Protect Our Winters Reports Winter Tourism Industry Facing Challenges from Unpredictable Weather

By AlpineZone News |
Dec 06 2012 - 11:42 AM

New Report To Warn That Winter Tourism Industry Is Headed Downhill Due To Warmer Winters

Climate Change Will Deal Huge Financial Blow to $12.2 Billion Ski and Snowmobile Industry; Consequences for CA, CO, ME, MT, NH, NM, NY, OR, PA, UT, VT and WA to be Highlighted.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new analysis conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Protect Our Winters (POW) will detail the devastating economic impact that climate change could have on the U.S. winter tourism industry. The analysis finds that the $12.2 billion ski and snowmobile industry is dependent on heavy and predictable snowfall, and changes in the winter season snowfall have already been felt across the nation and are likely to become even more pronounced with climate change.

The NRDC/POW analysis covers all 38 states involved in the U.S. ski and snowmobile winter tourism industry. During the Thursday news event, experts will discuss the consequences nationwide and for California, Colorado, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont and Washington state.

The study aims to help policy makers understand both the ski and snowmobile industry’s current economic scale and the potential economic impacts that climate change may cause, as well as the effects the industry is already feeling from reduced snowpack and rising winter temperatures over the last decade. Just this past ski season, 50 percent of ski resorts opened late and 48 percent closed early with every region experiencing a decrease in the days of operation. Winter sports resorts are not the only ones affected by this shift; a reduced and shortened winter season will also hurt the secondary related industries of lodging, restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and entertainment.


  • Chris Steinkamp, executive director, Protect Our Winters;
  • Elizabeth Burakowski, researcher, University of New Hampshire and report author;
  • Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability, Aspen Ski Company; and
  • Antonia Herzog, assistant director, Climate and Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council.


  • Thursday, December 6th, 2012. – 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

CALL-IN INFORMATION: Join the live, telephone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1 p.m. EST on Dec. 6, 2012 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the “Winter Tourism in Peril” news event.

CAN’T PARTICIPATE?: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at as of 5 p.m. EST on Dec. 6, 2012.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

Protect Our Winters (POW) is the environmental center point of the winter sports community, united together towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sport and mountain economies. Founded in 2007, POW re-invests contributions in educational initiatives, activism and supporting community-based initiatives. For more information, visit Stay in touch on Facebook at:

SOURCE Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C. and Protect Our Winters, Pacific Palisades, CA