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The Down Economy

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

As bad of shape as the economy is in, how is it affecting ski areas? It seems a lot of areas are still going forward with or planning expansions and upgrades. Any areas that have had to shutdown because of the economy?

post #2 of 11

The bad economy is just a myth lol. On a more serious note, our shop has not seen all that much of a slump, in fact we just had our season kick off sale and it blew last years off the map.

post #3 of 11

Shut down? Tamarack. Centennial Park. Powder Ridge. Looks like Ascutney will join the list. Plenty of others in bankruptcy or for sale.

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoyal View Post

The bad economy is just a myth lol. On a more serious note, our shop has not seen all that much of a slump, in fact we just had our season kick off sale and it blew last years off the map.


I would hope every shop "blew last year's off the map".

 

If yours is like anything typical, "last year" was the one that's "off the map" in how bad the figure was. So anything this year should be an improvement by that standard.
 

post #5 of 11

I am glad you picked up on my sarcasm.

post #6 of 11

Talisker has cash (let's not ask where it is from), but it seems that no one else does.  The deleveraging is now hitting the million dollar homes, and I believe things will get worse before they get better. 

 

Real estate is dead for at least a decade.  With 25% of homeowners under water, the FED will keep rates low just to keep 'em in their homes.  But prices will not rise enough in 10 year to bail them out.  Why?  When mortgage rates eventually rise from 4% - 6%, a lot less house can be bought with the money, and enough jobs won't be created to make home prices rise. 

 

People will travel less, too.  They will opt for more local vacations which is a mild consolation to the local ski/bike shop that will garner more service revenue as people keep their skis and bikes longer

 

The middle managers and upper middle class that kept buying lift tickets are losing their jobs...and there are no new jobs to be had that pay anywhere near what they were making.  Stocks will go nowhere fast unless you are buying for the yield.  These are scary times.

 

The good news is that we will all be better served at the ski areas.  Really.  In order to keep selling lift tickets service will improve.  The result of not selling tickets is either another closed ski area or getting fired.  Therefore, the hung-over guy behind the ticket counter will finally greet me with a big smile and a friendly, "Hello!" in order to keep his job.  Otherwise, someone else will serve (not service) the customer properly. 

 

This too, shall pass.  But it will take at least a decade to do so.  The competent and customer friendly ski shops, along with the ski areas that survive (and grabbed customers from failing enterprises) will emerge as local or national market leaders.  Take a look at HEAD.  They got cash and they got the right idea.  They will "buy" the best skiers in the world knowing that Dynastar, Rossi and others (with the exception of Atomic) can't afford to do it.  When the economy turns, they will have become and will remain a market leader. 

 

The goal for many should be to survive until either the economy turns around or until the competition goes belly-up.


Edited by quant2325 - 8/25/10 at 11:46pm
post #7 of 11

We saw it pick up last year, my shop had a record season. In talking to people, they got to the point where they know it is tough but instead of looking back, they are looking forward. They decided that they weren't going to stop living and they would go back to having fun. 

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

We saw it pick up last year, my shop had a record season. In talking to people, they got to the point where they know it is tough but instead of looking back, they are looking forward. They decided that they weren't going to stop living and they would go back to having fun. 



And a wise decision it is too, being that you live only once.  I went to more mountains last year than I ever have in my life. (18).  This summer I've been buying new ski gear just like always AND getting myself out of credit card debt.  Normally I just buy the gear and ignore the debt.  The economy is making me wiser and more responsible.  I still intend to travel to new resorts this year and spend money.  If I dont do it this year, I'll ....well you know the rest.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

We saw it pick up last year, my shop had a record season. In talking to people, they got to the point where they know it is tough but instead of looking back, they are looking forward. They decided that they weren't going to stop living and they would go back to having fun. 


If they are paying cash things are good, if using plastic things will get worse.
 

post #10 of 11

By the end of the year we will probably be having furlough days (mandatory Fridays off).  This would be great for Friday skiing, but I'm part owner of the company so not only do I have to keep working my tail off, I must be seen working my tail off.  Still, if there's a huge powder day on Friday I may have to be on furlough.

 

How have other offices / workplaces responded to this?  Did anyone get a lot of ski days due to a season pass + furlough?

post #11 of 11

Chin up, stiff upper lip chaps. There's plane loads of Brits, Aussies and Kiwis heading over to Tahoe.

 

Our ski club gave away 2 weeks accom at Heavenly with a bunch of tips on, for example, how to get rental cars for half what your websites charge americans. Airfares are half what they were, and people are coming over for our summer school holidays which can run from late November to early March when the Year 12s enter University.  

 

Head gave our ski club members a free demo for a full weekend. Reusch relaunched there gloves down under with 3 big boxes of give aways as race prizes - and the gloves are really terrific. There's lady's 'apres' gloves to kids mittens. Our hills are now offering spring season passes and heavily discounted ski in/out accommodation.  Meantime a bunch of us on forums are promoting ways to ski cheap (and often) - whilst putting tourism dollars in your coffers.

 

Things will get better.

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