Well, it's not only the war drums (although that may have a big part in it, like in the 91 gulf war, the best skiing year that I experienced so far, nearly empty slopes and all)
but I think it's also a combination of the resort having done nothing serious to keep their customers.
As an example, I used to go sking to Alta Badia, until 1997, since then, with a family of four, I couldn't bear the costs.
The only answer from the hotels I used to go was: "bad for you
we have a list this long of people that wish to come, bye".
This despite being a long term customer (started going there at 13...). This as a consequence has brought that most of the people that still go there are old, there is no new pwople going (at least from my village).
I wanted to go, this year, but I haven't managedto find a reasonable priced room/flat, yet (avg is 140Euro a day for the family, breakfast+dinner, without counting the lift passes, the journey and lunch)
As far as empty slopes, it seems that people tend to stay in places where they can go and come back in the same day.
I tend to spend my saturdays (afternoon or the whole day) at the
nearest resort (37km), this way I've been able to ski at least once per week since jan 6th. Still, crowds were somehow "normal"...
edited to add forgotten part (and correct some mistakes)
[ February 06, 2003, 04:59 AM: Message edited by: Matteo ]