Originally Posted by Cphillips
I suppose you guys are correct looking at it in a financial light.
For the mountain being sold to Powdr I am just anticipating some changes that would make this mountain more competitive in the area. Hopefully Powdr plans on taking a shot at Vail in some way to pull away some revenue.
This is a horrible, horrible idea. Copper could never compete against Vail, fortunately I think they're very aware of this.
David Barry, who was GM at Copper for a while before taking over all of Intrawest's North American operations, had one of the best ideas I've ever heard of for Copper. Colorado is basically the Disneyland of skiing in the US. Copper could fill a 'boutique' niche that none of the other areas currently try to do. What does that mean? Do whatever it takes to cut skier visits to around 9,000 a day, which is a very nice number for Copper. Do it in such a way that you fill in all the week day gaps and also carry 9,000. This probably means raising prices (hey, there's a reason Aspen can get away with a $100 lift ticket.. it's Aspen
.) Once you get to 9,000 SV, suddenly guest service levels go WAY up. You can charge more for lodging because you can do more than just put a butt in a bed. You can also decide that there are market segments to focus on rather than trying to get everyone - for example, market to the adventure seeking 30 - 40 year olds with disposable income and a kid; forget about everyone 50+. Then you build businesses in the base area that support that, perhaps a sushi bar. Even more important would be to let independent businesses thrive in the base area and allow them to develop a business model so that they last more than a season or two.
The old days of the pass wars will probably disappear after this recession is over. Colorado will still have competition and remain one of the cheapest places to ski, but it won't be like it was.
And I don't think Copper ever offered a $249 Superpass, unless it was a teen rate. There may have been a $299 pass one spring, but for many years the price hovered around $350 - $369. Which is still a killer deal.