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The future of skiing? - Page 2

post #31 of 55
I think that big mountain skiing is going to be takeing off, aided by the likes of warren miller, tgr, msp etc. Everybody sees people shredding waist deep pow on 60 degree slopes and wants to do it.

On a related note, I think we will see a large increase in the number of young people killed by avalanches
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
I think that big mountain skiing is going to be takeing off, aided by the likes of warren miller, tgr, msp etc. Everybody sees people shredding waist deep pow on 60 degree slopes and wants to do it.

On a related note, I think we will see a large increase in the number of young people killed by avalanches
WM, TGR, MSP, Team13, etc etc. have been showcasing big mountain skiing for years....but the primary growth has been in terrain park skiing. Why? It's way more accessable and affordable. Sure everybody wants to shred waist deep pow on 60 degree slopes, but how accessable and affordable is that to the kid in New Jersey who skis at Mountain Creek?

That being said, I do believe that big mountain has shown some growth recently as evidenced by the by growing number of fat skis from major manufacturers and some small indie ski companies focus on nothing but big mountain skis. Also, the number of sponsors, coverage, events, and prize money on the IFSA Big-Mountain Freeskiing Tour have steadily grown for the past 2 or 3 years. But it still pales in comparison to the number of halfpipe & slopestyle events and the prize money and exposure that can be earned there...corporate sponsors know that they'll get greater visibility and ROI by sponsoring park contests as oppossed to big mountain contests so they'll continue to pour money into that arena accordingly.

Regardless, it's always interesting to watch and see how this sport as a whole evolves and its all good.
post #33 of 55

The future is already planned

At least in the states, well Washington state, where it takes you 6 months to get a permit and clear cut 1 square mile for logging (OK I am making that up, it might be 3 months!), but 10 years to get a permit to clear a run or make improvements to a ski area.
Stevens Pass and the Summit have extensive terrain parks, luring more users in more weather conditions and night skiing. Both Crystal Mt. (approved) and the Summits (status??) development plans include features to make them more accessible year round (more $$) - Crystal will get a Tram with construction starting 2007, Alpentals plans include also a Tram or Gondola. The point is that the future of paying for improved facilities is to make them work for more people, more of the time. Access in summer, which we've already seen with Mt. Biking trails and luge runs, and enclosed lifts and improved facilities to get more people onto the existing hills (as opposed to new areas) is the future.
Now we just need better equipment that is gets less expensive each year.
post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
corporate sponsors know that they'll get greater visibility and ROI by sponsoring park contests as oppossed to big mountain contests so they'll continue to pour money into that arena accordingly.
ya i know it, total BS if you ask me. But then again look at the discrepancy between the money that goes into racing and the money that goes into park/pipe or big mountain. It doesnt really make sense to me, freeride/freestyle skiing is what is attracting the next generation of skiers shouldnt the money go there? Ask most kids out there who they would rather watch Tanner Hall or ....or....I just realized the only current ski racer I know by name is bode, guess that says something about my generation
post #35 of 55
MAG, I don't think you even understand what I am saying. Hell, I even agree with you with some of your comments. I moved to tahoe to live the dream. I am talking about general trends of course. Being cool is nothing new. Generations diferenciate themselves from the previosius ones for a lot reasons. Reasons you might not understand. You think I could hook up with some 18yr old girls playing The CARS and REOSPEEDWAGON in my ride. Well thats how it was skiing in Cali 95 to 03. Why do I have to explane this...ok sorry. I moved from the city in 1985 to live the lifestyle in the mountains and am still here. From 1995 to 2003 few people would sign up for our ski programs 12yr old to 25yrs. If you where a skier in this age bracket, you were thought of as a dork. Come on you know this to be true!!! It's only from 2003+ that skiing became cool again in California and most of the US . Be bold and flash your neon green pants. Don't hide behind your white jacket with the furrrrr on the hood, couse I have one too.
post #36 of 55
Given that the guy quoted is a hotel industry guy, I am amazed that he did not note the additional opportunity in applying yield/revenue management within the space.

Also, I am amazed that the industry doesnt do a better job of marketing to minorities, especially considering one of the most depressing metrics in the industry is the stagnant skier base + lack of new customer conversion... Just my biased take, however...
post #37 of 55
Odd that no one is mentioning climate. When the overnight lows get high enough at lower altitude resorts in the far west and east, snow making becomes unrealistically expensive. Smaller operations will either go belly up, or begin to open and close sporadically through the season depending on natural cover, like they do in the mountains above L.A. And when less committed or new skiers get burned a few times by crappy conditions, they really will seek other sports.
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Odd that no one is mentioning climate. When the overnight lows get high enough at lower altitude resorts in the far west and east, snow making becomes unrealistically expensive. Smaller operations will either go belly up, or begin to open and close sporadically through the season depending on natural cover, like they do in the mountains above L.A. And when less committed or new skiers get burned a few times by crappy conditions, they really will seek other sports.
This, along with increased fixed costs over the years, makes the following stat not as surprising...

Ski areas in the US in the early 80's: ~700
Ski areas in the US in 2006: 472
post #39 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-2-fly View Post
.....Crystal will get a Tram with construction starting 2007....
Just to clarify... I believe that the lift to the North Backcountry (The Northway Lift), is to be started Spring 2007. The Tram is later.

Check out the vid clip: http://www.lawrencetrotter.com/MiscPIcs/Crystal_Clip.wmv

Anyways.. Getting anything new in Washington State is a real uphill battle.

Speaking of the future... can you imagine that someday folks will look at vids of us in our quaint old fashion clothes, on those old fashion skis that weren't even width adjustable and had no diagnostic ski sensors?
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
WM, TGR, MSP, Team13, etc etc. have been showcasing big mountain skiing for years....but the primary growth has been in terrain park skiing. Why? It's way more accessable and affordable. Sure everybody wants to shred waist deep pow on 60 degree slopes, but how accessable and affordable is that to the kid in New Jersey who skis at Mountain Creek?

That being said, I do believe that big mountain has shown some growth recently as evidenced by the by growing number of fat skis from major manufacturers and some small indie ski companies focus on nothing but big mountain skis. Also, the number of sponsors, coverage, events, and prize money on the IFSA Big-Mountain Freeskiing Tour have steadily grown for the past 2 or 3 years. But it still pales in comparison to the number of halfpipe & slopestyle events and the prize money and exposure that can be earned there...corporate sponsors know that they'll get greater visibility and ROI by sponsoring park contests as oppossed to big mountain contests so they'll continue to pour money into that arena accordingly.

Regardless, it's always interesting to watch and see how this sport as a whole evolves and its all good.
I think big mountain skiing draws people who are allready skiers. Park draws people who are new to the sport. Why? who knows, maybe its because the average non skier can relate more to a park environment because they've seen it in other sports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evmo View Post
This, along with increased fixed costs over the years, makes the following stat not as surprising...

Ski areas in the US in the early 80's: ~700
Ski areas in the US in 2006: 472
That statistic could be a bit misleading. I think there are a lot more big resorts now. For example, Aspen Highlands used to be its own resort, now its part of the Aspen SkiCo.

I'd be curious to hear total in bounds acres then vs now.
post #41 of 55
Great topic -- It begs for some detailed demographic studies (if at all possible) that compares things like: percent of the population that skiied in the 50's (pick a decade) to now, the cost (adjusted for inflation) then vs now, the number of recreational skiers (14 days or less per year) compared to serious skiiers (over 14 days a year) then vs now, and even more.

These sound like a great Masters project for some student in marketing or whatever. If that info were to be digested down, it would make interesting reading.

Now to my opinion -- Parks are a good thing. They attract the young crowd, but I do not think that in 10/15 years we will see 30 year old dads with their families spending the day waiting to make some hits on the jumps. Hopefully many of them will transition into the more traditional parts of the mountain and keep skiing alive for years to come.

Last, and (maybe more humerously)I think I will invent a powder making machine, turn a bunch on over night and charge big bucks for the chance to make "first tracks".
post #42 of 55
Thread Starter 
Ski Industry Demographics:
http://www.sitourusa.com/industryread.html

Falling Snow, Rising Numbers Send Ski Industry Uphill:
http://www.newwest.net/index.php/top...i ll/C36/L36/
post #43 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
I think big mountain skiing draws people who are allready skiers. Park draws people who are new to the sport. Why? who knows, maybe its because the average non skier can relate more to a park environment because they've seen it in other sports.



That statistic could be a bit misleading. I think there are a lot more big resorts now. For example, Aspen Highlands used to be its own resort, now its part of the Aspen SkiCo.

I'd be curious to hear total in bounds acres then vs now.
Definitely agree. Didnt mean to be misleading, I think my point was more that it is more and more difficult for the little guy to make it these days, considering the rise in fixed costs and the relative lack of growth (in skier base and profitability of lift ticket sales)...
post #44 of 55
Ruxpercnd -- Thanks for the info. It was interesting. I wonder if there is comparable data that goes back to the 50's? -- That is when I started skiing.
post #45 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
Ruxpercnd -- Thanks for the info. It was interesting. I wonder if there is comparable data that goes back to the 50's? -- That is when I started skiing.

I figured there had to be some stats already. The impression I get is that the ski industry is growing slowly. Growth is dependent on getting new crops of young skiers and retaining skiers. The ski industry is maturing, by widening it demographics.

Interesting that the NE is losing ground. What is all that about?

What Massachusetts. has more skiers than Washington? Something is very wrong there. We have great skiing in Washington, but the state government doesn't encourage it, really dumb. Mass. probably just has a lot more people.
post #46 of 55
Dam, this thread is getting more fun than any of the 5,000 helmet threads!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragin' cajun' View Post
...
They say that's the first thing to go when ya get older:
I always thought it was the second thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vt Skier View Post
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.
Why would a resort want a business plan that wanted to lose their customer base every 5 - 10 years? Ski areas want to keep the sliders coming back to them, and them alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
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.
And I couldn't even call you a JONG anymore. And, I agree. There are lots of old farts wondering why the youngsters (anyone under 40) are doing what they do. For myself, self-admitted old fart, I'm always interested in learning new tricks (Even tho' I damn near killed myself last time I tried sliding a rail.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruxpercnd View Post
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.
They only go to Winter Park and Glenwood Springs. Normally, the train ride to Winter Park takes 2 - 3 hours, a trip by automobile takes about 1½ hour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruxpercnd View Post
- 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.
And where is the money for the ski areas in that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruxpercnd View Post
- 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.
Or, try turning. You know, the act of actually avoiding the rocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruxpercnd View Post
...

What Massachusetts. has more skiers than Washington? Something is very wrong there. We have great skiing in Washington, but the state government doesn't encourage it, really dumb. Mass. probably just has a lot more people.
My guess is the Mass ski areas are just closer to population centers, even if they are only a couple hundred vert.
post #47 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruxpercnd View Post
Just to clarify... I believe that the lift to the North Backcountry (The Northway Lift), is to be started Spring 2007. The Tram is later.

Check out the vid clip: http://www.lawrencetrotter.com/MiscPIcs/Crystal_Clip.wmv

Anyways.. Getting anything new in Washington State is a real uphill battle.

Speaking of the future... can you imagine that someday folks will look at vids of us in our quaint old fashion clothes, on those old fashion skis that weren't even width adjustable and had no diagnostic ski sensors?
My inside line says tram construction and chair start in summer of 07. But don't hold your breath these things are directly tied to ticket sales.
post #48 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
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?
Hello? Hello?
post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post

And I couldn't even call you a JONG anymore. And, I agree. There are lots of old farts wondering why the youngsters (anyone under 40) are doing what they do. For myself, self-admitted old fart, I'm always interested in learning new tricks (Even tho' I damn near killed myself last time I tried sliding a rail.)
ICSFM: Please, don't feed him.
post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
Hello? Hello?
hi...
post #51 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
ICSFM: Please, don't feed him.
Nah, I've had other conversations (internet, that is) with him; he's not a troll.
post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
(Even tho' I damn near killed myself last time I tried sliding a rail.)
so did I man, so did I

those things befuddle me.
post #53 of 55
Something that I've noticed is that the average age on the hill is rising. It seems like it used to be us young guys were the "crazy" young whippersnapper skiers and snowboarders (fwiw I'm 28 now). However it seems like the older skiers keep getting older and are staying in the sport longer, I'm thinking its the new equipment. They also seem to be more dedicated, it seems like the people I see out there every day are the older folks. On the flip side, it seemed like when I was a teenager there were more people my age on the hill than there are teenagers now. I do think that the teens that are out there now are more dedicate than the other teens when I was a teen. As an occasional activity skiing and snowboarding seem to have dropped off in popularity, but the teens that are out there now are going a few times a week. Again I blame equipment, video game equipment specifically.
On a side note I also mountain bike and that seems to be a very middle aged sport, most of the participants seem to be between 35-45.

In order to bring new blood into the sport I think a few things need to happen. First off small mountains are the future of our sport. I may be a bit biased as I started at and still ski at a small mountain.
I found it shocking when I discovered that many people only ski on vacation. I get 40-50 days worth of a season pass for less than what a condo costs for a week (or maybe even a few days). I think if more people had access to small, cheap mountains that offer night skiing they would get out more. Then in turn be more likely to go on ski trips, buy better gear, read ski magazines more, so on and so forth.
Also as far as the real new blood goes, keeping first timers from becoming one timers, something needs to be done about rental boots.
Besides finding a more comfortable boot, ski areas should have instructors teach new skiers how to put their socks on (no I'm not kidding), how to buckle their boots, how a ski boot should fit, yell at them for tucking their jeans into their boots and for wearing 3 pairs of socks. Basically an instructor that teams up with you when you buy your pass, goes to the rental shop and essentially teaches you everything you need to know about skiing, not just pizza and french fry.
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by dumpy View Post
On a side note I also mountain bike and that seems to be a very middle aged sport, most of the participants seem to be between 35-45.


Also as far as the real new blood goes, keeping first timers from becoming one timers, something needs to be done about rental boots.
Besides finding a more comfortable boot, ski areas should have instructors teach new skiers how to put their socks on (no I'm not kidding), how to buckle their boots, how a ski boot should fit, yell at them for tucking their jeans into their boots and for wearing 3 pairs of socks. Basically an instructor that teams up with you when you buy your pass, goes to the rental shop and essentially teaches you everything you need to know about skiing, not just pizza and french fry.
Teaming up an "instructor" to EVERY person who comes through the resort wouldn't be very economical. Educate the guys who work at the rental shops if anything. One idea here would be to offer free clothing rental to those who need it. I mean, most of the people who go to ski areas aren't complete idiots who come in jeans, so spending the little extra cash to provide free clothing equipment to those who need it will go a long way imo.

Oh, and btw, mountain biking isn't an oldie thing. Ever been to the Whistler summer bike park? :
post #55 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco View Post
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.
I didn't say I believed otherwise, I just wanted a source.

...btw, could the growth in those areas be from people not moving south, but north?
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