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150 Ski Resorts That Won't Make It - Page 6

post #151 of 172
I blame TV singing contests. Not everybody's got talent.
post #152 of 172
Quote:

No we won't.  Hopefully some CO2 feedback mechanism will present itself in the natural world and the Mt. Waterman's, Shasta Ski Bowls, and Ohio ski hills will have many more days of powder turns and smiles at a price that brings out the minimum wager to play.

 

Rain on snow in Mammoth and Tahoe last night , Rain at Mt Baker and another spell of ridging for the Wasatch have me down (and wishing to be) in the dumps.  Sorry for the doom and gloom as I do enjoy reading the many thoughtful post about the state of resort demographics and their futures.

 

Nathanvg already referred to my post:

Snowfall has not declined: full_thread

As bad as the current season is, it's still better than 1976-77 or 1980-81, and to remain as 3rd worst assumes 2014-15 stays at the 74% of normal that is was at the end of January for the rest of the season.  And as noted, 2010-11 was the #1 snowfall season on record of the past 40+ years, with 2007-08 also being in the top 4. And no it's not volatility, since the standard deviation of snowfall since 1993 is lower than during the 20+ years before that.

 

Anachronism and I have had the demographic discussion about skiing before.

1) Skier visits were fairly flat in the 1980's and 1990's and rose slightly in the 2000's

2) I demonstrated from US Kottke reports that skier visits from those born 1949-1958 declined by 39% between 2003-04 and 2013-14

3) The above skier visits were more than replaced by millennials since aggregate skier visits slightly increased over that decade

4) The millennials are already in the ski population now, and the ensuing generation is somewhat smaller, so the near term future trend in visits is likely to be fairly flat rather than the gradual growth of the past decade.

 

In the past ~30 years total US population has grown ~40% while skier visits are up maybe 5-10%, leading to 2 conclusions IMHO. 

1) Skiers visits are likely to be flat not declining.  Some resorts will fail, but 150 strikes me as a gross overstatement.

2) I fully agree with anachronism that the large disparity between overall population growth and skier visit growth is a sign that the industry is doing a piss-poor job of attracting new skiers.

post #153 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

Nathanvg already referred to my post:

Snowfall has not declined: full_thread

As bad as the current season is, it's still better than 1976-77 or 1980-81, and to remain as 3rd worst assumes 2014-15 stays at the 74% of normal that is was at the end of January for the rest of the season.  And as noted, 2010-11 was the #1 snowfall season on record of the past 40+ years, with 2007-08 also being in the top 4. And no it's not volatility, since the standard deviation of snowfall since 1993 is lower than during the 20+ years before that.

 

Anachronism and I have had the demographic discussion about skiing before.

1) Skier visits were fairly flat in the 1980's and 1990's and rose slightly in the 2000's

2) I demonstrated from US Kottke reports that skier visits from those born 1949-1958 declined by 39% between 2003-04 and 2013-14

3) The above skier visits were more than replaced by millennials since aggregate skier visits slightly increased over that decade

4) The millennials are already in the ski population now, and the ensuing generation is somewhat smaller, so the near term future trend in visits is likely to be fairly flat rather than the gradual growth of the past decade.

 

In the past ~30 years total US population has grown ~40% while skier visits are up maybe 5-10%, leading to 2 conclusions IMHO. 

1) Skiers visits are likely to be flat not declining.  Some resorts will fail, but 150 strikes me as a gross overstatement.

2) I fully agree with anachronism that the large disparity between overall population growth and skier visit growth is a sign that the industry is doing a piss-poor job of attracting new skiers.

 

We have had the demographic discussion before, in which I became convinced that you were correct- there existed solid data that the baby boomer generation had largely exited the sport. 

 

That doesn't change that the average age of a skier gets .3 years older every year and is already middle-aged, and the population of skiers (not skier visits) is either flat or declining. That's not sustainable long term for what should be obvious reasons. 

post #154 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 
 

2) I fully agree with anachronism that the large disparity between overall population growth and skier visit growth is a sign that the industry is doing a piss-poor job of attracting new skiers.

Population growth in the last 30 years has been largely driven by immigration from Latin America and Asia and population growth in the US has been highest in the warmer parts of the country. Immigrants and their children are mostly too poor and too busy trying to earn a living to take up skiing. Perhaps in another generation or two, if there's any snow. The trend of mega resorts and mega prices and the emphasis on real estate development rather than mountain development certainly hasn't help grow the sport, but I believe the demographics are the biggest factor.

post #155 of 172
Quote:
population growth in the US has been highest in the warmer parts of the country.

True, but the Rocky Mountain states have also had rapid population growth.  I believe Kottke shows most of the growth in skier days coming from the Rocky Mountain States.  Some of this could be an increase in destination visitation, but some of it is due to population in the Northeast and Midwest being more stagnant while growing in the Rockies.  Growing population in the states with the highest quality skiing has to be one of the few positive trends.  All these second line Colorado resorts anachronism cites as being profitable are getting their business from drive-up locals much more than from the destination visitors I suspect.

 

The point about immigration driving population growth has been true for some time in Southern California, so no surprise that the peak skier visits for Mammoth in 2005 and 2006 were about the same numbers as in 1982 and 1986.

post #156 of 172

Another factor is the slow disappearance of the middle class. Median family income has declined 9% since 1999.

http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/SacBee/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=TVNCLzIwMTUvMDIvMDg.&pageno=NDE.&entity=QXIwNDEwNA..&view=ZW50aXR5

 

What difference does all this make?  None if you're a skier. A lot if you are thinking of investing in the ski business. If you believe that the problem is that resorts have not done what was necessary to grow the sport than invest and change the trend. If you believe that demographic and income factors are responsible and if you believe that rising snow levels and lower snow amounts are in the future--as Bode Miller believes--than you might put your money elsewhere. 

 

The resorts clearly believe in the second theory.  If you believe in the potential for growth you expand terrain, built new lifts, try and attract new skiers. If you believe that flat or declining visits are inevitable you try to get as much money as possible out of the skiers you have--increasing food and lesson prices, increasing lift prices for destination skiers, and concentrating on developing high-end real estate. 

post #157 of 172

Oldgoat, I don't think raising the minimum wage or stopping driving our cars will encourage more people to ski. Or even go do beach activities (San Diego's beach attendance is way down recently). And when I learned to ski in the 70s I was struggling financially - and the drought that the current one is being compared to was happening. Something bigger is in play.

 

Video games (and obesity)?

 

Invest in resorts because you love recreation (and develop off season activities).

 

Eric

post #158 of 172

It is impossible to compare ski resorts unless you break them into categories. The size of the resort, the clientl  

Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Skull View Post

I blame TV singing contests. Not everybody's got talent.


Everyone has talent, it's just that some talents are not highly desirable. Even a person that serves as a bad example has a purpose. If we did not have crap we would not have a baseline for how bad something smells.

Without out crap we would say, "that really smells bad but I can't explain the details of how bad since I don't know crap".  

post #159 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

That doesn't change that the average age of a skier gets .3 years older every year and is already middle-aged, and the population of skiers (not skier visits) is either flat or declining. That's not sustainable long term for what should be obvious reasons. 

I consider myself to be an average skier and am already middle aged, and would be quite happy to only get .3 years older every year. roflmao.gif
post #160 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post
 

Oldgoat, I don't think raising the minimum wage or stopping driving our cars will encourage more people to ski. Or even go do beach activities (San Diego's beach attendance is way down recently). And when I learned to ski in the 70s I was struggling financially - and the drought that the current one is being compared to was happening. Something bigger is in play.

 

Video games (and obesity)?

 

Invest in resorts because you love recreation (and develop off season activities).

 

Eric

Obviously raising the minimum wage won't help--even at 15/hr skiing would be out of the reach of anyone but a single ski town/resort employee with a free or cheap pass, 5 or 6 roommates, and a serious liking for Ramen. What does stopping driving our cars have to do with it? If you're talking about global warming, it's too late for that. Yes there have been snow droughts before, but at least in California none that lasted this long--going on 4 years and what's different about this one is how warm it's been. But outside California and perhaps Washington and Oregon global warming has not yet been bad enough to have an impact on skier visits. That's coming though. 

post #161 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

Nathanvg already referred to my post:

Snowfall has not declined: full_thread

As bad as the current season is, it's still better than 1976-77 or 1980-81, and to remain as 3rd worst assumes 2014-15 stays at the 74% of normal that is was at the end of January for the rest of the season.  And as noted, 2010-11 was the #1 snowfall season on record of the past 40+ years, with 2007-08 also being in the top 4. And no it's not volatility, since the standard deviation of snowfall since 1993 is lower than during the 20+ years before that.

 

Anachronism and I have had the demographic discussion about skiing before.

1) Skier visits were fairly flat in the 1980's and 1990's and rose slightly in the 2000's

2) I demonstrated from US Kottke reports that skier visits from those born 1949-1958 declined by 39% between 2003-04 and 2013-14

3) The above skier visits were more than replaced by millennials since aggregate skier visits slightly increased over that decade

4) The millennials are already in the ski population now, and the ensuing generation is somewhat smaller, so the near term future trend in visits is likely to be fairly flat rather than the gradual growth of the past decade.

 

In the past ~30 years total US population has grown ~40% while skier visits are up maybe 5-10%, leading to 2 conclusions IMHO. 

1) Skiers visits are likely to be flat not declining.  Some resorts will fail, but 150 strikes me as a gross overstatement.

2) I fully agree with anachronism that the large disparity between overall population growth and skier visit growth is a sign that the industry is doing a piss-poor job of attracting new skiers.

That seems interesting. Is there a significant sample size difference in or geographic coverage between those two time periods?  Are the data from snowtell? It was probably mentioned before in that thread, but I forgot.

 

The second bolds:

I think the ski industry has really shot itself in the foot with this whole "end of snow" and "save our winters" nonsense. I believe the perception of these problems are giving a huge beat down on the industry. Bad trips,  even in a decent year, are now chalked up to the end of snow vs just random chance. That hurts. Just anecdotal, but I have heard this kind of nonsense from a bunch of people.

post #162 of 172

@Spooky Insightful. We may be too quick to blame ourselves or things we would like to be able to control when events don't go normally. Resorts blaming global warming probably hurts them in the long run. Kind of like eastern skiers dissing their weather keeping me from planning a trip to the place with the good snow this year. 

 

@oldgoat I made $2.75 per hour and slept on the launching ramp in Tahoe City to chase my passion for skiing. Money is not the limiting factor in creating skiers, passion is.

 

Weather will be variable but winter will be winter for the life of the lifts. Reducing my carbon footprint to zero (to preserve snow??) will prevent me from enjoying the snow. The world will change regardless - we need to enjoy the ride - wherever it takes us. Hopefully there will be some resorts still in business.

 

Eric

post #163 of 172

The Kottke report is commissioned by NSAA and gets a very good response rate covering ski areas with at least 85% of US skier visits.  So I think comparisons such as the one I made for people born between 1949-1958 10 years apart are likely quite accurate.

 

My snowfall data is a different story, usually 8-10 areas per region.  But within a region snowfall is usually tightly correlated, so I'd be surprised if the result would be much different if I had 30 areas per region instead of 10. 

 

Once you get back into the 1970's it can be only 3-5 areas in some regions.  Nonetheless I am extremely confident that 1976-77 and 1980-81 are the outlier worst seasons and that 2010-11 is the best season by a significant margin.

Quote:
I think the ski industry has really shot itself in the foot with this whole "end of snow" and "save our winters" nonsense.

Despite my well-know skepticism on this issue, I'm not all that critical of the ski industry.  With much uncertainty in the climate models it's understandable that the ski industry would like to minimize the possibility of a worst case scenario.  To what extent this influences people's decisions of whether or how much to ski, I can't say I've heard that kind of comment personally.  For the enthusiastic ski community, I would say not at all.  But I suppose there's some logic for newbies not wanting to commit to a sport with a presumed limited shelf life.

post #164 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
2) I fully agree with anachronism that the large disparity between overall population growth and skier visit growth is a sign that the industry is doing a piss-poor job of attracting new skiers.

Snowboarding is a problem.  It's a second rate way of getting down the mountain.  It is more dangerous than skiing.  You fall harder.  The larger percentage of boarders are limited to the park(another injury prone area) or simply cruising.  It's a total PITA "getting around" in a resort.  (this maybe be the largest limiting factor of the sport) Yet, although this is slowly changing, it is thought to be the cool way to do it.  It's much better than it was a few years ago, but a young person has to be a little bit of a rebel to want to ski. 

 

Say someone is 30 yrs old and has been snowboarding for 10 years.  He's survived it, but he's done with bouncing hard in the park.  What's the thrill of advancing his skills skiing intermediate cruisers the rest of his life?  There is very little challenge of improving his skills in the moguls, because except for a teeny minority, that just isn't going to happen.  The steeps?, they finally accept the reality that they just slide down them, so why bother, and to attempt a fall line attack is like a kamikaze throwing oneself into the void. 

 

Although I accept that snowboarding may shine on a true, pure powder day - the reality is that they are few and far between, because the majority don't pick their days but plan them in advance. 

 

 

The attrition in both skiing and snowboarding is high once you reach the 30's for a number of reasons.  But I think that a greater percentage of snowboarders drop out than skiers.  We are dealing with the huge influx of a majority of snowboarders entering the snow sports 10-15 years ago.  But the percentages are slowly changing with many more young skiers than 10-15 years ago. 

post #165 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofort99 View Post


I consider myself to be an average skier and am already middle aged, and would be quite happy to only get .3 years older every year. roflmao.gif

 

Yes, we all get 1 year older each year. And at some point, we all get too old to ski and stop. Safe bet that the vast majority of people who enter the sport do so before they are 39 years old, so almost every new skier would pull the average down.

 

If we had roughly the same number of skiers moving through the ranks at each age, the average age of a skier wouldn't change- the skiers too old to ski drop off one side, replaced by newcomers.

 

I read that .33 a year aging as clear evidence we aren't getting new skiers in as fast as existing skiers are aga

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

Snowboarding is a problem.  It's a second rate way of getting down the mountain.  It is more dangerous than skiing.  You fall harder.  The larger percentage of boarders are limited to the park(another injury prone area) or simply cruising.  It's a total PITA "getting around" in a resort.  (this maybe be the largest limiting factor of the sport) Yet, although this is slowly changing, it is thought to be the cool way to do it.  It's much better than it was a few years ago, but a young person has to be a little bit of a rebel to want to ski. 

Say someone is 30 yrs old and has been snowboarding for 10 years.  He's survived it, but he's done with bouncing hard in the park.  What's the thrill of advancing his skills skiing intermediate cruisers the rest of his life?  There is very little challenge of improving his skills in the moguls, because except for a teeny minority, that just isn't going to happen.  The steeps?, they finally accept the reality that they just slide down them, so why bother, and to attempt a fall line attack is like a kamikaze throwing oneself into the void. 

Although I accept that snowboarding may shine on a true, pure powder day - the reality is that they are few and far between, because the majority don't pick their days but plan them in advance. 
rolleyes.gif

The attrition in both skiing and snowboarding is high once you reach the 30's for a number of reasons.  But I think that a greater percentage of snowboarders drop out than skiers.  We are dealing with the huge influx of a majority of snowboarders entering the snow sports 10-15 years ago.  But the percentages are slowly changing with many more young skiers than 10-15 years ago. 

Glad you checked your bias, otherwise your post could have come across slightly condescending and more than a little ridiculous. rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif
post #166 of 172
Oddly, those snow boarders seem to be coming here this year. We didn't use to have many, but all of a sudden there are a ton here and not just during holiday periods. It's not a good mountain for the less than proficient boarder due to a number of cat tracks. Something to do with the snow problems elsewhere?? I thought it was on the wane, but apparently not here? Very odd spike, anyway.
post #167 of 172

Kottke in one of its other reports demonstrated that age attrition starts in the late 40's for women and the late 50's for men.  That report was why I thought much of the "baby boomer" attrition had already occurred before I was able to compare the 2004 and 2014 visits from the same birth date cohort.

 

Recent Kottke reports show snowboarding declining from something like 31% to 29% of total visits over the past 5 years.  It's probably too early to tell if age-related attrition starts earlier for snowboarding.  5-10 years from now we may be able to figure that out.

post #168 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

Kottke in one of its other reports demonstrated that age attrition starts in the late 40's for women and the late 50's for men.  That report was why I thought much of the "baby boomer" attrition had already occurred before I was able to compare the 2004 and 2014 visits from the same birth date cohort.

 

Recent Kottke reports show snowboarding declining from something like 31% to 29% of total visits over the past 5 years.  It's probably too early to tell if age-related attrition starts earlier for snowboarding.  5-10 years from now we may be able to figure that out.

 

My hypothesis would be more that snowboarding has matured as a discipline- no longer having nearly as much of a draw from the rebel image.  I think shift in focus of skiing towards off-piste, big mountain, surfy skis also helped move the numbers. Skiing gained credibility among those that were inclined to take up boarding, and boarding lost a bit once Dad's in their 40's on snowboards started becoming a common occurrence.

 

We have far more boarders here than I would expect or recommend. The mountain is not a good layout for easy access with a board, although the new lift this year helped somewhat.

post #169 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdog View Post

Even a person that serves as a bad example has a purpose.

I have counted on that for the majority of my adult life.
post #170 of 172

This is useless, he doesn't even provide a list of what resort, fall where.

post #171 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatChance View Post


I have counted on that for the majority of my adult life.


It is wise to recognize and utilize your strengths. :)

post #172 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdog View Post

Even a person that serves as a bad example has a purpose.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by FatChance View Post


I have counted on that for the majority of my adult life.

Know yer role, I always say

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