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Trends Q: Where do the longest-staying guests come from for Eastern and Western resorts?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Where do the longest-staying, U.S. guests come from? That’s the question we had. Which states have those ski vacationers who stay longer than everyone else and how different is it for the East versus the West? Here’s what we found.

The Goods
To find our answer, we took data from 23 ski resorts – 13 from the West, 10 from the East – and found the average length-of-stay for winter guests by the state they were coming from. One thing to note, we did not include guests from the home state of each resort to keep the data geared toward longer-distance, destination travelers.

We broke down the data by guests who lodged at Eastern resorts and guests who lodged at Western resorts. Why no midwest? Not quite enough data to make it happen. Take a look:

WestStateLOS

EastStateLOS

Right off the bat, distance from a destination is a clear, logical indicator of a guests likely LOS. The further one travels, the longer they are likely going to stay. However, on closer inspection, we think there may be another factor in this equation.

What This Means
As we looked over these numbers, a recent chart came to mind shared by RRC’s Dave Belin. The gist was this: if you rank Eastern states by per capita skier visits, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine are at the top of the list. Interestingly enough, those are the only three states that averaged an LOS of above 5.5.

So, is there a correlation between how “hardcore” skiers from any state might be and their LOS on ski vacations? We think so, especially when you look at those same per capita skier visits for the West. At the top of that list is Colorado which is also the only Western state to average an LOS longer than 3.0 when traveling to the East. The formula for long LOS seems to be long distance plus a high number of days skied in their home state each season.

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