Originally Posted by CTKook
If you want to characterize CO, UT, CA, WY, VT, etc. etc. as a small area that is important only for a very minor player like the North American ski market, well, that's your opinion.
Likewise for Vail itself. One can criticize the snowpack outside the resort among other things, but summer and winter the resort's not exactly a tiny little thing. I've learned other rather odd, and in fact counterfactual, things about Vail from this forum of late, but this whole "small" thing takes the cake.
The mag's name is Ski. A guy wrote an article highlighting a phenomenon that's rather visible on the slopes. Good for him and them. I don't have to agree with every point he makes (I don't, and believe enforcement on behavior to be more productive) to acknowledge that it was a good article, that Vail's a major part of the ski world, and that what the author of the article is noting is something not at all limited to Vail or even to CO.
You've missed the part of the thread where people on both coasts and Canada have commented that they are not seeing the same problem. The people reporting the problem live and/or ski in one particular area. So no, I don't characterize all of North America as small; I characterize CO as small in comparison to the wider skiing world.
As far as Vail not being big (I never said it was small; I just said it wasn't that big), it's all a matter of perspective. For me, a big resort is one that has at least 5000 ft of vertical and at least 80 lifts spread out among multiple towns that are all interconnected. A really big place is one that has over 6000 ft of vertical and 100 lifts. So for me, an area with only 3400 ft of vertical and 31 lifts isn't all that big.
As for your last point, I'll just remind you again that people from various parts of North America and Europe are saying they are not seeing the same problem. Also, several of us have noted the unnecessarily aggressive and divisive tone of the article, which is the main gripe we have about it.
Originally Posted by The Engineer
Densely populated areas will have more retail variety. Variety in a dense area doesn’t mean there will be variety in a less dense area. Lack of variety in a dense area most likely means there will be a lack of variety in less dense areas. The Alps are the densest place in the world. Variety there means very little about the state of things in other places. A lack of variety in the Alps would speak volumes. The CO area is the most visited ski area in North America, so a lack of variety there most likely exists in other places in North America and affects lots of skiers. From that document I posted, the top four ski resorts in CO account for ~7% of all North American ski traffic (~10% of the U.S.). That’s pretty phenomenal. That’s a big deal. Discussions in a CO based magazine are applicable to North America, because of the large number of visitors to the CO ski area. It's probably no coincidence that a magazine distributed throughout North America is based in CO.
Also, I hear your opinion that there are lots of options in the Alps. But, you might go to the same shop as Seth and claim there are lots of options for him there too. Your opinion is great for determining what options there are for the skis you like, but I don’t put much stock in your opinion for determining that there are lots of options available for Seth or for me. So, I don’t believe that it’s a given that this is not a worldwide problem just because you say it isn’t. Ski designs have been getting fatter and fatter, but that width doesn’t help carving and is not good for many mogul skiers. There are many less design variations that have a narrow width than 10 years ago. That’s a fact.
I'll remind you again that the original article implied a widespread problem. Seth didn't specify that he's only observed it in one particular area, and the tone of the article made it sound like a very serious issue. That's why people from around North America and elsewhere have chimed in to say that we are not seeing the same thing. We're just trying to put things into perspective.
I, by myself, am not saying it's not a global problem. I am just pointing out that a number of people from a number of areas are sharing observations that seem to suggest that it's pretty much limited to particular areas. You can choose to consider or dismiss our observations as you like.
As far as your complaints about selection, I could go into more explanations of manufacturers cutting out unpopular designs and overlapping models, but I simply don't care about this discussion anymore. I don't really have any sympathy for you given that there are still plenty of places where you can find a number of models of the skis you're looking for. As someone who spent a few decades without any options that I really liked, I think you should count yourself lucky. But that's just me.