|Originally posted by John Dowling:
If the ski industry dropped all the extraneous businesses it would be smaller, lower cost, simpler, without the slopeside condos and high speed lifts. Just like Mad River Glen, Alta, Loveland or A-Basin. The problem is that the industry has overcommitted to real estate and to the tourist business, and needs to attract growing numbers of skiers to pay the cost of all that. That is what leads to the overgrommed Disneyland resorts, and to the failure of ASC. As baby boomers age, how many will want a ski trip when a trip to the Carribean is cheaper? That's the market the ski industry is competing in and it will probably lose. The problem is only comppounded by warmer weather and other factors which are closing the small hills near cities in the East and Midwest. Lots of people became lifelong skiers in those places and without them the big resorts will be in trouble.
John I agree which is why your post on another thread has me confused.
Rant to follow:
There is absolutely no reason for government to be involved in the “free” enterprise system either through collecting taxes, subsidies, or free leases, and or in any other form of support to help business to make or loose money. Unfortunately someone opened the dam and a lot of the larger people, not little people like me, now feed at the trough.
Probably the worst example I can think of is sports arenas. Cincinnati and Cleveland schools and out lying county schools are going broke or are broke. With the help of tax dollars from many municipalities both communities now have (2) new sports arenas at a cost of over $2,000,000,000 total monies missing in Cincinnati’s contracts from $20,000,000 to $50,000,000. In the football domes they will play (8) games. Gee that is a cost of approximately $18,000,000 game based on a (5) year return with no interest and they receive guaranteed profits for (3) years. Why didn’t the sports teams make the investment if it was such a good deal? Because it wasn’t, isn’t, and never will be a good investment without the freebies; at least now the way it is currently structured.
What does this have to do with ski areas? Simple! If you can make a return make on investment with real dollars not tax dollars then make the investment and if you can’t then you won’t and you shouldn’t. No free leases, no free infracsture improvements such as roads, parking lots, water & sewer and it does go on an on. Ski areas are loosing money because of the advantages they have been given that seemed good at the time to some politician and some very sharp corporate person. They took their eye off of the real ball, which is the core business of skiing. Nolo is absolutely correct when she intimates passion in this instance. The passionate and talented people that began our industry lost out or sold out to those idiots that now run the large conglomerates that hold our mountain play grounds hostage and us right along with them! My tax dollars should not support and individual’s businesses opportunity to make money.
That being said government research and development given to everyone to use for the betterment of our quality of life is a horse of a different color. Most if not all of those advancements were made through military research and many could never have been made without the vast dollars available through grants to universities etc. These advancements were not made to assist any particular business or individual –we hope-.
I think a few ski areas/managers are trying to redirect the ship. I really believe a few are starting to see the light and attempting to spin off their businesses and make them pay or die. THEY ARE LOOSING DOLLARS! They will die if they do not do something in the next ten years or so –and loose their jobs-. Ski areas do not turn a profit today and they cannot keep reporting severe losses to their shareholders. (I suppose you wouldn’t be surprised if I said we should eliminate business taxes also.)
Have a good day! Got to go to a CPR class.