Sep 10, 2009 4:21 PM by Associated Press
A struggling economy is turning out to be good news for skiers and snowboarders who live close enough to mountains that they can hit the slopes every weekend.
Many ski resorts are slashing prices on season passes and offering locals-only discounts again this year. They hope to boost revenues from nearby metropolitan areas at a time many U.S. travelers are choosing to vacation closer to home, if at all.
In few places is the trend more evident than in Utah, where snow lovers can get from downtown Salt Lake City to a lift line in roughly 30 minutes.
Nationally, skier visits dropped 5.5 percent in the 2008-09 season from the record 60.5 million visits the season before. Resorts near major cities fared best last season.