Vermont's resorts celebrated a stellar season at the Vermont Ski Areas Association annual meeting at Killington Resort. There were 4,503,269 skier and rider visits, nearly identical to last year's near-record numbers.
The 2013-14 season tally once again ranks Vermont number one in the East and number three in the country, according to preliminary figures from the National Ski Areas Association.
"This season was most notable for its record early start and incredibly strong finish," said VSAA President Parker Riehle. "We had an industry first with nine alpine and three Nordic areas opening a full week before Thanksgiving, owing to ideal snowmaking conditions and Vermont's immense statewide snowmaking arsenal. After a challenging January, winter storms Electra, Hercules and Vulcan joined forces with an epic Valentine's Day blizzard to set the stage for another strong season that marks our third-best on record."
Jay Peak, Vt. recognized at Vermont Ski Areas Association annual meeting (Jay Peak/Facebook)
The record early start and strong finish to the season were welcome boosts to Vermont's coffers as well, with November business netting a 13 percent increase in the rooms and meals tax revenue over last year while March posted an 8.5 percent gain.
Overall, the winter season generated a 6 percent increase in the rooms & meals tax revenues while matching last year's strong sales tax revenues, once again highlighting the ski and snowboard industry as a cornerstone of the Vermont economy.
Tourism Commissioner Megan Smith gave opening remarks and Christina Miranda from Redpoint Marketing PR, Inc. provided a keynote presentation on creating brand evangelists. Retired Smugglers' Notch president Bob Mulcahy was presented with the Industry Achievement Award and former longtime chairlift inspectors Al Barber and Joe Devenow received Friend of the Industry Awards.
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