[Excerpt] The skiing facilities industry is limited to establishments that only offer downhill or cross country skiing and no overnight accommodations. Larger resorts with hotels and condominiums are not included in this industry, but rather in the traveler accommodation industry. Skiers from the Eastern States may notice that Vermont is not listed in the table of the top five States for skiing employment, even though it is the most popular destination for the eastern skiing population. A majority of the places to ski in Vermont are resorts with hotels or condominium rentals, which are classified in the traveler accommodation industry.
Skiing employment in the Eastern States has remained constant for the most part, with the exception of a spike in January 2003. (See chart 1.) The East Coast experienced multiple snow storms in December 2002, which excited the ski industry’s consumer base. In fact, for the rest of the winter (January-March 2003), El Niño provided fresh snow for the East at the expense of the West. For ski areas in the East, early, substantial snows are often a positive sign, as many of their skiers live in metropolitan areas that are only about 2 or 3 hours from the slopes. This easy access allows skiing to be enjoyed without a lot of advance planning. The flexibility that the eastern ski resorts offer is what has kept their employment stable (if not gradually increasing) for the past 6 years until 2007. In that winter, smaller eastern slopes, which make up this industry, struggled to even make snow because of unusually warm temperatures.