Associated Press Article in September 26, 2007 Standard-Examiner
Average age of skiers, snowboarders going up
The Associated Press
ASPEN, Colo. - The customer base for ski resorts is getting older, according to a study released this month by the National Ski Areas Association.
The trade group's study shows snow riders' average age was 36.6 years old last season, up from 33.2 in the 1997-98 season.
The survey shows that while the number of skiers and riders 45 years old and older grew, there were proportionate drops in younger age groups.
The survey also showed that skiers and snowboarders tend to be much wealthier than the overall population and are more likely white. About 61 percent are male.
The ski association says 92 of 485 U.S. ski areas participated in the survey last season and talked to 138,919 customers.
The number of customers between ages 45 and 54 rose 5.5 percent over the last decade, while the number of customers ages 55 and older doubled in that time, the survey said.
That suggests the industry is achieving its goal of retaining aging baby boomers, but it eventually must adjust to offset future losses in ski visits.
"The aging baby boomers won't be here forever," said Aspen Skiing Co. Senior Vice President David Perry.
Ski association President Michael Berry said small ski areas near cities, which are regarded as "feeders" for destination resorts, are flush with youngsters.
The number of dedicated snowriders also is rising, the survey suggests.
A decade ago, 37 percent of skiers and riders said they would hit the slopes at least 15 times. That jumped to 45 percent last season. The portion of those who said they would visit between four and 14 days dropped.