Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort reported Monday that it exceeded 400,000 skier visits for the first time in its 34-year history this season.
The 2002 skier visit tally of 402,718 surpassed the previous record of 378,091 set in 1998-99 — an increase of nearly 7 percent. The mark also represents an 18 percent increase over the average of the past five seasons.
“Over the past several years, we have been investing in our resort so we can accommodate the demand for high-quality winter recreational experiences on Mt. Hood,” resort Vice President and General Manager Dave Riley said.
“We have worked very hard to become a premier winter recreation resort, and I am very grateful that the skiing and snowboarding public responded by choosing to come to Mt. Hood Meadows,” he said.
Weather was the primary contributor to the monumental 2002 season as some 541 inches of snow accumulated at Meadows — the fourth largest snowfall in the past 13 years. Cold weather, combined with a record snowfall pace in December, January and February, provided epic conditions throughout much of the season.
Meadows also noticed a resurgence in cross-country skiing this season, with a 30 percent increase in trail usage from just two seasons ago.