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Ski Resort Economics: What really works? - Page 2

post #31 of 124

It ain’t no rocket science.  Selling a home on land that you already own for $5 million (at a cost of $2,000,000) gives the same amount of profit as 30,000 skier days at $100 per day.  Each home sold brings in one more wealthy family that will come back every year and purchase at least four season’s passes for the family, and spend money in the resort village.  That doesn’t suck.

Most of these resorts thought real estate always goes up in the long haul, even if the RE markets are cyclical, because that was the only experience they had.  The problem was that the bubble created from over 40 years of excess borrowing popped, and we are now in uncharted waters.  For example, if mortgage rates go from 3% to 4.5 (still historically low), does that mean the average person with a mortgage can buy approximately 50% less home?  Our economy did not deflate because the Fed is doing exactly what got us in trouble to begin with.  What happens when the printing stops?  So far everything is OK for the wealthy but not the people out of jobs.  What we do know is that some trends don’t change.   For example, Lake Tahoe real estate will always lag wealth creation in the Bay area by a few years. 

So what works for resorts?  The answer is simple: Meeting or exceeding expectations of a defined market.  For some resorts it means catering to the wealthy and giving them the best food, service and lodging for the defined market’s ski season, which for some is X-mass to New Years.  Giving them what they want, making them feel good about themselves and letting them pay for it works for Deer Valley and others just fine.  For other hills the idea is to serve everyone.  Others are local hills that serve…locals.  Perhaps the defined market wants to purchase second and third homes, and perhaps not.

The problem is what happens when customer expectations change?  How can a smaller hill serving locals survive when they need to charge $800 for a pass to break even and they are competing with an EPIC Local pass sold for a few hundred dollars less?  How can smaller hills survive when they haven’t reserved for lift replacement, and the competition is loaded with high speed quads and 6-packs?  How can a hill in one state continue to survive based solely upon skier days while another resort just as close to the local airport also earns revenue from lodging, food, conventions, real estate sales and summer activities (e,g, Cottonwood Canyons resorts vs. Park City resorts)?  The answer to survival is defining a market and serving (not servicing) it while being flexible and creative enough to change when necessary. When the customer expectations change due to the competition these hills have to also change.  This means forming alliances with other hills, changing profit models, etc.  This is why I believe the seven Utah resorts will eventually have an “interconnect.”  It will keep a couple resorts in the black, greatly increase business for the others, and increase business for the entire state. 

Right now Vail Resorts is the only operator that is growing at a rate rapidly enough for everyone to take notice.  For the most part the company meets or exceeds customer expectations.  When they buy a resort, all the local competition is forced to change by either lowering pass pricing or by forming creative alliances with other hills because Vail changes the expectations of their competitor's customers.  Vail Resorts has growth that begets growth.  Growth means they can find and retain the best management, being able to afford them.  Growth continues from cross selling from other owned properties and businesses, which the other hills cannot do.  Growth means the ability to serve every market segment while the competition cannot do this.  Growth means access to capital markets or self-funding CAPEX, while other hills struggle or go out of business because they can’t even afford to replace aging chairlifts.  Growth means being able to advertise while other resorts are struggling to break even.  In some ways Vail reminds me of the big box stores that came into the county where I grew up.    The people in our one-red-light town received lower prices and a much better selection of goods, while the smaller businesses on Main Street were forced to shut their doors.  Even in the ski industry someone is always moving the cheese.  But smaller businesses don’t have to shut their doors if they adapt.  Everyone here knows of at least one ski shop that is doing quite well (deservingly so) despite the rise in big box sellers and the  overall decline in the industry. Start Haus and other shops that "get it"  defined their market and exceed customer expectations.  This ain't no rocket science.


Edited by quant2325 - 9/4/13 at 10:35pm
post #32 of 124
Thread Starter 

Thumbs Up  Very good post.  Thank you

post #33 of 124

VR also has the smarts to tap into travel agents better, eg with a 60% of lodging deal and other perks.

 

"Want to experience world-class resorts of Colorado, Utah and California? The Epic Pass offers unlimited, unrestricted skiing or riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Canyons, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora. Plus, ski Austria, Switzerland and France on the same pass! Be sure to book with .... for an exclusive Epic Pass bonus plus up to 60% off accommodation!"

post #34 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

 

 

My understanding is that Mad River and Bogus Basin have had some close calls financially in bad snow years.  High speed lifts in these places get built gradually from the profits of good years more than by going into debt.

 

 

High speed lifts at Mad River don't get built, period. Ever. By choice and by design.

post #35 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

High speed lifts at Mad River don't get built, period. Ever. By choice and by design.
Infact the new single chair couldn't run slow enough so they removed chairs to keep the uphill capacity the same as the old chair.
post #36 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

High speed lifts at Mad River don't get built, period. Ever. By choice and by design.
Infact the new single chair couldn't run slow enough so they removed chairs to keep the uphill capacity the same as the old chair.
post #37 of 124

There are a lot of ski areas that are not land developments and are able to stay in business. I know that the big money has been in condo sales over the years but real estate investments can also drag you down. Ski areas in warmer regions must be conservative in many way if you consider that it cost more to make and retain snow in warmer climates.  Although customers may think they should have a lower priced area ticket because of less terrain or conditions it still cost just as much or more to maintain the snow.

post #38 of 124
Quote:
High speed lifts at Mad River don't get built, period. Ever. By choice and by design. 

I know that.   But when the old single reached the end of its lifespan they still had to buy a new chair.  My understanding is that the new single cost more than a double would have.

post #39 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

I know that.   But when the old single reached the end of its lifespan they still had to buy a new chair.  My understanding is that the new single cost more than a double would have.

Am I to understand that, in the modern era, Mad River Glen replaced a single chair with...another single chair? That's awesome. I love that place and I've never even been there yet.

post #40 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post


Infact the new single chair couldn't run slow enough so they removed chairs to keep the uphill capacity the same as the old chair.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessGaper59 View Post
 

Am I to understand that, in the modern era, Mad River Glen replaced a single chair with...another single chair? That's awesome. I love that place and I've never even been there yet.

Clueless, see my post above. I will say that Mad River has one of the best ski area vibes on earth.

 

From the Movie Quotes to Ski Quotes thread...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Terence Mann: Ray, people will ski Ray. They'll come to Mad River for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up in the parking lot not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at the single chair as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you ski, you'll say. It's only $35 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and trees they lack. And they'll ski Paradise; hit the woods all afternoon. They'll find some glades and fresh track,. And they'll ski bumps and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic powder. The snow will be so deep they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will ski Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been Mad River Glen. America has rolled by like an army of groomers. It has been groomed to cordouroy, tracked up and groomed again. But Mad River Glen has marked the time. This mountain, this single chair: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will ski Ray. People will most definitely ski.
 
post #41 of 124

*

 

This chair was literally 'home made'. (Then they invented lawyers and bureaucrats)

post #42 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessGaper59 View Post
 

Am I to understand that, in the modern era, Mad River Glen replaced a single chair with...another single chair? That's awesome. I love that place and I've never even been there yet.

It wasn't a full replacement. The towers are the same, the chairs are the same. The cable is a regular wear and tear item, a lift goes through those every decade and a half or so. The thing they switched was the drive system. It used to be a diesel engine, now its an electric motor.

 

 

 

post #43 of 124
And it cost more than to replace the whole thing? That doesn't compute.
post #44 of 124
Quote:

Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

 

Right now Vail Resorts is the only operator that is growing at a rate rapidly enough for everyone to take notice.  For the most part the company meets or exceeds customer expectations.  When they buy a resort, all the local competition is forced to change by either lowering pass pricing or by forming creative alliances with other hills because Vail changes the expectations of their competitor's customers.  Vail Resorts has growth that begets growth.  Growth means they can find and retain the best management, being able to afford them.  Growth continues from cross selling from other owned properties and businesses, which the other hills cannot do.  Growth means the ability to serve every market segment while the competition cannot do this.  Growth means access to capital markets or self-funding CAPEX, while other hills struggle or go out of business because they can’t even afford to replace aging chairlifts.  Growth means being able to advertise while other resorts are struggling to break even.





"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." - Edward Abbey



We have an entire economic system based on growth. How long can we do that? "Sustainability" is a joke.

post #45 of 124

And then there's Whitewater, British Columbia. It survives on lift tickets, not real estate. It has no high speed anything, not even food. There are no "real" airports nearby. No major population centers.

 

They have committed something of a sin by installing an old fixed grip triple they bought from Vail. And they don't have a single chair like MRG.

 

Unfortunately, WH2O seems determined to grow. When it happens, it will not improve any of the many fine hidden tree lines.

 

I've skied MRG. It's a great place. My uncle used to work in the lift ticket booth there, many years ago.

 

Frankly, though, WH2O has better food and better snow.

post #46 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 

And then there's Whitewater, British Columbia. It survives on lift tickets, not real estate. It has no high speed anything, not even food. There are no "real" airports nearby. No major population centers.

 

They have committed something of a sin by installing an old fixed grip triple they bought from Vail. And they don't have a single chair like MRG.

 

Unfortunately, WH2O seems determined to grow. When it happens, it will not improve any of the many fine hidden tree lines.

 

I've skied MRG. It's a great place. My uncle used to work in the lift ticket booth there, many years ago.

 

Frankly, though, WH2O has better food and better snow.

 

While sharing a chairlift ride at Whitewater I have asked a few locals if they are unhappy with the "new" used chair taking away the former side country. The answer almost invariably is that the new chair almost doubles the size of the ski hill, with the same number of people skiing as beforeThumbs Up And of course there would now be some newer side country available to hikersThumbs Up

post #47 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

 

While sharing a chairlift ride at Whitewater I have asked a few locals if they are unhappy with the "new" used chair taking away the former side country. The answer almost invariably is that the new chair almost doubles the size of the ski hill, with the same number of people skiing as beforeThumbs Up And of course there would now be some newer side country available to hikersThumbs Up

There is some truth to that. However, the new lift violates the MRG no growth philosophy.

 

We also hope there are a few more skiers, so that Whitewater can continue to pay the bills it has always had, along with paying for the not-so-new triple.

 

The triple does have some nice, big groomers (almost feels like Winter Park in places), so it moves skiers off the Summit lift, shortening the lift lines. Many lines off the Summit are in the shade most of the time, so it still has the best snow, if you know where to look.

 

The hike-to sidecountry has always been accessible to those who were skiing the back side anyway.

post #48 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 
Quote:
 
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

 

Right now Vail Resorts is the only operator that is growing at a rate rapidly enough for everyone to take notice.  For the most part the company meets or exceeds customer expectations.  When they buy a resort, all the local competition is forced to change by either lowering pass pricing or by forming creative alliances with other hills because Vail changes the expectations of their competitor's customers.  Vail Resorts has growth that begets growth.  Growth means they can find and retain the best management, being able to afford them.  Growth continues from cross selling from other owned properties and businesses, which the other hills cannot do.  Growth means the ability to serve every market segment while the competition cannot do this.  Growth means access to capital markets or self-funding CAPEX, while other hills struggle or go out of business because they can’t even afford to replace aging chairlifts.  Growth means being able to advertise while other resorts are struggling to break even.

 

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." - Edward Abbey

 

We have an entire economic system based on growth. How long can we do that? "Sustainability" is a joke.

No, we have an entire economic system based upon capitalism.  If there are more mouths to feed every year, and more people working every year, then there will be growth because there are more people buying goods and services.  The best people in any industry usually want to be paid for their knowledge and abilities.  Not every company can afford to pay them, but the most profitable ones can.  Sustainability is not necessarily correlated to growth.  A large ski area, for example, can install solar panels and windmills and become more "sustainable" than a smaller area running lifts on purchased electricity that is generated from polluting coal-fired power plants.  A large ski town might ban residential wood burning to keep the pollution down, while a smaller town may have no issue with lighting up every fireplace and polluting the air.   A large ski area might be able to keep customers in a contained village while these same customers might have to drive 40 miles round-trip to ski a smaller hill.  Which ski area is worse for the carbon footprint, the one that doesn't grow or a larger one that grows responsibly?  The whole knee-jerk idea that growth is bad doesn't match the facts.  If growth is done right, sustainability is no joke.


Edited by quant2325 - 9/5/13 at 4:00pm
post #49 of 124
Thread Starter 

Just today in the FWIW dept:

 

SAM Magazine—Bear Valley, Calif., Sept. 5, 2013—Bear Valley Resorts, which has been seeking a buyer to put Bear Valley’s recently approved development plan into effect, has said that a deal to sell the resort has collapsed. Managing partner Greg Finch told Stockton, Calif.-based The Record that the complexity of the deal, particularly involving real estate in the town, and the fast-approaching winter season allowed too little time for a buyer to prepare for the season.

As a result, current management is preparing to operate the resort for this season. "We are preparing for the Bear Valley Resort Job Fair next month and plan to hire over 200 additional staff members for the 2013-14 season," said GM Jim Gentling.

A year ago, the area’s future was less clear. Many employees were laid off after the low-snow 2011-12 season, and the resort did not commit to opening for the 2012-13 season until October 2012.

However, in December 2012, the resort’s development plan was approved. That includes a lift to connect the village to the ski area, new mountaintop dining, trail improvements, 300 condominiums, and a new lodge. The owners have been seeking a buyer ever since, and that effort will continue.

post #50 of 124

From SAM Jan 2013. There's a lot of environomics and policy and foreward budgeting beancounting mixed with stats on whether the mom and pop family on $75k a year are the bread and butter mainstay contributors. But exxy condos are the developers wet dream.

 

 

"The winter resort industry will also continue to be challenged by the national geographic shift in the population base to the south and the west, resulting in the resorts of the northeast and Midwest having to draw visitors from farther away.

Where will the snowsports enthusiasts of tomorrow come from?

 

 

OPPORTUNITY: DIVERSIFICATION OF THE SKIER DEMOGRAPHIC

The next generation. Understanding Gen X’s and the Millennials’ product demands remains critical. Their differing perceptions of loyalty and brand commitment pose a challenge for resorts. On the other hand, continuing to promote the family experience may be a way to gain traction with this group: “Gen X and Millennials are pushing back marriage and parenthood to their mid to late 30s, resulting in more affluent parents of young children. This is exciting from a resort development standpoint, because developers can now focus on higher-end, creative children’s programming and facilities,” says one industry insider.

Ethnic diversification. “The ski business has failed to recognize the changing ethnic make-up of our country,” claimed another survey participant. The need to penetrate ethnic segments that have lower incidents of snow/ski participation has been a topic of conversation within the industry for several years. How can you make it easier for minorities to visit your resort? Strategies should include education, community outreach, as well as modification of hiring practices.

International visitation. “The interest in and opportunities for our customers to go abroad and foreign nationals to come here to participate in winter recreation constitute both threat and opportunity.” While the ease of international travel threatens to dilute our sliding population as North American skiers head overseas, the world of internet marketing allows for North American resorts to attract international guests to come and play in our mountains. Can U.S. resorts compete and attract the discerning European skier? To do so will require complete and sophisticated offerings in terms of shopping, culture, dining, etc., to create a cultural and recreational vacation.

Families. From a recreation/leisure standpoint the family unit is stronger than it ever has been: the family is playing together, and there is no activity better than skiing or snowboarding to foster family interaction. This is a positive trend for the industry, especially as facilities offer more year-round activities for the family to engage in. At a recent session at IAAPA (the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions), panelists were noting the similarities between the ski industry and the waterpark industry. Both appeal to the multi-generational complexities of the family, and both continue to attract and maintain visitation in times of recession. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from our waterpark friends?

Women. A volume of marketing research has identified the key role that women play as family decision-makers. While moms are not making all the decisions, more often than not they are doing the research and presenting the “finalists” for evaluation. Think about this as you craft your marketing messages!

As the snow starts to fly, what are you doing to attract the snowsports enthusiasts of tomorrow?

 

OPPORTUNITY: ADAPTABILITY AND RESILIENCE

Adaptability speaks to long-term structural shifts to address unpredictability and variability, while resilience addresses the on-going ability and capacity to respond and recover from weather events. When looking to the future, survey participants spoke to many strategies and tactics that fall under both of these concepts.
 

  • Diversify into a broader four-season product. Appeal to a wider range of customers in a wider range of seasons and weather, and in the process become more resilient and able to respond to future changes in the climate.
     
  • Organize operations and marketing to respond to shorter weather windows. Use cutting-edge equipment and technology to increase the immediacy of response.
     
  • Where possible, design to allow skiers and snowboarders to get to higher elevations. For example, a tram, gondola or chair with sufficient download capacity provides access to/from terrain that is available at the upper elevations.
     
  • Focus on northern exposure for expansions. Consider this when deciding on expansions plans; south-facing expansions may not be viable in the future. Consider your network of north-facing trails and think about a scenario where they might be the only trails open. Would this work? Are there tweaks to your operation that would make it work?
     
  • Expand snowmaking capability. Snowmaking is a make-or-break necessity at most resorts now. Snowmaking coverage should be enough to establish a functional trail network. What kind of visitation can you expect if only trails with snowmaking are open?
     
  • Modernize your snowmaking system. This can range from replacing nozzles to new automated systems. New technologies are more efficient and are able to make more snow at marginal temperatures.
     
  • Expand snowmaking storage. Have enough storage to be able to make snow during short weather windows, and reduce your reliance on the variability of natural, instantaneous stream flows. Consider opportunities for the recapture of melting snow, and greater water reuse.
     
  • Shorten the season. Is opening early a good strategy? Using the water and energy required to get open early may not make any sense in every market. Consider the amount of water and energy consumed (and in some cases depleted) to make early season snow, and the risk that erratic weather patterns may thwart these efforts completely. Analyze when it is best to use your resources to net the greatest return.

In addition, think about the degree to which you are “walking the talk” with regard to green initiatives. The weather-dependent nature of our business makes our industry a visible participant in the climate change discussion. NSAA has responded with initiatives like Sustainable Slopes and the more recent Climate Challenge, with the aim of both encouraging resorts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but also to raise awareness and encourage our customers to take action as well. Are you participating?

The science is complicated and variable, and while most agree that some change is happening, the end result remains unclear. And while industry members may not be on the same page regarding climate change, most agree that weather has been one of our biggest challenges. Being adaptable and resilient applies to both, allowing owners and operators an increased effectiveness at reacting to the variability of weather, while at the same time preparing for any eventual permanent changes to our climate.

How are you adapting and increasing your resilience to changes in the weather? Do you want to be proactive or reactive?"

 

 

If the snowgods don't screw things up, blinkered management will.

post #51 of 124

Just saw the article on facebook  http://desertsnowjunkies.com/ski-resort-economics-what-really-works/

 

On the issue of Mad River Glenn there's an interesting reference to the co-op model:

 

 

Jamie Schectman on September 5, 2013 at 6:59 AM said:

Great article and conversation starter. To begin with, I think you are correct in differentiating between a ski area and a ski resort.

I do believe that many smaller, community type ski areas could thrive under a new ownership model. Instead of one person or corporation expecting a 10% or more return on their investment, I believe community ownership, in the form of a Co-op or Membership, could prove viable. People would not invest smaller amounts of money in their ski area for a profit, but rather to preserve or improve their Mountain Playground. If there are profits, they are reinvesting in needed infrastructure improvements and put aside for a poor season.

When I meet with Mad River Glen last season, they told me that first they take money from Co-op members, then they volunteer for life. We have seen the pooling of community resources in many other industries, such as food co-ops as well as the emergence of crowdfunding. There is no reason why this model couldn’t work for many ski areas in North America.

post #52 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritzski View Post
 

Just today in the FWIW dept:

 

SAM Magazine—Bear Valley, Calif., Sept. 5, 2013—Bear Valley Resorts, which has been seeking a buyer to put Bear Valley’s recently approved development plan into effect, has said that a deal to sell the resort has collapsed. Managing partner Greg Finch told Stockton, Calif.-based The Record that the complexity of the deal, particularly involving real estate in the town, and the fast-approaching winter season allowed too little time for a buyer to prepare for the season.

As a result, current management is preparing to operate the resort for this season. "We are preparing for the Bear Valley Resort Job Fair next month and plan to hire over 200 additional staff members for the 2013-14 season," said GM Jim Gentling.

A year ago, the area’s future was less clear. Many employees were laid off after the low-snow 2011-12 season, and the resort did not commit to opening for the 2012-13 season until October 2012.

However, in December 2012, the resort’s development plan was approved. That includes a lift to connect the village to the ski area, new mountaintop dining, trail improvements, 300 condominiums, and a new lodge. The owners have been seeking a buyer ever since, and that effort will continue.

Bear Valley is a great "family" resort with issues.  It serves locals (not a lot of money in those hills) and people who travel there from the Bay area, many with vacation homes down the road in Arnold.   It provides employment, racing and other programs for the kids, and wonderful summer activities.  I skied there last year as part of a scouting trip.  The hill was busy, but the bottom part of the mountain (the lodge and parking is actually in the middle), which they an consider expert area, was empty.  My son and I saw one other skier on that portion of the mountain, which had plenty of leftover powder from a few days prior to our arrival.  There was no one that we saw on that lift.    It obviously isn't doing well with only ticket sales because the current owners want out.   It seemingly took forever to get the development plans approved.  Bear now has to put up with the EPIC passes  that includes Kirkwood, which is also an easy drive from the East Bay (assuming the road is open).  This is a hill that probably has to sell RE to survive, bringing Bay area people there year round.  But who is going to buy the RE?  I can't figure out the market for it.

post #53 of 124

Would you drive 3 to 10 hours, non-stop, avoid rocks, to ski this and fill close to 100% of the available bunk bed lodging? Well people do, and it helps fill resort coffers a bit and keep people employed.

post #54 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

No, we have an entire economic system based upon capitalism.  If there are more mouths to feed every year, and more people working every year, then there will be growth because there are more people buying goods and services.  The best people in any industry usually want to be paid for their knowledge and abilities.  Not every company can afford to pay them, but the most profitable ones can.  Sustainability is not necessarily correlated to growth.  A large ski area, for example, can install solar panels and windmills and become more "sustainable" than a smaller area running lifts on purchased electricity that is generated from polluting coal-fired power plants.  A large ski town might ban residential wood burning to keep the pollution down, while a smaller town may have no issue with lighting up every fireplace and polluting the air.   A large ski area might be able to keep customers in a contained village while these same customers might have to drive 40 miles round-trip to ski a smaller hill.  Which ski area is worse for the carbon footprint, the one that doesn't grow or a larger one that grows responsibly?  The whole knee-jerk idea that growth is bad doesn't match the facts.  If growth is done right, sustainability is no joke.

 

Sorry for the thread hijack. This discussion should really be taken to another forum.

 

Capitalism, as it is practiced today, depends on growth. Growth cannot continue indefinitely. What you say is mostly true - and illustrates the necessity for growth under current practices and expectations. I am just as guilty as anyone. I expect to make more money next year than I did this year. I want more vacation time and more vertical drop.

 

The fact that the ski industry, as a whole, is experiencing a period of little to no growth has caused a great deal of financial stress and general hand wringing. Growth is a requirement for economic health, at least according to the way we have done things for a very long time.

 

By mitigating some of the consequences of growth, we may be able to do it longer. We're driving cars that use less fuel, we're reducing our carbon footprint, etc. Still, all it does is delay the inevitable. We're using fuel that is a finite resource, and we're taking up more and more of finite spaces. Technology has helped us, but, in many ways, it has exacerbated the problem by making it possible for us to support more people, grow more food, and haul more people up the hill.

 

Whatever. It is not sustainable. At some point, things will change, and radically. Maybe not for 50 years or 100 years or 500 years, but they will change. The latest population models already predict that population growth will level off before the end of this century, which is a good thing considering everybody already alive would like to have our standard of living. That desire, along with technological advancement, may continue to fuel economic growth for a long time after population growth ceases, but at some point, the human race will have to embrace a different model if it wants to survive.

 

Current economic models need growth. Indefinite, never ending growth cannot be sustained forever.

 

Mad River Glen has a non-zero carbon footprint, but it has at least reduced its dependance on growth. (He says, in a largely futile attempt to relate this rant to the subject of this thread.)

 

(Edited to fix typo.)

post #55 of 124
For one thing, we'll be using jet packs to get to the top of any hill we want.
post #56 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

For one thing, we'll be using jet packs to get to the top of any hill we want.

If necessity is the mother of invention, it would explain why we have rope tows, T-bars, chairlifts & gondolas.  Necessity will lead us to lowering our carbon footprint and perhaps the future use of jet packs (self inflating, of course, for the occasional avalanche).  Some ski areas will find it necessary to change/adapt or die.  Why should ski areas be any different than the rest of the world?  Sign me up for the jet pack. 

post #57 of 124

So where exactly is the threshold for "world class" versus say, national class or state class?

 

See #10:

http://www.snowaddiction.org/2013/09/the-top-25-ski-resorts-in-world.html

post #58 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

So where exactly is the threshold for "world class" versus say, national class or state class?

See #10:
http://www.snowaddiction.org/2013/09/the-top-25-ski-resorts-in-world.html

That post came across my Facebook Newsfeed as well, but seems to be almost solely based on the Nat Geo article about ski towns. Whitefish is a great town, but top 25 ski resorts in the WORLD? Hardly.
post #59 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


That post came across my Facebook Newsfeed as well, but seems to be almost solely based on the Nat Geo article about ski towns. Whitefish is a great town, but top 25 ski resorts in the WORLD? Hardly.

 

Sour grapes!

post #60 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

That post came across my Facebook Newsfeed as well, but seems to be almost solely based on the Nat Geo article about ski towns. Whitefish is a great town, but top 25 ski resorts in the WORLD? Hardly.

Sour grapes!

Um, no, I live and ski in Whitefish. I'm the Ambassador for Whitefish. But I'm not going to overstate our allure as the end result, disappointed visitors, is something I don't want.
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