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Ski Industry and Rising Economic Inequality

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

This article, The costs of rising economic inequality,  directly affects the ski industry and other vacation resort income businesses.  I graduated high school in 1970 and college 1974.  I was able to earn enough money over the summer and 15 hours a week during college to buy a car, motorcycle, pay all my college bills, and go skiing.  When I graduated college I had NO loans.   Today's  young men or women going to college could never do that.

 

As the middle and lower middle class have less discretionary income, ski resorts will take a hit.  This is especially true for the day trip or weekend ski resorts. 

post #2 of 12

This is very true - The income gap is wiping out the great middle class America - There are only the upper class and the lower class left. All vacation resorts not exclusive to the ski industry will take the hit.

I personally think this will come to pass in the next 2 to 3 years irregardless of which political party is in power. I sure don't want this to become a political post, since the good ole USA has be heading this way for many years. And now, "the bill is due"!

post #3 of 12

Hey, some of the "top ten percent" discuss this stuff in the Supporter's Lounge.

 

Point of clarification, this is an opinion piece from well known liberal rag (my hometown paper) with an axe to grind against conservative Repubs.  But no doubt, times are tough for many folks.

 

A couple of excerpts that caught my attention:

 

"Over time, more industries have developed the kind of superstar pay structures that were long associated with Hollywood and professional sports."

 

"In recent decades, the rich have used their winnings to bid up the prices of artwork and fancy cars, the tuition at prestigious private schools and universities, the services of celebrity hairdressers and interior decorators, and real estate in fashionable enclaves from Park City to Park Avenue."

 

post #4 of 12

I don't buy it as a whole. That article was EXTREMELY biased and skewed. Sure the rich get rich while the poor get poorer in some places, but in some anomalies like Texas, we're doing juuuuust fine, and so is our middle class (like me). Sure, last year was rough even for me, but I've bounced back, and am planning on skiing my ass of this season. You can all rip on us "Jong" Texans (especially at TGR...sheesh), but WE'RE gonna be the ones to keep supporting the industry during these tough economic times. It seems like Californians have a lot of hate for us, but we hate California just the same for making retarded economic decisions as a whole (i.e. real estate), then trying to drag down the rest of the nation with them. There are tons of California immigrants in Texas now, trying to take advantage of our better economy. I'm not trying to hate on any one here, but it is what it is.

 

As long as there are still state economies like Texas enjoys, I don't believe the ski industry will be taking as big a hit as some would suspect. Skiing in the NE is a different story, however. It's not like many of us make that our destination. Everyone I know exclusively goes to the Rockies/PNW.

 

Seemed like that article had a lot of hate for conservative economic principles. At the end of it, it said we need more government involvement, not less. Let's take a look at the states that have taken that approach (i.e. California, Michigan, NY, etc.), and then compare them to the states with less government involvement and lower taxes (i.e. Texas, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Oklahoma, etc). I'm not saying it's a Republican versus Democrat thing, but just observing which states are doing the best and which ones are doing the worst, I don't know how in the world the author of the article can believe we need MORE government involvement. The last couple years of taking that approach obviously hasn't worked on a national level, and many states are proof of how poorly that works on a more local level.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post

This article, The costs of rising economic inequality,  directly affects the ski industry and other vacation resort income businesses.  I graduated high school in 1970 and college 1974.  I was able to earn enough money over the summer and 15 hours a week during college to buy a car, motorcycle, pay all my college bills, and go skiing.  When I graduated college I had NO loans.   Today's  young men or women going to college could never do that.

 

As the middle and lower middle class have less discretionary income, ski resorts will take a hit.  This is especially true for the day trip or weekend ski resorts. 


maybe thats because college aint what its its all cracked up to be. I have friends who are being crushed by loans with no job in their field in sights. 

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Hey, some of the "top ten percent" discuss this stuff in the Supporter's Lounge.

 

 

A couple of excerpts that caught my attention:

 

"Over time, more industries have developed the kind of superstar pay structures that were long associated with Hollywood and professional sports."

 

 



I think it's time to nationalize the entertainment and professional sports industries.

post #7 of 12

I got out of school with $87,000 in student loan debt, to be paid off in 20 years at $800+ a month.  A few months later my parents came through and paid off about 65% of it off for me.  I still owe a lot of money. 

 

My Dad bought his first USED car ever earlier this year.  He's 61 years old.  I'm 29 and have never owned a NEW car. 

 

He also bought several new Boats in the late 70's and early 80's.  I can't afford a boat, nor a vehicle big enough to tow a boat with.

 

He also bought a house at 24.  Again, I'm 29 and never owned a house either.  If I bought a house, my skiing would be history.

 

I can't pinpoint what it is, because I wasn't around 40 years ago, but something has definately changed...

post #8 of 12

I think the advice my parents gave me of go to a good university, and then get a good job was great advice 30 years or even 20 years ago. It doesn't apply today. As the U.S. manufacturing power has been outsourced to the rest of the world we will continue to lose the middle class. As a primarily services based country we will have only the very rich and the very poor left.

 

The good news is that there have never been lower barriers to entry to small business owners. All you need is a laptop, some knowledge, and literally a few dollars. I see many young twenty somethings with an entrepreneural bent taking their laptop and their knowledge and going where there is opportunity. Sounds a lot like the European immigrants who moved to the U.S. during the industrial revolution. Only this time I see folks going to South America and Southeast Asia. Its amazing the things we take for granted here that make great business opportunities in those regions.

post #9 of 12

catskills,

 

I grew up in the Catskills and know what a poor economic environment looks like.  Like you, we had some local hills (that is all they were) that were affordable.  Most others bereft of discretionary spending in this country are SOL.  They always were, and they always will be.  Capitalism ain't socialism, but in the long run it is infinitely better.

 

 For some time the ski resorts and manufacturers and suppliers have had a handle on their customers.  It is the wealthy that drive certain resorts and product sales, and the middle class that drive others.  Regardless of what "class" someone is in, this economic downturn has hit the spending habits of everyone but the top 5% or so.  Ask most ski shops how much their business has tailed off, or how much the bookings are down at you favorite resort hotel, and you will get an idea.

 

The problem is that we are becoming a country or haves and have nots, and all this deleveraging we are going through isn't going to create jobs.  In other words, it really is different this time.  The have nots, mostly with a poor education, can vote and do vote. Helping the needy is the right thing to do, but attempting to "equalize" every person economically in a capitalistic society is insanity. * The danger I see is that we lose our economic competitiveness by forgetting that many social problems come from a lack of education.  The answer could lie in part with the Internet, which could be the great equalizer when combined with the right teachers.  Unfortunately, I don't see our political "leaders" attempting to equalize educational opportunities for each child--and this is very different than "No Child Left Behind"-- using technology.

 

* This is in consistent with the idea that certain reasonable health care, education and other rights and privileges should be available to all.

post #10 of 12

Times are hard, but Wall Street gave out record bonuses last year. Unemployment is still above 10% here.

 

Keep buying those Chinese made toys for your kids, folks. Got to keep the retail economy rolling. Oh, and don't forget to toss a few breadcrumbs to the beggar on the corner. He used to work in a factory....

post #11 of 12

These are tough times but it will get better. During recessions, everyone always gets a bit jittery and thinks the end is near.

 

Skiing is a luxury. We should all just be happy that we live in a nation where we can worry about things like having the the benefits of rocker on our skis. We can complain about the economic situation, but putting it in perspective brings us back down to Earth so we  can count our blessings. 

 

Bad economy or not, we still have it good here--better than many people alive will ever get to experience. Millions of people are living in true third-world conditions in many under-developed nations. At this moment, someone in Ethipoia would give their right arm to be poor in the US. At least they would have access to an Emergency Room, clean drinking water, sanitation, and food kitchens. Poverty is a relative term. If someone in the US told a stick-and-bones starving third-world refugee that poverty is an issue in the US, they would probably just laugh.

 

I am not trying to diminish the impact the bad economic times have had on people's lives. It has affected me too. We just need to keep things in perspective. We still have it very good.

post #12 of 12

Speaking of sluggish economies and industries struggling and such, I keep reading about how the advent of Rocker is expected to turn the ski industry around financially.  That it is supposed to revive the ski sales that have fallen off in recent times.  Forgive me for asking, but didn't sidecut already get that ball rolling, and then didn't twin tips walk up and attach two alligator clips to both nipples and turn the volume to 11?  Who's statistics are they looking at when they say ski sales are down?  I've never seen so many people on new skis as the last 10 years since the twin tip arrived.  What bases are they expecting to cover that twin tips haven't already covered?  And how do they expect to do it with the recent outcropping of micro-brew ski companies popping up like weeds?  Too much competition with each other is a bad thing for business to any of them.

 

 

 

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