Gay Skiing in Upstate New York Affected by Lack of Snowfall

A new analysis conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Protect Our Winters (POW) will detail the devastating economic impact that climate change could have on the winter tourism industry in New York and the rest of the nation.

The analysis finds that the $12.2 billion ski and snowmobile industry is dependent on heavy and predictable snowfall, and changes in the winter season snowfall have already been felt across the nation and are likely to become even more pronounced with climate change.

The NRDC/POW analysis covers all 38 states involved in the U.S. ski and snowmobile winter tourism industry. During the Thursday New York news event, experts will discuss the consequences nationwide and for New York, California, Colorado, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont and Washington state.

The study aims to help policy makers understand both the ski and snowmobile industry’s current economic scale and the potential economic impacts that climate change may cause, as well as the effects the industry is already feeling in New York and the rest of the nation from reduced snowpack and rising winter temperatures over the last decade.

Just this past ski season, 50 percent of ski resorts opened late and 48 percent closed early with every region experiencing a decrease in the days of operation. Winter sports resorts are not the only ones affected by this shift; a reduced and shortened winter season will also hurt the secondary related industries of lodging, restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and entertainment.

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