No recession in ski industry

WARREN - While an anemic economy and spring flooding have hit Vermont's sputtering tourism business, there's at least one bright spot to report. The Vermont Ski Areas Association announced last week that ski areas reported a record number of skiers hitting the state's slopes during the 2010-11 season. Over 4 million skiers visited the Green Mountain State making the 2010-11 season the best since 2004-05.

Members of the Vermont Ski Areas Association attended the organization's annual meeting held at the Sugarbush Resort in Warren June 15. The association's good news helped keep Vermont's ski ranking a solid three in the nation behind Colorado and California.

Ski Vermont President Parker Riehle said that winter 2010-11-Vermont's third snowiest season on record-helped bolster consumer confidence in visiting the state's alpine ski areas.

On a national level, the Vermont 2010-11 ski season were the second best on record.

"Amid the lingering effects of the recession, the ski and ride industry once again proved its resilience as a cornerstone of Vermont's economy, bringing rooms and meals tax revenues 5 percent ahead of last season's expenditures and generating 6.5 percent more in sales tax revenues for the winter months," Riehle said. "The post-recession rebound in skier and rider consumer confidence was evident on and off the mountains, and the outdoor retail industry reported record numbers not seen in years."

Riehle noted that there are over 80 million people within a day's drive of Vermont's mountains which help boost ski tourism.

The association's Career Employee Awards were awarded to Timothy Hahn, Wayne Smith and Betty Merrill, all from Killington Resort.

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