December 18, 2023
As temperatures cool and snow starts to fly, winter sport enthusiasts rejoice. Ski and snowboarding season is off and running. Skiing and snowboarding remain very popular winter activities. In 2022, the market size of the ski and snowboard resort industry in the United States stood at $4.4 billion.
According to IBIS World, the market size of the ski and snowboard resort industry increased 7.5% in 2022 and the market has grown 3.7% per year on average since 2017.
Retail shareholders have several options when looking for investment opportunities in winter sports.
Individual investors might consider real estate companies associated with the industry. The largest by far is Vail Resorts (Tii:MTN), which not only owns its namesake resort but also Keystone, Whistler Blackcomb and Heavenly, to name just a few.
Winter sport equipment companies are also popular with retail investors. Clarus Corp. (Tii:CLAR) owns Black Diamond Equipment, a manufacturer of equipment for climbing, skiing and mountain sports, based in Utah. The company also has a global office in Innsbruck, Austria. The company also owns Pieps, ClimbOn! Skincare and Sierra Bullets.
For individual shareholders looking to add stock in a ski and snowboard retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods (Tii:DKS) is an option.
There is a bevy of publicly traded clothing companies that sell ski, snowboarding and cold-weather gear that will have you looking great on the slopes, including Columbia Sportswear (Tii:COLM) and Wolverine Worldwide (Tii:WWW).
The outlook for the winter is iffy, especially if you love lots of the white stuff. According to meteorologist Chris Tomer, the NOAA issued an El Niño advisory, anticipating El Niño to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter, with a 95% chance through January to March 2024.
During the early parts of the season, through the rest of 2023, data suggests a normal to drier than normal period for most of the West. In the East, it looks wetter than normal. By January, the bulk of the El Nino-driven snowfall will occur across parts of the West with a strong subtropical jetstream. The pattern suggests a higher likelihood of Atmospheric River (AR) events. In the Northeast, normal to above-normal snowfall appears possible. The pattern suggests that Nor Easter storm systems are more likely.
This pattern particularly favors the Northeast. New England ski areas could see a particularly great winter. Many Colorado ski areas, including Summit County resorts, Loveland, Telluride, and Arapahoe Basin, stand to be among the biggest winners. As do New Mexico ski areas and California ski areas in the Sierras.
Skiers and snowboards will have just about the same number of resorts to choose from as last year, according to statistics from the National Ski Areas Association. The group reported that 480 ski areas were in operation during last year’s season.
Skier visits increased last year to 65,387 for the season, the highest total ever recorded by the National Ski Areas Association. The 2022-2023 season set a record for individual U.S. participants for the third consecutive season with 11.6 million people active in the sport.
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