What to expect from the upcoming ski season
If you did ski or snowboard last year, you might have been pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds, despite the fact that American resorts saw 59 million visitor days — visits by individual skiers — making it the fifth-best season on record. According to Isaac, a record 10.5 million people, roughly 3 percent of the U.S. population, participated in resort-based winter sports during the 2020-2021 season, which underscores exactly how popular outdoor recreation was while the country was in the midst of pandemic shutdowns. Nonetheless, the lift lines probably felt shorter, in part because of reservation systems that limited people on the mountain to allow for social distancing. More people were also able to ski during the week, as my family did, taking advantage of flexibility from working and going to school from home. This season, most schools are in person Monday through Friday, and fewer workers may have the freedom to take laps on a Wednesday. The return of the “weekend warrior” could mean more crowds, so adjust your expectations accordingly.