall across the whole of the USA The National Ski Areas Association reported earlier that total skier visits topped an estimated 59 million for 2018-19 - up nearly 11% from the prior season.

We reported on it at the time.

Businesses are said to be delighted with their numbers and this has a knock on effect with higher taxes and more money spent across the resorts.

At least five ski towns boasting record sales tax revenue for the 2018-19 ski season

A tally of taxable sales from December through March for Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Winter Park and Telluride reveals record spending in the towns.

Margaret Bowes, the executive director of the 32-member Colorado Association of Ski Towns, said the investment by Winter Park is reflected across other Colorado ski resorts and there is a knock-on impact.

"They are all putting their money back into their communities, with things like infrastructure, affordable housing, trail systems and recreational amenities. Things that benefit both the resident and the visitor," said Bowes.

Winter Park saw taxable sales hit records every month of the winter.

It had a total of $78.8m for the season, more than double the sales from 2008-09.

The season is also expected to provide record rent payments to the US government.

Figures have not yet been published.

In 2017-18 Colorado ski resorts operating on public land paid $26.8m.

This year it is expected to be much higher after the good snow.

2017-18 was a generally bad year for snow.

The 122 US ski resorts that operate on public land send revenue-based rent payments of about $37m to the US Treasury.

Portions of the money are then handed back to different regions of the Forest Service.

Obviously we have no idea what next winter holds in store but if it is anything like last winter then perhaps 2019/20 might be the time to visit the USA.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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