The Resurgence of Winter Sports A Year After Lockdown: What’s the Future Like for the Ski and Snowboard Industry

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have faced potential closure and plummeting sales. Industries that rely on tourism, like theme parks and resorts, have been hit particularly hard by the lack of seasonal visitors.

The skiing industry, in particular, lost a significant amount of its revenue when governments enforced lockdown and social distancing measures. What was supposed to be peak season for them turned into a long period of the low season, as potential skiers and snowboarders put away their gear and stayed indoors.

But 2021 is a new year. With vaccines finally starting to roll out, many businesses have now been cautiously re-opening their doors. Safety measures are still in place, of course, but there’s no denying that the economy is slowly starting to get back on its feet.

Outdoor Activities on the Rise Again

As we enter fall and inch our way toward the highly lucrative Christmas season, many people ask if it’s now safe to start skiing and snowboarding again. After more than a year cooped up inside their homes, everyone’s eager to get out and stretch their legs. Last year, many missed the opportunity to enjoy the winter to the fullest, and this year, they’re looking to reclaim it.

After months of being sick of staying indoors, outdoor activities like sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating, among others, just might become more popular in the post-pandemic scene. And ski resorts are more than happy to start welcoming guests again.

How Some Ski Resorts Stayed in Business

Despite the low season, some ski resorts have even managed to keep afloat by limiting capacity, enforcing various safety protocols like wearing masks, and limiting people on the same chairlifts and gondolas. Resorts have also been offering discounts and other benefits to encourage people to buy season passes.

While the exact numbers might vary from place to place, demand for season passes are still high. Despite the global pandemic, the skiing industry doesn’t seem to be floundering so much as just managing to skate on by.

Still, things can be better. For every resort that has managed to stay open, they are two or more that have had to close down. Limited operations are just not making as much money as they used to. But even so, many predict a good season might be just ahead.

Strong Surge in the Forecast

people atop a snowy hill

Christmastime sees the industry’s most enormous influx of activity, and any resort worth its salt is sure to take advantage of that. After more than a year in isolation, people are itching to get out. With many wanting to shake off the stress and the cabin fever, the skiing industry and outdoor sports, in general, might see a surge in interest and sales.

Suppliers of skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports equipment like Blizzard are still going strong and offering discounts to anyone looking to hit the slopes at peak season. Many are undoubtedly eager to take advantage of all the price drops and dust off their gear—from experienced skiers and snowboarders to novices looking to scratch one more thing off their quarantine bucket list.

Smooth Skiing Going Forward

The skiing industry already contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy on a good year. Once lockdowns ease and visitors can safely make their trips to their favorite resorts again, the skiing industry might be able to triple their usual sales. And it’s more than just resorts—other related businesses like hotels, restaurants, and shops surrounding the resorts also stand to benefit from the renewed interest. The small towns that thrive off the resorts’ tourism can expect to see a renewal and revitalization of their local economy. It’s a win-win for both the industry and its consumers. People will get to live out their winter dreams, and the industry receives a much-needed revival.

But just like everything else, safety measures still need to be observed. Before you book that winter trip, you might also want to make sure that you, your family, and your friends are fully vaccinated and have all been tested for COVID-19. It’s exciting to finally be able to go outside and enjoy some form of normalcy, but remember to exercise caution when you’re out and about.

But while you can’t go all out just yet, some resorts are accepting reservations. So long as you stick to safety protocols and keep it safe, you can still spend the holiday season doing what you love the most. It’s only an upward slope from here.

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