Based on preliminary estimates, ski areas nationwide tallied 57.1 million visits for the 2008/09 season, making it the fifth best season on record. Over the last 10 seasons (1999/00 – 2008/09), the industry has averaged 56.7 million visits. The 2008/09 season represents a 0.8 percent increase from the 10-year average, and just a 5.5 percent decrease from the record 2007/08 season of 60.5 million visits. At 13.8 million visits in 2008/09, the Northeast region was up 5.5 percent from its 10-year average. Meanwhile the Southeast region, at 5.62 million visits, was up 3.8 percent from its 10-year average; the Midwest region, with 7.41 million visits, was down 1.1 percent from its 10-year average; the Rocky Mountain region, with 19.79 million visits, was up 1.3 percent from its 10-year average; and finally the Pacific West region, with 10.54 million visits, was down 5.8 percent from its 10-year average.Relatively favorable snow and weather conditions in most parts of the country during much of the season provided a strong counterbalance to the challenging economic conditions. Based on resort comments, the impact of the economy varied somewhat depending on resort location and resort type. Many day-ski areas in close proximity to major metropolitan markets benefitted as many guests chose to ski and ride at locations closer to home. Meanwhile destination resorts often reported fewer overnight visits and shorter stays. Many resorts commented that snow and weather conditions had a more powerful impact on their visitation than the economy. Overall average snowfall was down just 10 percent. The Southeast realized a 31.2 percent increase in average snowfall; the Midwest was up 1.1 percent; the Northeast was down just 10 percent; the Pacific West was down 10.2 percent; and the Rocky Mountain region was down 14.2 percent. A final report will be issued in July. For more information visit nsaa.org. THE NATIONAL SKI AREAS ASSOCIATION, LOCATED IN LAKEWOOD, COLO., IS A TRADE ASSOCIATION FORMED IN 1962 FOR SKI AREA OWNERS AND OPERATORS NATIONWIDE.
Claude LeRoy has stepped down from his role as the coach of DR Congo.The 65-year-old took charge of the Leopards for a second time in September 2011.“I told my players that I would stop after two years,” said Le Roy.“With the team and the federation we’ve had some terrific moments. I haven’t made a decision regarding the next continent I’ll work in.”His last game in charge was a goalless draw at home to Cameroon in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Sunday.DR Congo will be out of the race to Brazil if, as expected, the Indomitable Lions are awarded three points after Togo admitted using an ineligible player earlier this month.Togo have said they will not appeal against a Fifa disciplinary case against them for using Alaixys Romao in a 2-0 win over Cameroon when he should have been suspended.It is likely Cameroon will now be awarded a 3-0 win that would take them to the top of Group I and mean DR Congo cannot overhaul them even if they win their final qualifier away to Togo in September. He helped the country qualify for the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa but they failed to advance from the group stages despite not losing a game.It was the seventh time that LeRoy had taken a team to the Nations Cup finals after success with Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana.