Total Economic Impact of N.C. Ski Industry
Amounted to $197.2 Million in 2014-2015 Season

The Economic Value is defined as the total value to the economy due to the existence of ski areas. The total value is the amount that such ski areas contribute to the North Carolina economy, and the amount by which the economy would suffer without those ski area facilities.

The total economic value documented in this report is the sum of winter value, employment value, and capital improvements, along with economic multipliers that take into account the ripple effects (indirect and induced effects) of the industry’s impact. The focus of this analysis is the winter season during which the ski areas operate, generally November to March.

Primary sources of information for this analysis included surveys of skiers and snowboarders at North Carolina ski areas and a survey of the ski area operator. The guest surveys profiled visitors in terms of demographics, geographic origin, satisfaction, and expenditure patterns, among others. The survey of ski area operators documented total volume of business (skier visits), revenue, expenses, employment, days of operation, and capital expenditures.

Using these data sources, a model was created to estimate the total economic value of the ski resort industry to North Carolina.

  • Direct Value for the 2014/15 winter season was $119.5 million
  • Indirect and Induced Value for the 2014/15 winter season was $77.7 million.
  • Total Economic Value, the sum of direct and indirect/induced value, is $197.2 million.

The overall economic value of the ski resort industry to the State of North Carolina was $197.2 million for the period covering the 2014/15 season.

This economic value figure quantifies only the most direct impacts, and does not include summer value, social, environmental, or cultural impacts, which can be significant but are more difficult to quantify and have thus been excluded from this analysis. See the section titled “Other Benefits” for a discussion of some of these qualitative effects.

Contacts: Dave Belin, Director of Consulting Services, RRC Associates, (303) 396-1622; Kim Jochl, President, N.C. Ski Areas Association, (828) 898-4521 x 262

The archived Economic Impact Report for the 2002-2003 report is available here.
The 2009-2010 Economic Study is also available.