A new economic study of Oregon's ski industry estimates that last season skiers and snowboarders contributed more than $480 million to the state economy.
The study was conducted by the University of Oregon's Community Service Center with funding from the travel groups Ski Oregon and Travel Oregon.
Bob Parker is the Director of U of O's Community Service Center. He says researchers surveyed close to 900 skiers and riders across the state. They found respondents were, on-average, traveling nearly 70 miles each way to reach their destinations.
Parker says since none of the Oregon ski resorts, with the exception of Timberline, has on-mountain lodging, all that travel contributes to what the report calls a "gateway community effect."
"So communities like Sandy and Oakridge experience substantial economic benefits from people driving though their community, driving to and from the mountain, and stopping to purchase food or gasoline or other goods," Parker says.
Parker says last season, the industry contributed to 6,700 jobs in the state.
Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting