Originally Posted by SVmike
I'm concerned with people having a good time. That is what we are all about. I am tired of people claiming they know better than this or that. Does our sport have a retention problem? You bet. Is that a result of a shop selling them the wrong product? Not in my opinion. Its the $100 a day lift tickets, Its the attitude that beginning skiers get from the "core" at their mountain instead of an inclusive vibe of "we ski because its fun" Its the old farts chiming in that park skis don't belong on the rest of the mountain and the park rats with their pant dragging and jack-assery. We as a group continually try to tear each other apart. Why? This goes back to ski what you like, because its fun.
I in no way claimed you knew nothing about twin tips but to claim that twins can not carve is in fact wrong.
Well, I do work on the equipment side. I work with a lot of Ski Area's and Shops. I can tell you that the industry has done a major study on retention. Getting the person into the right skis is a bigger part than the lift ticket prices. I never said that Twin Tips can't carve. I just said that the Skis he was in were not the right selection for what he wanted to ski in, on, or with his goals to progress. Given the right skill level you should be able to make anything with an edge carve. Heck I used to make strait boards carve very well, which is fought than a parabolic twin tip to carve. The deal is getting the proper equipment on the person to create the best experience for them going forward. The positive experience, will help retention more than just about anything else.
Biggest Retention factors from an industry study sponsored by 5 different manufacturers, and 3 distributors that operate in 12 countries.
1. If they buy a season pass (that is the single highest factor for a new skier), If they buy a pass year 1, they will be back year 2
2. If they buy Equipment
3. If their significant other participates
4. Did they take lessons from a Professional Ski Instructor
5. How close they live to an Ski Area or Resort
6. Did they take more than 1 lesson from a Professional Ski Instructor
Retention on skis (boots had it's own section, which I won't get into my notes on that, but it was very significant as well):
If they buy the skis that are geared for what they want to do, and will help them improve 84% Ski the next year.
If they bought skis that weren't geared for what they want to do, i.e. Park Skis when they are a front side on Piste Skier and not looking to move into the Park, the retention rate was a dismal 8.4% skied the next year. Of that only 4.2% skied the year after that.
I only have notes from what was presented at the 2012 SIA show. The Survey had questions that asked what their goals were, did they meet them. Were they happy with their equipment, where do they primarily ski, what type of runs, do they prefer freshly groomed, etc.... So it was well Qualified.
This study got a bunch of the manufacturers to realize that they needed extremely versatile skis that could help people develop. It maybe was the best seminar I went to in my 6 years of SIA. The manufacturers all had these results in 2011, and my notes say the study took place from June of 07'-June of 10'.
So I don't agree with your take that it's $100 lift tickets, when season passes can be had for roughly the same amount of money that they could back in the late 80's.
Summit County Pass in 1988 was $450 This season you could have bought an Summit Value Pass (very similar deal to the one in 1988) for $409.
Yes single day, single lift prices have skyrocketed, but in reality they have gone up nearly as much as gasoline has. $250-$400 is the range in pass prices for most areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Now as for Sun Valley, the prices are outrages where you are. Same with Big Sky (but deals can be had for in the $500 range early season), and Jackson Hole. Vermont, NY, Colorado, most of Wyoming, California, they all have pretty reasonable prices. It might just be that you are in an area were a lot of money flooded in, I think real-esate prices have gone up 10 fold in your area, and 15 fold in Jackson Hole, and price passes are only up 5 fold. I think it has more to do with the cost of living and operating in those areas. As a whole Skiing has been behind the curve compared to inflation, along with many other sports, as they are competing with other entertainment dollars.
Oh well, I really car about the future of our sport and industry, and I want people to be in the best equipment possible to make their experience the best we can. The local Bike Shop here is only in it to make some $$$. They aren't passionate, nor do they care about the future as long as they can make a dollar today.
Maybe I will get to attend another great seminar like this at SIA at the end of this month.
Edited by msprace - 1/14/14 at 8:04am