Despite a season that was tremendously impacted by Covid-19 implications, California ski resorts saw increased visitation during the 2020-21 winter season.
According to a new report produced by RRC Associates for the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), skier visits at California and Nevada ski areas were up nearly 22% as compared to the 2019-20 season.
The region received 6,753,303 estimated visits to downhill ski areas in 2020-21. A state-by-state ranking positions California as the second most visited state for skiing and riding in terms of visitation, trailing only Colorado.
“The thoughtful, detailed planning and preparation that went into last season paid off in so many ways,” said Michael Reitzell, Ski California president. “Resorts were able to offer a full season of outdoor recreation, and skiers and riders had access to something they love to do.”
According to Reitzell, the increase in visitations at California resorts, which includes the Lake Tahoe area, saw points to what was anticipated – people wanted to feel a sense of normalcy and actively sought out ways to safely spend time outdoors.
Ahead of the 2020-21 season, Ski California member resorts implemented new policies, procedures and experiences aimed at maintaining public health and safety that adhered to federal, state and local guidance.
Resorts invested millions of dollars in COVID-19 safety, including new technologies and sanitization procedures designed to aid with physical distancing and public health, and to reduce contact points throughout the resort.
This included things like RFID ticketing and scanning, online food and beverage ordering, and online advance purchase of everything from lift tickets to lessons and equipment rentals. The planning kept resorts open all season without interruption.
Other interesting results from the 2020-21 season reported by resorts in the Pacific Southwest (CA, NV and AZ) outlined in the report included:
- Average of 134 days open – above 10-year average of 126, and fourth best in last 10 years
- 91% of resorts opened early or on time versus 48% of national average
- Only 5% closed early, 55% were on time, and 41% closed late
- 58% of visits from season passholders (highest ever), 34% from day tickets (lowest ever)
Learn more about Ski California and its member resorts at www.skicalifornia.org.
About Ski California
Ski California – aka California Ski Industry Association – is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association representing 33 ski resorts in California and Nevada.
Ski California researches, analyzes, and pursues safety while preserving the integrity of mountain sports and the natural environment in which they are enjoyed by millions each year. For more information please visit: www.skicalifornia.org.