Originally Posted by at_nyc
I absolutely agree!
The airline is finally doing that. I grabbed a sub-$300 flight from New York to Jackson Hole for the gathering. Am also comtemplating another sub-$300 ticket to SLC. I'm asking for time off but not booking anything for late March to early April. I just know the discount HAS TO be there. Big ones too, when the time come near.
The resorts has an uphill battle in this "blinkmanship" game. I wait and wait and wait for the price to drop. For us less hardcore skiers, we can wait for the big discounts. But for resorts, they need the cash flow sooner rather than later. With a lot of people like me, who anticipate a big discount, and holding off booking so we can snatch up last minute deals, early season is going to look extra bleak from the industry's prospective. With SOME skiers skiing less, it's the resort that offer the biggest discount and best value that gets the remaining skier traffic and make it semi-healthy into next season. I hope the industry reads here though.
So yeah, the recession is definitely here and money is going to be tight for us skiers (and ski industry as well). But that doesn't mean I need to ski less. I only need to ski a lot, for a lot less!
Diehard skiers will still get in all they want by purchasing the passes. The majroity of income for the big resorts comes from lodging and incedental expenses, however. Lift tickets and passes are but chump change in the larger picture. To come out ahead, places like Vail, Aspen, and Telluride need to fill up the rooms, not the slopes.
Ski gear is relatively cheap compared to what it costs to use that gear, for the average destination skier who does not live close enough to a resort to purchase a pass. I think these skiers will just adjust their trip habits and perhaps stay closer to home or simply opt out this year, and perhaps next.
The resorts will still get their share of business but I suspect the end results will show this was not anything like a typical season when the sales are added up in May.
Its way too early to even be thinking about doom and gloom. I dont think they are overly concerned at the moment. Having a down year is no big deal in the larger picture. It happens. It's when you have a down year followed by another down year that's even worse when things have the potential to seriously wreak havoc on your bottom line and ability to stay afloat.
As I said earlier, I believe the period to watch is next season. That's when we might see some real damage, if things get as bad as the talking heads are claiming. Then again, the same talking heads kept changing their assesments of the economy just six months ago and haven't got much right so far. Maybe the economy picks up and starts coming together sooner, in 2009. Who knows.
Regardless, this might be a time for self-examination on the part of the resort industry, and consumers who have been maxing out their credit lines and cards, living beyond their means. Recessions, especially big ones like this, tend to bring this type of introspection out to the forefront. People start thinking about their overall spending habits into the future.
It's really the excess credit culture that has placed us into this mess. Seeing all this, the big resorts need to understand that this is likely going to knock some sense into consumers and they are going to be more reluctant to put big tag items on credit cards(like $7,000 ski vacation packages), even when things get better. I think a major shift in spending and credit habits is going to come out of this, when the dust settles. Rest assured, the days of quick, easy credit are over. There are going to be regulations out the gazoo.