Ski NH Releases Impact Study, Spending Tops $1.1 Billion in 2012-13

By AlpineZone News |
Feb 25 2014 - 11:42 AM

Ski New Hampshire LogoNORTH WOODSTOCK, NH, February, 2014 – Ski NH, the statewide association representing 33 downhill and cross country resorts and more than 200 lodging properties in New Hampshire, has officially released its 2012-13 economic impact study, highlighting the ski industry’s significant contribution to the state’s economy. The study shows 3.26 million winter and summer visitors came to New Hampshire’s ski resorts, resulting in an all-time high of $1.15 billion in direct and secondary sales for the 2012-13 season, up from the $910 million reported in the most recent economic impact study of the 2009-10 season. These numbers place New Hampshire fourth nationally in terms of state ski revenue per capita.

Prepared by the Institute for New Hampshire Studies, the study includes facts and figures on visitor spending, direct spending and secondary sales impacts, employment and payroll, state and local tax receipts, community impacts, capital improvements and growth in industry capacity, trends in visitation, impact of snowfall on spending and visits, and an analysis of New Hampshire’s skier and snowboarder markets. Overall, the study shows positive trends in long-term growth and increased spending by visitors to New Hampshire’s winter resorts.

Highlights of the 2012-13 economic impact study include:

  • Direct spending by skiers, snowboarders, and non-skiing family members totaled $300.4 million during the five winter months, up from $282.2 million spent in 2009-10. An additional $58.6 million was spent by summer and fall visitors to ski areas and ski area towns, for a total direct spending of $359 million between May 2012 and April 2013.
  • This direct spending led to an estimated $786.5 million in secondary spending within the state of New Hampshire, up from $592.4 million in 2009-10. The largest share of secondary sales benefited households ($295.6 million in wages, salaries, profits and rents), followed by retail trade ($107.4 million), transportation, utilities, wholesale trade and information ($98.6 million), the insurance, banking and real estate industries ($70.1 million), state and local government ($70 million), “other” services including professional and business services ($54.1 million), educational and health care ($46.6 million), and construction ($22.4 million); the remainder was split among hospitality and leisure, manufacturing, and agriculture, forestry and mining ($21.7 million).
  • During the five month winter skiing season, skier spending made up nearly half of total traveler spending in the northern and western travel regions at 45.3%. The impact of the state’s ski areas on the economies of these five travel regions was critical during this five month period.
  • Direct and secondary spending at and away from ski areas during the period between May 2012 and April 2013 supported an annual average employment of 11,067 jobs.
  • Ski areas invested more than $121 million in new construction and equipment during the past decade. Leading investments included snowmaking equipment at $38.4 million, new ski lifts at $31.4 million, new and improved lodges at $22.2 million, new trail grooming equipment at $15.6 million, non-skiing facilities to serve the off-season visitor at $7.6 million and trail improvements and new ski trails at $5.9 million.
  • These capital investments enabled resorts to increase the capacity to serve more skiers. Uphill lift capacity has increased 5.1% over the past ten years. The average percentage of trails covered by snowmaking has increased 10.1%, with most areas now at or near 100% trail coverage by snowmaking.
  • The majority of winter resort visitors are from Massachusetts (46%) and New Hampshire (34%), with additional guests from Rhode Island (4.4%), Maine (2.5%), Connecticut (2.5%), New York (2%) and other states and countries (8.7%). Seven of the skiing seasons with the highest alpine skier attendance in the state’s history occurred during the past ten seasons.
  • From the 2011-12 season (of low snowfall) to the 2012-13 season (85% increase in snow cover), skier counts rose by more than 20 percent. Even in a low snowfall year though, the contribution level of the skier spending in terms of its share of all traveler spending remains high. It was estimated that the skier spending’s share of the total tourist spending in the northern and western travel regions of the state was 45% during the 2011-12 ski season, nearly on par with 45.3% during the 2012-13 ski season.
  • The summer and fall seasons now account for 19% of the visits to ski areas with direct spending of $58.6 million, up from $35.3 million in 2009-10. This is thanks in part to recent capital improvements including attractions such as zip-lines and canopy tours, mountain coasters, Segway tours and other activities, as well as traditional attractions such as chairlift rides and mountain biking.

“Ski New Hampshire’s economic impact study serves as an invaluable tool in demonstrating the impact New Hampshire’s ski resorts have on the economies and character of the communities in which they are located,” commented Alice Pearce, president of Ski NH. “In this most recent study, only 11 percent of the total direct and secondary sales generated by ski area visitors actually took place at the ski areas. This reflects the substantial contribution these ski area visitors are making through spending at hotels, second homes, restaurants, liquor stores, tollbooths and other service facilities.”

Ski NH’s 2012-13 economic impact study was managed and written by Dr. Daniel S. Lee and Dr. Mark Okrant of the Institute for New Hampshire Studies at Plymouth State University. Data was provided by the member resorts of Ski NH, the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, several state agencies, and the National Ski Areas Association. The report was paid for and published by Ski NH. Copies of the report are available online at or by sending an email request to

Ski NH is the statewide association representing 33 alpine and cross country resorts and more than 200 lodging and guest service properties in New Hampshire. For more information on ski areas, lodging packages, and updated winter events at Ski NH resorts, call Ski NH at (800) 88-SKI-NH (800-887-5464) or visit the Ski NH website at For statewide media relations assistance, visit the
New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism’s media room at or contact Mr. Tai Freligh at 603-271-2343, option #2.

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To view this release online click here:
Ski NH Releases Economic Impact Study for 2012-13 Season

To view the Economic Impact Study click here:
Ski NH Economic Impact Study for 2012-13 Season