SANTA FE ― As New Mexico’s ski areas prepare to welcome guests for the summer, many are celebrating banner visitor numbers from the winter season.
Ski New Mexico announced a 19.4 percent increase in skier visits over the 2013-2014 season. This gain, totaling more than 176,000 more visits than the year prior, equates to $98.2 million in increased economic impact to the state.
Skier visits, defined as one person visiting a ski area for all or part of a given day, are the method of measurement for how many people ski or snowboard at an area in a given year. Five of New Mexico’s 11 ski areas (eight Alpine and three Nordic) saw notable upticks in visitation, with Ski Apache in Ruidoso nearly doubling the amount of skier visits recorded in the 2013-2014 winter season.
“These exceptional results can be attributed to our great product, effective use of advertising by the ski industry and the tremendous effort put forth by the New Mexico Tourism Department to bring attention to winter recreation in the state,” said Michael Donovan, chairman of the board of Ski New Mexico. “By partnering with the tourism department and collaboratively speaking with a unified voice, our combined mission of getting more people to ski and snowboard in New Mexico is having a significant impact on the state’s ski industry.”
“This year we worked very hard to make sure we had a consistent message: ‘Skiing is New Mexico True,’ and fully leveraged the assets available to us through the New Mexico Tourism Department,” said George Brooks, executive director of Ski New Mexico. “We embraced the New Mexico True campaign and it really paid off.”
New Mexico’s ski industry has seen tremendous growth in summer recreation as well, as many areas continue to look for ways to increase business year-round. From a new RV resort in Angel Fire to new zip lines in Ruidoso and Red River, additions to ski areas are important investments that stakeholders are counting on boosting tourism in the summer months.
“The ski areas in New Mexico are big contributors to tourism around the state,” said Tourism Department Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham. “The expansions of their summer recreation programs are not only beneficial to the communities in which they’re located, but also important for boosting travel as a whole. We’re grateful that the ski industry is finding new ways to bring money into New Mexico during the summer, and couldn’t be more thrilled about the success they’re seeing by partnering with New Mexico True.”
For details about what New Mexico’s ski resorts are offering this summer, click here.
As for the next winter season, Brooks says that Ski New Mexico has no plans to slow down. “We’re not done yet. We’ve built a lot of momentum through our partnership with the tourism department, and that one-millionth skier visit goal is closer than ever.”
Facts about 2014-2015 Ski New Mexico ski season:
- Skier visits for 2014-15 total 909,357 (up 19.4% or 176,316)
- Second most skier visits in the state in the past 10 years
- Skiers visits were 13.7% above the five year average (five year average is 784,715)
- Average snow fall in 2014-2015 was 136 inches (12 inches above the five year average of 124 inches)
- Economic impact of ski visits in New Mexico during 2014-2015 season is $507.6 million, an increase of $98.2 million over 2013-2014 season*
- Gross receipts taxes generated to the State of New Mexico total $38.1 million, an increase of $5.27 million over 2013-2014 season
- Skier visits were 65% out of state/ 35% in state
- Direct economic impact to ski areas was $126.9 million, up $24.6 million over 2013-2014 season
- Gross receipt taxes generated from ski area revenues totaled $9.5 million, up $1.3 million over 2013-2014 season
- 2,550 people are employed at New Mexico ski resorts (lift operators, ski instructors, snow makers, etc.)
* Skier visits reported by ski areas to Ski New Mexico. Economic impact determined by data from National Ski Area Associations surveys. Out of state visits calculated at average of $176 per day, and instate visits calculated at average spend of $72 per day, multiplied by factor of 4)
ABOUT SKI NEW MEXICO:
Ski New Mexico is a not-for-profit trade organization founded in 1979 whose mission is to promote the ski industry of New Mexico within and outside the state.
Their objective is to increase year-round visitation to the ski and mountain areas of New Mexico through marketing and promotional strategies. Membership represents resorts, lodging, transportation, retail, restaurants, and other snow or mountain sport services. We foster high standards of professionalism and ethical conduct in the operation and promotion of New Mexico’s ski areas with the goal of maintaining the industry’s good faith spirit of competition and high level of consumer credibility.
ABOUT NEW MEXICO TRUE:
Launched in 2012, New Mexico True is the advertising and branding campaign developed by the New Mexico Tourism Department to promote the state as a travel and tourism destination.
The campaign, designed to combat the misconceptions that New Mexico is a dry, arid state with nothing to do, is the result of research gleaned from focus groups in markets across the country. New Mexico True is described as a celebration of all of the things that make New Mexico unique and different from neighboring states, focusing on authentic experiences that visitors can only have in New Mexico. The state of New Mexico has seen two consecutive years of record-breaking tourism growth since the launch of the New Mexico True campaign.