Ski Areas Report Record-Breaking Seasons

By Beacon Staff

Ski season officially ended last weekend and both local ski areas are reporting record numbers for the winter.

Whitefish Mountain Resort celebrated its 65th anniversary this winter by attracting the most visitors ever. The resort reported just under 323,000 total skier visits from Dec. 8 through April 7, a 10 percent increase over last season, according to resort spokesperson Riley Polumbus.

“There’s a lot to celebrate and be happy about,” she said.

Lodgings at the resort were up 11 percent over last season, according to Polumbus.

Whitefish Mountain Resort also broke single-day records this winter. On Dec. 30, a total of 7,165 visitors skied at Big Mountain, the busiest day on record. A total of 4,750 were paid visits, which was a new record. The mark had been already broken the previous day, with 4,252 single-day paid visitors.

“It’s definitely exciting to see a little bit of growth,” Polumbus said. “It was certainly good for us and good for everybody else.”

Tony Cooper broke Chris Chapman’s record for the most vertical feet of skiing on Big Mountain. Cooper tallied 5,612,746 vert this season, or roughly 1,063 miles. Chapman held the previous high of 5.3 million feet set in 2003-04. Fred Frost finished with the second most vertical gain this winter, compiling 4,343,300. Jay Foster was third with 3,425,278.

The resort is scheduled to begin its summer activities, including zip-lining and the alpine adventure park, on June 15.

Blacktail Mountain Ski Area also reported a banner season this winter. General Manager Steve Spencer said the mountain capped its 15th season with record revenues.

“We exceeded all of last year’s numbers,” he said.

Both Blacktail and Whitefish Mountain Resort closed on April 7.

Correction: The story previously stated Whitefish Mountain Resort’s total skier visits were up 11 percent this winter. That figure was prior to the last weekend of the season, according to the resort, and total skier visits finished the season 10 percent higher overall compared to last winter.

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