or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Is "feeder resort" a bad way to describe some fun areas?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is "feeder resort" a bad way to describe some fun areas?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

I was reading an article talking about "feeder resorts" in a trade magazine, and I was thinking that it is a very narrow view of the world, to see skiing as a sport for a few select "real resorts," while most skiing goes on at smaller areas, dismissed as "feeders."  A good portion of the population cannot afford to go to Vail or Aspen every weekend, but they can enjoy real skiing at nice, small areas.  I had the opportunity to Ski at Plattekill last season, and it was delightful.  It had a small, cozy lodge, and everyone could be friendly with every other skier or rider.  That is a lot more like the skiing that made me truly love this sport (I started near Phonecia, NY, at Simpson Memorial Slopes).  I think we need to look at small areas as wonderful clubs.  Perhaps something like the old tradition of getting a badge from each area you ski would encourage more of that.  Small ares can also be lower priced, and a great way for families to get started.

post #2 of 41

Seems like a poor, inaccurate term to me. Since the country's largest population centers aren't in or near the big mountains, I'm sure that the majority of skiers frequent those smaller hills, with some taking a trip to one of the destination resorts once or twice a year. I'd imagine the percentage of skiers that grows up on small hills and then moves to bigger resorts in some meaningful way is small.

 

It sounds like the author just wanted to coin a hip, new term, maybe based on the idea of a feeder team. Except a feeder team actually serves that purpose.

post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG View Post

I was reading an article talking about "feeder resorts" in a trade magazine, and I was thinking that it is a very narrow view of the world, to see skiing as a sport for a few select "real resorts," while most skiing goes on at smaller areas, dismissed as "feeders."  A good portion of the population cannot afford to go to Vail or Aspen every weekend, but they can enjoy real skiing at nice, small areas.  I had the opportunity to Ski at Plattekill last season, and it was delightful.  It had a small, cozy lodge, and everyone could be friendly with every other skier or rider.  That is a lot more like the skiing that made me truly love this sport (I started near Phonecia, NY, at Simpson Memorial Slopes).  I think we need to look at small areas as wonderful clubs.  Perhaps something like the old tradition of getting a badge from each area you ski would encourage more of that.  Small ares can also be lower priced, and a great way for families to get started.

 

icon14.gif spot on.  This whole view of "ma and pa" areas as "feeders" started about 25 years ago....it has been extremely detremental to the sport in my view, as great little areas somehow got classed as places to "make do" until you can really go skiing.  Its total BS.  The result is we have less little areas, and thus less skiers/skier days overall.  Replaced by Ninetendo!!!!nonono2.gif

post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

icon14.gif spot on.  This whole view of "ma and pa" areas as "feeders" started about 25 years ago....it has been extremely detremental to the sport in my view, as great little areas somehow got classed as places to "make do" until you can really go skiing.  Its total BS.  The result is we have less little areas, and thus less skiers/skier days overall.  Replaced by Ninetendo!!!!nonono2.gif

Do you have examples of the little areas that have gone? In B.C. in the past 25 years 2 little areas became Kicking Horse and Revelstoke and while they aren't making money they offer far better skiing than the ma and pa ski areas they replaced. Whitewater was little until they added a used fixed grip chair that almost doubled the size of the resort (includes 2000' vertical of continuous fall line black diamond tree skiing wide enough to be divided into 3 runs.) WW still has a ma and pa 1970s feel and hopefully always will.

 

In fact every ski resort in the B.C. Interior started as a local ski hill and has expanded and are trying to be a year round resort.

post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Do you have examples of the little areas that have gone? In B.C. in the past 25 years 2 little areas became Kicking Horse and Revelstoke and while they aren't making money they offer far better skiing than the ma and pa ski areas they replaced. Whitewater was little until they added a used fixed grip chair that almost doubled the size of the resort (includes 2000' vertical of continuous fall line black diamond tree skiing wide enough to be divided into 3 runs.) WW still has a ma and pa 1970s feel and hopefully always will.

 

In fact every ski resort in the B.C. Interior started as a local ski hill and has expanded and are trying to be a year round resort.

 

Yeah:  http://nelsap.org/

post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Do you have examples of the little areas that have gone? In B.C. in the past 25 years 2 little areas became Kicking Horse and Revelstoke and while they aren't making money they offer far better skiing than the ma and pa ski areas they replaced. Whitewater was little until they added a used fixed grip chair that almost doubled the size of the resort (includes 2000' vertical of continuous fall line black diamond tree skiing wide enough to be divided into 3 runs.) WW still has a ma and pa 1970s feel and hopefully always will.

 

In fact every ski resort in the B.C. Interior started as a local ski hill and has expanded and are trying to be a year round resort.

 

Well, almost by definition BC resorts are destination resorts.  Or at least have potential to be, which is why many of the former BC Ma and Pas were bought out by larger corporates to develop them.  But if you look east, things are ugly.  For example, Thunder Bay Ontario used to have 5 ski areas, all busy, all doing "ok" at least.  Now there is 2.  3 shut down.  Some of the local Vancouver hills (Grouse and Semour) are stuggling too.  And as KevinF pointed out, the issue is big in the US also.

post #7 of 41
Waiting for some decent natural snow to re-open Campton Mountain, which was on the NELSAP list for a dozen years before we reopened it the season before last season! It's really more of a neighborhood ski area and it has night skiing which nearby Waterville Valley doesn't have -- and customers only pay $12 for a lift ticket - which opens the sport of lift served skiing to more people.
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

Waiting for some decent natural snow to re-open Campton Mountain, which was on the NELSAP list for a dozen years before we reopened it the season before last season! It's really more of a neighborhood ski area and it has night skiing which nearby Waterville Valley doesn't have -- and customers only pay $12 for a lift ticket - which opens the sport of lift served skiing to more people.

Me too, I've never skied there and I live just up the street.

post #9 of 41

I don't see anything at all detrimental about the term feeder resort.  I like small areas and would like to see more.  Skiing shouldn't be an elitist sport.  If you want to ski at a major resort with all of the latest and greatest amenities, then you can expect to pay a premium for a world class experience.  If that's not your thing, then a smaller hill with slow lifts can be a lot of fun and available to everyone.  The fact is that world class resorts, like Jackson Hole, won't continue to exist without the feeder resorts to supply a stream of skiers to support them.

post #10 of 41

I don't know if the term "feeder" is accurate since they aren't created with the expressed intent of sending skiers up to bigger resorts.  I'm sure they'd rather have their guests stay there than go elsewhere, but as a skier who doesn't want to experience a major destination resort at least once in their life?

 

If you're into mountain biking you want to visit Moab.  If you're into theater you want to visit New York. If you're into gambling you want to visit Vegas. If you're into skiing you want to go to Vail, Whistler, Jackson, Alta, or some other place with a big, badass, famous resort.

post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

I don't see anything at all detrimental about the term feeder resort.  I like small areas and would like to see more.  Skiing shouldn't be an elitist sport.  If you want to ski at a major resort with all of the latest and greatest amenities, then you can expect to pay a premium for a world class experience.  If that's not your thing, then a smaller hill with slow lifts can be a lot of fun and available to everyone.  The fact is that world class resorts, like Jackson Hole, won't continue to exist without the feeder resorts to supply a stream of skiers to support them.

 

I cant believe you cant see the derogatory nature of the term "feeder".

 

Your bold is true...yet ironically the destination resorts and their associated hype are destroying the smaller areas. 

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

I cant believe you cant see the derogatory nature of the term "feeder".

 

Your bold is true...yet ironically the destination resorts and their associated hype are destroying the smaller areas. 

 

Not by itself it's not.  

 

The skiers who live close to the smaller resorts and choose not to ski there for whatever reason are doing that.  Personally I think high speed chairs are over rated and drive up costs.  I went skiing at Spring Mountain, Doe Mountain, and other small areas near where I grew up every chance I got.  I would have gone everyday if I had a way to get there.  I don't think for one minute that anyone on the managment team at JH wants to see any of the smaller ski areas go under.  I once had a friend tell me he didn't like strip clubs, because if he was hungry he would rather eat a hamburger than look at a steak.  I would rather ski everyday at a place that was close and affordable than spend a lot of money and only do one trip a year.  Even in JH you can get a season pass at Snow King for $150, find good used gear at Headwall Sports, and have a lot of fun for an entire season for less than the cost of lift tickets for a long weekend at Teton Village.  SK even has night skiing so you can ski almost everyday even if you have a "real" job.  The fact that those smaller hills develop skiers and feed them into the larger resorts is something I'm grateful for.  We need them and I honor them.  It's a matter of perspective and I don't see why the term is derogatory when from the perspective of the industry the term is accurate enough.

post #13 of 41

I thought if you were into skiing you want to visit somewhere with great terrain and snow, not a "resort"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

I don't know if the term "feeder" is accurate since they aren't created with the expressed intent of sending skiers up to bigger resorts.  I'm sure they'd rather have their guests stay there than go elsewhere, but as a skier who doesn't want to experience a major destination resort at least once in their life?

 

If you're into mountain biking you want to visit Moab.  If you're into theater you want to visit New York. If you're into gambling you want to visit Vegas. If you're into skiing you want to go to Vail, Whistler, Jackson, Alta, or some other place with a big, badass, famous resort.

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

Not by itself it's not.  

 

The skiers who live close to the smaller resorts and choose not to ski there for whatever reason are doing that.  Personally I think high speed chairs are over rated and drive up costs.  I went skiing at Spring Mountain, Doe Mountain, and other small areas near where I grew up every chance I got.  I would have gone everyday if I had a way to get there.  I don't think for one minute that anyone on the managment team at JH wants to see any of the smaller ski areas go under.  I once had a friend tell me he didn't like strip clubs, because if he was hungry he would rather eat a hamburger than look at a steak.  I would rather ski everyday at a place that was close and affordable than spend a lot of money and only do one trip a year.  Even in JH you can get a season pass at Snow King for $150, find good used gear at Headwall Sports, and have a lot of fun for an entire season for less than the cost of lift tickets for a long weekend at Teton Village.  SK even has night skiing so you can ski almost everyday even if you have a "real" job.  The fact that those smaller hills develop skiers and feed them into the larger resorts is something I'm grateful for.  We need them and I honor them.  It's a matter of perspective and I don't see why the term is derogatory when from the perspective of the industry the term is accurate enough.

Thats just it...it isnt accurate at all.  Many people have a great time at small hills, and never ever need to travel to a destination resort.  Problem is, there is so much hype that "unless you are ripping big mountain lines in 2 ft of powder you are not having fun"....I understand those with a clue dont buy into this, as you wrote...but lots of the masses do....and those masses are missing out, on a lot of potential fun...and those local hills are missing out on that last little bit of revenue that used to keep them afloat. 

post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruins14sammy View Post

I thought if you were into skiing you want to visit somewhere with great terrain and snow, not a "resort"

 

 

Hunh? Are you talking about backcountry?

post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Thats just it...it isnt accurate at all.  Many people have a great time at small hills, and never ever need to travel to a destination resort.  Problem is, there is so much hype that "unless you are ripping big mountain lines in 2 ft of powder you are not having fun"....I understand those with a clue dont buy into this, as you wrote...but lots of the masses do....and those masses are missing out, on a lot of potential fun...and those local hills are missing out on that last little bit of revenue that used to keep them afloat. 

 

I won't pretend to really know about this, but it is my opionon that the problems that the smaller hills are experiencing have more to do with increasing overhead and decreasing snowfall than lack of interest generated by hype.  I think insurance costs, power costs, and replacement costs for aging equipment like lifts, groomers, and snowmaking are bigger culprits.  Some small areas exist in places that get marginal snowfall and climate change may be affecting their bottom line.  It is my understanding that even when thing are going well running a ski area is at ricky business with a thin profit margin.

post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

I won't pretend to really know about this, but it is my opionon that the problems that the smaller hills are experiencing have more to do with increasing overhead and decreasing snowfall than lack of interest generated by hype.  I think insurance costs, power costs, and replacement costs for aging equipment like lifts, groomers, and snowmaking are bigger culprits.  Some small areas exist in places that get marginal snowfall and climate change may be affecting their bottom line.  It is my understanding that even when thing are going well running a ski area is at ricky business with a thin profit margin.


My father was a director at the small hill that I literally grew up at...and you are right about a few things.  Small ski hills are marginal businesses to begin with...but that is what makes them so vulnerable, it only takes a 10-15% drop in skier numbers to go from 10-15% profit to just barely breaking even.  Its also true that many of these hills lack the sophistication in managment to effectivley fight the hype with hype of their own..and there is no one to blame for that, but themselves.

 

I understand destination resorts are not trying to bankrupt anyone...but the whole ski culture, driven by the resorts marketing, ski movies, ski mags, websites...has pushed ski culture so far to one aspect of skiing that to many of the unitiated the rest just seems lame. 

 

When I think back over my ski career, about 50% of all my ski days have been at Whistler.  The other 50% at small to smaller resorts across the country and in some cases overseas.  Fact is...I would say that only 5/10 of my best ski days ever where at Whistler...what does that tell you?  You are equally likely to have an amazing day at a small area, as you are at a big one.  The reasons for it being amazing might not be the same...but the outcome is what matters.

post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

 

Hunh? Are you talking about backcountry?


ski area vs. resort

 

skiing vs real estate / restaurants / village

 

there's a difference.

 

there can be an awesome ski area without having a resort.

post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruins14sammy View Post


ski area vs. resort

skiing vs real estate / restaurants / village

there's a difference.

there can be an awesome ski area without having a resort.

WA is chock full of 'ski areas'. Maybe they're all 'feeder' areas for Whistler, Sun Valley, and the like. We usually get shut out of top 10 and even 20 lists, but oddly enough, we show up on the radar in our big small blip way with a lot of well know skiers and more fresh snow oriented publications. I don't think anyone's worried all too much about it.
post #20 of 41

I don't see what the big deal is. The business model is to own smaller hills around the country in the hopes of steering customers to the large resorts, and in such a model you need a term to describe the function of the small hills. "Feeder" is a reasonable term, and it's silly to find some sort of insult in that.

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruins14sammy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

 

Hunh? Are you talking about backcountry?


ski area vs. resort

 

skiing vs real estate / restaurants / village

 

there's a difference.

 

there can be an awesome ski area without having a resort.


I'm with you.  The only resortification I would like to have at a ski area is chair lift and a place on the hill to have a pint of ale at the end of the day.   I won't complain about first aid facilities a large enough warm indoor place to eat a bag lunch and cell phone reception either (but I wouldn't miss it much).  For destination skiing a place to sleep and a restaurant are ok too.  However I understand all the fancy stuff appeals to more people so that more people pay to ski there and the costs are shared by more people and theoretically lower thereby.

 

I think the term may have been invented with a view to enticing the bigger areas to see how it was in their best interest to do "something" to help out the smaller areas, but it seems to have a negative connotation that is doing the opposite (i.e. not helping).

post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


I'm with you.  The only resortification I would like to have at a ski area is chair lift and a place on the hill to have a pint of ale at the end of the day.   I won't complain about first aid facilities a large enough warm indoor place to eat a bag lunch and cell phone reception either (but I wouldn't miss it much).  For destination skiing a place to sleep and a restaurant are ok too.  However I understand all the fancy stuff appeals to more people so that more people pay to ski there and the costs are shared by more people and theoretically lower thereby.

 

I think the term may have been invented with a view to enticing the bigger areas to see how it was in their best interest to do "something" to help out the smaller areas, but it seems to have a negative connotation that is doing the opposite (i.e. not helping).

 

That's what we have at our small neighborhood area (that's open to the public and not just our neighborhood), a double chair lift and a rope tow with some modest slopes, night skiing lights, an antique snow cat, and a nice cozy base lodge with a fireplace, a bar, and a kitchen. Having been through a re-opening the season before last, I think the only real backbreaker expense is snowmaking. This is why we have been relying on only natural snow (and also why we were unable to open last season, disappointing after such great natural snow the year before). Your point about larger nearby ski areas helping out a nearby smaller one conceptually as a feeder would be really nice if it were true, but that has not happened yet for us.

post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruins14sammy View Post


ski area vs. resort

 

skiing vs real estate / restaurants / village

 

there's a difference.

 

there can be an awesome ski area without having a resort.

 

Okay, I see where the confusion was.  I'm using "resort" interchangeably with "ski area" because out here people refer to even the small areas without a glitzy village as "resort."  Alta is one example. Great snow, great terrain, no real village. If you're not backcountry skiing you're resort skiing. So yes, I agree with you.

post #24 of 41

Just wanted to point out that there is another type of small ski area that are not necessarily for people looking for an inexpensive place to ski.  All the places in the southeast are tiny in comparison to anything in the Rockies or New England.  Most would not exist without 100% snowmaking coverage.  They are "feeder resorts" to the bigger mountains because people can get hooked on skiing/boarding while driving their whole family once or twice a season.  Several are in fact relatively large "resorts" with lots of non-skiing activities not only in the winter but also in the prime summer vacation months.

 

I'm always intrigued by the non-skiing parents at Massanutten (2.5 hours from DC) who bring their kids so that they can learn to ski or snowboard.  Assuming the kids enjoy the experience, most likely they will end up at a big mountain in the future.

 

I certainly agree that most people do not need a large major destination ski resort to have a great time.  The church groups who spend weekends at Winterplace in southern WV have a ball.  Few will get to the point of going elsewhere to ski but return year after year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG View Post

I was reading an article talking about "feeder resorts" in a trade magazine, and I was thinking that it is a very narrow view of the world, to see skiing as a sport for a few select "real resorts," while most skiing goes on at smaller areas, dismissed as "feeders."  A good portion of the population cannot afford to go to Vail or Aspen every weekend, but they can enjoy real skiing at nice, small areas.  I had the opportunity to Ski at Plattekill last season, and it was delightful.  It had a small, cozy lodge, and everyone could be friendly with every other skier or rider.  That is a lot more like the skiing that made me truly love this sport (I started near Phonecia, NY, at Simpson Memorial Slopes).  I think we need to look at small areas as wonderful clubs.  Perhaps something like the old tradition of getting a badge from each area you ski would encourage more of that.  Small ares can also be lower priced, and a great way for families to get started.

post #25 of 41

Interesting thread with some real good inputs and opinions. I've skied and lived in Pa. all my life (57 years). Strarted skiing back in the early 60's at a small hill in Kane, Pa. where I grew up that had a rope tow. Hard to believe now we could have even had a ski season without snowmaking and grooming, but we did . The snow lasted most of the winter . When I got a little bit older I was able to go to bigger "real" ski areas (Holiday Valley, Grostall later named Wing Hollow in western NY about an hour away)

 

Moved to Pittsburgh in 1980 and started skiing again here at Seven Springs and was fortunate enough to begin at that time making 1 trip a year out west to ski. Anyway, the thing that always surprised me were the number of people that I would meet that were from Pittsburgh that never skied locally. They just took a ski vacation once a year to Colorado or Utah or whereever and that satisfied their ski appetite. They had no interst at all skiing the short , icy, crowded hills that were available locally. The standard repsonse when asked if they skied at home when I would meet somebdy from Pittsburgh out west was ,"No , not after coming out west, it isn't worth it".

 

These skiers had to start skiing someplace and more times than not it was locally at a small hill but after going to a bigger "better" resort that was it for the local hill. So the 'feeder resort" unfortunately served its function in these skiers eyes and moved them on to an experience they greatly preferred over the local hill.

 

I now go to Colorado for a week about 4 times a year, this year hopefully 5 trips, thank you Epic Pass and a very successful friend that blames me for becoming a ski addict that owns property in the Vail area where I can stay for free. But I tell you what, I still get depressed when we have crappy ski seasons back home and enjoy getting out to the local hill as much as I can.

 

I must admit, I have pretty much given up making the drive out for frozen granular days. I respect the heck out of the "real" skiers that could care less how bad the conditions are and still make it a bell to bell day . Hats off to them and the mogul gang at Seven Springs that ski the ruttiest iciest bumps run after run without a bobble. They impress as much today as they did when I first met them now over 30 years ago. Still can't hold a candle to what they can do , despite probablly over 70 trips to Colorado to go skiing.

 

Wanted to give some props to the hard core chargers at the local hills . You guys IMHO are the real deal.

post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilehed View Post

I don't see what the big deal is. The business model is to own smaller hills around the country in the hopes of steering customers to the large resorts, and in such a model you need a term to describe the function of the small hills. "Feeder" is a reasonable term, and it's silly to find some sort of insult in that.


Whose business model is that? Maybe you should inform the owners of the small resorts about that because they're under the mistaken impression that they're trying to make their profits, not just send their profits on to bigger resorts. You act as though all resorts are owned by some massive conglomerate - weird view of the industry.

post #27 of 41

Small hills seem to be suffering on so many fronts.

Gas prices make one think twice about a 2 hour one way trip, not to mention 4 - 6 hours. Did I mention tolls?

Not sure what the electrical bill is for a modest chair, but those bills are certainly higher than 20 years ago, especially with the current war on cheap coal fired electricity, maybe more NG will help that. 

I'm sure a new snow cat is big money.

Insurance must be pretty hefty along with ski patrol costs.

Small lodge.

And of of course, snow making.

 

Maybe a new paradigm is needed for small hills: Show when is snows!

 

Wait for the natural snow, then blitz the emails and social media. 

  

Mad River seems to work like that.  Minimal gear, well managed debt.  No fancy extras. Maybe the co-op model could work, but I admit MRG is a special case. FYI, haven't been there in nearly 20 years since I stared boarding, maybe in the future.

 

How about a Silverton model for the East?  One chair, bottom to top, some cut trails, some glades, no grooming, no snow making. (back to 1955)?

post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

Waiting for some decent natural snow to re-open Campton Mountain, which was on the NELSAP list for a dozen years before we reopened it the season before last season! It's really more of a neighborhood ski area and it has night skiing which nearby Waterville Valley doesn't have -- and customers only pay $12 for a lift ticket - which opens the sport of lift served skiing to more people.

 

We have now re-opened Campton Mountain for the weekends (in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a few miles from exit 28 of Rt 93). Day skiing is from 9-4 and nite skiing from 5-10. Lift Tickets are $12. Snow is all natural, 2 lifts - a double chair lift, and one of the last rope tows around.

post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG View Post

I was reading an article talking about "feeder resorts" in a trade magazine, and I was thinking that it is a very narrow view of the world, to see skiing as a sport for a few select "real resorts," while most skiing goes on at smaller areas, dismissed as "feeders."  A good portion of the population cannot afford to go to Vail or Aspen every weekend, but they can enjoy real skiing at nice, small areas.  I had the opportunity to Ski at Plattekill last season, and it was delightful.  It had a small, cozy lodge, and everyone could be friendly with every other skier or rider.  That is a lot more like the skiing that made me truly love this sport (I started near Phonecia, NY, at Simpson Memorial Slopes).  I think we need to look at small areas as wonderful clubs.  Perhaps something like the old tradition of getting a badge from each area you ski would encourage more of that.  Small ares can also be lower priced, and a great way for families to get started.

I think many of you are barking up the wrong tree...

 

Plattekill has 1000' vertical and nearly 50 trails, at least half of them "full trail" rather than some itzy-bitzy 20 feet long connectors. Put that in the midwest, it would be "the big mountain" of the region! But within 2 hr of 2000-3000' mountains like Killington, it's a "small mountain" but by no means a "feeder" mountain. Still, if you ask who you're sharing chairs with, you'd realize at least half of the skiers/riders are NOT from the immediate community but drove 2 hr to ski Plattekill over Hunter/Windham. It's a small mountain that has its own appeal.

 

There's a hill within 20 min of my home. It's got about 300' vertical and about 10 trails. It IS a "feeder" mountain. Practically everyone is from within 1/2 hr drive radius. And everyone talk about going to the "real mountains" when they have the time/money. That list of "real mountains" includes Vail, Killington, and Plattekill!

 

A-basin or Loveland are "small" when compare to Vail. But it's HUGE by east coast standard! A-Basin and Loveland are small but not "feeder" mountains. Nor is Plattekill.

 

Come ski Thunder Ridge, then you'll understand the term of "feeder mountain".

 

There're small mountains. Then there're feeder mountains. The two are not the same.

post #30 of 41

Really interesting thread.  Missed this one the first time around.

 

It seems somewhat naive to blame destination resorts like Vail, Aspen, Sun Valley, Heavenly, etc. for causing small local ski areas to go out of business.  To me, big destination resorts don't compete directly with local 'mom and pop' ski hills that mostly cater to day-tripping locals.  Nobody will drive six hours or fly across the country or pay $100 a day to ski at a 1000' (or less) hill with no expert terrain.  And the difficulties in running a small business with thin margins that is highly dependent on weather and big capital expenditures are obvious.

 

Big destination resorts probably do compete to some extent with regional destinations where a family might go to spend a vacation week (like Stowe or Killington or Sunday River here in New England).  From Boston it's easier to get to those places than to fly across the country -- but not by that much.  From NYC it's even more questionable.  And if you're in the South or Midwest I'm not sure how many of those kinds of places there even are.

 

Quote:

Maybe a new paradigm is needed for small hills: Show when is snows!

 

Wait for the natural snow, then blitz the emails and social media. 

  

Mad River seems to work like that.  Minimal gear, well managed debt.  No fancy extras. Maybe the co-op model could work, but I admit MRG is a special case. FYI, haven't been there in nearly 20 years since I stared boarding, maybe in the future.

 

It can work, but you have to keep operating costs really low (MRG: check), have terrain to attract skiers (MRG: check), and get enough natural snow to actually be open most of the time (MRG: usually.  I'm sure last season was rough.)  I imagine staffing would become an issue if you're open really inconsistently, unless you only operate on weekends.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Is "feeder resort" a bad way to describe some fun areas?