or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Skier participation figures DOWN
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Skier participation figures DOWN - Page 2

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
Then again nobody charges $75 a day for somewhere to ride your snowmobile or makes you pay $400 a night for lodging after you are done. .
You spend money on fuel, oil and other supplies, and a Snow mobile trip can cost as much per day as a ski trip, yet the equipment is more costly and a break down can get into Big bucks!
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco View Post
Bachelor, Baker, and Crystal in PNW have avoided "development", but have pop centers/vacation homes to draw from. Same for Stevens...

Part of the answer is figuring how to get people off their lazy, dead butts in the middle of winter.
You are correct that Crystal, and Stevens (and Snoqualmie/Alpental) have the Seattle/ Tacoma Metropolitan area with a combined population of about 3.2 million to draw from. Mt. Baker is about a 2 1/2 hour drive north from Seattle depending on road conditions. Add about an hour or so to that if driving up from Tacoma.

However, other WA., areas including White Pass, 49 degrees North and Mt. Spokane have much smaller urban areas nearby. White Pass's nearest large neighbor, Yakima has a population of about 220,000. 49 degrees and Mt. Spokane's closest large neighbor is Spokane with a population of about 420,000. Both are considerably smaller than Seattle/Tacoma. In Washington and Oregon, only Mt. Bachelor has much of a vacation home component close by which the city of Bend and the resort community of Sunriver each about 20 miles from the mountain, have increasingly aquired.

Oregon has more than a dozen ski areas. Most of them are fairly modest in size. Mt. Hood alone supports half a dozen different resorts about an hour's drive from the the 2 million persons living in the greater Portland area. It's about a four hour drive from Portland to Bachelor although Eugene and Salem are closer each being about 130 miles away with a combined population of around 550,000 people. They also support nearby Williamette Pass and Hoodoo ski areas.

Although it certainly helps for a ski resort to be located within a few hours drive from a major metropolitan area, it is not indispensable that the city be the size of NYC or even Denver, Colo. Yakima may do. Mountain real estate development, with skiing as merely an amenity, does not seem indispensable to running a successful skiing operation. At least not in Oregon and Washington and, I suspect, many other places, as well.

A big challenge is to encourage more people to move away from their flat screen TVs and video games.
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy View Post
... In Washington and Oregon, only Mt. Bachelor has much of a vacation home component close by which the city of Bend and the resort community of Sunriver each about 20 miles from the mountain, have increasingly aquired...
For now, although Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth areas are seeing a sizeable increase in 2nd home development. Not the typical "slope-side development" in any sense, but similar to the early off-mountain development around Summit County and Winter Park. My gut says it won't go to the same extremes in WA, but SEA/TAC is exploding with a highly educated/highly paid population. However, it is a recipe for the same thing that happened in CO. Other than the density of people, it's not such a bad thing. But, you don't head to the mountains in CO anymore to "get away" ... at least not anywhere near a resort center.

The psyche of the typical Washingtonian or Oregonian is so far from that of the typical Eastcoaster - almost everyone has an appreciation for the out-of-doors and "exploring". As a percentage of the population, I find that mindset to be much smaller in the East. Leafpeepers abound everywhere, but once the leaves are gone and the snow hits, it's a challenge to get them back out. The "active" travel to the local rink for hockey .. most hibernate.

To be fair, winter in Portland and Seattle is a much tamer beast than Boston, Hartford, Prov where in years past snow and ice hangs around all winter making things kind of miserable at times. My brother often bikes to work in Seattle (~35 miles) 1-3 days a week in the dead of winter - the East isn't set up for that.
post #34 of 50
Since WA and OR are being discussed, it is important to note again that land availability (or UNavailablility) is the primary reason some of these areas have not gone the resort route. The Forest Service just won't allow it. There is also a very big environmental movement that shot down the Early Winters resort in the Methow Valley and it helped throw cold water on the hopes for other developments in the region.

Frankly, I'm happy with the way it is. After visiting Whistlerland and paying huge prices, I'm very happy to come home to good skiing in a less hyped atmosphere.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
Since WA and OR are being discussed, it is important to note again that land availability (or UNavailablility) is the primary reason some of these areas have not gone the resort route. The Forest Service just won't allow it...

Frankly, I'm happy with the way it is. After visiting Whistlerland and paying huge prices, I'm very happy to come home to good skiing in a less hyped atmosphere.
I agree with both points.
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
Since WA and OR are being discussed, it is important to note again that land availability (or UNavailablility) is the primary reason some of these areas have not gone the resort route. The Forest Service just won't allow it. There is also a very big environmental movement that shot down the Early Winters resort in the Methow Valley and it helped throw cold water on the hopes for other developments in the region.

Frankly, I'm happy with the way it is. After visiting Whistlerland and paying huge prices, I'm very happy to come home to good skiing in a less hyped atmosphere.
Very true, although don't think that leases can't be struck and deals made that "open" land to development as has occurred in other parts of the country. All land was government land at one point. State land is most susceptible.

What OR and WA have seems to work - there are enough local participants willing to drive a couple of hours to keep things running. To draw from a more distant population, overnight accommodations come into play. If a significant number of Americans are going to participate in "larger" vert skiing - there have to be resorts somewhere to handle the volume. Neither WA/OR will ever be a destination state for skiing as things stand now. (Hood on a small scale for summer training, and Bachelor maybe, but that's about the extent of it.) Other states have elected to court the tourist skiing dollar. I'm sure most PNW skiers are as happy as pigs in cool mud for that decision.
post #37 of 50
I'm happy with the WA situation. Although last I checked it looked like Crystal was on the resort expansion road. And supposedly Stevens is working on some terrain and lift expansion that feel like precursors to taking a run at some sort of resort type thing. OTOH - I would not cry to have some more terrain opened up at Stevens if it did not lead to more crowds (nothing like having your cake and getting to eat it too

Grant did a good article this past season on the economics of a place like Baker vs the typical resort.

I have to say that the economics of the ski industry have been a mystery to me for some time. Especially the areas where the economic model is based on a real estate sales. It seems inevitable that such areas either will eventually price themselves well beyond the reach of most people &/or will severely reduce service levels to keep with a chosen price point.
post #38 of 50
Sounds like fun.
I'm located about equidistant between VT and CO. All my skiing requires travel planning and reservations in advance to get the best airfares. Considering the dependability of the snow out west compared to the east I've always gone west. Maybe this year will be the year to try the east.
Just what is the "ski house scene"? I'm not familiar with the term.
One last thought about demographics and a previous comment about a "perceived extremely high injury rate". The older I get the more this perception becomes reality. Some of the falls I took on motorcycles 40 years ago or skis 30 years ago would put me out of commission for months today. Just healing from a simple broken bone and the related joint stiffness now takes months to overcome. The combination of more nagging injuries and less camaraderie work together to keep a lot of baby boomers off the slopes.
My wife and I will be there. We enjoy mixing with the the folks at the base area and like you said, "there's still plenty of mountian to explore where most people don't ski".
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco View Post
...To be fair, winter in Portland and Seattle is a much tamer beast than Boston, Hartford, Prov where in years past snow and ice hangs around all winter making things kind of miserable at times. My brother often bikes to work in Seattle (~35 miles) 1-3 days a week in the dead of winter - the East isn't set up for that.
Good point. Eastern WA and Oregon tend to have much harsher winters than Portland and Seattle but don't have the population concentration of the major east coast cities. I started skiing in New England when it was still a very middle class winter activity. My parents both skied too.

In the PNW, folks still ski in plastic garbage bags when it rains and generally tend to favor function over fashion. Many still bring their straight skis to the mountain, ski in rear entry boots and still seem to manage to have a lot of fun-often with their tykes in tow.

Daily lift ticket prices at Mt. Baker this past season based on age categories (adult, college, young adult, child respectively) were:
Weekend/Holiday All Day: $39.46 $29.72 $33.90 $19.05
Weekend/Holiday Afternoon: $32.04 $24.39 $29.26$19.05
Midweek/Non-Holiday: $32.04 $24.39$29.26 $19.05

Mt Hood Meadows has an interesting approach to season passes:
4x4-Four adults as a group ages 23 - 64 purchase unlimited season passes on-line together for $400 each.
3X3 - Three 15 - 22 year olds as a group purchase unlimited season passes on-line together for $300 each.
2X2 - Two 7 - 14 year olds purchase unlimited season passes on-line together for $200 each.
6 & Under Free - With the purchase of a Parent or Grand Parent unlimited season pass.
10 or More 10 Time Pass - A group of at least 10 people purchase a 10 Time Pass for $295. The Group Organizer receives a complimentary lift ticket and the group receives a complimentary 10 Time Pass for every 20 purchased.

An adult Season Pass at Alpental/Snoqualmie ran about 300.00 last season.

Mt. Bachelor, Crystal and Stevens are pricier, to be sure. However, most other WA and Oregon resorts have price structures that are comparable to the resorts cited above.

I picked these three resorts because Baker and Alpental/Snoqualmie have some of the most varied terrain to be found in a resort of their respective sizes anywhere- a lot of expert runs, off piste skiing as well as gentler greens and blues. Mt. Hood Meadows is the largest of the Hood ski areas.

At the absurd extreme is the Yellowstone private ski resort in Montana developed as a result of a rather dubious land exchange with the US Forest Service. You need a minimum of $3.5 million in net worth and an invitation to join. The fees break down into a $250,000 initiation fee and $16,000 in annual dues. You are required to buy a homesite for $1.1 million to $3.2 million, and eventually you have to build a house. According to a ski magazine article last season, the slopes at Yellowstone are virtually empty.

Not having 3.5 million in net worth, I prefer the WA/OR models.
post #40 of 50
Unfavorable conditions int he early season, and once we all got out there half of us were taken out by injuries. This year was the least I skied in 6 years first due to weather then due to injury.
post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post
Just what is the "ski house scene"? I'm not familiar with the term.
I'm refering to seasonal rentals of ski house by a room or share basis. Basicly, you get access to the house every weekend (full share), or every other weekend (half share), for 6 months. At Killington, it's about $1500-$2500 for a full share, and $800-$1500 for a half share, depending of the desireablity of the house, perks, etc. Thus, for the price of a pass and house share, you can ski every weekend with no strings attached. This works out good for someone like me because I can live in the city, but still ski 50-70 days a year with minimal cost per day.

Anyway, this leads to there being a huge scene of people who are up there every weekend........etc.
post #42 of 50
I'd just like to weigh in that I don't find fart bags at all sexy.
post #43 of 50

keeping it simple.....

A family with 3 kids;

Skiing or Disney World????????

Considering the condition of our youth today, as well as their parents, Disney wins hands down.....
post #44 of 50
NewsFlash!

Playstation3 and Nintendo participation WAY up....
post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
NewsFlash!

Playstation3 and Nintendo participation WAY up....
I was looking for the article but can't find it, that stated something like ..........
This is the first generation of kids that will not exceed the life expectancy of their parents.
Each year the average age of people goes a little higher, and many live past 100 now, where you rarely heard of that several years ago. But THIS generation of youth is sitting in front of their games, and eating fast food, (presumably in front of their games) and they will be the first generation in several decades that has a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
post #46 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry_Morgan View Post
I'd just like to weigh in that I don't find fart bags at all sexy.
Hmmmmm, maybe I should get my old Fartbag out and get your opinion............Now thats some funny sht right there!
post #47 of 50

I can take a guess related to Tahoe

I can only speak to the Tahoe Area, and this is just my personal observation.

Prior to this season the Tahoe winter season was becoming more and more popular each year.

The 2005,2006 season started a bit late but then the snow was great and consistent. The ski season lasted well into May.

Skiing was the in thing to do! Active people had disposable income and chose to spend it on skiing.

The Tahoe area hotels were full!! All winter, they consistently kept raising room rates. They were able to fill the rooms at normal to above average room rates during what had previously been a low point in the season when they offered discounted packages.

Ski resorts were busy and began treating the skiers like cattle being herded from here to there.

Retail shops were charging retail plus. They did not sell or build a long term relationship. The attitude for the most part was Buy what I have, or get out of the way so I can sell it to one of the ten people standing behind you?

So 2005 saw more people spending more money per skier than ever before!

I suspect all these skiers had an OK time but how did they fell about the value they received or how they were treated?

Long time repeat visitors were told that they had better book next years trip now and they would have to pay$$$$ Or lose the space.

I could not find any type of decent deal for our Epic gathering as far back as June of last year!! They Hotels were SOO arrogant.

So here comes 2006/2007 NO SNOW and the snow never came!

I suspect you could not pay half the people who were abused in 2005 to come and be subjected to that again if the snow were less than spectacular.

I don't think Tahoe would have had the same number of skier visits if the snow had been Epic based on the way people were treated in 200/5/2006
post #48 of 50
I just want to add a comment about the WA scene. I ski at stevens pass (and alpental but mainly stevens). This season there were quite a few days when the parking crew was turning people around because all of their lots plus the overflow lots down the road, accessible by shuttle, were full. I have arrived mid week and seen the lot full and for 150 dollars(maybe 175) a person can get 3 lift tickets three days of rentals and 3 days of lessons. That is a very very affordable way to get into skiing. Not to mention a lot of school districts run ski busses up to the local areas and the children recive discounted tickets and rentals which draws them into it. There are also many non profits involved (that I noticed this year) with getting urban kids up skiing at no cost.

btw spindrift- stevens is looking to open up some more terrain and add a couple lifts but trust me there is no way the forset service would ever ever ever let them get a way with a resort type deal
post #49 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
stevens is looking to open up some more terrain and add a couple lifts but trust me there is no way the forset service would ever ever ever let them get a way with a resort type deal
Back in the '70s I heard rumors about the area wanting to develop condos on the west side of Brookes chair someplace on railroad land. This died when they had problems with both the Forest Service and King County because of sewage treatment concerns when they wanted to open the new lodge. At least that's how I remember it.
post #50 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star View Post
Steve - Wow.....where have you been skiing?

I would urge you to come to Killington VT and check out the ski house scene there. It's exactly as you describe from the 70's and 80's. Most people are in their 30's to 50's, some with famillies, but many are not. Plus, there are people in their 20's still discovering the scene and getting involved with it, and big crowd in their 60's onward. Many people come up a few times, look at the viable economics of getting a house, and are hooked. The scene is huge, people are there to have a good time, guys and girls city people and locals alike. Girls dress in fashionable tight ski pants, and are still taken seriously. Fashionable one peices have taken hold with some of more progressive girls. Some people can ski great, some are average, but people generally "get it" and are out on the hill having lots of fun, and partying hard afterwards. Sure, it's crowded at 10 am on a Saturday, but that's half the fun - there's still plenty of mountian to explore where most people don't ski.
HS, you should be hired by Killington to do their marketing and resort management. I also really like your description of the killington ski house scene, and I'm really encouraged to know that it goes beyond your 20's and early 30's, though i'm sure the experience evolves from Shot-skis and the Pickle barrel to fancy dinners and Grand Marnier. I'm in my 3rd year at a ski house now, and it has really been a life changing experience for me and my friends in the house. If more people experienced the ski lifestyle at Killington, numbers would go way up. Have a look at http://www.chroniclesofgnarnia.com/?p=23 It describes how weekends usually go at our house on Prior drive.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Skier participation figures DOWN