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Is skiing/snowboarding popularity increasing, decreasing, or holding steady?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

For those of you "in the know", is skiing/snowboarding increasing or decreasing in popularity? I.e., are the total number of skier/snowboarder visits per year going up or down?

post #2 of 61

It's been flat for a while...google...

post #3 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Skier View Post

For those of you "in the know", is skiing/snowboarding increasing or decreasing in popularity? I.e., are the total number of skier/snowboarder visits per year going up or down?

 

Visits are going UP.

 

The actual number of participants has been declining, and every year, the average age of the skier/boarder increases.

 

The easy answer why is that for at least the largest skiing market in the US, Colorado, competition for season passes has brought them down to very cheap prices.  Where it used to be hard to get a season pass anywhere for less than $1,000 around 1990 (in 1990 dollars!!!), there are now only a handful of Colorado passes that cost that much, the Top tier I70 resorts cost $500 to $600 for a pass, and the smaller hills are $300-$350 if within driving range of the front range.

 

So, it is cheaper for the established skier to ski every day, but much more expensive than ever for a new person to learn to ski with the huge increase in single day tickets, the closure of almost all of the small "feeder" ski areas that used to be in every Colorado town, increase in costs of equipment, etc.

 

I started a thread a few years ago about this: http://www.epicski.com/t/101491/is-the-lift-ticket-pricing-model-killing-the-sport

 

Here's a link with some further links to data.

 

http://www.mrablog.com/explaining-ski-industry-demographics/

 

And, the paragraph that stands out...

 

[quote]“Between 1990 and 2006, the number of snowboarders has increased from 1.5 million to 5.2 million –an increase of 288%– and has dropped from a high of 6.3 million riders in the 2004/2005 season to 5.2 million in the 2006/2007 season. In this same time period, the number of skiers has decreased from 11.4 million to 6.4 million, a decrease of 44%. Overall, total skier/snowboarder numbers have decreased from 12.9 million participants in 1990 to 11.6 million participants in 2006, an overall industry loss of 10.1%. (This decrease is quite noticeable from the preceding 2006/2007 season when there were a reported 12.9 million skier/snowboarder participants. This may be due to participants exiting the sport(s) as a result of the poor winter conditions of that particular season, as reflected in the corresponding drop in total skier visitor numbers to 55.9 million from the 58.9 in the 2004/2005 season).” This data comes directly from the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association: Snowboarding and Skiing Participation report published in 2006.[/quote]

post #4 of 61

If you want the actual numbers without the BS agenda, here are annual ski visits for the past 20 + years:

 

http://www.nsaa.org/media/30715/historical-visits.pdf

post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

If you want the actual numbers without the BS agenda, here are annual ski visits for the past 20 + years:

 

http://www.nsaa.org/media/30715/historical-visits.pdf

 

Exactly what part is BS? Its very, very well supported that the total number of skiers is decreasing, but the remaining pool is skiing many more days. Skier visits up, total pool of skiers down, average age of skier increasing.

post #6 of 61

That whole blog post is a bunch of conjecture and BS designed to push an agenda. If it's so well supported, I reckon you could find something better than that to back it up.

post #7 of 61

According to the below article, snowboard sales are down 21% over the last 4 years, but ski sales are up 3%.

It goes on to state that since 2004, participation (as opposed to sales) in snowboarding is down 22%, while participation in skiing is up 16%.

I guess one would have to know the beginning number of each to know if all that means an overall increase or decrease in the popularity of snow-sports, though.

See:

www.outsideonline.com/news-from-the-field/Snowboard-Sales-Participation-Decline.html

post #8 of 61
NY Times reporters must have picked up this story from you gents:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/travel/has-snowboarding-lost-its-edge.html?hpw
post #9 of 61

Leisure activities like skiing and snowboarding are directly tied to many factors in the economy.  We all know how the economy has been the last few years...

post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

According to the below article, snowboard sales are down 21% over the last 4 years, but ski sales are up 3%.

It goes on to state that since 2004, participation (as opposed to sales) in snowboarding is down 22%, while participation in skiing is up 16%.

I guess one would have to know the beginning number of each to know if all that means an overall increase or decrease in the popularity of snow-sports, though.

See:

www.outsideonline.com/news-from-the-field/Snowboard-Sales-Participation-Decline.html

This is almost the exact post I was going to make. Skiing up, snowboarding down. A lot of people I have talked to think it's because of the way skiing is now being portrayed in films and the mainstream, though I have no "data" to back that up.

post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post

Leisure activities like skiing and snowboarding are directly tied to many factors in the economy.  We all know how the economy has been the last few years...

 

Yeah, that may well be, but why such a huge disparity between the two?  I mean skiing is up significantly, and snowboarding is way down.

Has the economy spanked snowboarding that much worse than skiing?

 

"East or Bust" touched on it above, but I had read somewhere something along the lines that due to media portrayal of both activities and the advent of "new-school" ski gear, the appeal of skiing has increased for young'uns, while it looks like the appeal of snowboarding has waned.  I can't cite the source, though, since I don't remember what it was.

 

Personally, I also suspect that the explosion in popularity of BC skiing over the last few years may have something to do with it.  It seems most of that growth has been driven by and aimed at skiers far more than snowboarders.

post #12 of 61
Quote:
Has the economy spanked snowboarding that much worse than skiing?

 

If it was purely economics, I'd think that would actually push more kids towards snowboarding, since they are generally cheaper than skis.

 

Quote:
"East or Bust" touched on it above, but I had read somewhere something along the lines that due to media portrayal of both activities and the advent of "new-school" ski gear, the appeal of skiing has increased for young'uns, while it looks like the appeal of snowboarding has waned.  I can't cite the source, though, since I don't remember what it was.

 

Totally anecdotally, locally it does seem like a lot more of the teen park rats are on skis vs. snowboards compared to a few years ago.  I'm not sure whether that's due to fads/trends, marketing, or park+pipe (and powder) skis actually getting vastly better.  From the NYT article:

 

Quote:

In the 2003-4 season more than 42 percent of all beginners on the slopes ages 14 and younger started out on a snowboard. The percentage has steadily fallen since then, last season dropping to about 34 percent, according to the ski areas association.

...

One reason may be that snowboarding simply doesn’t have the rebel cachet that it once did. Skiing has appropriated everything from snowboarding’s swagger to its trendy clothing to technology like fat skis. Simply put, it’s cool to be on two planks again.

post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

If it was purely economics, I'd think that would actually push more kids towards snowboarding, since they are generally cheaper than skis.

 

 

 

 

It's the lift tickets that are the determining/limiting factor for most people, not the equipment costs.  I spend way more on daily/seasonal lift tickets than I ever have on equipment.   When the ecomony goes bad, people aren't as willing to shell out thousands of dollars for season passes, much like many other entertainment type purchases.

 

I've also noticed that uptick in younger kids hitting the park with twin tips.   In just the last two years I've seen a huge increase at my local MN hill.  Seems skiing has become 'cool' again...   I know several co-workers kids who now want to try skiing after boarding for many years.   That's purely due to the twin tip park skiing they see others doing.

post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

If it was purely economics, I'd think that would actually push more kids towards snowboarding, since they are generally cheaper than skis.

 

Totally anecdotally, locally it does seem like a lot more of the teen park rats are on skis vs. snowboards compared to a few years ago.  I'm not sure whether that's due to fads/trends, marketing, or park+pipe (and powder) skis actually getting vastly better.  From the NYT article:

 

 

Yeah, my question was primarily rhetorical, and I totally agree with your point about how any economic woes should be less punishing to snowboarding given that sports' lower costs.

 

Speaking of anecdotal observations, I'll see yours and raise it with another!  

I was riding the shuttle with one of our snowboard instructors last week, and we were talking about one of the popular clinic programs our Mt. does each year.  He was saying that enrollment in the snowboard side of the program has really diminished over the last few years, while the skiing side is still going strong.   

 

Quote by Focker above:  It's the lift tickets that are the determining/limiting factor for most people, not the equipment costs.

@Focker, lift tickets are the same for skiers and boarders, though, so that's a wash as far as why one is losing popularity while the other is gaining.

post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post

NY Times reporters must have picked up this story from you gents:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/travel/has-snowboarding-lost-its-edge.html?hpw


A good article. Basically we've known this for about 5 years, (as the article says -'05/'06 boarding lost its mojo), and the public is catching up. I credit X-games, half pipes, and movies. The tricks on skis are way more advanced in general on skis at the X games.

Why skier half pipe wasn't in the Vancouver Olympics is a travesty and just shows that the IOC is in general 10-15 years behind the times.

 

Also, who wants to always be siting on the ground putting your board on?

 

No gloating though, less people on the hill is not necessarily a good thing.

post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

 

Yeah, my question was primarily rhetorical, and I totally agree with your point about how any economic woes should be less punishing to snowboarding given that sports' lower costs.

 

Speaking of anecdotal observations, I'll see yours and raise it with another!  

I was riding the shuttle with one of our snowboard instructors last week, and we were talking about one of the popular clinic programs our Mt. does each year.  He was saying that enrollment in the snowboard side of the program has really diminished over the last few years, while the skiing side is still going strong.   

 

Quote by Focker above:  It's the lift tickets that are the determining/limiting factor for most people, not the equipment costs.

@Focker, lift tickets are the same for skiers and boarders, though, so that's a wash as far as why one is losing popularity while the other is gaining.


How much cheaper is snowboarding really? That seems like it should be a non-factor. If your personal budget is bad enough to affect what you do for fun, $1,000 versus $1,200 for a set-up isn't going to make a difference, especially when you still have to pay hundreds of dollars for clothing, accessories, lift tickets, travel, etc. Things like high lift ticket prices, gas prices, increased airfare, etc. are the same for both sports.

post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

 

No gloating though, less people on the hill is not necessarily a good thing.

A point I've been making for years, in a way. More people on the hill are needed, sometimes.

 

I've been saying for years that we need to encourage EVERYONE to come, no matter how obnoxious or reckless, to keep revenues up and keep our ski areas in business.

 

If religious conservatives bought Hunter and said: 'men and women must use separate lifts'; I'd adjust to that, if the alternative was seeing the place close.

 

Similarly, it disgusts me to see the poor level of skiing that's taught by the instructors at Hunter, but if people need poor instruction from clueless egotistical loudmouths to feel safe skiing, and that keeps them coming and pouring money into the place, it's ok. The same could be said about drunk young guys with poor skills on the slopes. If they bought their drinks at the lodge, and it keeps the place going, then ok.

 

I often ski faster than I'd like to, so that drunks and idiot snowboarders won't run into me from behind. I get to the bottom in 2 minutes with sore feet and knees, but at least no one caught up with me and hit me.

post #18 of 61

Not sure I'd agree with that ^^^^. That's like saying we need drunk drivers to keep the car companies from imploding like it's 2009. No thanks to encouraging every single loudmouth, drunken, inconsiderate touron to go skiing every weekend. If a few resorts close, there are others. If all resorts close, well, we have a reason to get into shape and go backcountry skiing.

post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


How much cheaper is snowboarding really? That seems like it should be a non-factor. If your personal budget is bad enough to affect what you do for fun, $1,000 versus $1,200 for a set-up isn't going to make a difference...

 

I agree the equipment cost is only one factor (although it can be quite a bit more than a $200 difference).  How much that affects the overall cost of skiing/riding for an individual depends a lot on where they ski/ride and how much travel they do.

 

But given that snowboarding should be cheaper -- if only marginally -- the argument that a poor economy would hurt the uptake of snowboarding more than skiing doesn't make a lot of sense.  I could see it maybe affecting retention of existing snowboarders differently, due to demographics.

post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Not sure I'd agree with that ^^^^. That's like saying we need drunk drivers to keep the car companies from imploding like it's 2009. No thanks to encouraging every single loudmouth, drunken, inconsiderate touron to go skiing every weekend. If a few resorts close, there are others. If all resorts close, well, we have a reason to get into shape and go backcountry skiing.


That's a good point, except...

 

Many of us will never be able to get back into a condition that will let us earn our turns.

After decades of injuries and surgeries, I'm not climbing in Yosemite, or Denali, or running marathons, or hiking the A T. Or skiing the backcountry.

Even snowshoeing hurts.

 

I can however drive for 3 hours and ski on icy groomers for 5 or 6 hours. And that's it. I have places like Hunter on weekdays during the winter, or I spend my days watching kids ice skating in Central Park; or watch skiing on TV.

Hunter is the limit of what I'll be able to do from now on, as I slide slowly (I hope) towards my grave.

 

There's one way, and one way only, that I'll be able to do what most of the people here do - reincarnate. On the other hand, it's nice when the barmaid went to high school with your daughter and she goes out of her way to be nice to you.

post #21 of 61

I was following 'satisfaction surveys' given to snowplayer/beginners who paid $108 for a lift Pass, $38 car parking, $80 petrol for a 6 hour return drive for a day pass, They answered that value was poor, but 98% said they'd be back. Go figure.

 

But when there's no snow, they don't come (which is why I'm a fan of locking them in wirh education on how to ski cheap and often).

 

 

Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:  MTN) today reported certain ski season metrics for the comparative periods from the beginning of the ski season through January 13, 2013, and for the prior year period through January 15, 2012, adjusted as if Kirkwood, which was acquired in April 2012, was owned in both periods.  The reported ski season metrics do not incorporate the recently acquired urban ski areas of Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton. The data mentioned in this release is interim period data and subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustments.

Highlights

  • Season-to-date total lift ticket revenue at the Company's seven mountain resorts, and including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up approximately 4.3% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
  • Season-to-date ancillary spending outpaced our growth in skier visitation, with ski school revenue up 2.9% and dining revenue up 9.0% at the Company's seven mountain resorts, and retail/rental revenue was up 7.7% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
  • Season-to-date total skier visits for the Company's seven mountain resorts were up 2.0% compared to the prior year season-to-date, including higher utilization by season pass holders.

Commenting on the ski season to date, Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer said, "The growth in season-to-date visitation and ancillary on-mountain revenue is a reflection of a very strong holiday season which saw double-digit percentage increases in visitation, ski school revenue, dining revenue, and retail/rental revenue.  Unfortunately, as we discussed in our early December earnings release, this was partially offset by very weak results in the period from the start of the season through mid-December, when conditions at our Colorado resorts were very poor and highly unusual.  We were very pleased to see that once more typical conditions arrived at our resorts, we saw very strong visitation and guest spend.  In fact, a number of our resorts broke visitation and revenue records during the holiday period.   All of this bodes well for the remainder of the season."

Fiscal Year 2013 Guidance

Commenting on fiscal 2013 guidance, Katz continued, "While we are very pleased with our strong holiday season performance, the challenging early season contributed to season-to-date results that were below what we had anticipated in our guidance originally issued in September 2012. As a result, we do not believe we can fully make up those shortfalls during the remainder of our fiscal year.  Consequently, we now estimate Resort Reported EBITDA to be $244 million to $254 million representing an approximate 19% to 24% increase over fiscal 2012.  Our revised guidance for fiscal 2013 assumes normal weather conditions for the remainder of the season. We are reiterating our estimate of fiscal 2013 Real Estate Reported EBITDA of negative $9 million to negative $17 million, including approximately $2 million of non-cash stock-based compensation expense.  Included in these estimates are Net Real Estate Cash Flow of $15 million to $25 million (defined as Real Estate Reported EBITDA, plus non-cash real estate cost of sales, plus non-cash stock-based compensation expense, plus change in real estate deposits less investment in real estate).  Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. is now expected to be in a range of $39 million to $49 million in fiscal 2013, up more than double from last year's results."  

The following table reflects the forecasted guidance range for the Company's fiscal year ending July 31, 2013, for Reported EBITDA (after stock-based compensation expense) and reconciles such Reported EBITDA guidance to net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. guidance for fiscal 2013.


 

 

Fiscal 2013 Guidance

 

(In thousands)

 

For the Year Ending

 

July 31, 2013

 

Low End

Range

 

High End Range

Mountain Reported EBITDA (1)

$

234,000

   

$

244,000

 

Lodging Reported EBITDA (2)

 

8,000

     

13,000

 

Resort Reported EBITDA (3)

 

244,000

     

254,000

 

Real Estate Reported EBITDA  (4)

 

(17,000)

     

(9,000)

 

Total Reported EBITDA

 

227,000

     

245,000

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

(130,000)

     

(131,500)

 

Loss on disposal of fixed assets, net

 

(500)

     

(1,100)

 

Investment income

 

500

     

600

 

Interest expense, net

 

(34,000)

     

(34,000)

 

Income before provision for income taxes

 

63,000

     

79,000

 

Provision for income taxes

 

(24,090)

     

(30,090)

 

Net income

 

38,910

     

48,910

 

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

90

     

90

 

Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc.

$

39,000

   

$

49,000

 
  1. Mountain Reported EBITDA includes approximately $9 million of stock-based compensation.
  2. Lodging Reported EBITDA includes approximately $2 million of stock-based compensation.
  3. Resort Reported EBITDA represents the sum of Mountain and Lodging. The Company provides Reported EBITDA ranges for the Mountain and Lodging segments, as well as for the two combined.  Readers are cautioned to recognize that the low end of the expected ranges provided for the Lodging and Mountain segments, while possible, do not sum to the low end of the Resort Reported EBITDA range provided because we do not necessarily expect or assume that we will actually hit the low end of both ranges, as the actual Resort Reported EBITDA will depend on the actual mix of the Lodging and Mountain components.  Similarly, the high end of the ranges for the Lodging and Mountain segments do not sum to the high end of the Resort Reported EBITDA range.

Real Estate Reported EBITDA includes approximately $2 million of stock-based compensation

post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


A good article. Basically we've known this for about 5 years, (as the article says -'05/'06 boarding lost its mojo), and the public is catching up. I credit X-games, half pipes, and movies. The tricks on skis are way more advanced in general on skis at the X games.

Why skier half pipe wasn't in the Vancouver Olympics is a travesty and just shows that the IOC is in general 10-15 years behind the times.

 

Also, who wants to always be siting on the ground putting your board on?

 

No gloating though, less people on the hill is not necessarily a good thing.

 

at some point this has to get old. I've always been too old to have to go down on my knees or my ass whenever I stop sliding, never been tempted to even try to ride a board. Saw two riders last Sunday who were using a modern version of a lurk, mainly as a balance point in the lift line and when stopped on the hill.

post #23 of 61
I too have been noticing the ratio of skiers is going up and am seeing fewer snowboarders. Lot more teenagers on skis these days. My guess is that since grandpa and grandma now ride snowboards, the coolness factor is gone-a factor that is important to the under 25 crowd.. My daughter does both. In her opinion she can do more with skis in terms of dealing with icy conditions or deep conditions than with her board. She likes both, tho.
post #24 of 61

Honestly Im not surprised at the decline of popularity in Snowboarding. 

 

No disrespect to the sport but most people as they grow older prefer Skiing. Its much more versatile and can be practiced in a way that is easier on the body. (softer gear (easier release) and gentler slopes). Skiing is also better for backcountry travel if that is your thing. Park skiing has also greatly increased in popularity over the years. All this means Skiing covers a huge range of age groups and uses. Snowboarding is generally more limiting (yeah I know, there are splitboards but...) 

 

Snowboarding started as Snow Surfing, great in soft, deep powder, not so great on your average overskied resort with hard snow and moguls. The sport evolved greatly and it blossomed in the terrain parks but skiers are able to do amazing tricks also. 

 

Anyway, ever seen a snowboarder on a flat area full of powder or a long cat track. Not fun.

post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post

Leisure activities like skiing and snowboarding are directly tied to many factors in the economy.  We all know how the economy has been the last few years...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

 

Yeah, that may well be, but why such a huge disparity between the two?  I mean skiing is up significantly, and snowboarding is way down.

Has the economy spanked snowboarding that much worse than skiing?

 

"East or Bust" touched on it above, but I had read somewhere something along the lines that due to media portrayal of both activities and the advent of "new-school" ski gear, the appeal of skiing has increased for young'uns, while it looks like the appeal of snowboarding has waned.  I can't cite the source, though, since I don't remember what it was.

 

Personally, I also suspect that the explosion in popularity of BC skiing over the last few years may have something to do with it.  It seems most of that growth has been driven by and aimed at skiers far more than snowboarders.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

If it was purely economics, I'd think that would actually push more kids towards snowboarding, since they are generally cheaper than skis.

 

 

Totally anecdotally, locally it does seem like a lot more of the teen park rats are on skis vs. snowboards compared to a few years ago.  I'm not sure whether that's due to fads/trends, marketing, or park+pipe (and powder) skis actually getting vastly better.  From the NYT article:

 

 

I'd say that the economy is definitely a factor here.  Skateboarding seems to be picking up quite a bit, at least in my community.  But, skateboarding is free once you have the gear.  Not all kids skating are poor, but many are.  Personally, I think the cost of skiing in general has gone up substantially, mostly transportation costs (gas), lift tickets, and resort food prices.  No idea about lodging, seems to be the same it was five years ago.  However, with the gutting of middle and lower management positions throughout the career world and offshoring of everything that is done via PC, telephony, and internet connections skiing in Nepal and China has probably gone up quite a bit but waned here some.

post #26 of 61

The above comments about the versatility of skiing vs. snowboarding are correct.  Not enough to overcome snowboarding's "coolness factor" among the younger generation in the 1990's, but with both being mature sports now snowboarding is likely to plateau at some fraction (1/4 to 1/3?) of skiing.

 

The 20 year table of skier visits is the Kottke report, which I review from time to time.  Total visits were flat in the 80's and 90's, rising gradually over the past decade.  I do get that the vists are coming from a decreased number of participants due to the cheap season passes.  I suspect the aging part is slowing down given that the boomer generation is now 48-66 years old and other Kottke reports show that aggregate women's participation in snowsports starts to decline in their late 40's and men's in their late 50's.  I do think we're being replaced by our now adult children at a great enough rate to keep the overall visits up.  Most of the college age and 20's skiers/riders I know are taking advantage of the cheap season passes too.

 

The economy's effect on total skier visits is not that great.  You can hardly find recessions in the Kottke skier visit totals.  They fluctuate mainly based upon how good a snow year it is (particularly early/holiday season).  The decline from the strong snow season in 2008 to an average season in 2009 was only to the underlying trend line of ~57 million.  The decline from best ever season in 2011 to worst season in 20 years in 2012 was far more dramatic.  2013 is overall fairly average so far so we'll likely be back in the area of 57 million again, maybe a little short of that if high visit Colorado continues to struggle. 

post #27 of 61

I think that technology and the ability to telecommute via smartphone has probably allowed the smaller number of people with VERY good jobs to rack up way more ski days than ever possible back in the 90s and previously.  I work from home 99% of the time and could certainly sneak off to ski quite a bit using a smart phone to stay available, appear to be working, and even conduct many everyday work tasks if I lived closer to a ski hill.  However, the rest of the 80% that don't still have those good paying jobs with benefits aren't getting as many ski days.  Those that do more than make up for it.  The elasticity of demand for lifts, lodging, and amenities proves that.

post #28 of 61
Quote:
I'd say that the economy is definitely a factor here.

 

I might have been unclear.  I was just saying the economy doesn't seem like a significant factor in the popularity of skiing vs. snowboarding.  It's obviously a big factor in the "macro" view of overall snowsports participation, especially at destination resorts where it's a big upfront investment to visit.

 

Quote:
Personally, I think the cost of skiing in general has gone up substantially, mostly transportation costs (gas), lift tickets, and resort food prices.

 

Gas is down vs. a few years ago, but significantly up vs. 10-15 years ago.  That would tend to help local resorts and hurt 'regional' destinations that people drive to.  Airfare is relatively cheap right now (to most places).

 

Lift ticket prices have been climbing, and that definitely makes once-a-year trips somewhere more expensive.  Probably this effects regional destinations or mid-tier resorts more than a really big place like Whistler or Vail where the overall expenditure for a trip is higher.  If you can arrange to ski at a local hill on a season pass that's usually pretty cost-effective.  (This probably is why the numbers show a shrinking number of participants but higher days/participant -- more skiing many days at one place on season passes to save money.)

 

Resort food has always been expensive and/or terrible.  smile.gif  But that's easy to sidestep.

post #29 of 61

Hunter seems empty so far this season, but I wonder if the flu epidemic has something to do with it.

 

I got the flu before Christmas, and wasn't ready to ski on 1/2/13 when I normally would have started.

post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
 I've always been too old to have to go down on my knees or my ass whenever I stop sliding, never been tempted to even try to ride a board. Saw two riders last Sunday who were using a modern version of a lurk, mainly as a balance point in the lift line and when stopped on the hill.

 

What is a "lurk"??

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post

I too have been noticing the ratio of skiers is going up and am seeing fewer snowboarders. Lot more teenagers on skis these days. My guess is that since grandpa and grandma now ride snowboards, the coolness factor is gone-a factor that is important to the under 25 crowd.. My daughter does both. In her opinion she can do more with skis in terms of dealing with icy conditions or deep conditions than with her board. She likes both, tho.

 

I think you're onto something there.

You'd think though with the popularity of surfing increasing, it would translate.

 

There is however the crossover sport of skiing waves! (this is not photoshopped!)

 

Chuck Patterson with Starr Surf Skis:

Photo by Mike Lopaka Jones, Azhiaziam.com                                                                  source: http://www.starrsurfskis.com/

 

                               http://www.starrsurfskis.com/

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Is skiing/snowboarding popularity increasing, decreasing, or holding steady?