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Skier retention 2

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

We're looking for solutions to the problem named "skier retention".

Whose problem is it? Why should existing skiers care? What's in it for us?

These aren't rhetorical questions. Any thoughts?
post #2 of 15
Higher DIN settings.
post #3 of 15
Link0r broken. Need to copy and paste.
post #4 of 15
For me, living out of Denver, higher skier retention would mean, eventually, more traffic on I-70 to the mountains, longer lift lines, and more crowded slopes.
Some of the innovations at ski resorts aimed at retaining skiers have a negative effect on the overall skiing experience. High speed quads mean that more people are on the hill at the same time. Condos that sprawl at the base area can create traffic/parking problems (see Winter Park). Expanding skiable acreage or base villages can be harmful to the environment. Sometimes I feel like I'm skiing at Disneyland instead of getting away from the city.
Positives to skier retention may be that ski gear companies would have more incentive to be improve. First-time skiers hardly ever buy new ski equipment. Those who return do. Plus, skier retention (repeat business)also has positive benefits for the economy.
post #5 of 15
Mysterious avalanches causing closer of any roads leading away from the mountain
post #6 of 15
Like hotels, the more people that stay in them, the more hotels pop up. If skier retention were better, there would be more ski areas to chose from and more competition. Operating expenses would go down (on a per skier day basis). Out in CO, you might get a decent mass transit system into Summit County. Hell, even now, with Vail Assoc owning everything out there, and the ski train only going to WP/MJ (I think - correct me if I'm wrong), I'm surprised they don't get that started now. Better skier retention would also mean more ski shops, lower equipment prices, etc. Just think how much cheaper it would be to produce a pair of skis if they could sell twice as many pairs out of every mold. It would also mean less resistance to opening new ski areas because more voters would be skiers, so skier friendly politicians would get elected.

And then, scientists and chemical companies would see the profit in skiing and someone would invent a substance that acts like snow but doesn't melt. Then we wouldn't even need to travel to cold climates. Skiing would be as popular as golf because it would be so accessable and available year-round. And if you don't see the benefit in year-round skiing, then you don't belong here! Hey! I might be able to make a reasonable living teaching skiing. Naaahh. Never happen!
post #7 of 15
This should not be confused with "snowsports" retention. Skier retention and boarder retention are two separate issues.

Skiers are in decline. Boarders are on the rise. But:

Boarders probably won't be able to stay in the sport as long as returning skiers, a projection based on the injury rate. The ability to sustain mountain revenue and keep the hills open is questionable.

Since the old James Bond movies, skiing has not been a "cool" thing to do, it has been eclipsed by boarding. The "bad boy" aura appeals to the kids ....

..... speed and the ability to turn don't seem to matter.... :
post #8 of 15
Skiing needs a sexier image.
post #9 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by JohnH:
Out in CO, you might get a decent mass transit system into Summit County. Hell, even now, with Vail Assoc owning everything out there, and the ski train only going to WP/MJ (I think - correct me if I'm wrong), I'm surprised they don't get that started now.

That battle has been raging for a few years now. Run a monorail from DIA to Summit County and beyond. Great idea but unfortunately the realitites of economics and logistics probably mitigate against it. The actual need days are limited-costs are not. Who is going to foot the capital costs and operational expenses in November and May, for example, unless you generate incredible revenues during your prime operational period. I think I once saw a proposed $50 per person fare from DIA to Summit County.

Plus there are substantial engineering obstacles to surmount in this high alpine environment.

Additionally, unless you run spurs to Keystone, A-Basin and Breck how do the skiers get there with their gear and luggage. All the plans envision stops in Silverthorne, Frisco and Copper.

Like I said-great idea but not in our lifetime.

The Ski Train utilizes existing tracks that don't go anywhere near Summit County. The WP/MJ train is the only one I know of in Colorado.
Ther was a spring time fly to Aspen for the day deal that was pretty cool.

Hey! I might be able to make a reasonable living teaching skiing. Naaahh. Never happen!


Skiing as popular as golf? Oh My Gawd, can you envision a slope covered with Q-tips on sticks?
post #10 of 15
Has anyone done any studies on the increase (if any) resorts see due to expanded terrain parks?

It's obvious terrain parks are the young skier's/boarder's choice of riding terrain. I know some of the terrain parks are getting quite expansive. I'm wondering if these resorts/mountains are seeing an increase. My home mountain has installed a new learning park in addition to the existing park for this season and got me thinking.

I must admit, even at my age the terrain park seems alluring for "something else to do" when the pow doesn't exist.
post #11 of 15
Originally posted by BillA:
Skiing needs a sexier image.
If skiing were any sexier I'd be in treatment for pre-release!... My personal take on this one is that skiing (for the masses at least) has gone through it's nadir of the late 80's and mid 90's and has hit the 2K's with a new verve. Although I never thought I's say it a few years ago I've got to admit that shaped skis have been the single biggest factor here.

Boarding at one time was easier to pick up from scratch than skiing. Not now. Boarding at one time was the leader in tricks. Not now. We can do all the tricks and more! Acess the deepest powder with all the added bonuses of not getting stuck on the up's and even the flats.

Now lets see. What's sexier?... turning up at the lodge sweating like a hound 'cause you've been breaking trail on foot for 1/2 hour.... or truning up fresh as a diasy with a big smile (and more pheramones than Elvis) after shreading down the Hobacks, sinking deeeeep into each turn and getting the sort of face shots that boarders can only get when they wipe out.
post #12 of 15
Originally posted by oboe:

We're looking for solutions to the problem named "skier retention".

Who is we?
post #13 of 15
Kima has a point! The crash may be rough, very rough. But, as those greedy, sidewinders and bottom sucking corporate tycoons drop prices in an effort to survive ....

..... the price of tickets will crash ....

I'm old enough to remember, Lifts, Lesson & Lunch for $5 [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Good question, Kima - who?

Is skier retention the problem of skiers? of ski area owners? of ski manufacturers? or all? Can you think of reasons why "we" skiers may be concerned about skier retention - or not concerned?
post #15 of 15
Skier/boarder retention is problem for everyone involved with the industry - "we" the skiing (I'm going to use skiing here, but I mean all snow sports) public are directly impacted by the economic impact of fewer people remaining in the sport. Less revenue means the closing of smaller areas, fewer infrastructure improvments, higher lift cost, and more expensive gear. When companies have to spread their fixed costs over fewer sales dollars the cost to those of us who remain in the sport is going to increase. This can force even more people to the sidelines as they are prohibited by cost from participating. I don't think anyone wants to see small resorts close, skis increase in price, etc...

The solution is not the skiing public's domain. This is the realm of the ski resort - offering up an experience that encourages people to come back. Creating an affordable experience, to open their market up to more people. Attracting the youth of today, who become the family vacationers of tomorrow. College ski passes are cheap because they want you to come back when you have a job and a family. The same needs to be done for those learning to ski.

Feeder mountains like Wachusett and Blue Hills in Mass. are important in this equation. Larger resorts might do well to invest in after school programs for these types of places. A kid who learns to love to ski after school is going to go a long way towards getting a family to come on vacation.
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