...for a like for like comparison you should be comparing the acreage of NA groomers with the avy controlled acreage in Europe
There is no real direct comparison (other than piste to piste length) unless you bundled all US accessible sidecountry into the acreage and compared that to a Euro resort for lift served acreage, and then decided how you were going to define resort in a way that made sense.
These two alternative measurements are fair depending on which skiing each person cares about:
- groomer only
- avalanche controlled only (my above stats)
"Average Joe" would likely ski some of category 1 and 2 but mostly care about 1. People within plus/minus one standard deviation of "Average Joe" would likely care only about category 1 and 2 respectively. (which seems relevant for the purposes of biz model discussions)
It would be hard to estimate category 1 but a rough estimate might be that 50% of NA skiing is regularly or occasionally groomed. Such an adjustment would still have the NA ski regions as biggest. The biggest continuous ski area would now be in Europe but the top 5 would still include NA ski areas.