PORTLAND (AP) — Maine ski areas last winter saw a 2.7 percent decline in skier visits from a year earlier, but had a better season than the region as a whole.

Ski Maine Association Executive Director Greg Sweetser said the state’s 23 alpine ski areas had nearly 1.4 million skier visits, making it the second-best season ever.

With skier visits falling 3.3 percent in New Hampshire and more than 6 percent in Vermont, Sweetser said Maine’s share of the northern New England ski market rose from 17 percent to 18 percent.

The National Ski Areas Association says ski areas nationwide tallied 57.1 million visits last season, the fifth best season on record but a 5.5 percent decline from 2007-08.

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