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Future of Skiing? Is the industry pricing itself into extinction? - Page 19

post #541 of 566

I will say this: The time off/paid time off situation here is remarkable compared to the U.S. Starting vacations of 5-6 weeks vs 2 weeks; lots of holidays (particularly in Catholic Bavaria!); companies generally required to make space for you to take your time off AND give you extra time off for accumulated over hours (or pay, or both, depending on job). 

 

But I think it's a constellation of things. The biggest is probably resort strategy. Very few of the spots I'm skiing (and they can have massive vertical and terrain) seem built around affluence and real estate. That differs quite a bit from my experience in the U.S.... except for the mountain I learned at in Western Mass, which no longer exists.

 

But there are other factors. Infrastructure here seems less built up. I think patrol/control is thinner. On-mountain buildings are mostly simple, and most mountain areas are heavily trafficked in all seasons (hiking, staying in huts). And there's a very broad base (everyone seems to know how to skis pretty well), including lots of people who don't put in full days but likely buy full day tickets (since you can't usually buy a first-half of the day ticket, only late-start tickets). 

 

Day trips to resorts up to 1.5 or 2+ hours away are reasonable too because of bus or train + lift ticket deals that end up costing ~10 more than lift ticket alone.

post #542 of 566

Nice summary. No comparison at all on vacatons to here.

Was that Mt.Tom or Brodie you used to ski at? Brodie is now a wind farm on top. 

http://www.berkshirewindcoop.org/index.html

 

Let's not forget the lawsuit factor in the US.

What about grooming expenditures Europe v US?

post #543 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
 

Compared to many other activities, the cost of skiing isn't a big deal.

 

Check out what a good set of golf clubs and a day at a good course costs. Makes skiing look like a bargain.

 

Want to rent a Hobie and do some hot laps around the bay - compared to an 8 hour lift ticket it's highway robbery.

 

All activities will continue to cost what the market will bear. I always look at the infrastructure associated with a decent area and wonder how they can pay for it with (typically at best) 6 month season.

DEAD ON!  

 

wave runners $150 per hour is another example.  

 

Round of golf at just about any decent course is north of a 100 many are closing in on 200.  plus cart fees...

post #544 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

Nice summary. No comparison at all on vacatons to here.

Was that Mt.Tom or Brodie you used to ski at? Brodie is now a wind farm on top. 

http://www.berkshirewindcoop.org/index.html

 

Let's not forget the lawsuit factor in the US.

What about grooming expenditures Europe v US?

 

Mt. Tom, baby! Those were the formative years. Fell while loading for the first time on the chair lift at ~6 years old. Bit of a tantrum on that first trail down that included walking down some portion of the trail and promising to never ski again. Stupidity as a teen night skiing. 

 

I'd love to go back now just for one day. I'd probably just skin up. But I bet it would feel tiny! 

 

 

Back on topic: I thought about grooming. The grooming here feels so much more extensive and anal than in the U.S.. There are almost zero pistes that aren't groomed daily; no bumps. But, on the flip side, our pistes are so much more gentle, wide, regular, and not steep (harakiri at Mayrhofen aside)... they must be so much easier to groom. 

post #545 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post
 

 

FYI: I think the flight cost difference is that you’re not looking exclusively at evening flights like I was.  For me, morning flights are a waste in terms of taking an extra vacation day and also in the extra cost of being on the road longer (more meals, activities, etc).  And morning flights typically get you to your destination too late to ski.

 

If you’re going to consider a morning departure, I’d consider driving if you are budget minded.   Driving about 600 miles (distance London to Geneva) would only cost $30 in the US (gas cost, assuming 4people/car, 30 MPG).  It would be at least double that in Europe.  

 

If you’re super budget minded in the US, it’s not too hard to drive west, split a hotel 4 ways at 50/night ($12/person), bring groceries and ski a smaller western ski area for about $40/day.  I don't typically take trips that cheap in Europe or the US.  I'd say my trips are more low-middle of the road on cost and typically are 4 days long. 

 

Bottom line, my type of trip was more expensive in Europe than the US.


Actually, I was looking at evening flights, and they were $210 or less except the first weekend of half-term. I only mentioned the cheaper morning flights for the sake of comparison.

 

As for road trips out west, I'm quite familiar with them. I grew up in OK and must have done 14 or 15 ski trips in CO and NM, so I know about the things you can do to cut costs. But even if you do manage to get the price down below a similar trip in Europe, you've got to take a good look at what you're getting for all your time, effort, and money.

 

For example, from my home town you can drive about 10 hrs to Monarch, stay in a cheap motel in Salida (driving up to the mountain every morning), and pay $60 per person per day to ski an area with 5 lifts and 1100' of vertical. On the other hand, where I live now, you can get a package for $445 per person that includes a 1.5-hr flight to Geneva, a 1-hr transfer to Flaine, and 7 nights in an apartment that is within walking distance of the lifts. From there, you pay $53 per person per day to ski an area with 77 lifts and ~4000' of vertical. Or if you feel like driving, you can get to Val d'Isere in about 10-12 hrs from here, pay $300 (split however many ways your willing to split it) for an apartment that's within walking distance of the lifts, and pay $56.50 per person per day to ski an area with 90 lifts and ~5500' of vertical.

 

And that's just a couple of the bigger resorts. There are of course smaller resorts with cheaper accommodation and lift passes, but I just wanted to show the big difference in value for money.

post #546 of 566

Using Alta/Snowbird in any comparison is a little off because for economy you'd have to stay down in the town which means large snowstorm, you're cut off. Most of the euro places are in walking/skiing distance of lifts no?

Maybe Solitude you could find something not so expensive? Don't know.

post #547 of 566
Here's an article touching on much of what we've discussed in this thread.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101253078
post #548 of 566

Case in point.  First played Pebble Beach about 45 years ago and greens fee was $30.  Today it is about $500.  One course, Whistling Straits, at the American Club in Wisconsin now costs $370.  Required caddy is $60 plus whatever you tip.  Beautiful course but too costly. Golf was an everyman's game with a few playing at more exclusive venues.  I am fortunate to live in a community with a wonderful muni that is inexpensive for a resident or senior like myself.

 

Skiing....same story.  Alta was $5 the first time I skied there.  But prices on everything continue to rise but I see many in the Midwest doing other things instead of skiing or riding.

 

Bill

post #549 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Here's an article touching on much of what we've discussed in this thread.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101253078

Many, if not most, of the points made in that article were covered in this thread. I wonder if the author came across epicski when researching.
post #550 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Here's an article touching on much of what we've discussed in this thread.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101253078

Many, if not most, of the points made in that article were covered in this thread. I wonder if the author came across epicski when researching.

I had the same thought.
post #551 of 566

What kind of special math are they doing:

 

"Last year, 54 percent of skier visits, defined as one skier/snowboarder riding for one day, came from households earning more than $100,000, according to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). That's up from 48 percent five years ago, a 12.5 percent increase.

In contrast, visits from households earning less than $100,000 during the same period slipped from 52 percent to 46 percent—an 11.5 percent decrease."

 

Not only does the percent change not make any sense but the increase/decrease are the same percentage (logically) and they came up with different answers  

 

 

post #552 of 566
Fuzzy math for sure, sounds like a shiester (sp?) study where they pull together unrelated data or data from different sources to make the point more shocking, and then they assume their audience doesn't know how to do math.
post #553 of 566
Well, wait. Let's just assume that we're just talking 100 people. So, in the first instance, you start out with 48 skiers and you increase it to 54 skiers, an increase of 6 skiers. 6/48, is the percent increase, i.e., 12.5%. Or, 54/48 is the % of the later number relative to the former number, 112.5%.

When you do the same with the second change, you find out that 11.5% is also right.

Word problems are always tough....
post #554 of 566
That makes perfect sense sinhusky but the article states the numbers as a percentage, over 100,000 income level visits were 48 percent 5 years ago increasing to 54 percent last year. So to me the numbers have already been broken down into percentages, what else am I missing?
post #555 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewok View Post

That makes perfect sense sinhusky but the article states the numbers as a percentage, over 100,000 income level visits were 48 percent 5 years ago increasing to 54 percent last year. So to me the numbers have already been broken down into percentages, what else am I missing?

 

Because the 12.5% quoted is the change (delta).

 

54 percent is the proportion of skiers that have a household income of over $100,000.

 

12.5 percent is the percentage of change in the number of skiers with household income over $100,000 over 5 years..

 

Put another way, If you made a graph plotting the percentage of household skiers with incomes over 100k and put a dot at 48% 5 years ago, and 54% now, if you drew a line between those two points, the slope of that line would be .125 (12.5%)

 

This is really a derivative problem. If you made a curve by plotting the percentage of >100K skiers every year, The first derivative is what we and the article did above- showed that the relationship is increasing. You can then take the second derivative, which would show you whether the rate of increase was increasing or decreasing, Ie, whether the trend of increasing wealthy people participation in the sport of skiing was speeding up or tapering off. You can then take the third derivation, which would tell you something that I can't quite visualize enough to put into words.

 

Math lesson off.

post #556 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewok View Post

That makes perfect sense sinhusky but the article states the numbers as a percentage, over 100,000 income level visits were 48 percent 5 years ago increasing to 54 percent last year. So to me the numbers have already been broken down into percentages, what else am I missing?

They are talking the percentage of increase, not the increase of the percentage. Different things.
post #557 of 566

Stats fluency for everyone! 

post #558 of 566
Okay I get that but the way it's written it's just odd to present it that way. It's a redundant statistic
post #559 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

Okay I get that but the way it's written it's just odd to present it that way. It's a redundant statistic

Definitely, the two sets of stats were mirrors of each other and in fact, set two could have been determined by the info in set one, but some people need things spelled out for them and can't do the math themselves.
post #560 of 566
Ok, I just dusted off my stats books and I understand now that it is a percentage of change from the original percentage, so I'm following the math (thanks tutors, I swear I'm better at math, public math is another story), now for the anylitics, what are that authors trying to show? Is the percentage of change used to try to show a big number in the change category instead of trying to say number of skiers over 100,000 income levels increased by a measly 6 percentage points?
post #561 of 566
They could have said there was a shift of 6% in the mix between under and over $100000 earners. I think they could have just used the first set of data and left it at that. Not sure it was a nefarious scheme.
post #562 of 566
I have read somewhere that 75% of all stats are made up (FYI, I just made that up).
post #563 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


Definitely, the two sets of stats were mirrors of each other and in fact, set two could have been determined by the info in set one, but some people need things spelled out for them and can't do the math themselves.

That "some people" was the writer of the article. 

 

That's why many here found it really odd. Because we're not stat-challenged as the author of the article!

post #564 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewok View Post

Ok, I just dusted off my stats books and I understand now that it is a percentage of change from the original percentage, so I'm following the math (thanks tutors, I swear I'm better at math, public math is another story), now for the anylitics, what are that authors trying to show? Is the percentage of change used to try to show a big number in the change category instead of trying to say number of skiers over 100,000 income levels increased by a measly 6 percentage points?

 

I suspect the journalistic reason was to be able to list a higher figure, but that doesn't mean that saying is was a 12% increase is not an accurate statement.

 

And having a 6% shift in demographics in 5 years is pretty significant. However, given that those years included a very nasty recession that disproportionally hit the non-wealthy, I wouldn't stake an entire argument on that figure alone, and if I was the author of the article I would look for data that A) used inflation adjusted dollar figures and B) tracked incomes for more than 5 years. I suspect ski industry trade associations have been tracking incomes for many, many years, I know household income is on almost every survey I have ever seen about skiing.

post #565 of 566
Well, if it makes them start worrying about their pricing and reaching a broader population, that's fine with me.
post #566 of 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post
 

I will say this: The time off/paid time off situation here is remarkable compared to the U.S. Starting vacations of 5-6 weeks vs 2 weeks; lots of holidays (particularly in Catholic Bavaria!); companies generally required to make space for you to take your time off AND give you extra time off for accumulated over hours (or pay, or both, depending on job). 

 

But I think it's a constellation of things. The biggest is probably resort strategy. Very few of the spots I'm skiing (and they can have massive vertical and terrain) seem built around affluence and real estate. That differs quite a bit from my experience in the U.S.... except for the mountain I learned at in Western Mass, which no longer exists.

 

But there are other factors. Infrastructure here seems less built up. I think patrol/control is thinner. On-mountain buildings are mostly simple, and most mountain areas are heavily trafficked in all seasons (hiking, staying in huts). And there's a very broad base (everyone seems to know how to skis pretty well), including lots of people who don't put in full days but likely buy full day tickets (since you can't usually buy a first-half of the day ticket, only late-start tickets). 

 

Day trips to resorts up to 1.5 or 2+ hours away are reasonable too because of bus or train + lift ticket deals that end up costing ~10 more than lift ticket alone.

 

I think there is more government involvement in the European ski areas and this helps democratize it and keep the costs for skiers down.  You also have government more involved in promoting the sport at every level, which also helps make it more than a rich kid sport.  Kind of a virtuous circle that promotes participation in the sport at the entry level and then keeps it accessible at the recreational level.

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