The local resorts have closed, but Mammoth Mountain is gearing up for a Memorial Day weekend of skiers and snowboarders in trunks and bikinis enjoying warm temps, a 12- to 36-inch base and spring conditions. More snow may fall Friday! But it will take more than a mammoth close to 2011/2012 to keep the season from being deemed a washout. Hopes were high for a killer year following a record-breaking 2010/2011 and mighty La Niña snowfall forecast. As the dust coating boards in your garage rafters indicate, the dumps never materialized. After the jump, five sets of dire numbers from those who track gear, lift ticket and clothing sales.
The snow sports market brought in $3.4 billion during the 2011/2012 season, $135 million less than the previous season. (Based on SnowSports Industries America and the Leisure Trends Group's RetailTRAK data collected in March from 1,200 retailers)
Skier/riders visits were down 17 percent across U.S. resorts this season, to 51 million lift-ticketholders on the slopes. (National Ski Areas Association)
Snow sports unit sales declined 12 percent overall this season, including a 17 percent decrease in units sold through chain stores and a 14 percent decrease in specialty shops. (SnowSports Industries America)
Internet sales increased 10 percent this year--good news, at last--but that could be driven by late season equipment and accessories sales by retailers who have turned to sales on websites because stock on hand is not moving in the stores. (SnowSports Industries America)
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Speaking of which, at season's end, there were 30 percent more units in specialty inventories overall. For snow sports specialty retailers in particular, there were 41 percent more equipment units, 46 percent more apparel units and 27 percent more accessories units sitting in inventory than at the end of the 2010/2011 season. That will translate into declines in purchases from suppliers to begin the 2012/2013 season. (SnowSports Industries America)
On the bright side, all this could mean some great inventory clearance sales are coming. Just like that killer snowfall. Eventually.