Back in the early 1980's the nearby ski area used to reach capacity and turn away costumers. Cars would be parked for several miles down the road. They would cut off lift ticket sales after reaching a certain number of sales. This was done to retain customer satisfaction by insuring the congestion and lift lines did not become too long. I haven't heard of anyone doing this lately. The big issue with skiers back then was overcrowding on the slopes. How the ski area owners must long for those days!
I remember those days as well. Though the capacity of the resorts was significantly lower back then, the number of resorts was significantly higher. It seems tougher for the smaller, mom and pops to keep ample coverage without HUGE investments in modern infrastructure that weren't required in the 70s. Parts West and Northwest seem to get enough help from mother nature to keep viable, but even Colorado and Arizona resorts are now reliant on manmade snow to open before Christmas, much less Thanksgiving these days. Mega corps are leveraging economies of scale and massive combined capital to limit the supply of low cost ski terrain in order to increase their ability to demand higher prices in exchange for the product (skiing). This combination of things is what i believe is driving the cost of skiing up and the level of competition down.