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With resorts expanding to fit the needs of customers what is the future for our local mountains? And the future of skiing itself? I have noticed there has been a trend in ski areas as of lately. Weather is not as reliable as it was 20 years or so ago, "global warming" almost sounds possible...with the hope its only "climate fluctuation." What I am trying to say is that ski areas are taking this into consideration as well. You see resorts now with, Ice rinks, spas, water parks, 5 star dining, etc. They basically are trying to have a backup plan for no snow....Now a water park at a ski resort sounds fun, but is it taking away from the real experience? Are resorts missing out on expanding the mountain, and spending the money on these other features to create another reliable source of income? And is this not just making it more expensive for us who just strictly ski? There seems to be a risk involved also... Will maintaining these other attractions bankrupt these places when the snow is gone? Or will they thrive and open up a new perspective of, "a normal ski mountain?" Where do you see your local mountain in 20-50 years? or have they already taken this different route? This is what I would like to discuss.
Its just diversification. With the economy and current climate, people (the weekend warriors/holiday crowd) do not have as much money for spending on going for a ski holiday and are put off by the shortening season due to the climate and so resorts are adding attractions to the town so that more money can be made by people in the off season which they hope will compensate for the losses in a poor ski season. I dont feel its going to take away from the skiing part of the resort but a smart move by the resort company to sustain themselves if they dont have as good ski season as they hope. When there is a good snow year they will gain more money from skiers and will have a shorter off season and so wont be as reliant on the off season facillities to pay the bills.
As for where do i see my local resort in 20-50 years i dont see it having changed much apart from replacing the antique lifts with slightly less antiquaited lifts with a possiblility of more man made snow but it is scotland so not really a typical resort.
I think it's more of a marketing campaign to get the average ski family to come to their resort, rather than them go to another hill. They're trying to get ahead of the competition so they're building other things at their resorts to make them seem more appealing.
But don't you think that this will flush out some competitors? Will you choose your poor mtn over your high class resort? I foresee many lower elevation mountains closing within the next 30 years due to climate also.
we got an airbag oddly enough considering the fact that i live in minnesota, and for climate change our season hasnt changed in length at all, we go from late october (preaseson) to like mid april (that was last year) and our last hill closed in may.
Yeh I don't see much happening up there ( cairngorm I presume), if the season does start being majorly affected by climate change then they'll probably just focus/cash in on the summer/hill walking side of things.
I think climate change for the uk if it seriously hits is a slowing of the gulf stream which will make the uk much colder so possibly a positive for people who enjoy winter. I was referring to all the resorts. None have particularly modern uplift equipment. My friend did a study of the viability of doubling the ski area at cairngorm by use of modern snowblowers and it would only cost Â£5mil of investment. I hope somebody puts the money up at some point. They dont make any/much money off hillwalkers as it costs nothing to hike around the cairngorm national park. They make their money through people visiting the top using the funicular. The funicular has many a flaw also. The biggest flaw of the whole place is they built the infrastructure in the wrong valley. One or two valleys over would have provided a much more reliable cover and snowpack but thats the 50s/60s fault not current owners.
I don't believe this is becoming the norm to be honest. Maybe among smaller mountains in areas like new Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania where the snow is always iffy and the mountains arn't big enough to begin with. However, out west or at the stay true local mountains, these extra attractions don't seem to be popping up. In fact my ski hill had a tubing park and got rid of it. I think the addition of fine dining is a plus too. I'd rather get a super nice meal for 15 dollars than a shit meal with jacked up lodge prices at $8. All in all i think ski mountains will stay ski mountains, i don't foresee ski areas in major snowing areas adding extras like waterparks in the future.
with resorts constantly expanding the towns will probably grow in size too. more people = longer lines. then, if theres less snow then less area to ski. with all the new people moving to the town they will all want to ski. WE ARE LOOKING AT A GAPER APOCALYPSE. only God can save us now......
Now that snoqualmie and crystal mountain are owned by the same parent company, Snoqualmie no longer even tries to compete with staying open as long as they can into the late spring. The pathetic thing about is that they don't even get into full operation until like mid january, and start cutting night hours in march? What fucking mountain in their right mind closes for the year with a 100" + base? Its all profits, Snoqualmie passholders get fucked, and are expected to either buy day passes or buy a new pass to ride crystal into the late season instead of what they rightfully paid for. Pisses me right off.
lets say a family books a ski vacation in early January. they arrive and it's -40C with windchill. since this is a family they're not necessarily die hard skiers that will brave the cold for their turns, enter ammenities such as water parks, fine dining and other attractions. sure, this family came here to ski but let's face it, weather is unpredictable and uncontrolable. at least this family was able to salvage a vacation and have fun even though they weren't able to do much in the way of skiing.
it's all about giving people the "value added" services for their vacations. let's face it, locals don't bring much money to a resort. they buy their season pass and then for the most part don't spend much money at the resort for the rest of the winter. tourists however, spend, spend, spend when they come. they buy lift tickets, hotel rooms, eat out for every meal, they shop, go to the spa, etc... these extras allow the resort to operate into the later parts of the season after the initial season pass money has been spent.
if tourists go to a hill and the skiing is crap, there's a good chance that they won't be back next year unless the resort can offer some sort of a distraction and turn their negative experiance into a positive one. this will hopefully be enough to get that customer to come back knowing that they can have a good time even if the skiing's crap.