Last year was not a good one for the ski industry. In fact, according to the SnowsSports Industry America, it may go down as one of the toughest years on record, the worst winter for skier visits since 1991-92. Nationwide, participation in alpine skiing plunged 11 percent; snowboarding participation was down 7.5 percent; and total resort visits sank 16 percent.
The situation in New England wasn’t any better, with Northeast ski areas posting a 20.2 percent decline. It didn’t help that we had crummy skiing and boarding weather, with above-normal temperatures and below-normal snowfall. In fact, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, the region averaged 8.33 inches of precipitation last winter, down 10 percent. During the month of February, for example, Massachusetts averaged only 31 percent of its normal snowfall, while New Hampshire and Vermont had their fourth driest February in 118 years.