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The future of skiing?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
From: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15925436/
Quote:
"The growth in the industry is in 'boarders and the terrain park," said Echo Mountain owner Jerry Petitt, a longtime hotel industry executive. "The old-fart skiers like me, our knees are going bad."
There was a discussion some time ago about the supposed decline of the ski industry. I don't know... a couple of days ago, I almost didn't find a parking spot a Crystal Mtn, Wa. What I see is that folks love to ski and board at all ages. Groomed or ungroomed... we'll take it all, just get us up the hill.

The only problem I see is that skiing is a peak load business. Weekends are the insane money makers. By April it's all over with... then November you got to re-invent yourself all over again.

Ok, I think of the snow industry as an expanding universe... Something for everyone.... and there is almost not room for everyone. But I have to admit... I really don't understand these young guys, who always seem to be sitting on the snow with their boards in the middle of the lift line... Yea, I'm the one with the loose knees, get outta my way, please.
post #2 of 55
If they're at the terrain park it sure leaves quite a bit of terrain left. They pay for lift tickets and support the system . I welcome them .
I like to watch them play in the terriain parks . It reminds me of the half -pipe skate ramps I built for the crew at home. It feels like home to me.
The park is open . Carry on dudes and dudettes
Young people are the future of the sport. Embrace them or find yourself living in the past.The future is now and if that is kids in terrain parks then build bigger ones .
post #3 of 55
i consider my self to be young (20) and i ski mostly out of park. There are pleanty of genrations of skiers and snow boarders comming into their own. sure snowboarding has it's cool apeal but now with technology, ski are being designed for park allowing for even more variaty and options. Theres no reasion to knock people because they thinkit's worth it to sit and gape all day and maybe get 5 or 6 runs in and spend the rest of the day at the park because like i said, it worth it to them. All in all were there for the same reasion. We all love it.
post #4 of 55
I think we're going to see less and less grooming as fat skis really go mainstream and make off-piste skiing more attractive to the masses. Fat skis still haven't really been embraced by the 10 day/year skier, but its only a matter of time.
post #5 of 55
Agree. But I also think that more and more intermediate+ skiers are not sticking to the one-ski quiver. More and more not-yet-expert skiers it seems are getting skis dedicated for some genre of skiing, e.g. park/pipe skis or mid-fats/all-mountain, carver/'cross/racer-lite, backcountry/powder, etc., etc.

Not to get into the whole Bode thing, but if Bode would have won something at Torino, I bet there would have been a slight resurgence of interest in "race" skis. (The hype machine was following him, not Julia or Ted.)
post #6 of 55
Seeing the title of this thread I was certain I'd open it to see a photo of myself.

I got over the disappointment and read the article.
Assciated Press has a firm grasp on the obvious, that's for sure.

I liked how they set the tone of the rad youngsters by mentioning Blackalicious, Of Montreal...and the Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Them dudes is, like, in their forties, mang!
post #7 of 55
I think of myself as young, and I'm 40
post #8 of 55
I've wondered if the trend toward terrain parks could be the death of mountans as we know them?

You don't need the vertical and the associated costs of maintaining miles of lift towers and grooming. The electrical costs would be lowered and you could have "mini parks" emerge within spitting distance of cities on less "real estate".
post #9 of 55
Young is a STATE of MIND not a number!

hell i'm 63 and still dont know what i want to do when I GROW UP

Yuki brings up an interesting point . Parks while increasingly popular ( and I have no problem with that ) could be just enough incentive to reconfigure how a venue matures in the future

Back to point one - Just give me a serious snow dump PLEASE and i'll be off this damn keyboard : and out having FUN !!
post #10 of 55

Whats old is new again, but kind of different

I have been working at ski Resorts in the Lake Tahoe area for the last 22 years. I have been charge of buying rental and retail skis and snowboards for a long time now. I try to ski or ride every day for at least an hour or more. The trends that I see are:

1. The younger kids 12-18 want to be different from the generation above them 20-35. That means skiing instead of snowboarding. The new park/all mountain skis are all the rage in the Sierras. They mount them up to 10cm forward of the usual center mark on the ski to have better balance on rails,boxes and landing backwards off tables.

2. Nothing make some people in the older generation (snowboarders) madder then a young punk skier boosting off tables and half pipes higher then them. This only encourages the young skiers more (the usual generational battle thing).

3. If you go to Mammoth Mountain you will see a 50/50 split of young skiers to snowboarders in the terrain parks.

The whole thing doesn't really matter to me, because as a 43yr, old I am just an observer. I also ski,tele,snowboard, skibike, and snowmobile. Just trying to have a good time in the winter, and buy the right stuff at work. I think in the near future it will stay about a 50/50 with a trend toward skiing for a little while.


TM


post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoe_M View Post
I have been working at ski Resorts in the Lake Tahoe area for the last 22 years. I have been charge of buying rental and retail skis and snowboards for a long time now. I try to ski or ride every day for at least an hour or more. The trends that I see are:



1. The younger kids 12-18 want to be different from the generation above them 20-35. That means skiing instead of snowboarding. The new park/all mountain skis are all the rage in the Sierras. They mount them up to 10cm forward of the usual center mark on the ski to have better balance on rails,boxes and landing backwards off tables.

2. Nothing make some people in the older generation (snowboarders) madder then a young punk skier boosting off tables and half pipes higher then them. This only encourages the young skiers more (the usual generational battle thing).

3. If you go to Mammoth Mountain you will see a 50/50 split of young skiers to snowboarders in the terrain parks.


The whole thing doesn't really matter to me, because as a 43yr, old I am just an observer. I also ski,tele,snowboard, skibike, and snowmobile. Just trying to have a good time in the winter, and buy the right stuff at work. I think in the near future it will stay about a 50/50 with a trend toward skiing for a little while.TM

TM: Interesting observations from someone who's in a position to know.

I have a young 21 year-old employee who just dumped his snowboard for twin-tip skis (PE's) because he wants to be "different".

It's amazing how kids will do anything to thumb their nose at the "elders".

We did it with jeans, long hair and pot-smoking while skiing. Nothing was more priceless than disapproving frowns from "seniors".

Now I'm the older fart (50'ish), and find myself bemoaning kids on boards sitting on the off-ramp.

Not to be outdone, younger kids with twin-tips are intent on PO'ing their elders - the 20-30 yr. guys - with ski stunts in the park.

It'll never end.


post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
TM: Interesting observations from someone who's in a position to know.



I have a young 21 year-old employee who just dumped his snowboard for twin-tip skis (PE's) because he wants to be "different".

It's amazing how kids will do anything to thumb their nose at the "elders".

We did it with jeans, long hair and pot-smoking while skiing. Nothing was more priceless than disapproving frowns from "seniors".

Now I'm the older fart (50'ish), and find myself bemoaning kids on boards sitting on the off-ramp.

Not to be outdone, younger kids with twin-tips are intent on PO'ing their elders - the 20-30 yr. guys - with ski stunts in the park.

It'll never end.




Oh, so thats the reason people try and learn new tricks? To piss you off? I'm not a park guy, but I was always under the impressiont that they did it because it was personaly satisfying to improve your abilities. Who knew they were doing it all just to piss you off.

I have no idea what Tahoe was saying either, that 20-25 year olds are mostly snowboarders? Where'd you come up with that?

I'm 21, and ski, mostly big mountain, although I'll do a couple park laps a month. I for one, am impressed by the young parkrat's abilities. I don't see why I should be mad that a 12 year old can do a 540 and I can't.

Consider this, people are more complicated than what you can write in a couple pragraphs. If you think your only motivation to do anything as a kid was to piss off your elders, then you have obviously lost the memory of your childhood in a foggy haze.
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Oh, so thats the reason people try and learn new tricks? To piss you off? I'm not a park guy, but I was always under the impressiont that they did it because it was personaly satisfying to improve your abilities. Who knew they were doing it all just to piss you off.
Chill just a bit Maggot! Just a figure of speech that us ol farts use when we no longer can keep up with the young'ens!



Quote:
I'm 21, and ski, mostly big mountain, although I'll do a couple park laps a month. I for one, am impressed by the young parkrat's abilities. I don't see why I should be mad that a 12 year old can do a 540 and I can't.
Dang, sonny. You should be pissed off if ya letting 12 year olds out ski ya!

Quote:
Consider this, people are more complicated than what you can write in a couple pragraphs. If you think your only motivation to do anything as a kid was to piss off your elders, then you have obviously lost the memory of your childhood in a foggy haze
.

They say that's the first thing to go when ya get older:
post #14 of 55
Quote:
I've wondered if the trend toward terrain parks could be the death of mountans as we know them?

You don't need the vertical and the associated costs of maintaining miles of lift towers and grooming. The electrical costs would be lowered and you could have "mini parks" emerge within spitting distance of cities on less "real estate".
I always wondered if the smaller mountains near urban centers were to devote themselves to a park culture if they wouldn't be more successful. Younger people certainly are attracted more to the park at first, and if done well and priced right it could spark some interest in the sport. With overhead s lower (well maybe not insurance, but operating costs otherwise) a small area could price themsleves competitively and really thrive.

If anything successful venues like this would draw in the younger skiers, who in turn would feed the larger resorts and help actually keep them open. After awhile everyone ventures out of the park and wants the larger terrain of a destination resort.
post #15 of 55
Skiing is changing, to be sure. But it's not a skiing v. snowboarding thing anymore, is it? The 90s are over.

Skiing, these days, is changing like so many other things: it's absorbing influences that (younger) people are bringing from other sports/activities. Duh, right? But it did take the skiing world a while to incorporate what snowboarding did, and that's understandable (snowboards are much more similar to skateboards and surfboards). But, it's been good for the sport, hasn't it? It's evolving, changing, growing...

(Me...I just don't get the rail sliding thing. I know, I know, it's from skateboarding, but I grew up racing, so I cringe when I see anyone do that. The edges! The bases! I'm told it doesn't really hurt the skis, but, still.... Why do so many park skis come with riveted tips and tails?)

The other thing that has happened to skiing is the explosion of ski movie production in the last ten years or so. Even if big mountain freeriding isn't accessible to every young skier, watching it is. And that has changed how they see the sport.

So, I don't think the ski resort of the (near) future will be one big terrain park with one lift. The skills developed in the park do cross over to big line skiing, and people will want to try both.

Of course, there's also Silverton, which some say is the future of American skiing, too. "Lift-served backcountry" might be an oxymoron, but it's a neat idea. They seem to like it in Europe.
post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Oh, so thats the reason people try and learn new tricks? To piss you off? I'm not a park guy, but I was always under the impressiont that they did it because it was personaly satisfying to improve your abilities. Who knew they were doing it all just to piss you off.

I have no idea what Tahoe was saying either, that 20-25 year olds are mostly snowboarders? Where'd you come up with that?

I'm 21, and ski, mostly big mountain, although I'll do a couple park laps a month. I for one, am impressed by the young parkrat's abilities. I don't see why I should be mad that a 12 year old can do a 540 and I can't.

Consider this, people are more complicated than what you can write in a couple pragraphs. If you think your only motivation to do anything as a kid was to piss off your elders, then you have obviously lost the memory of your childhood in a foggy haze.
Why don't you put your feet up and relax.

Posts with your tone accomplish little, but are tolerated to some degree, due to your age.

Few people are interested in listening to somebody's worked-up personal rant.
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Why don't you put your feet up and relax.

Posts with your tone accomplish little, but are tolerated to some degree, due to your age.

Few people are interested in listening to somebody's worked-up personal rant.
So people are more interested in hearing ignorant, curmudgonly statements, as long as they are just generally spaced out over half your posts, and don't get right to the point?

Or is that tolerated because of your age too?

I don't see what the comments of "These damn youngsters..." accomplish either.

Heck, nothing we say acomplishes anything anywas, we're posting on an internet forum about skiing, not saving the world.

Not all of this is about you specifically, but I have noticed a LOT of posts here along the lines of "These damn kids..."

There are aspects of EPIC I like a lot, but that is one that just annoys me. And, no, I'm not just trolling.
post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post

We did it with jeans, long hair and pot-smoking while skiing. Nothing was more priceless than disapproving frowns from "seniors".


Now I'm the older fart (50'ish), and find myself bemoaning kids on boards sitting on the off-ramp.

Not to be outdone, younger kids with twin-tips are intent on PO'ing their elders - the 20-30 yr. guys - with ski stunts in the park.




Maggot: Did you even read the post you're so worked about about?

If you do, you may note that the post is mostly self-depricating.

Any comment about new tricks, is relegated to last sentence, referring the next generation - not YOUR generation, but those under you - taking it to the park on twin-tips to carve their own identity.

If their actions are intended to PO anyone, it's your generation - not mine.

All of which references insightful points previously made by Taho_M:

1. The younger kids 12-18 want to be different from the generation above them 20-35. That means skiing instead of snowboarding. The new park/all mountain skis are all the rage in the Sierras. They mount them up to 10cm forward of the usual center mark on the ski to have better balance on rails,boxes and landing backwards off tables.

2. Nothing make some people in the older generation (snowboarders) madder then a young punk skier boosting off tables and half pipes higher then them. This only encourages the young skiers more (the usual generational battle thing).

Much ado about nothing.
post #19 of 55
Thread Starter 
Some future changes I would like to see:

- Shuttle trains that would take us from the cities up to the ski areas. I think there is a train that runs out of Denver. It would take me at least five hours to drive from Tacoma to Whistler B.C., I would rather ride than drive. It would be cool if a train system would shuttle between all the ski areas in Utah and Colorado. I like Utah because so many ski areas are so close to SLC airport, but I can't imagine how folks get to the Colorado ski areas.

- Adjustable skis... wait there is one: http://www.proctorjones.com/pjonline...1430&pf_id=024 Ok, how about adjustable width skis?

- Would like to see Washington State become skier friendly. The environmentist and Indian tribes won't let us expand our ski areas. Just dumb, dumb, dumb.

- I like the ski parks, they are fun to watch. They should set up bleachers so we could watch without having to buy a lift ticket.

- Ski lifts that don't break down. We can do better.

- Para-ski patrollers that don't have to be so highly trained but would get free skiing. We could help clean up yard sales, radio in to the real patrollers for injury help, etc. Some resorts have safety patrols, hope they get free skiing.

- Resort sponsored parties and events for mid-week skiers.

- Definitely let skiers turn in their lift tickets for credit if lifts are not running or slopes are not skiable. It is stupid that you have to buy a lift ticket to find out if the snow can be skied (rain and ice...). I bought a lift ticket a Park City last year only to find that the main lift to the upper mountain was broken.

- Would like to see the resort go out and pick up some of the rocks that the grooming machines turn up. Can't the groomers drag a rake to catch some of the rocks? I tried tossing some of those rocks, but found I really can't toss a six pound rock very far.

- Would like to see the resorts web-publish a grooming report and more accurate snow conditions. (are you listening Crystal?). Actually, I am skiing more off groom now, so never mind.

- Would like to see the return of one piece ski suits for the gals... to better identify...or something...

- Ladies day, very reduced lift ticket prices for the ladies to encourage more gals to ski... lots of gals....

- My mind is wandering... more ideas later...
post #20 of 55
OK, so I'm guilty of only reading 1/2 of this thread (not 1/2 of the first post, 1/2 thread) so if someone said this already just move along.

Basically this goes under the same theory of Derick Jeeter beeing the most over-rated player in MLB. It doesn't mean he is bad. It doesn't mean he is not great. It's all a matter of BS number manipulation.
Basically the terrain park has been so under-developed for the last 20 years it's rather easy to see how it could be the future groth of the ski industry. It's like when internet buisnesses were seeing 150% groth per quarter in the mid 90's. Of course they were. They were so small, it was easy to grow at such a crazy rate. Once they move into the territory close to the big boys they will top out.

Look at the more "progressive" mtns. In most cases they have 5 to 10 terrain park features. Then they have close to 100 or more regular runs. If they add one park feature they get a 20% increase. If you add 10 runs to the mountain you get a 10% increase. Which would be a bigger deal? 10 new runs or 1 more transition? I know this a bit oversimplified but everytime I see bs like this it makes me want to punch people who are flipping out about it and obviously don't understand the concept of numbers.

I'd like to see the number of people who stay in the park after 25. Maybe 1% of an already small percentage of the poulation. Park numbers are going to have to see their same groth numbers for the next 20 years to get in the realm of traditional skiier/boarder numbers.
post #21 of 55
The future of snowsports: I am advised that it's a contracting business with less than flat sales of goods and skier visits. Add in climate change, and then think about the future of snowsports. Penny stocks, anyone?
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Maggot: Did you even read the post you're so worked about about?

If you do, you may note that the post is mostly self-depricating.

Any comment about new tricks, is relegated to last sentence, referring the next generation - not YOUR generation, but those under you - taking it to the park on twin-tips to carve their own identity.

If their actions are intended to PO anyone, it's your generation - not mine.

All of which references insightful points previously made by Taho_M:

1. The younger kids 12-18 want to be different from the generation above them 20-35. That means skiing instead of snowboarding. The new park/all mountain skis are all the rage in the Sierras. They mount them up to 10cm forward of the usual center mark on the ski to have better balance on rails,boxes and landing backwards off tables.

2. Nothing make some people in the older generation (snowboarders) madder then a young punk skier boosting off tables and half pipes higher then them. This only encourages the young skiers more (the usual generational battle thing).

Much ado about nothing.

Yea man, like I said, I wasn't even really talking about you specifically. Half that post was directed at Tahoe, if anyone in particular. Mostly it was just a response to many comments of a similar mindset as was touched on in both your posts.

Its not like I called either of you a poo poo head or anything. I just don't see the truth in blanket statements like those.
post #23 of 55
Thread Starter 
I see more and more kids skipping school to ski midweek. Perhaps the future will include school credit for skiing... PE credit or something. Maybe geography or snow studies.

Ok... don't tell me this is already being done somewhere.
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruxpercnd View Post
I see more and more kids skipping school to ski midweek. Perhaps the future will include school credit for skiing... PE credit or something. Maybe geography or snow studies.

Ok... don't tell me this is already being done somewhere.
It is. East coast mountain prep schools - race programs are part of the curriculum. Not new, elementary school in Vail during the 60's - Wednesday afternoons were on the mountain ... called "wonderful wednesday".
post #25 of 55
Not really sure where skiing's going. Population is shifting to warmer climates, so that's not a positive thing, but huge sums of money are turning over in inheritance and the boomers are hot on vacation property. Most will go the beach/golf route, but there's a lot of activity in mountain property too.

As for recruiting new sliders - young or old - there are many more competing activities sprouting up every day ... many very technical and requiring dedicated focus and equipment to become proficient.

I don't remember trying to piss anyone off as a kid, just trying to be part of the "group", which was generally rebelling against our parent's generation to express our own ideas about how things should be done. I had all the answers then.
post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco View Post
Not really sure where skiing's going.
1) Population is shifting to warmer climates, so that's not a positive thing, but huge sums of money are turning over in inheritance and the boomers are hot on vacation property. Most will go the beach/golf route, but there's a lot of activity in mountain property too.

As for recruiting new sliders - young or old -
2) ...there are many more competing activities sprouting up every day ... many very technical and requiring dedicated focus and equipment to become proficient.

I don't remember trying to piss anyone off as a kid, just trying to be part of the "group", which was generally rebelling against our parent's generation to express our own ideas about how things should be done. I had all the answers then.
1) According to whom?

2) Like what?

BTW, As for "the future of skiing", I don't see anyone paying for a condo adjacent to a ski park. I'm no businessman, but aren't ski resorts developed with an eye to selling real-estate? Isn't that where the big money is?
post #27 of 55
The kids in the "prep" type schools get a lot less on snow time than you would think.

Early rise and class .... bit of skiing four weekdays .... but back to class and evening study hall. School all day Saturday and some skiing on Sunday. Even the November training on any given glacier .... the books go with them and study time is two to eight in the evening with a dinner break in between.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
1) According to whom?
My interpretation of demographic reports and US Census reports. I only offered it as a discussion point - not to defend a thesis. The largest collective share of growth has been in the SE, TX, and desert SW. You believe otherwise, that's fine.

Quote:
2) Like what?
Biggest competition these days seems to be a couch, a plasma screen, and a PS3.

Quote:
...I'm no businessman, but aren't ski resorts developed with an eye to selling real-estate? Isn't that where the big money is?
Ski resorts, golf resorts, tennis resorts, lake resorts, ... yada. Yep they're all about separating cash from those who have it. If park rats had a pot to pee in, there would probably be condos next to a ski park.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
The kids in the "prep" type schools get a lot less on snow time than you would think.

Early rise and class .... bit of skiing four weekdays .... but back to class and evening study hall. School all day Saturday and some skiing on Sunday. Even the November training on any given glacier .... the books go with them and study time is two to eight in the evening with a dinner break in between.
I'd think they're skiing a bit more than the class cutters Ruxpercnd was talking about. Then again, maybe not and that's why our educational rankings in the world are falling as fast as they are.
post #30 of 55
faber: Of course, there's also Silverton, which some say is the future of American skiing, too.

The majority of skiers can barely ski on perfectly groomed slopes. If Silverton is the future of American skiing, then there is no future in skiing. Skiing cannot survive if only advanced/experts can ski.
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