SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah ski resorts set a record for visitors this past winter despite coronavirus-related restrictions and a below average snowfall, according to industry data released Tuesday.
A news release from Ski Utah shows the 5.3 million skier days marked a major rebound from the previous winter when the state registered 4.3 million after the season was cut short by the pandemic. The industry association says this winter’s figure also surpasses the previous record of 5.13 million skier days set during the 2018-2019 ski season.
Utah resorts were forced to implement COVID-19 safety protocols, including capacity limitations and mask mandates, but the industry association says those didn't stop skiers and snowboarders from visiting.
"Throughout the season it became clear that skiing provided a respite from the day to day realities of the pandemic and allowed an option for guests to safely socialize outside,” Nathan Rafferty, president of Ski Utah, said in a statement.
Utah’s big year mirrors a banner season for ski resorts around the country. The National Ski Areas Association’s says the 59 million skier visits nationally are the fifth-most overall.