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Millennials are skiing less, ski areas are taking note

Posted at 12:05 AM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 00:05:39-05

ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — The holiday weekend was a busy one for Holiday Valley. A nice band of lake effect added some fresh snow to the ski resort’s 60 trails. But the Ellicottville ski area is paying attention to how many people are coming to ski. According to the National Ski Areas Association, without drastic changes, snow sport participation could decline 2.5% every year for all ski areas.

Holiday Valley is paying attention to that report which also sites a slow growth of interest in snow sports, from millennials.

“Millennials ski sometimes fewer days than older generations, but we have lots of millennials skiing here at Holiday Valley,” said Kate Eshbaugh, the director of skier services. A pair of millennials we spoke with on the mountain said they noticed something missing, more millennials.

“I definitely see us kind of dying off on the slopes. People get busy. Life gets busy, but definitely price might be a bit of a factors,” said Danielle Connolly.

The people in charge of marketing at Holiday Valley say, the sky isn't falling because millennials aren't flocking to the chairlifts. But, they do try to target them through social media and by hosting events like silent discos and pond skims. They also offer discounted tickets. Monday night, skiers and snowboarders could bring a chocolate milk bottle and get a buy one, get one free lift ticket.