Originally Posted by Highway Star
Passes are an EXTREMELY valueable source of income for EVERY RESORT.
I never said they weren't valuable, just a minority income source.
Case in point, lets take K for example.
Last year I remember reading somewhere that K sold somewhere around 10,000 combined(platinum, gold, silver and bronze) A41 passes(could be off, you know the alzhiemers thing
). Lets say that each pass averaged 20 visits over the season, and the average cost paid for all 10,000 was $500. Simple math shows that those passes accounted for 200,000 skier visits out of the 700,000 odd thousand total visits K did last year, and a total of $5,000,000 paid in lift tickets for those skier/rider days.
Now that leaves 500,000 other skier vists between vacation packages and day ticket buyers. Lets say that they paid an average of $50 per ticket. Thats $25,000,000 in ticket revenue from non-pass holders.
Not that $5,000,000 is chump change, but it is a minority amount compared to the $25,000,000 of the vacation/day ticket buyers.
Yes, there are ALOT of "extras" that both groups will pay for too (lodging, rentals, lessons, meals, etc), but again, you're more than likely to see both a larger total expenditure from the vacation/day ticket group than the pass holders group, and a larger per day expenditure from this same group (What percentage of pass holders regularly get rentals, take lessons, stay in K -managed lodging compared to the vacation/daytripper crowd?? I don't know the answer, but I feel very comfortable in saying that it is less)
Look, I'm a 10+ year passholder(former A41'er/ASC all-east/ASC ski america, now a Nor'easter passholder at Mt Snow). I know that we(as passholders) make up an important demographic and are highly valued by any resort that we choose to call "home base". The reality is though in a strict business sense that its the day tripper/vacation week skier/rider that will account for a larger portion of a ski areas income year in and year out, and hence is the more important/coveted market. Yes, the passholder does give valuable dollars and insight as to how the operation is running and where some improvement may be needed, but it's not as large a percentage of an income source as you might think.
This is a concept that holds true in many areas/types of businesses, its not the low volume"flashy big ticket items" that are the largest income sources, but the "regular" everyday items where its the volume that they're sold in that makes them your largest income sources.