Economic Value Analysis

Economic Impact

Total Economic Impact of N.C. Ski Industry
Amounted to $165.2 Million in 2019-2020 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.

Economic Impact

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 2019/20 winter season was $100.1 million
  • Indirect and Induced Value for the 2019/20 winter season was $65.1 million.
  • Total Economic Value, the sum of direct and indirect/induced value, is $165.2 million.

The overall economic value of the ski resort industry to the State of North Carolina was $165 million for the period covering the 2019/20 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: David Belin, Director of Consulting Services, RRC Associates, (303) 396-1622; Kimberley Jochl, President, North Carolina Ski Areas Association,, (828) 898-4521 x 262

Archived Economic Impact Reports are available here:
2009-2010 Economic Study