Another symptom of the wealth gap courtesy of Wall Street corporations, banks, real estate corps, and politicians in our society.
The majority of larger resorts chased the high income wealthy customer, spending large on infrastructure that has obviously greatly increased the overall experience but in the process it all has become expensive continually shrinking the potential demographic that might afford the sport. Of course that has been compounded by other costs like transportation (gasoline), lodging (little cheap anymore), and legal&insurance (especially personal injury courtesy of their politician buddies).
Thus the only way patrollers or any other ski resort occupation type can increase their share of a limited pie is by taking a larger part of the pie away from other resort niches. In order to work with the limited pie, resort managements seem to have chosen to squeeze their employee occupations that have the least leverage and that include ski patrollers. People that also have to live in the same expensive mountain communities as the rich. Just as is the situation with other facets of American society, the rich that have most of the leverage for increasing their wealth in order to maintain the quality of living they seek, do so by squeezing the middle and bottom classes. In order to just maintain a rich demographic, the hidden solution of politicians being controlled by the rich has been to open the doors of real estate to all manner of rich foreigners regardless of legal citizenship status which is especially the case along the West Coast. And that is also occurring in mountain ski resort communities.