I would like to share my opinions/ideas on the future of the ski and snowboard industry as well as get some feedback from fellow members. I have been on this site for a while and been skiing for a couple decades now and have noticed many changes. When I first started out, skiing was something I did with my whole family at a local hill. We paid barely anything for lift tickets and parked for free. Today it seems like most places charge at least $75 for a lift ticket and you are lucky if you can park for free (this is out west, luckily most eastern and Midwest hills have free parking) Skiing has turning into one of those sports that is pricing out a majority of the population. I totally understand the cost involved with running a mountain and providing excellent service to your guests, it just seems ridiculous to charge $150 a day to go sliding down a hill on some pieces of wood. Another challenge the industry faces going forward is global climate change and the ability to make snow or have it snow naturally
For all these reasons and many more, I feel like it would be great to have skiing and snowboarding be more of a sport like skateboarding. I would love to see towns and cities all over build small jib hills out of artificial snow materials such as snowflex and make them free to the public much like skateparks. It could be a place for people to further their skills or maybe even introduce the sport to people who never would have been introduced before because of price or geography. We could have these all over in place, including cities where it will never snow. Many cities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars on their parks system including the construction of skateparks, why not make jib hills? Obviously this will never replace skiing on real snow, but it could be a way to get people excited to spend the money and go on a trip to a resort in the winter. I would love to hear other peoples thoughts or opinions on this!