Study Indicates Ski Industry is Retaining Older Participants

Among the most prominent trends noted in the 2007 National Ski Areas Association National Demographic Study is the continued aging of the visitor base, with strong growth in skiers and riders aged 45 and older. The fact that older participants are being retained in the sport in significant numbers is a welcome plus for the industry. The average age of participants has risen steadily from 33.2 in 1997-1998 to 36.6 in 2006-2007. Specifically, since 1997, the proportion of visitors aged 45 to 54 has increased from 14.0 percent to 19.4 percent; visitors ages 55 to 64 have almost doubled from 4.6 percent to 9.4 percent; those 65 and older have also almost doubled, from 2.4 percent to 4.2 percent. Age differences across different regions of the country are dramatic. The Midwest has the youngest visitor base with a median age of 22, followed by the Southeast at 28, Pacific West at 32, Rocky Mountains at 39 and the Northeast at 40. Visit [].