The comments (on the first pages) of the recently locked Park City thread were very interesting to me. It seems a lot of people want to have their cake and eat it too in the sense that they want both serious investment in the ski area and also to not have crowds. Some people lamented cheap season passes and high day passes and others praised them. My question is what would be your overall strategy for a fictional mountain for long-term management?
Without trying to make it too complicated you have a variety of options:
- High/medium/low season pass which has an inverse crowding effect
- High/medium/low day pass which has an inverse crowding effect
Once you have that decided you then need to decide where else to bring in revenue:
- Do you charge for parking?
- What are food prices like?
- Rental prices?
- Lesson prices?
- On-mountain shops?
- Sustainable real-estate revenue (hotels, rentals, etc.)
Now for each revenue source you can invest in the following:
- More employees (Patrol, Liftees, Groomers, Customer Service, etc.)
- Improve/Replace Lifts
- Improve/Replace Lodge(s)
- Improve/Replace snowmaking
- Improve parking situation
It seems to me like a lot of the ideas in that thread involved having cheap season and day passes, low crowds, great cheap parking, improved lifts and lodges, and low food costs plus retaining plenty of staff. That is great if you're running a charity or can run the resort at a loss for years on end, but not so much if you have to run a business. So if you were to create a general plan for your ideal mountain what options would you select?