With the recent storm that passed through Utah and the greater rocky mountain areas, I caught a picture of the Breckenridge Ski Resort, home to stop number 1 of the 2011 Alli Sports Winter Dew Tour. I was so excited to see the white caped buildings, and the anticipation to start the season is killing me. The winter sports season kicks off at Breckenridge Ski Resort and will host the world’s top talent in action sports. Breckenridge will also be the stage for the Open Qualifiers where rising freeski and snowboard stars will compete to earn a spot on the remainder of the Tour.
With the recent announcement that Utah will finally be hosting the Winter Dew Tour championships, it seemed to me that the planning committee of the tour and the state of Utah is waking up to action sports availabilty and accessibilty here in the state. In 2002, Salt Lake City became the largest metropolitan area to ever host the Winter Olympic Games. On the world’s biggest athletic stage, the region displayed its newly acquired status as a first-rate sports destination, in both economy and community.
It makes pure sense that Utah should host a winter sports tour championship. The sport currently experiencing the most success in Utah is skiing. Nearly half of the license plates in Utah feature the slogan “The Greatest Snow on Earth,” but did you know, that the snow is worth a billion dollars. That’s right, Utah’s skiing and snowboarding industries report an economic impact of $1.1 billion.
Last year, Utah posted 3,972,984 ski days here in the state. The National Ski Areas Association defines a ski day as one person visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing. While this is down from years past, mostly due to the economy, the number of ski days in Utah eclipses the number of days found on the east coast and in Colorado. But what does bringing an event like the dew tour do for the state of Utah, besides allow us fans to meet our favorite rider? In Utah, the summer Dew Tour brings an estimated $11-$13 million in economic impact and approximately $7 million in media value to our community.
When the Williams-Boozer star combo led the Jazz to a 51-win season and the 2007 Western Conference Finals, the marketplace responded. The 2007 breakthrough season, after three consecutive non-playoff years, helped stimulate a 7 percent gain in attendance the following season at the Energy Solutions Arena. A 2008 Forbes.com study ranked the team No. 16 in NBA team value at $342 million.
In just one winter season of snow, one facet of the action sports industry makes three times the amount of revenue that the Utah Jazz. The best part about the revenue made by the snow industry is that most of the money is returned to the state to have an impact on our economy, not to paying players.