Waterville Valley, NH – Ski New Hampshire reported Granite State ski areas finished the 2022/23 season with strong results, with skier visitation at alpine ski areas up 13% over the previous season. Despite weather challenges early on, the state saw an increase to well over 2.2 million skier visits. NH skier visit growth was almost double the nationwide average (6.6% vs. 13% increase respectively).
Ski New Hampshire President Jessyca Keeler announced the figures at the organization’s annual conference at Waterville Valley on June 7, 2023. “The 2022/23 season was a rollercoaster when it came to weather, and weather is the single biggest factor that impacts visitation," said Keeler. According to a preliminary report by the National Ski Areas Association, nationwide skier visits broke another record in 2022/23, with a total of 64.7 million skier visits – representing an increase of 6.6% over the prior season.
“After what initially looked like a season that was going to be plagued by warm weather and little snowfall, it ultimately reversed course and finished in the top 10 seasons historically at number nine for alpine skier visits, with a total of 2,263,776 visits. This represented a 13% increase year-over-year compared to 1,997,185 visits the prior year, and 10% over the 10-year average,” Keeler continued.
While downhill ski areas saw an uptick in visits, cross-country ski area visits were down 10% at 102,297 visits compared to the prior year's 114,263 recorded visits. With cross-country skiing being more dependent on natural snowfall, Keeler noted that their relative performance was no doubt very weather-driven in the first half of the season.
Ski areas with snowtubing parks on the other hand rebounded significantly this year, with an 18% jump at 128,102 visits, compared to 108,654 in 2021/22.
Keeler said of the combined performance across all activities: “Collectively, visits to our member ski areas this season came to 2,494,175, and represented a 12% increase over the previous season's 2,220,102 visits.”
While a few ski areas opened later than their planned opening dates, most areas stayed open until their planned closing dates, with some even extending the season. Keeler added, “Overall, March weekly visitation was up on average about 54%. If you combine the first two weeks of April with the five weeks of March, the average weekly increase across those seven weeks was 81%!” These statistics, Keeler noted, underscore the impact that weather has on ski area performance, which can further impact overall winter tourism and its economic performance in the state.
Keeler shared that there were many similarities to buying patterns from the previous year, with lots of pre-season excitement that translated into strong season pass sales. Pass sales for 2023/24 are in progress.
New Hampshire ski areas anticipate continued strong demand for the coming winter season and are already investing heavily in capital improvements, including new lifts, new base lodges, and continued investment in snowmaking.
Ski New Hampshire is the statewide association representing 32 alpine and cross-country resorts in New Hampshire. For more information on ski areas, trail conditions, vacation planning, and updated events at Ski New Hampshire resorts, visit SkiNH.com. For statewide travel info, go to VisitNH.gov.