What is the consensus as to why ticket yields are down?
I used to work at a mountain where we put on a 'learn to ski free' program in the park pre-season. We got a local ski shop to bring rentals, a radio station to cover the event & we spread some straw on a hillside. It was a station teaching skier mill. The final station was free skiing on the straw. Every person to come through got a voucher for a free lesson on the snow too. We created more than a few returning skiers. I still see them all the time when I go back for visits...that was a lot of fun for everyone.
A few years ago management where I work now started advertising the area as "Washington's Family Resort" without a children's facility or program. We do have concession schools here, so there is some opportunity for people to get kids into programs, but no drop-in program or facility beyond a minimal day-care which would only accept potty-trained kids.
Over the summer SS is taking over the day-care space and creating a children's facility, but as it stands there will be no daycare. Only kids 4+ in kids prog. There is also the possibility the on-snow kids area will not be directly accessible from the indoor area.
I am imagining people expecting the daycare to be operating. Especially the ones we devloped as returning clients for the daycare lesson product. Many of them will be old enough, but we did have some 2 yr. olds who came up 6 or seven times apiece. I just don't know what to think.
It's almost continual..the "yes we have to reach goal 'A' but milestones 1, 2 & 3 are out of the question, you have to get to the goal some other way."
Nonetheless, when I get out on the snow with people, be they first-timers, regular clients, racers, instrucutors in training, it's all good (I put that in for you gonzo).
Solving the retention problem through focus on first timer could help another age-old ski teaching dilemma...developing upper level business. Here in the NW ski schools suffer from an image problem. (go to the powder boards, check this out. www.forum.powdermag.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002460.html
There is very little business beyond the beginner. Create the ski school culture and they will come.
[This message has been edited by Roto (edited July 04, 2001).]</FONT>