Hmm. Interesting topic. I've totally noticed this, too. Seeing a black or hispanic person at the hill is definitely the exception, not counting the wealthy Mexican nationals who seem to love the sport and the scene from what I've witnessed. Growing up in a community where I was the minority, I still find the lack of diversity here in Montana kind of odd and even a bit unsettling. Perhaps I'm just not used to being in a community where I'm in the majority...like 99% white. I don't know if I'll ever get used to that.
Now, I don't believe in diversity just for the simple sake of diversity, but I believe it would financially behoove the resorts to start tapping into and aggressively start pursuing these markets. Personally, I'd love to see more "people of color" on the hill, as that just means that more people are out there enjoying the same sport we all do, which has the side benefit of bringing more money to the industry, which keeps those lifts spinning.
Having been previously married to a latina, having dated tons of hispanic, Mexican, and black ladies, and the vast majority of my friends in my hometown being hispanic, I can tell you from personal experience and conversations with them that the primary reason the majority of them aren't interested in skiing is that they simply despise the cold. Whereas I run hot (all that German and Irish blood in me) and love cold weather and hate the heat, most of my friends and ex-ladies love the warmth of the Southern climates, and are no kidding afraid of snow and the cold. I broke up with a beautiful Mexican lady after she told me she was deathly afraid of the mountains, snow, heights, and the thought of windy mountain roads. She may have been hot, but that was a definite deal breaker. She didn't even want to visit the mountains with me, but was all about beach trips, as was the same with most others I knew. When I put together ski trips with friends, all my "white" friends were super excited to go to the mountains, see some snow, and learn to ski. Never could get a single hispanic friend to join us. They'd all have the same response..."Sounds too cold."
My experiences are generalizing too much, though. Even if only a tiny minority of non-white people are interested in skiing, that still adds up to a lot of extra people to get into the sport. I hope to see an increase in interest and participation of the sport, no matter what demographic they may be of. FWIW, managing a couple properties here in Big Sky, I do see our summer guests being comprised of a lot of Indian and Chinese folks as of late, but my winter guests have been pretty much all "white." Our industry definitely has some work to do to appeal to ALL people. I don't know if it's advertising in different markets, perhaps doing some better ambassadorial work, or simply a PR thing. I can see the new advertising campaign: "Skiing: It's not just for rich, white folks!" Maybe the ski movies of the '80s have done a lot of damage, usually portraying the entire sport as something for the rich elite, despite the truth that so many of us are far from that.