This may be one heck of a challenging ski and snowboarding season and we’re getting reports of business being off all across the region. Common sense will tell you that some ski resorts saw business off as much as 100% over the Christmas break (since they were closed). Some ski areas only had a couple of trails open during the Christmas-to-New Year period and that had to affect skier visits and bookings by as much as 70-80% a normal Holiday week.
SkiSoutheast.com Columnist, Joe Stevens sent me a report from out west where the Vail Resorts visits were down 15.3% over the Christmas Holiday period and that caused their stocks to dip by an equal 15%.
“For the first time in 30 years, a lack of snow has not allowed us to open the back bowls in Vail as of January 6, 2012, and, for the first time since the late 1800s it did not snow at all in Tahoe in December,” Robert Katz said in the statement. (Katz is Vail Resort’s CEO)
Nationally, about 16% of the U.S. is covered by snow, compared to about 45% at this time last year, according to the National Weather Service. “The maxim of the ski industry is that more snow equates to more skiers,” according to an analysis by JMP Securities. “Unfortunately, the reverse is also true, and ski resorts have invariably suffered from low snow levels and the effect this has had on skier visits and earnings.”
So the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts are not alone in the fight against the weather and lack of cold and snow.
DOES MARGINAL WEATHER AND SNOW CREATE MORE TRAFFIC FOR US???
In a strange twist, we’re seeing more visitation than normal for this time of year. Obviously when it snows, we get HUGE spikes of visits and of course we’ve added more streaming LIVE webcams that are causing quite a stir in terms of increased visitation, but we’re also seeing an increase in daily visitation OUTSIDE of the snowy days and this caused yours truly to have a look under the hood (Google Analytics).
Take YESTERDAY as an example. It was raining. There were ski areas that were closed. Conditions off the mountain were gloomy to say the least. Yet we saw more than 43,000 unique visitors come to the network of tourism and ski websites.
HighCountryWebCams.com saw 19,538 visitors on Wednesday alone. Our SkiSoutheast.com website pulled in 13,527 visitors and our weather content pulled in more than 6200. The difference in visitor totals came from several other smaller weather websites that we are now promoting.
The crazy thing is that absent great conditions and natural snowfall so far this winter, we’ve still seen 769,668 unique visitors to our network of pro Southeast Ski Tourism websites in just the first eleven days of January.
We’re hoping that the message is getting out that fans of the mountains and certainly the many meteorologists around the region can logon to SkiSoutheast.com and the webcams and weather content and get an accurate snapshot of what things really look like around the region.
We think that’s an invaluable tool for creating increased trust as well as knowledge that our ski areas have plenty of skiable terrain to offer even in this challenging winter.
Looking at Google, Yahoo and Bing as of this morning – our network of pro ski and winter activities websites were Googled and found using more than 6,000 DIFFERENT SEARCH TERMS in just the last eleven days! More than 25,000 people have found our websites since January 1st via the search engines and that is a testament to the hard work that we’ve put into getting found for countless different search terms on the major search engines.
Thanks for making us your goto spot on the internet. Pass the word! We appreciate you!
You can email me your thoughts, photos, videos and more at [email protected]