Idaho ski areas see record visits in 2020-2021

Schweitzer June Snow 12
Credit: Schweitzer Mountain

BOISE, Idaho — Although we will have to wait a bit longer to hit the slopes, Idaho might be your place to go skiing and snowboarding.

Idaho ski areas saw record-breaking visits from skiers and snowboarders during the 2020-21 winter, according to a report by Ski Idaho. During that winter, Idaho ski areas saw 2.15 million skier and snowboarder visits. This was 14.3 percent higher than its previous record set in 2018-19.

“It didn’t take long for Idaho ski areas to respond to and rebound from COVID,” Ski Idaho president and Bogus Basin general manager Brad Wilson said. “After social distancing for nine months, people were eager to get outside, and many of them discovered how wonderful it is to spend time skiing and snowboarding in Idaho’s outdoors.”

According to the report, Idaho is the fifth-highest state regarding skier days per capita. People from Idaho have 3.62 times more skiing days than the average, trailing Vermont, Colorado, Utah and New Hampshire. Around seven-to-eight percent of people who live in Idaho ski or snowboard during the season.

Skiers and snowboarders spent $309 million in Idaho during that winter, generating $309 million in the gross domestic product in Idaho. The total economic output during the 2020-21 fiscal year was $584 million, a 33 percent increase from the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Between 2016 and 2021, lift tickets and season passes went up 41 percent and 29 percent respectively.

Nearly 50 percent of people who skied in Idaho were from outside the state. More than 52 percent of skiers were from Idaho, with around 30 percent of those visitors from the Boise area; 47.5 percent of people hitting the slopes in Idaho were from outside of Idaho.