Is the ski resort model dead?

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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Marc_C » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:19 pm

Patrick wrote:What I've been saying from the start is people from less fortunate background what always been skiing (yes, even in the 1930s), no need to be from the rich upper class, however it's always been a fight to be able too.

Hence the comments that it's always been a rich person's sport.

Patrick wrote:What I've able always arguing is that skiing need to cater to bigger market and get back to basic, not be all a bunch of places with heated chairlift. I guess you came from a fortunate background or/and never really skied for the skiing to know what I'm talking about.

No, I know exactly what you're talking about - it's that 2-day-old granola in the beard, duct-tape patched and stained 20 yr old ski jacket, proud to be an outcast and not one of those horrific "tourists", "soulful" vibe - that I find just plain annoying.

I didn't start skiing till I was 30 - my parents couldn't afford it when I was a youngster, and from college on I was far more interested in XC skiing, winter mountaineering, and ice climbing for winter activities. And the minute I could afford it, I got out of camping in the back of my truck and started getting a room in a nice B&B. And the black chair seats at Alta are really nice on a bright and sunny but cold day!
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Patrick » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:39 pm

Marc_C wrote:No, I know exactly what you're talking about - it's that 2-day-old granola in the beard, duct-tape patched and stained 20 yr old ski jacket, proud to be an outcast and not one of those horrific "tourists", "soulful" vibe - that I find just plain annoying.


Love the stereotype :roll: , the only person that I've seen skiing with a 20 yr old jacket is Tony and he's no granola loving hippie.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:47 pm

Patrick wrote:The 18 kids family, she was part of that family, my mom only had one kid.

No coincidence there I suspect. :lol:

Patrick wrote:the only person that I've seen skiing with a 20 yr old jacket is Tony

The lifespan of that jacket was 1997-2008. But between SoCal and spring skiing at Mammoth the sun did a number on its color. Up there in the Great Gray North you're not used to having the sun out when you're skiing. :stir:

Patrick wrote:What I've always been arguing is that skiing need to cater to bigger market and get back to basic, not be all a bunch of places with heated chairlift.

I think there's some East/West issues here. Most western markets have a couple of few frills, more basic areas like Patrick advocates. In the East, you have to have to have snowmaking (unless you're MRG which is a niche area with high snowfall for its region) to be competitive. Once you're laying out the capital and energy bills for snowmaking, you have to charge more for tickets and put in some of the higher margin frills to help cover the costs.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Patrick » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:05 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
Patrick wrote:The 18 kids family, she was part of that family, my mom only had one kid.

No coincidence there I suspect. :lol:


Being #4 in that family, the first two which are 2 and 3 years older than my mom had 5 and 6 kids respectively. I have 55 cousins on that side of the family, making an average of 3+ kids per family.

Tony Crocker wrote:
Patrick wrote:the only person that I've seen skiing with a 20 yr old jacket is Tony

The lifespan of that jacket was 1997-2008. But between SoCal and spring skiing at Mammoth the sun did a number on its color. Up there in the Great Gray North you're not used to having the sun out when you're skiing. :stir:


What about that one-piece? Tony, you can't have it both ways. Gray? You've never had a season pass at Tremblant (not that it's a good thing). Clear Crisp Cold Blue Skies.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:41 pm

Patrick wrote:Tremblant .... Clear Crisp Cold Blue Skies.

Don't you mean Clear Crisp Cold Blue Snow? :-P

Yes I still have the 1992 one piece. But it sees only a limited number of days per season, most of them in the Great Gray North.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby rfarren » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:20 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
Yes I still have the 1992 one piece.


Ugh... the one piece. If the title of this thread was "Is the One Piece Dead?" I would have to agree. Sadly, to my shame and my embarrassment my father still wears a one piece. Even in spring conditions. :oops: 8-[ :-(
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Geoff » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:24 am

Patrick wrote:What about that one-piece? Tony, you can't have it both ways. Gray? You've never had a season pass at Tremblant (not that it's a good thing). Clear Crisp Cold Blue Skies.


I thought all motion stopped at Absolute Zero? :troll:
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Geoff » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:31 am

Marc_C wrote:No, I know exactly what you're talking about - it's that 2-day-old granola in the beard, duct-tape patched and stained 20 yr old ski jacket, proud to be an outcast and not one of those horrific "tourists", "soulful" vibe - that I find just plain annoying.


That's what provoked me, too. ...along with the whole "somebody else needs to...." and the "now that I'm here, I'm slamming the door so nobody else can join me" thing.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby rfarren » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:43 am

Geoff wrote:
Marc_C wrote:No, I know exactly what you're talking about - it's that 2-day-old granola in the beard, duct-tape patched and stained 20 yr old ski jacket, proud to be an outcast and not one of those horrific "tourists", "soulful" vibe - that I find just plain annoying.


That's what provoked me, too. ...along with the whole "somebody else needs to...." and the "now that I'm here, I'm slamming the door so nobody else can join me" thing.


It does seem there is a healthy amount of class warfare behind this whole thing. My real problem is with that little blurb:
"Dearest friends,

We are gathered here today to mourn the passing of the Lake Tahoe Ski Bum, who has met an untimely death at the hands of soaring real estate prices and shrinking job opportunities, whose tens of thousands of dollars in post-college debt snuffed out the dream of making eight bucks an hour washing dishes just to score some gnarly runs."


The above statement tries to create empathy for someone who has complete lack of personal responsibility. Soaring real estate prices have to do with the market: i.e. demand is higher than supply, and the price is created by what people are willing to spend. It's not some crazy conspiracy. Lack of job opportunities have to do with the market again. Jobs that will help pay off debt are rarely to be found in mountain towns. There are jobs, but one has to be willing to move to a city. Lastly, why should I empathize with someone who takes out huge college debt and then works in dish tank to catch turns. If you're going to take out debt you ought get a job which should help you pay it off. Instead, you hear some hypothetical rant that "someone else should pay higher taxes so I can go to college for free", that way "I can, guilt free, ski-bum."
Patrick wrote:About the life of the ski bum now and then, I think there were more ways of bumming, but I would diver to those you did. I didn't ski bum, but I know a few people that did.

So what? Economics change, how people live change. What people expect from life change. Business changes, and frankly how ski resorts run change too. I don't see why ski resorts need to focus their business models around ski bums who don't really have the disposable income to fill the coffers of a ski area. What seems to be entirely missing from this whole discussion is the elemental fact that Ski Areas are business, not charities.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Patrick » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:35 am

rfarren wrote:So what? Economics change, how people live change. What people expect from life change. Business changes, and frankly how ski resorts run change too. I don't see why ski resorts need to focus their business models around ski bums who don't really have the disposable income to fill the coffers of a ski area. What seems to be entirely missing from this whole discussion is the elemental fact that Ski Areas are business, not charities.


Where would the ski world be today without the ski bums? Some of them influenced the ski world as we know it today.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby soulskier » Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:30 am

rfarren wrote:So what? Economics change, how people live change. What people expect from life change. Business changes, and frankly how ski resorts run change too. I don't see why ski resorts need to focus their business models around ski bums who don't really have the disposable income to fill the coffers of a ski area. What seems to be entirely missing from this whole discussion is the elemental fact that Ski Areas are business, not charities.


There's a big difference between a $97 lift ticket, $15 cheeseburgers and heated chairlifts vs a charity.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby soulskier » Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:43 am

rfarren wrote:
It does seem there is a healthy amount of class warfare behind this whole thing. My real problem is with that little blurb:
"Dearest friends,

We are gathered here today to mourn the passing of the Lake Tahoe Ski Bum, who has met an untimely death at the hands of soaring real estate prices and shrinking job opportunities, whose tens of thousands of dollars in post-college debt snuffed out the dream of making eight bucks an hour washing dishes just to score some gnarly runs."


The above statement tries to create empathy for someone who has complete lack of personal responsibility. Soaring real estate prices have to do with the market: i.e. demand is higher than supply, and the price is created by what people are willing to spend. It's not some crazy conspiracy. Lack of job opportunities have to do with the market again. Jobs that will help pay off debt are rarely to be found in mountain towns. There are jobs, but one has to be willing to move to a city. Lastly, why should I empathize with someone who takes out huge college debt and then works in dish tank to catch turns. If you're going to take out debt you ought get a job which should help you pay it off. Instead, you hear some hypothetical rant that "someone else should pay higher taxes so I can go to college for free", that way "I can, guilt free, ski-bum."


It isn't about personal responsibility. No one is asking for a handout or freebie. Why don't you read the book "The History of America's Disappearing Ski Bum", watch "Resorting to Madness" or read "Downhill Slide" and then engage in this conversation? Because right now, no offense, but you live in Manhattan, and there is no way you can know what is happening in ski towns around the country, especially the west coast.

For the record, I never went to college, nor am i debt, and I can afford to ski where I want.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Patrick » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:06 pm

soulskier wrote:For the record, I never went to college, nor am i debt, and I can afford to ski where I want.


And to show that me and soul skier have a different background. I grew up within 5-10 minutes walk from the old Montreal Forum, I lived in the central core of Ottawa and earn my living in a cube far from a six-digit. I won't go back on my family background except, I went to university and grad school, paid everything myself and got in a [censored] of debt. First trip out West was when I finished my bachelors degree (which I paid myself), first trip to the Alps was 3 years later. Never had any spring break trips and I skied every weekend at the old Mont Tremblant Lodge ski area as it was called back then. As a kid the only family skiing I did outside the Laurentians/Townships (trip away from Tremblant ended once my mom bought a small place in the village where she was born - might have 6 at that time) was on the odd day trip to Jay and once we went to Whiteface in 1980.

Yet I agree with him on the general objective of what he's trying to do and state of the current situation of skiing in general.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Marc_C » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:39 pm

Patrick wrote:Where would the ski world be today without the ski bums? Some of them influenced the ski world as we know it today.

Strawman much?
It would be the same, or different, or something in between.
So what.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:42 pm

$97 lift ticket,

season pass far cheaper than 30 years ago

$15 cheeseburgers

brown bag????

heated chairlifts

This is a straw man if I ever saw one. How many of these actually exist in the U.S., other than the new one at The Canyons?

Adults can make their own choices according to their circumstances. I'm sure most of you think I spoiled Adam growing up, taking him to 82 ski areas by the time he got out of college. But now that he's skiing on his own dime it's with a season pass, shared ski house and brown bagging at $37 a day.

As I've stated before IMHO the aspect where ski expense needs most urgently to be addressed is for families with young children. Reading between the lines of Patrick's family history I think he would agree. But given the type of area soulskier touts, this subject does not appear to be on his radar.
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