By David Schissler
(Jan. 2016) Each season the National Ski Areas Association compiles data based on a survey of US and Canadian resorts regarding their age requirement for free lift tickets. The data says most resorts fall in the vicinity of age 70.
SeniorsSkiing.com has taken the NSAA survey even further by using additional criteria their readers deem important such as ease of access from parking lot to lodge or lift, clubs, social activities, and instruction oriented to older skiers.”The policies and offerings of these resorts demonstrate a commitment to attracting older skiers. They are leading the industry in understanding the importance of encouraging the growing older population to continue skiing or to return to the sport,” explains Mike MaginnSeniorsSkiing.com co-publisher.
Industry studies, along with readership surveys by SeniorsSkiing.com, indicate the number of riders of all kinds has been flat for the last five years. Participation by those under 18 is declining while middle aged riders and those over 55 are increasing. Older skiers tend to ski more often midweek and take an average of three others with them. They also ski an average of nine days per season, compared with the national average of just six days. Research also indicates older skiers spend more per capita on equipment, clothing, travel and real estate.
SeniorsSkiing.com has recognized sixteen resorts in the East, Midwest, West/Northwest, and Canada for their proactive efforts to meet the needs of older skiers. They are:
Attitash Mountain Resort – New Hampshire
Cannon Mountain Ski Area – New Hampshire
Cataloochee Ski Area – North Carolina
Smugglers’ Notch Resort – Vermont
Sugarbush Resort – Vermont
Waterville Valley Resort – New Hampshire
Crystal Mountain – Michigan
Mt Zion Ski Hill – Michigan
Arapahoe Basin – Colorado
Hogadon Ski Area – Wyoming
Mt Hood Skibowl – Oregon
Purgatory Resort – Colorado
Snowbird – Utah
Sundance Mountain Resort – Utah
Tahoe Donner – California
Lake Louise Ski Resort – Alberta
For a full list and details on each of the 98 ski resorts visit http://www.seniorsskiing.com.