Is the ski resort model dead?

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Geoff » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:54 am

Mike Bernstein wrote:No man, you just don't "get it". I have nothing to learn from a bunch of desk jockeys who don't open it up to Mach 3 on 40 deg pitches for 2000' at a time. It's clear you are just another toadie for the corporate ski industry who can't see how transformative our valued-based ski-energy center model will be. (/soulskier)


Sancho Panza to soulskier's Don Quixote. The tale even has windmills.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby soulskier » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:35 pm

You guys will love this.

Hedonist Sustainability at it's finest. And makes every Hippy Idealogist proud!

http://mrablog.com/?p=817&preview=true
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:07 pm

Does anybody else from SoCal remember the "Bandini Mountain" ads from the 1970's?
http://articles.latimes.com/1998/jun/16 ... s/fi-60288

Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Mike Bernstein » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:13 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Does anybody else from SoCal remember the "Bandini Mountain" ads from the 1970's?
http://articles.latimes.com/1998/jun/16 ... s/fi-60288

Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures.

Why Tony, I can't imagine why you'd post that article in this thread. :-" :-"
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby kytels » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:54 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Does anybody else from SoCal remember the "Bandini Mountain" ads from the 1970's?

I remember there were such ads, and plenty of cracks made invoking them. The Times article reminded me of this:

" A dogged collection of athletes attempted to conquer "Bandini Mountain," a 90- to 100-foot mound of dung stored on the company's seven-acre facility before its transformation into soil additive. One skied the hill while others pole-vaulted, launched shotputs and even triple-jumped into its steaming slopes."
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby soulskier » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:44 am

Maybe this is the future of skiing?

http://www.mrablog.com/video-of-the-week-3/
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:55 pm

The specifics of MRA proposed ski areas are located here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=9056
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby soulskier » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:18 pm

Death of McSkiing by Matt Hansen, Senior Editor of Powder Magazine.

http://www.mrablog.com/death-of-mcskiin ... tt-hansen/
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:14 am

The above article, though published recently, was written about visiting ski areas during the 2008-09 season. As noted by the "5% drop in skier visits but 20% drop in ancillary revenues" at Vail. From what I have read, the strong early season of 2010-11 is likely to result in a new record for U.S. skier visits, surpassing 2007-08. It will be interesting to see some revenue breakdowns on that, whether the trend of 2008-09 is continuing.

I agree with the article that the luxury end has been overbuilt. But I think the demographics in the U.S. are now favoring growth in skier/rider visits. Since I believe that growth is coming from the younger Echo Boomer generation, that would tend to favor the core ski experience at the expense of luxury amenities which are less important and affordable to younger skiers/riders.

I still believe if you have a premium product like Vail, the high end stuff is quite supportable. But not at a mid-range place like Tamarack.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Patrick » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:07 am

Tony Crocker wrote:But I think the demographics in the U.S. are now favoring growth in skier/rider visits. Since I believe that growth is coming from the younger Echo Boomer generation.

Tony, you are over estimating the importance of the Echo Boomer generation in term of numbers. What is the socio-economic profil of this boom? Pretty much everything I've read foresee a decline in actual numbers in the coming decades.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:12 pm

Patrick wrote:Pretty much everything I've read foresee a decline in actual numbers in the coming decades.

It's like a certain other debate we have on these boards. :stir: I prefer to trust actual data instead of somebody's projection model. The data says U.S. skier visits are rising. Do we really think skier visits are increasing among the Boomer generation now aged 47-64 (thus the projected crash)? New skiers come mainly from the 10-30 age range. The extended flat period in U.S. skier visits in the 80's and 90's corresponded with the Baby Bust being in that age range.

The only other source of growth would be foreign tourism. I don't see any reason why we should expect that to decline, and there are logical reasons it would increase. Foreign tourism is most like to benefit the marquee resorts, as we know it does at Vail and Whistler already.

Canada's population is growing less than in the U.S., but I suspect foreign ski tourism to Canada is growing at least as fast as in the U.S.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Patrick » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:57 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
Patrick wrote:Pretty much everything I've read foresee a decline in actual numbers in the coming decades.

It's like a certain other debate we have on these boards. :stir: I prefer to trust actual data instead of somebody's projection model. The data says U.S. skier visits are rising. Do we really think skier visits are increasing among the Boomer generation now aged 47-64 (thus the projected crash)? New skiers come mainly from the 10-30 age range. The extended flat period in U.S. skier visits in the 80's and 90's corresponded with the Baby Bust being in that age range.


Coming decades!!! [-X

Even the ski industry is expecting it. It's not a model, it's actual numbers. Unless people stop dying, the ski industry gets new immigrants or attracting new skiers in sufficient numbers or/and skier start having big families.

Tony Crocker wrote:The only other source of growth would be foreign tourism. I don't see any reason why we should expect that to decline, and there are logical reasons it would increase. Foreign tourism is most like to benefit the marquee resorts, as we know it does at Vail and Whistler already.

Canada's population is growing less than in the U.S., but I suspect foreign ski tourism to Canada is growing at least as fast as in the U.S.


Not with the value of the Canadian dollar right now. :stir:

Canada's population growth is mainly through immigration like most other Western Industrialised Countries.

Seriously, you talking about foreign tourism...European skiing countries and Japan's demographics situation is even more negative than Canada. I'm not talking on a yearly basic, but over decades. Flying to the US is becoming an increasing pain for non Americans (I've spoken a few international skier over the last few years). Fees, security screening, etc. Oh yeah, and the US President is talking about adding a fee for Canadian going over the border. Let see, you add that cost $30 to bring skis on a flight US bound ($50 to Europe), but was still free (the last time I checked :roll: ) elsewhere in Canada or SA bound.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:03 pm

Down the road I see the foreign tourism coming from the newly affluent in places like Latin America (already evident at Vail) and China.

The under age 40 proportion of US population looks fairly stable going forward: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/ ... -1950.html. The very modest decline in that proportion is likely offset by the increase in absolute numbers.

There is a significant decline imminent in the 40-60 age group, which is supportive of the warnings expressed in this thread about too much chasing the high end market.
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Patrick » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:28 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Down the road I see the foreign tourism coming from the newly affluent in places like Latin America (already evident at Vail) and China.

:shock: :shock: :shock: China will have their own World Class ski areas and what is going to be the proportion of Chinease skiers (I know the population numbers) or even total numbers that are going to be willing to go overseas to ski in the US. Latin America, the same thing. What is the proportion of skiers in those countries? And the proportion of those going to ski in NA. It's going to be a slightly bigger impact than the Royal Family skiing Whistler for a week, but probably not much more. :sabre fight:
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Re: Is the ski resort model dead?

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:09 pm

Patrick wrote:China will have their own World Class ski areas

:rotfl: You're the geographer; I suggest you research weather a bit. Northern China/Manchuria is cold but bone dry in the winter. They are building ski areas there, but they have 100% snowmaking dependence. I don't know if they are considering developing the "real mountains" in the West in Tibet or the Tian Shens. I suspect winter weather is severe enough in those places (plus they are 5 hour flights from anywhere) to make that a questionable proposition.

The Chinese middle/upper class is already 400M. A tiny fraction of that can have an impact, just as the Brazilian affluent class is a key revenue source in Chilean and Argentinian ski areas.

Patrick wrote:Latin America......the proportion of those going to ski in NA.

If you had ever skied Vail during Easter week you wouldn't be asking that question.
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