Warning: Long reply!
Now, we all have non-skiing friends, don’t we? Ask them for me why they don’t take to the slopes for a little fun? Is it too cold? Cost too much? Is it too far to travel? Are they out of shape and have no skills? What is the reason?
I have very few friends that actually ski - other friends have never made the effort to go to a decent ski resort and try the sport. Why? Don't know for sure but I think they don't know what they are missing!
What about you? Are you getting all the slope time you desire?
No way, I want a 100+ day season. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] I do make skiing a priority in my life and manage about 20-30 days/year. Got 4 days in so far and supposed to go this weekend if weather improves.
If not, is it lack of free time? Lift ticket cost too much and can’t get value for a seasons pass?
Plenty of vacation time from current job and the cost of a lift ticket is nothing at all compared to the cost of decent lodging. I'll gladly pay Deer Valley's cost of lift ticket for the cheap lodging costs available in Park City compared to other ski resort areas. I usually pay more for lodging on local weekend trips than I've paid in Utah. $10 more for a lift ticket is a non-issue.
Is it too far to drive in winter weather? What is keeping you from getting all the ski time you desire?
I live 3 hours from a ski resort, 5 hours from a pretty good one (Snowshoe). I also live 2 hours from a major airport which makes a difference in where I ski (short direct flights are a plus). Cinn to SLC non-stop is one of the best, then cheap convienent shuttles avail to any of the resorts, no rental car necessary at resort area) you just can't beat this anywhere that I've found yet. If you can, let me know! It would have to be utopia. The cost of shuttles and length of time traveling to a resort is what has prevented me from going to Colorado so far. Too few flights avail to Eagle and Aspen and no direct flights early or late season from the 2 major airports I can drive to.
If there are several reasons, list them all but then tell me the biggest reason not to ski as often as you wish.
Lodging cost. You can't do a day trip when it's 5 hours to the resort. If I don't have someone to at least split the lodging costs then I can't afford high season. Holiday rates are out of the question. To stay on the mountain at Snowshoe is at least $200/night for 2 adults/2 children during high season. You can stay off the mountain for a little less. Drive 45 minutes to a small hotel room and you will get one for about $100/night. I go alot early and late season, but very little during high season due to the cost.
I have 2 years till I can move to a resort. Youngest dtr will graduate then I'm outta here and enjoying those 100+ ski days/year. I'm lucky because I have a degree that ensures me a job almost anywhere in the world so I have begun researching various ski areas to see where I want to go first! (for anyone curious about the degree - it's nursing, an associates degree = RN = travel nursing = go anywhere you want to go and get paid a lot of $$$ to do it)
Finally, What can the ski resorts do to get you to come slide more often?
Make more packages available that include airfare, transportation, and lodging. Resorts can also be more competetive for affordable lodging, the CEO's of companies such as Intrawest can handle a smaller bonus to ensure the rooms are booked at barely affordable rates and employees have decent wages. Ski towns in general can offer packages that include the transportation from airports and within the town to ensure that rental cars are not needed. And get some decent priced shuttles, isn't $100+ for a seat on a greyhound size bus too much? I don't care if it is a 90 minute drive, that's ridiculous. Taxi's are way too costly. Work with the airlines to ensure more direct flights are available not only during peak season but early and late season also. I do longer trips during these times since the cost are less. I have found that these planes will be almost if not completely full if good snow available so the airlines won't be losing money to provide these flights.