Originally Posted by mudfoot
... Now things have come full circle and there are micro breweries springing up everywhere again. Maybe we will see a resugence of small affordable local areas so that skiing will once again become available to everyone who wants to try it. Powder to the people, bring back the rope tow!
The microbreweries analogy has a few bugs ... for one thing, what's the price of microbrew relative to the price of Bud?
If anything, I think your microbrew analogy runs the other way: the Yellowstone Club (or whatever it's called) is the microbrew. It would not be difficult to find a group somewhere in which the bulk of people would make snide remarks about the foolish, money-wasting elitists who buy microbrews.
There are still quite a few local areas around, though a lot fewer than there used to be. In the Northwest, for example, Loup Loup (1 chair, 1 poma, 1 rope tow), Hurricane Ridge (1 poma, 2 ropes), 49 Degrees North, Mt. Spokane, Mt. Ashland. I bet the bulk of people who participate in this group wouldn't drive 100 miles to ski at one, though. I don't think they make much money, and if they were closer to Seattle or Portland or Vancouver, they wouldn't make any. Thus the problem. Shoot, Crystal (9 chairs, 4 of them high speed) loses a lot of Seattle skiers to Sun Valley.
In a previous discussion, someone going sort of the same direction was pushing for cooperative ownership as a model. That, like the microbrew analogy, seemed sort of perverse to me. There is
a standing (and quite successful) model for a cooperatively-owned, non-profit, high-capitalization recreational facility: a country club.
To oversimplify, here are two often-used ways for a business to compete: (i) turn your product into a commodity of consistent, though no more than fair, quality and sell lots
of it to people who buy on price (McDonalds) or (ii) make a unique product with high perceived value, and sell it at a high price to people who want something special and don't mind paying up (insert name of your fanciest local restaurant here).