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Old 02-04-2013, 09:39 AM
 
Location: 5280 above liquid
356 posts, read 513,556 times
Reputation: 383

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
The attrition of the other ski areas into difficulty and likely oblivion will likely begin with the more remote ski areas that cater mainly to a middle-class customer base. As the economic constrictions on the middle class increase (and they are going to), many of the larger ski areas thought "too big to fail" will start sliding into increasingly serious financial difficulties and decline. Some of those may fail altogether, but even those that survive will be a shadow of their former selves.

Well, demographics and overoptimism has built another huge economic bubble in the Colorado mountains that is about to burst.
All good points jazzlover- I see a huge bubble developing in the industry as well. My hope is the smaller, economically friendly mountains survive. I can still sneak in over 20 days a year at Loveland with all the promo's they run (BOGO, Gems card, 4-packs) and not have to spend the cash on a pass.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:12 PM
 
529 posts, read 1,249,680 times
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Too bad the Colorado economy depends soooooo much on the ski industry. Other than this, having less people in the ski areas in Colorado is awesome!
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,421,317 times
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I'm a little late to this thread, but thought I would chime in. When I lived in Colorado, I used to get a 4 mountain ski pass, which at the time was around $250. That was affordable. Sure, I lived off ramen in college to afford that pass, but I skied as much as my schedule allowed me. I kept that pass while working in the mountains, as I was still close enough to hit the slopes on a whim. Once I moved to the W. Slope, I didn't buy a season pass. For the most part, my schedule was just too busy to justify the cost, and the mountain closest to us, Powderhorn, was reasonable for a day lift ticket. We probably only skied 5 times or so a year there. Now, that I live in OR, close to Mt. Bachelor, I have another pass and ski 1-2 times a week.

When I vacation to Colorado now to visit family over the holidays, I don't ski. I just can't justify paying $100 for a lift ticket, dealing with the awful traffic, and spending half my day in lift lines. Colorado skiing isn't appealing to me like it was in the 90s and early 2000s. As others have mentioned, it's harder to travel to ski these days, as you pay extra to either take your gear, or you end up renting. For me, I utilize my ski pass here at home, and use my vacation time to do other things, rather than spending the same amount as my season pass on a few days skiing in Colorado.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:05 AM
 
Location: 5280 above liquid
356 posts, read 513,556 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
I'm a little late to this thread, but thought I would chime in. When I lived in Colorado, I used to get a 4 mountain ski pass, which at the time was around $250. That was affordable. Sure, I lived off ramen in college to afford that pass, but I skied as much as my schedule allowed me. I kept that pass while working in the mountains, as I was still close enough to hit the slopes on a whim. Once I moved to the W. Slope, I didn't buy a season pass. For the most part, my schedule was just too busy to justify the cost, and the mountain closest to us, Powderhorn, was reasonable for a day lift ticket. We probably only skied 5 times or so a year there. Now, that I live in OR, close to Mt. Bachelor, I have another pass and ski 1-2 times a week.

When I vacation to Colorado now to visit family over the holidays, I don't ski. I just can't justify paying $100 for a lift ticket, dealing with the awful traffic, and spending half my day in lift lines. Colorado skiing isn't appealing to me like it was in the 90s and early 2000s. As others have mentioned, it's harder to travel to ski these days, as you pay extra to either take your gear, or you end up renting. For me, I utilize my ski pass here at home, and use my vacation time to do other things, rather than spending the same amount as my season pass on a few days skiing in Colorado.
Dam I would love to move to Bend for the outdoors scene right out-side town, however wife prefers more beach climate. So we have to compromise on location.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:51 PM
 
129 posts, read 216,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMM64 View Post
Too bad the Colorado economy depends soooooo much on the ski industry. Other than this, having less people in the ski areas in Colorado is awesome!
If Colorado is so dependent upon skiers, why is the "tourist season" in the summer?

Only $1.7 Billion (give or take) of over $10 Billion in tourist revenue comes from skiers.

Nearly 20% is a good chunk, but its hardly the lifeblood of Colorado.

These are fuzzy numbers, but sources:
Longwoods Report: Colorado Tourism At Record Levels In 2010
Colorado tourism showed strength in 2011 Summit County Citizens Voice
Facts About Tourism & Commerce in Colorado | eHow.com
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:00 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,777,680 times
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Originally Posted by lovethehighcountry View Post
If Colorado is so dependent upon skiers, why is the "tourist season" in the summer?

Only $1.7 Billion (give or take) of over $10 Billion in tourist revenue comes from skiers.

Nearly 20% is a good chunk, but its hardly the lifeblood of Colorado.

These are fuzzy numbers, but sources:
Longwoods Report: Colorado Tourism At Record Levels In 2010
Colorado tourism showed strength in 2011 Summit County Citizens Voice
Facts About Tourism & Commerce in Colorado | eHow.com
The reason is pretty simple. The component that does not show up in the tourism numbers is the amount of money that real estate development generates for the ski industry. Know this: the ski industry is essentially a real estate development business and from that is where most of the profit and economic activity comes. It's very similar to a golf course development. The golf course itself is not where the profit is (in fact, many of them lose money); it is the associated real estate development that is where the money is made. In that sense, the ski industry is an "extractive" industry, just like mining, because its associated land development must constantly devour more land to exist--much of that land in the most ecologically sensitive and irreplaceable Colorado natural environments (most notable the high country valley floors and riparian areas). Unlike the ski industry, there is at least some of the summer tourism industry that is not land-development dependent. That is not to say that summer tourism in not also in serious economic and demographic trouble--it is--but it is not as bloated with an unsustainable land development component as is the ski industry.

Take away the land development component of the ski industry--either by limiting such development for environmental reasons, or by economics and demographics making such development unprofitable (the latter two being the circumstance most prevalent in developer-friendly Colorado)--and the ski industry dies back. Truth is, it SHOULD die back because, in reality, it is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable over the long term. The ski industry's days of glory are over in Colorado--at least so long as the industry is reliant on its land development component for its economic survival.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:40 PM
 
Location: on a hill
346 posts, read 391,656 times
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As I posted much earlier, I ski the smaller ski areas, not the big resorts. They may have a better near-term future, though longer term climate effects will affect them just as badly.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:11 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,525,426 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
The ski industry's days of glory are over in Colorado--at least so long as the industry is reliant on its land development component for its economic survival.
Well they are over for now, but not forever. Like any industry they will find ways to reinvent themselves.

I have heard from people in Vail and with Vail Resorts, there are no big plans for major developments for the next 10 years, however there will continue to be an investment in capital improvements. And I suspect that is what you will see for sometime is the big boom years are over but instead you'll see redevelopment and improvements in facilities instead rather than massive projects.

I think the trend and popularity of skiing is on the downside, however Vail for instance maxes out it's numbers on many weekends, so it's far from a dead business.

Some of the smaller areas as well have a chance by catering to the end of the market that doesn't care about real estate or looking good.

The global warming nonsense I don't believe at all. The worldwide trend over the past 5 years has been towards colder winters, whether in NZ, Russia, South Africa, the UK and here of course. We had a warm winter last year thanks the Pacific weather patterns that kept the cold air up north, but that hasn't been the norm for that past 5-10 years. Rather it's been colder, snowier winters. So that aspect I'm not worried about.

Unless there is a societal collapse or SHTF scenario, which I think is not likely, but is possible within 10 years, the ski industry will continue. Even in the great depression, which mirrors much of our own present circumstances, the sports and entertainment industries did well. People will still want to have some fun and enjoy life occasionally. I know you would love to see these ski areas and skiing disappear, but they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:29 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,777,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
I have heard from people in Vail and with Vail Resorts, there are no big plans for major developments for the next 10 years, however there will continue to be an investment in capital improvements.
That is a classic example of predatory competition in a declining market--investments by the larger "players" in the industry specifically designed to steal customer base from weaker competitors and kill those competitors off.

As to your comment about global warming from man-made causes, I've been studying weather and climate since my pre-teen days. Based on that study and my own personal observations, I'm not near as dismissive as you about the potential that man-caused global warming is at least plausible. For purposes of this thread, suffice it to say this: if man-caused global warming is real and is permanent, the ski industry in Colorado is, indeed, doomed. Doomed in some places from a purely physical standpoint--just not enough snow; and in others from an economic standpoint--a season too short to be economically viable. On a broader scale, if man-made global warming is a fact (and we probably won't know for sure if it is until it is way too late to do anything about it), the Colorado ski industry will be the least of this society's problems.

Last edited by jazzlover; 02-05-2013 at 08:44 PM..
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:48 AM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,690,109 times
Reputation: 1925
It's Feb and A Basin is still only 30% open. The new normal. Pretty sad.
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