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Why Is Skiing So Expensive In The USA? - Page 12

post #331 of 350
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
Have you noticed that survey is NOT recent at all?
I agree, it's old. But no older than US census data, for instance, which is still considered a gold standard for many sociological comparisons between censuses. I'm not convinced the data can be so easily discounted, though the truth is, I don't know if there were ulterior motives behind the commissioning of the survey. Is it some dark Canadian plot? No one's going to do such a thankless survey every year anyway. And besides, I just think the survey is corroborating evidence, not definitive. It suggests what seems to me common knowledge.
post #332 of 350
I see the original poster mentions that start up costs for skiing are "high".

What exactly is a high cost considered? I paid $99 for my boots, $70 for my helmet, $99 for my ski's and $99 for my bindings, all were new back in fall 2003 and that's in canadian dollars. Granted, they're not the best of equipment, but I don't have any problem with them and I have in fact progressed a lot since I bought this equipment. Now lift tickets are around $50 for me since I buy the card to get discount. All the equipment cost me around $400 if I include my gloves and neck protector too. And BTW, this is all in canadian dollars. Excuse me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a golf set cost like $1000 and then like $3000-$4000 for an annual membership or whatever? Now how much is a season pass for me if I get it early in May for next season. Around $499-$599 for full season (November to April/May).
post #333 of 350
There's a Colorado-based organization called Alpino that's trying to make our mountains a less homogeneous place -- or as they say on their web site "Changing the Social Context of Mountain Recreation in America".

http://www.alpino.org

Alpino believes that the homogeneity of snowsports is not because of racism or cost (see Alpino site FAQ).

If you'd like to see more diversity in the lift line, take action. Support organizations like Alpino with your time and/or dollars. Likewise, support mountains that have inclusive-focused programs.
post #334 of 350
I'm sure somewhere in the 332 replies my points will have been said but I'll say them anyway

1) Start-up costs are what you want them to be in any pursuit. If I decide to do woodworking as a hobby I can buy a Ryobi table saw for $99 for I can buy at Rigid one for $499. Both cut wood. The same applies to skiing -- a full season of rental skis/boots can usually be had for $120-ish at many places and used/almost new can be found on craigslist for not much more. Skiing on metrons or Five stars is not a start-up expense. I would someday like to see a place where you can DONATE used equipment that would be given or loaned to people who need it (maybe thats something we can start here).

2) Lift tickets are like air plane seats -- show up and they cost the most. Flex passes, 2 for one deals, money off from buying gas at Mobil etc, bus/ticket combos, hotel packages etc can and do reduce the cost.

3) Food at the mountain is the truely absurd cost. If I take zack and one of his friends I'm guaranteed a $40 tab for them. I see most families bring their own and one local mountain Wachusett sells a card that gets you discounts on all kinds of things including food, lessons etc.

Skiing can be as expensive or as less expensive as you want to make it. But mountain owners do and should expect to make a profit. It's a highly capital and labor intensive business where a bad season can extract huge losses and even good seasons dont guarantee anything. Sadly that's why individual ownership of mountains is declining and corporate ownership increasing to deal with the cash flows and costs associated with land/terrain acquisition and development.

What I do dislike is the rise of priviledges based on ability to pay. I don't decry the resort that offers close in parking for $10-15 vs a free slot in lot 3, but I will stop going anywhere that allows well-heeled skiiers to jump the lift queue. I do quite well in my life but economic advantage means that I can buy what skis I want without blinking, not buying my way out of waiting or getting a guaranteed seat at the lunch table. besides as groucho said "I don't want to be part of any club that would have me as a member" or something to that effect.
post #335 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangSVT
I see the original poster mentions that start up costs for skiing are "high".

What exactly is a high cost considered? I paid $99 for my boots, $70 for my helmet, $99 for my ski's and $99 for my bindings, all were new back in fall 2003 and that's in canadian dollars. Granted, they're not the best of equipment, but I don't have any problem with them and I have in fact progressed a lot since I bought this equipment. Now lift tickets are around $50 for me since I buy the card to get discount. All the equipment cost me around $400 if I include my gloves and neck protector too. And BTW, this is all in canadian dollars. Excuse me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a golf set cost like $1000 and then like $3000-$4000 for an annual membership or whatever? Now how much is a season pass for me if I get it early in May for next season. Around $499-$599 for full season (November to April/May).
Equipment cost is controllable, if you buy wisely. Season pass is cheap because you have to ski in the same area for the season and you have to live close enough to enjoy the mountain. To some one who cannot access the mountain and wants to skiing, the cost is much higher than just the food and lifts, actually the travel and accomodation costs are much more than the on the mountain costs, IMHO.
post #336 of 350
I can see how it's expensive if you don't live near the mountain like I do. That's the disadvantages though I guess. If you're really a die hard fan of skiing, maybe you should consider moving somewhere else? Or not. Then again, you could say the same thing about other "sports". So I guess it depends on how lucky you are. Or maybe, how you make your own luck.

Anyway, I don't even buy a season pass. I just buy 2 discount cards that give 1st, 3rd and 7th day free or something like that and gives $15 off every time you pay. But I don't go like skiing like more than maybe 15 times a year. Maybe 20 if I'm really lucky.
post #337 of 350
Thread Starter 
Anyone catch the latest issue of Ski? Are they clueless or what?

Our economy may be lame at best at the moment, and consumer confidence low, but Ski still presents our sport as the domain of the rich and early retired:

There's a review of a new Range Rover. There's a story about a "a successful trader" who hires an architect to build him a chic barn house in Stowe. There's another about "Dennis, a 49-year-old 'ex-lawyer' and venture capitalist" in Aspen, buiding his private art collection in his ungodly pricey modern home.

Hey, nothing wrong with making money, but this is shameless.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I saw this lead for a Beemer review, by some groveling fool, Jason Harper:

It's a curious seasonal migration. In summer the adventure-seekers and scene-makers of highfalutin New York City take their Mercedeses, Lexuses and chauffeured Town Cars to the Hamptons for the weekends. In winter they head north to the ski slopes of Vermont. As a Westerner, it's taking me time to adjust to Eastern skiing, but the parade of fine vehicles fleeing the city is always a fascinating spectacle.

So it is in early spring that I decide to tempt the Fates and head north in a convertible. My choice: a brand-new BMW 645Ci convertible with rear-wheel drive, summer tires and a fine silvery finish that's never known the sting of salt. Perfect.

Perfect for what? Gaping?

When I started this thread last winter, I thought that the problem was that skiing was too expensive. Now I know the real problem is that is it culturally represented a costly sport, even though there are clearly ways to get around that. But you still have these aspirational, working-class-hating, fairyworld visions dominating magazines like Ski.

Why are they so committed to presenting "The Mountain Life" this way?????

I think I know the answer. Ski's editorial team mostly consists of the prep-school educated children of very wealthy people, trust funders who are just completely out of touch with the rest of us.
post #338 of 350
Its cheaper than golf.
post #339 of 350
I don't read it and that is why.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
Anyone catch the latest issue of Ski? Are they clueless or what?
post #340 of 350
[quote=Esquiador]There's a Colorado-based organization called Alpino that's trying to make our mountains a less homogeneous place -- or as they say on their web site "Changing the Social Context of Mountain Recreation in America".

http://www.alpino.org
quote]
Thanks for the link, i was looking at the PSIA Core Concepts manual today and thought to myself, "Dam, thats alot of white people".
post #341 of 350
Actually, I think the economy seems to be coming around for the first time since 1999, when I watched my 401k and brokerage accounts lose 50% of their value. The rest of your post, wbroun, I agree with 100%. I can't understand how more than a very small percentage of the readership of skiing publications can possibly relate to $75K automobiles and multi-million dollar second homes. I learned to ski as a child in the 1960's. My parents were of limited means, but we got decent equipment at ski swaps, and my siblings and I went skiing with the local club - $15 got you a lift pass, one-hour lesson, bus ride to the mountain, and $3 voucher for lunch. Golf may be expensive, but at least the golf publications (and the golf "etsablishment") attempt to address issues that affect the golfer of average means. Skiing publications should have more articles on how to get good equpment at a decent price, how to go to ski resorts and not spend a fortune, etc.
post #342 of 350
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldrjax
... Skiing publications should have more articles on how to get good equpment at a decent price, how to go to ski resorts and not spend a fortune, etc.
The voice of reason!
post #343 of 350
Most major U.S. ski resorts want to sell REAL ESTATE - Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Snowbasin, Park City, etc. I have never skied in the East, but I have skied in Canada - mostly British Columbia or western Alberta - the only exception is Whistler - it is run like a U.S. ski resort. More people visit Whistler in the summer than the winter (about 65% summer). Over half of the people in the Front Range of Colorado (Colorado Springs to Fort Collins) have never skied, and the same goes for Salt Lake City metroplex.

The reason why most small ski areas have shut down, is insurance. The ski area is liable for anyone injured while skiing - going down the mountain. It's a lot different in the rest of the world - the ski area is responsible for getting you UP the mountain, not DOWN it.
post #344 of 350
Why is everything so expensive in the States is more like it... The only thing I can think off that is drastically cheaper in the States than anywhere else, is gas but somehow we get our share of problems for that "privilege".
post #345 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by powdog
The reason why most small ski areas have shut down, is insurance. The ski area is liable for anyone injured while skiing - going down the mountain.
Ski areas in Colorado have almost no liability. The reason small areas shut down is that not enough people go there.

Steve
post #346 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001
Why is everything so expensive in the States is more like it... The only thing I can think off that is drastically cheaper in the States than anywhere else, is gas but somehow we get our share of problems for that "privilege".
I don't believe this to be true. Skiing may be more expensive in the U.S. than Europe (actually I'm just guessing, I've never been skiing in Europe). I haven't been to Europe in a few years, but travelled there three times between 1986 and 1993 and found it to be generally quite expensive.

Skiing in the U.S. can be done at a relatively modest price. As I stated in my post above, I learned to ski as a kid, in the 1960's, living in the Front Range, even though my family was of very modest means. The only element of skiing that is inavoidably expensive are the lift passes. Even though discounted passes can be found, the price is still high. Equipment can be found at a relative bargain on ebay or other internet sites. Lodging that is not slopeside can usually be found at a reasonable price. Meals can be cooked in the room and lunches can be packed.

That being said, I'm glad there are many options available for skiing vacations. My southern wife (see Jacksonville, FL location) would never be happy on a ski vacation if it didn't involve slopeside lodging, high-end dining, and shopping. Fortunately, I have considerably more resources now than I did growing up.

My disappointment with the "skiing establishment" is that they emphasize only the high-end options when it comes to the purchasing of equipment, lodging, and dining. Contrast that with golf publications that have articles on golf trips to Scotland AND articles on new, affordable, public golf courses. They seem to understand that not all golfers are wealthy. The popular ski publications act as if all skiers have unlimited funds just for skiing. Thus the articles on expensive automobiles, million-dollar second homes, high-end dining, etc. This only further reinforces my opinion that your best source for all information related to skiing is...EPIC SKI.
post #347 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001
Why is everything so expensive in the States is more like it...
Um, I'm guessing you've not travelled to Europe or Australia.
Things which are significantly cheaper in the US than other places:
1. Gas (about 1/3 the price of much of the world)
2. Clothing (as much as 1/2 price)
3. Cars/trucks (as much as 1/2 price)
4. Sports equipment (as much as 1/2 price)
5. Housing (average house prices are around $100-200k less)
6. Eating at a restaurant (most is about 2/3)
7. Big Mac... 15-20% cheaper.(source: The Big Mac Index)
post #348 of 350
Why is skiing so expensive? Because of the rising cost of insurance for the areas...which they cannot reasonably be without.
post #349 of 350
Good Thread.

It seems to me that it is not always the ones that can afford it that make the sport seem expensive. I have several friends in Collingwood who can not afford a stamp to mail a letter to me, yet each season they get the latest and greatest winter jackets/pants/gloves, new ski's/boots/binding (and only the best will do).

I feel out of place when I'm with them. 3 year old jacket and pants (best value ones from Novacks (www.novacks.com), Ski's/boots/bindings from '99 that were the previous years models so they were all about 1/2 price. I pack my lunch before going to the hill, ski early and late season, night ski and brew my own beer (which is a lot better than paying over $30 a case for Blue).

What do I get labelled for all of this? CHEAP. Well, cheap I am. I own a house, a newer car, and have a savings plan. My friends (all in early to late 30's) have none of these things.

Skiing and Golf are similar in that they are only as expensive as you make them. Would I enjoy new gear? Of course. Do I have a lousy time without it? No way, I'm still skiing. It is a matter of priority and perception. Too many people have trouble differentiating between 'need' and 'want'.
post #350 of 350

LAAX 1.5 ride from Zurich :

Ski lifts are 60CHF = 63 USD

Premium Ski 40 CHF = 42 USD ( Stoeckli SX )

Hotel in Nagens at 2500 meters on the slopes = 50 CHF shared room ( sauna is available  !!!!! )

food is a bit more expensive but fresh salad bar and home cooked meal or buffet .

 

If anyone is interested , I  can give more info on other resorts in Swiss Alps .

 

 

 

 

 

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