Skier visits at Mount Sunapee last season dropped by 36,000 or 16% compared to the 2016-2017 season. Okemo/Mount Sunapee Resort reported 186,000 skier visits for the 2017-2018 season.
The operator of the state-owned ski area at Mount Sunapee State Park reports skier visits in its Annual Operating Plan. The AOP 2018-2019 shows ski season figures for 20 years. The Muellers have operated the ski area at Sunapee since 1998.
See below for reported skier visits or view Winter Operations Schedule in the AOP (page 12):
MSR_AOP 2018-2019_FINAL (pdf 9MB)
These graphs, prepared for Friends of Mount Sunapee, use the Resort’s numbers from the AOP.
The numbers show the 2016-2017 season was the fourth-longest in 20 years. Yet despite the long season, it also was the fourth season in 20 with skier visits below 200,000.
However, the AOP does not provide insight into the numbers.
What affected skier visits at Sunapee last winter? Did the weather and timing of weather events discourage turnout? How are changes in the snow sports industry impacting Sunapee?
The Resort may discuss the operating schedule and skier visits on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at a meeting of the Mount Sunapee Advisory Committee. The 10 a.m. meeting at the Newbury Town Offices is open to the public.
Of course, the huge unknown at Mount Sunapee now involves industry giant Vail Resorts.
Vail announced (June 4, 2018) that it intends to buy out the Mount Sunapee ski area lease from Och-Ziff and ski operations from the Muellers. It is part of a four mountain deal, which includes the three ski areas operated by Triple Peaks (the Mueller family) at Mount Sunapee (NH), Okemo (VT) and Crested Butte (CO).
Related reporting about skier visits
“The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has reported that total US skier and snowboarder visits this season is estimated to be 53.3 million. That is a 2.8 percent downturn from last season’s 54.8 million total,” UnofficialNetworks reported in May 2018.
“The figure is the lowest in seven seasons and the third-worst winter in 18 years. A skier visit is calculated by the purchase of a lift ticket or use of a pass for one day or part of a day.”