Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Committee Chair(s)

Stephen F. McCool


Stephen F. McCool


Richard Schreyer


Gerald F. Gifford


John D. Hunt


Use of ski areas in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah has increased rapidly over the last two decades. To facilitate planning and management of programs and facilities designed to meet this need, public and private organizations should have information which delineates the factors affecting use of these ski areas. The objectives of this study were therefore: (1) to determine what factors were responsible for variation in use at Utah ski areas, (2) to determine the relative importance of these factors in explaining ski area use, (3) to ascertain if these variables explaining use differ significantly between two ski seasons, (4) to determine if the factors explaining use differ significantly between various ski areas, and (5) to analyze the planning and management implications of this study.

Six Utah ski areas were examined over two ski seasons. Data concerning site characteristics, management variables and locational variables for each ski area was collected. Methods of data collection included use of existing studies and information, telephone interviews and in-person Interviews with ski area managers. The main statistical procedures utilized were stepwise multiple regression analysis and partial correlation analysis.

Results of these analyses indicated that two site characteristic variables, (1) total number of chairlifts and aerial tramways at each ski area, and (2) average snow depth at each ski area were closely related to variation in ski area use. These two variables were the most important for both the 1972-73 and 1974-75 ski seasons, as well as the average of these two seasons.

The analyses indicated that vertical drop and lift ticket price were the two variables most closely associated with variation in use at ski areas which received a majority of their use from non-Utah residents. For those ski areas which received a majority of use from residents of Utah's Wasatch Front, the variables most closely related to variation In use were: (1) number of years in operation as a ski area, and (2) total advertising expenditures of each ski area.

Implications for planning and management of ski areas in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah are discussed. Possible refinements of this technique for future applications are suggested. A glossary of terms is included.