Ski season impact broken down |

Ski season impact broken down

Isaac Brambila

A San Francisco State University (SFSU) study reported that skiers and other winter sport enthusiasts spent nearly $428 million last ski season and generated about $33 million in tax revenue.

The study, titled Ski Lake Tahoe Regional Economic Impact and Projections study, was published by Patrick Tierney, Ph.D. and chair of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism at SFSU. It surveyed nine ski resorts to reach their results.

The study gathered data from 2013/2014 figures on resort revenues, number of full- and part-time employees, payroll, capital improvements, expenditures, skier visits, visits by activity, visits by visitor residence, average length of visit and property taxes paid.

Surveyors alsoutilized average visitor spending in California per person, per day and by type for 2010/2001 and adjusted it to 2014 dollars

According to the data, the nine South Lake Tahoe Resorts surveyed represented 60 percent of all skier visits in the 2012 California ski area economic study.

During the last season, about 2.72 million winter sport enthusiasts visited South Lake Tahoe resorts, roughly 46 percent of whom were season pass holders. That 46 percent of the customer base generated roughly $138 million.

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The majority of revenues came from California and Nevada residents, who generated a combined revenue of about $145.7 million.

The food and beverage industry is the most benefited by the influx of winter sports enthusiasts, who spent roughly $98.2 million during the 2013/2014 season.

Lift tickets generated nearly $91 million and lodging businesses generated roughly $75.3 million.

The most free-spending visitors were calculated to be from outside of the United States, who, according to the report, spent about $300 a day. Visitors from other states are calculated to have spent about $250 a day, and California and Nevada residents were calculated to have spent more than $180 a day.

The most conservative spenders, according to the study, were season pass holders and local residents, spending roughly $110 and $130, respectively.

Business owners and stockholders are not the only ones who benefit from ski-generated revenues, the report's figures suggest.

During the 2013/2014 season, nearly 8,300 jobs were generated, more than 3,330 full-time jobs and nearly 5,000 part time.

Total state and federal taxes from ski resort operations exceeded $33 million, with $5.1 million in property taxes.

The total economic value, calculated from direct and secondary spending, was found to be about $564.5 million.

The resorts surveyed were Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, Homewood, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose, Northstar, Sierra- at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl.

The author, Patrick Tierney, has a Ph.D. from Colorado State University in recreation resources management and a master's in recreation resources. He is chairman and professor of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department at SFSU. In addition to his academic pursuits, Tierney was co-owner and manager of operations and finance, for 25 years, of an adventure travel business offering programs in Colorado, Utah and Alaska.