Winter Sports

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U.S. King of the Ski Mountain, Beats France for First Time Since 2011-12

5 Oct, 2016

By: Michael Popke

Summer’s barely officially over, and who wants to think about snow already? Resort owners in the United States, that’s who - as well as planners of sports events for skiing and snowboarding.

A lack of snow in the Alps and Pyrenees has given the U.S. a slight edge over France in the battle for the world’s top winter sports destination country. The online U.S. edition of The Guardian reports that “French ski resorts sold about 52 m[illion] ‘ski days’ during the 2015-16 season, according to Domaines Skiables de France (DSF), which represents 230 French ski resorts, blaming the weather for discouraging visitors.”

By comparison, the United States reported 53.9 million ski days. Those figures were obtained, The Guardian notes, by calculating the number of skiers on the slopes each day during the winter ski season.

“The United States had better snow conditions this season,” DSF concluded.

Top-country honors have gone to France every since with the 2011-12 season, and the long-term winter forecast from Farmer’s Almanac bodes well for the United States this coming ski season, too. According to UnofficialNetworks.com, a partner of USA Today Lifestyle/Action Sports:

The forecast says New England and New York will have an “ice cold and snow-filled” ski season. Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain region and Pacific Northwest are looking towards average to colder-than-average winters with average to above-average snowfall totals. The wildcard seems to be the Southwest, whose “balmy and wet” forecast is giving Sierra skiers hope for the return of conditions that are akin to the 2010-2011 La Niña season.

Highly anticipated new resorts in Utah, New Hampshire and elsewhere are expected to open for the 2016-17 season, too, which also could help boost the number of skiers hitting U.S. slopes this winter.

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