BY BRANDON SAWYER
Given the modest size of Oregon’s ski area offerings, the industry packs a formidable economic snowball. Direct snowsport spending accounted for $311.2 million in the 2010-11 season (most recent data) and had an estimated impact of $481.6 million. That’s about 0.3% of Oregon’s total economic output. Ski area visits fell about 15% during the recession but saw gains of 10% and 4% in the 2009-11 seasons. Of course, the industry is at the mercy of weather, but for the 2013-14 season, meteorologists are predicting a “No Niño” weather pattern, which has in past years dumped lots of snow on the state. So expect substantial economic accumulation along with it.