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John Cole sez:

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Then they would either have to close up shop or make skiing pay for itself
Now THIS is interesting! So as to not hijack another thread, I'll ask here: If skiing had to pay for itself, what would it be like?
post #2 of 21
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.
post #3 of 21
The very fact this is happening is allowing the smaller areas to start to survive, grow, and prosper. The future for ski areas may be bright and beautiful if you are small and efficient. Something like a small blue airline everyone is talking about.

There will be an evolution and acres of ski runs will be closed for lack of skiers but look at them now they are open with a lack of skiers. Why maintain ski runs that no one is on. Something like the golf courses that now have "natural" areas to avoid the cost of cutting grass! Then again we have Copper Mountain trying to be another Vail rather than trying to be Copper Mountain. Oh well!

JC
post #4 of 21
Quote:
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. :

John
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
John Cole, is it possible that it is impossible for all but a handful of ski areas to make a profit in the USA under your plan?
Alta is an anomoly in the US, as they have natural advantages that are unmatched by any other area. But aren't MRG, Loveland, A-basin and such already struggling? Not to mention countless smaller areas that cater to the same type of skiers?
post #6 of 21
JC-
If you view the various moves Vail Resorts has made over the past two years, you'll find some measure of evidence to support your theory of "make money or die".

About 20 months ago, VR dropped approx 85 mid- level managers. What very few realized, is that those whose jobs were cut all had positions which overlapped between two or more of the four mtns.
As VR expands further and further into the hotel industry, they are subtley preparing to bail out of the ski business. Since the chance of finding a suitor large enough to purchase all four mtns in one shot is minimal, they make each mtn independent, and affordably saleable. If someone makes them an offer that's good enough, they'll sell.

Long it has been understood that there is not much of a margin of running a ski area purely as a ski area. The real profits came from the associated real estate developments. Now that they have been developed to maturity(in VR's case), it's time to divest itself of the lower profit centers. That would be the ski area itself!

"Like a shark, it exists only to feed; and it feeds to exist!"

:

PS- I hope you weren't planning on using your CPR skills on the upper management of VR...

[ October 15, 2002, 08:25 PM: Message edited by: vail snopro ]
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by milesb:
John Cole, is it possible that it is impossible for all but a handful of ski areas to make a profit in the USA under your plan?
Alta is an anomoly in the US, as they have natural advantages that are unmatched by any other area. But aren't MRG, Loveland, A-basin and such already struggling? Not to mention countless smaller areas that cater to the same type of skiers?
I don't think so. Most were here before the "freebies" started. I do believe there would be a DRASTIC change for a while. As an example Vail started in I believe 1962. Aspen goes back to pre-depression I believe but I think the skiing was the 50's. The transition would be the major factor. Have they gone too far down the road to come back to their core business?

Have a good day! :

John
post #8 of 21
and "Who is John Galt?"
[img]tongue.gif[/img]
jlaw
post #9 of 21
Shhhhhh! Not too loud, big brother is listening (not who is John Galt, Where is John Galt!)
post #10 of 21
SMALL GOVERNMENT IS BEAUTIFUL!! {Although I'll probably be a traitor to fellow Libertarians and vote for Romney! [img]redface.gif[/img] }

Hey! Yous' guys! Read this month's Outside Mag. Great article called "Has Skiing Lost Its Soul?"

They mention Bridger Bowl, where season passes are $475 {this is KILLING ME!} and is a "no frills" resort. Nonetheless, they recored a 25% profit in 2000, whereas Disney type ski companies such as ASC, fell deeper into debt!
post #11 of 21
Absolutely no-frills LM, just the best baked goods and breakfast from any base lodge, the frienliest lifties anywhere, good skiers everywhere, and the very affordable motel packages require a 20 minute shuttle ride. And we do have soul. Just don't tell to many people.
post #12 of 21
Bridger is one of the few remaining community-owned ski areas in the U.S. The locals rip. The terrain is wild. The ski school rocks. The view is sublime.
post #13 of 21
Okay, we don't have to tell it all do we?
post #14 of 21
Ric rocks.
post #15 of 21
The real reason it rocks is because of Ric and Nolo! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #16 of 21
When you ask "Where is John Galt?"

Ayn might have suggested:

Look only within,
we were all born with his nature,
yet most have become sheep half asleep,
who have lost track of their self-guiding essence.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
Bridger is one of the few remaining community-owned ski areas in the U.S. The locals rip. The terrain is wild. The ski school rocks. The view is sublime.
Have they paved the parking? lot yet?

JC
post #18 of 21
Ric wants to rock like Nolo, but,,,,,

No John, the parking lot is still not paved. Don't anyone hold their breath. My guess is that this would be last on the local's wish list. We do have a weekend parking lot shuttle now. Must be the pressure from that "other" ski hill down the road.

[ October 19, 2002, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: Ric B ]
post #19 of 21
I hope people keep taking the big yellow taxis. Don't pave paradise to put up parking lots, please.

S
post #20 of 21
Yeah, then they may take all the trees and put them in a tree museum....... [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #21 of 21
And don't it always seem to go
that you don't know what you've got
'til it's gone...?
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