Thanks to continued investment in snowmaking and grooming, along with the snows of Miracle March, Ski New Hampshire is reporting skier visit just off average by five percent for the 2017-18 season.
“We know that the 17-18 season was a little bit of a roller coaster. Going into Christmas, prior to the start of the holidays, collectively the ski areas were doing really well with skier visits, and then it got quite cold, and that definitely had an impact on skier visits across the board,” said Ski NH executive director Jessyca Keeler at the trade association’s annual meeting at the Omni Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods.
“We had some challenges, we had some good weekends here and there in between MLK and February vacation, and then it warmed up. But then March hit, and we had lots of snow, and that really had a major impact on how the season turned out.”
In the first two weeks of March, three storms dropped from just over two feet to over five feet of new snow on New Hampshire ski areas.
Keeler estimates the total skier visits in the state for the season at 2,049,980, just five percent below average, with a combined 2,262,622 alpine, cross country and tubing visits all together.
“Considering the variations in the weather, how it impacted the skier visits, that was actually pretty good way to finish things up,” Keeler added.
“Thanks to the snows in March we ended on a pretty good note and something to be proud of. The snowmaking gains and improvements the ski areas have made over the years just make such a huge difference in our ability to survive seasons like this that are so variable. Snowmaking and grooming have a lot to do with how well we can weather the storms, or lack thereof,” Keeler said.
Jay Gamble, Mount Sunapee vice president and general manager echoed Keeler’s remarks: “If there’s anything that March showed us this year it’s ‘weather, weather, weather.’ When the weather is good, and the snow is good, people are turning out and skiing,”
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, well versed in the draw of winter activities in the state thanks to his former position as CEO at Waterville Valley, said he hopes to increase the opportunities for skiers and riders to enjoy the adventures New Hampshire has to offer. “We are celebrating the brand. We’re selling the state to next the next generation of workforce, to the next generation of families, showing them the opportunities we have here.”