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Scots ski resorts hail bumper year

MORE than 140,000 skiers and snowboarders have taken to Scotland's outdoor slopes so far this winter, making it one of the best seasons in the past decade.

Ski-Scotland said that after a dip in numbers last year, the country's five mountain snowsport centres are on course to meet the 2010-11 season's numbers, which finished with around 289,000 visitors.

But this year's figure is still falling short of the 2009-10 total, when almost 375,000 skiers and snowboarders went on the mountains.

Ski-Scotland said that, up to and including Sunday, 142,160 "skier days" were recorded at the five mountain snowsport areas – Nevis Range, Glenshee, The Lecht, Cairngorm and Glencoe. A skier day amounts to one individual who skis or snowboards for a day, and does not include season ticket holders or group bookings. Some are regular visitors, and are counted separately each day.

It means that more than £14.2 million has been generated by snowsports this winter, with £11.4m spent "off the hill" on accommodation, eating out and at petrol stations, Ski-Scotland said.

Heather Negus, the chairwoman of Ski Scotland, said that with two months of the season to go, the outlook is positive.

She added: "We know last season wasn't a good one, but to have beaten that total before the end of the English half-term is amazing."

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