$12B US winter tourism industry lost $1.07 billion to warming in 1999-2010

The U.S. winter tourism industry is worth $12.2 billion (including $3.1 billion in taxes) from snowmobiling, snowboarding, ice fishing, snowshoeing and skiing, and related activities with restaurants, lodging, gas stations, grocery stores, and bars. The biggest source of value is resort operations ($2.9 billion, 75,900 jobs) followed by dining ($942 million, 31,600 jobs). Figure 8 summarizes economic activity from winter tourism by state.

Burakowski 1

By 2012 around 23 million citizens were participating in winter sports, with nearly 60 million annual skier and snowboarder visits for winter sport activities in more than 38 states. Low snowfall directly correlates with lost skier visits, and related economic activity. The downhill ski resort industry is estimated to have lost $1.07 billion in aggregated revenue between low and high snow fall years from 1999-2010. The largest changes in the estimated number of skier visits between high and low snowfall years (over 1 million) occurred in: Colorado (-7.7 percent), Washington (-28 percent), Wisconsin (-36 percent), California (-4.7) percent), Utah (-14 percent), and Oregon (-31 percent). See Figure 3.

Burakowski 2

Source: Burakowski and Magnusson (2012). Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States. National Resources Defense Council and Protect our Winters.


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