2nd Weakest Winter For Utah In 10 Years


I don’t care how you spin it. “Vacationers loved the warm weather this winter”; “Still so much to do”; “Plenty of great snowmaking” our Utah ski season was less than epic. And the numbers don’t lie.

The Utah winter of 2014-15 registered a total of 3,946,762 million skier days, down about 5 percent from last season and shy of Utah’s five-year average of 4,037,349. But Utah wasn’t the only state to take a hit.

Nationally, skier days were down by about 3 million, a 5 percent decrease from the previous season. It didn’t help that California floundered in the snow department. The drought in the Far West (California and Pacific Northwest) caused more than a few resorts to close early. Ironically, the northeast saw unprecedented amounts of snow and cold temperatures that led to a drop in skier visits. Guess those easterners don’t know how to ski powder.

According to the National Weather Service, Utah’s annual snowfall was nearly half of our average. Luckily, snowmaking kept things buoyant and alive. By comparison, total snowfall during the 1976-77 winter season was equivalent to this year, but skier days dropped 53 percent.

“Utah’s resorts did an outstanding job, both getting the word out about early season snow conditions and ensuring that guests had an exceptional (?) experience all winter,” says Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty.


March ‘15 conditions photo by Ryan Freitas


Total Utah statewide skier days for the past 10 years: 


Season Skier Days* Rank (Last 10 yrs.)
2014 – 15 3,946,762 9
2013 – 14 4,148,573** 3
2012 – 13 4,018,812 7
2011 – 12 3,825,090 10
2010 – 11 4,247,510 2
2009 – 10 4,070,822 5
2008 – 09 3,972,984 8
2007 – 08 4,249,190 1
2006 – 07 4,082,094 4
2005 – 06 4,062,188 6


*The National Ski Areas Association defines ‘skier days’ as one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing/snowboarding.

**In May of 2015, skier days were adjusted slightly for the 2013-14 season from 4,161,585 to 4,148,573 due to a reporting adjustment from one of Utah’s resorts.


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