Breckenridge, Colorado

Large Economic Impact of North Carolina Ski Areas Revealed by RRC Study

Jeremy Sage, director of economics and tourism research at RRC Associates, presented the findings of the 2022/23 Visitor Survey and Value Analysis study, commissioned by the North Carolina Ski Areas Association, at the association’s economic value analysis conference. The study, conducted by RRC, focused on the economic value of snowsports to the state and found that North Carolina’s six operating alpine ski areas had a $244.3 million overall economic impact value for the 2022-23 winter season for the rural communities and beyond, up 47.8 percent over 2019-20’s $165.2 million.

The research involved surveying 3,691 visitors (residents and out-of-state visitors) at four of North Carolina’s ski areas, as well as using submitted ski area data.

The conference was held at Appalachian Ski Mountain on December 13, 2023. Sage also presented a summary of how ski regions across the country had a very big year too, as a means for comparison.

“Our job is to help you all put your best foot forward and understand how you fit in the outdoor recreation economy and understand how you fit in the tourism economy as well,” Sage said.

The report stated that the ski resort industry provides economic value at a particularly important time of year. As well, its presence allows for year-round employment opportunities for residents of these areas of the state and provides for a diversified and year-round economy.

“When resorts are investing in their capital and have positive growth in their revenue, those dollars are going back into their communities as well,” Sage said.

Sage said the affordability and a family-friendly environment contributed to North Carolina’s ski areas’ growth and success. “It is still an affordable opportunity in the southeast and North Carolina for households to come. Elsewhere, people are being priced out of this recreation activity, especially for younger families,” Sage said.

To learn more about the study:

Watauga Democrat Article

Ski Area Management Article

NC Ski Areas Association Article

RRC conducts economic impact studies and ski research across North America

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