BOISE, Idaho —
Idaho ski areas experienced record-breaking skier and snowboarder visits during the 2020-2021 winter season after a rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an economic impact report by research firm RRC Associates.
Idaho ski areas had 2.15 million visitors last winter, exceeding the previous record of 1.88 million during the 2018-2019 winter season. While the 2019-2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only seeing 1.63 million visitors.
"It didn't take long for Idaho ski areas to respond to and rebound from COVID," said Ski Idaho president and Bogus Basin general manager Brad Wilson. "After social distancing for nine months, people were eager to get outside, and many of them discovered how wonderful it is to spend time skiing and snowboarding in Idaho's outdoors."
The study also found that nationally, Idaho ski areas account for a growing share of skiers and snowboarders. Approximately 140,000 to 160,000 Idaho residents, 7% to 8% of the state’s population ski or snowboard during the season.
Idaho skiers and snowboarders spent $309 million during the 2020-2021 winter season, with $170 million in labor, including all forms of employment income: wages, benefits, and proprietor income. The economic activity during the season translated into 5,703 year-round equivalent jobs.
The report also showed that the state’s skiing and snowboarding industry helps provide seasonal balance to Idaho’s summer-dominated travel industry, likely improving employee recruitment and retention.
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