The majority of the money in skiing is tourism, it's for that reason that backcountry isn't the future of skiing. The majority of people who go on vacation wanting to do a ski trip don't want to be hiking and fearing avalanches, etc. I'm not saying backcountry isn't expanding, it definitely is, but as for the future of skiing, it's hard to say.
I could be wrong. Backcountry could be the future of skiing but personally I hope it isn't. Backcountry is an escape from civilization, crowds, etc. If everyone started doing it and trashing it up then it would lose it's magic.
I like the idea of the treadmill. The tourist can stick to that.
Noone puts it better than Shane:"Nothing better than sliding down snow and flying through the air"