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The season that was and will be forever...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Alright, just got some pics from a friend in Summit County showing some snow on dem der mountians, the first snow flakes have fallen locally (OK, so it was only a couple of flakes, but it's a start), the gear review magazines have arrived - HEY, IT MUST BE SKI SEASON AGAIN!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

We have had many discussions on this forum about the status of our sport. Looking back on the last year's season, given the state of the economy, possible war, etc, just what do you think this year will be like? Do you see some growth or another flat year or a shrinking base of snow enthusiasts? And yes, I know the first, most important factor is what the early season snowfall is like. Beyond the obvious factor of weather, what do you think of the coming year?

Last year, in light of 9/11, the prediction was disaster for the tourism industry in general, and a poor year for ski areas in particular. From the anecdotal evidence that I've heard, that seems to have been the case. In CO, only three areas managed to see a boost in their skier visits: Breckenridge, Copper Mtn, and Telluride. Breck, I suppose, due to their being a front-range resort; Copper because they heavily discounted lift tickets and lodging. I’m not sure to what to attribute Telluride’s success. I’ve heard that Utah was down all season except for the Olympics. Haven’t heard much about how the East fared nor how the far West (Tahoe, Mammoth, PNW, etc) did. What do others hear about the number of ski visits last year?

Finally, returning to Copper’s success last season (when the snowfall wasn’t anything special): how did Copper manage to bump up their numbers? They marketed the snot out of the place. And they followed the one of the first rules of economics – You want more demand? Lower your prices! Don’t know what, if any, cost cutting measures were put into place, but Copper’s revenues were also up for last year. And they set a couple of daily attendance records (thank God for quad’s and sixpacks or we would still be standing in line!). Wake up and smell the hot wax melting! Skiing is too expensive. Lower your prices and the people will come back!
post #2 of 4

I think in here in the Midwest, western PA & NY skier days will stay flat. The hardcore skiers will keep the numbers up with turn visits but new introduction to the sport will be down. Why do I think this? Well the largest ski and winter sports show between Chicago and New York used to be held in Cleveland and was sponsored by Subaru. All the resorts both east and west would be there and all equipment reps would be showing off all the newest gear. However, the show was cancelled last year because Subaru pulled out. I just take it as a bad sign. At my local hill we have had a ski school directorship change. We were told that it was to lift morale and improve the quality of our training BUT it seems to be a cost cutting procedure. (i.e. only dependants of an instructor will get free passes and only after Jan. I, 2003, so if you are single you get no benefit). It just feels like there is a lack of interest of the up coming season here but maybe it is just me. We will know more after the open house that starts this Friday at our little hill. Last year we booked 2500 hours of private lesson during the pre-season but we had the ski and winter sport show. Hey at least I will get a chance to meet Brad Holmes.

post #3 of 4
The reason for Coppers succes was Ski&Golf along with Bong, Skicrazy's and lets not forget the wonderful SCSA!!!
post #4 of 4
Tahoe skier visits were up last year to 3.2 million. It may have been their second highest year on record, but I can't be sure of that. No need to think too hard about why Colorado's attendance was down. The snow sucked.

The Pacific West had 12.1 million visits, a new record, thanks to the good snowfall. Rocky Mountains had 18.1 million, down from the prior year's 19.3 million. More data at the NSSA site.

I never knew this until today: California has more skier visits than Colorado. Who knew?
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