The season’s first widespread snowfall is expected to hit the mountains and high valleys today with accumulations of up to four inches at elevations above 7,500 feet, according to the National Weather Service. And that’s good news in the high country of Colorado today, particularly for ski areas concerned about the upcoming ski season in the face of the economic hard-times. A recent study conducted for the National Association of Ski Areas by Boulder-based RRC Associates, a market research company, found that bad snow is worse for the ski business than a bad economy.

snowcaps.jpgThe study analyzed snowfall, consumer confidence and skier visits nationwide for 30 seasons starting in 1978-79. It found that during the 1981-82 season skier visits jumped by nearly 28 percent from the year before, even though the economy was in a recession and consumer confidence was at then-historic lows. In the 1990-91 season, both the economy and the snow were bad, and the industry had the second-fewest visitors since it started keeping track.

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