Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Skier turnout spikes with snow, sun

New Year’s weekend totals up slightly over 2009

Express Staff Writer

Skiers and snowboarders wait in line at the Warm Springs base of Bald Mountain on Saturday, Jan. 2. Photo by David N. Seelig

Skier numbers for New Year's Day were "a little above" last year and the five-year average, but not by much, according to Sun Valley Resort spokesman Jack Sibbach.

Jan. 1 saw 5,141 skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes of Bald and Dollar mountains. The 2009 New Year attracted about 16 percent less, with 4,320 people. But the holiday fell on a Thursday last year.

Sibbach said fluctuations have a lot to do with the day of the week and the weather.

The New Year's Day high for the past 16 years was in 2003 when 7,329 people hit the slopes. And Jan. 1 fell on a Wednesday that year.

Still, the trend of more skiers on weekends in better weather held true on Saturday. A thousand more people hit the slopes Saturday, Jan. 2, than on New Year's Day, bringing that day's total to 6,192 skiers.

"Saturday was a good day because of fresh snow and sunshine," Sibbach said.

But those same crowds didn't return Sunday, when only 3,945 people showed on the slopes.

The Sunday drop pulled down the New Year's weekend total, causing it to tail Christmas weekend by about 2,100 skiers. The Saturday and Sunday of New Year's totaled 10,107 skiers, compared to Christmas weekend's 12,200 skiers. Both holidays fell on a Friday, but those days weren't included in the weekend totals because no lifts were open Christmas Day due to a power outage that started Christmas Eve.

Trevon Milliard:

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