The climate is changing – this we know. Temperatures, on average, are rising across the U.S., resulting in unpredictable weather patterns. Ski resorts that could in the past bank on heavy snowfall all season long are left waiting and watching, putting a whole industry in limbo. So how will climate change affect the future of the ski industry?

How is skiing at risk?

In Part 1, we explored what the ski industry stands to lose if the climate continues to change for the worse. But in what ways would a warmer climate disrupt the ski industry?

The predicted rise in temperature around the world is alarming, to say the least. And with it comes not only less snowfall but a loss of the kind of quality snow that skiers are willing to pony up for.

Warmer temperatures would also lead to a shortened ski season that begins later and ends sooner, making it increasingly harder to hit the 100-Day Rule, the rule of thumb that says ski resorts need to have a snow covering of at least 30cm for 100 days a season to be commercially viable.

Data has shown that during winters with low amounts of snowfall, resorts and mountain towns experience an unsustainable drop in the number of visitors and dollars spent there. If temperatures continue to rise at their current pace these low-snow winters will happen much more frequently, and many ski resorts will be unable to survive.

All credit for data used in infographic goes to Protect Our Winters. View their 2018 Economic Report to see the full findings of their research.

Climate change and skiing part 2 -

Keep an eye out for Part 3 of this series “What You Can Do” – Coming Soon! Subscribe to our blog below and like us on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

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4 Comments on Climate Change: How Will It Affect The Ski Industry? – Part 2

  1. Dave Irons
    May 13, 2018 at 2:37 pm (4 years ago)

    It’s time you did some research. It is true, the climate is changing. it always has. But there has been no significant warming for the last 20 years. in fact Great Britain and much of Europe has been experiencing record cold winters. The switch of energy production from coal to so called renewables has led to extreme hardship for retirees on fixed incomes as they struggle with increased heating costs. The records show no increases in extreme weather. although building in places prone to damage has increased the cost of some storms. Insurance records who no overall increase in such costs. As to a drop in the number of ski areas, that is true, but the number of lifts and trails is greater than ever, so we have no reduction in available skiing. We are as likely to be entering another ice age as we are to suffer catastrophic global warming. Check to for facts. The late John Coleman, founder of the weather channel produced a video which details the facts regarding what he labeled as “the global warming hoax. Here’s an example. Here in Portland, Maine we have a tidal gauge which records the sea level. In 2014 it read exactly the same as it did in 1947. So much for sea level rise. Check the facts before you spread panic.

  2. Rick Magstadt
    May 13, 2018 at 8:29 pm (4 years ago)

    Before we claim victimhood of an uncertain and future climate, let’s contemplate 170 dollar lift tickets and cry about our current elitist state. The climate is always changing, and the future always speculative, especially in a risk laden, weather dependent business like skiing, but I’ll bet my carbon footprint that lift ticket prices rise faster than manmade CO2.

    • Justin Sienkowski
      May 14, 2018 at 11:44 am (4 years ago)

      Hey Rick, thanks for the comment. I agree that the rising cost of lift tickets is a major issue within the skiing community. But, in my opinion, that doesn’t make climate change any less of an issue, either. If we ignore how the climate is changing, then by the time we do see substantial negative effects on skiing it will likely be too late to reverse course. That is why I see it as important to try and identify and correct any problems now.


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