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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2009-2010 Ski Numbers Show Improvement

Park City businesses say the ski season just ending was substantially better than the 2008-2009 season. Final numbers are not yet in but all indicators suggest this was a pretty good season at Utah's resorts.

Snowbird is still open, with plans to keep some lifts going through Memorial Day weekend (conditions permitting). Alta is closed, but will reopen lifts for the weekend of April 23-25. Other resorts are now closed.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article that looks at how Park City area businesses fared during the season. Below are excerpts.

In the aftermath of 2008's financial collapse, gross sales tax receipts for the subsequent ski season sank about 20 percent. It's a time nobody wants to remember.

But as waiters and maids, bartenders and lift attendants head out for spring break this year, estimates have merchants, restaurateurs, and hoteliers hopeful that the worst may be over.

Park City businesses weren't sure what to expect after last year, said Mike Lindbloom, who with wife Barb has owned and operated the Main Street Deli for the past 25 years.

"Everybody was leery. But [this ski season] turned out better than we anticipated."

Vacationers have changed spending habits since the bottom fell out of the financial market 18 months ago, according to Bill Malone, the executive director of the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau.

"I've talked to people who experienced" an uptick in business, he said. "But I've talked to a lot of people who didn't."

Visitors on ski vacations continue to buy lift tickets, but in a down economy they don't spend as freely on eating and shopping, Malone explained.

"The [rebounding stock] market has helped, but there is still a little bit of a gut-check when it comes to vacation spending."

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