In Colorado, there have been a growing number of criminal charges brought against skiers and snowboarders who are found to be in violation of the Ski Safety Act. Austrian officials have signaled intentions to get tough with out of control skiers as well, jailing a 37-year-old man for four months and fining him 1,800 Euros.
Each ski season, concerned skiers write to report witnessing disturbing accidents on the slopes. Many suggest that the reported incident be made the subject of a posting on this blog. For many, the suggestion is a good one.
Snowboarding soared from a mere 7.7 percent of visits to U.S. ski resorts in 1991 to 32.6 percent in 2009-10. The rapid growth countered the downward trend seen in skier visits through the 1990s, and snowboarding is largely credited with saving the sport. But the share has fallen over the past two seasons to 30.2 percent. Surprisingly, a higher percentage of snowboarders are leaving snowsports than skiers.
In the worst ski season in 20 years, nationally ski visits fell 16 percent to 51 million. Telluride, Eldora, Wolf Creek, Echo Mountain, Durango Mountain Resort and Aspen saw visitation remain similar to the record season of 2010-11. Wyoming and New Mexico — home to Taos Ski Valley — were the only states to show annual increases in visitation. Overall, the Rocky Mountain region, which includes Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, bested the national 16-percent decline with a mere 7.2 percent drop to 19.4 million visits. Resorts in California were on the other end, with visits plummeting more than 20 percent in a season that saw a first-ever snowless December.