The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) recently held its National Convention & Tradeshow in Florida where representatives from more than 400 resorts met to disuss the current state of the ski resort industry and where it is headed.Â The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) recently held its National Convention & Tradeshow in Florida where representatives from more than 400 resorts met to disuss the current state of the ski resort industry and where it is headed.- RGJ.com has a good write-up of the events and seminars that took place.- Here is a quick look at some of the highlights: One message that came through clearly was that resorts cannot rely on real estate transactions to buoy the bottom line anymore, but that the trend toward year-round operations involving golf, spas and other attractions is something to pursue further. Snowboarding may have hit a plateau at 30 percent of all participants. Sales of season passes have also flattened out and are even declining for many big-name resorts — even as more skiers eschew the destination trip in favor of skiing at backyard mountains. Resorts need to recruit nonwhite skiing and riding enthusiasts. Some 50 percent of youth are nonwhite minority today, up from 20 percent in 1988, and with snow sports enthusiasts predominately white, the industry needs to sell itself to other young people if the sport is to continue to grow. During the past 10 seasons, the national ski industry has averaged 56.7 million visits. The 2008-09 season represents a 0.8 percent increase from the 10-year average, and a 5.5 percent decrease from the record 2007-08 season. National Ski Area Association President Michael Berry warned ski area operators that national skier visits could decline to 41.4 million in 2020-21 if ski areas don’t find more effective ways to get people to try skiing and snowboarding, and do a better job of turning them into loyal customers.
The Northeast had a strong ski season with plentiful snow. Many skiers chose to drive to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine instead of flying to Colorado, Utah or other destination resorts in the West. The article also mention that resorts scrambled in the spring to squeeze as much business out of the 2009-10 ski season as they could, noting that Squaw was “particularly aggressive” by offering discounted lift tickets and season passes, running shuttles from Reno, Sac and South Lake, and also luring guests with ski-n-stay packages. Also of note, it was mentioned that; Bob Roberts, executive director of the California Ski Areas Association, said discounts — particularly those on resort Web sites — will help drive business to the slopes next year. “The Internet has become the skiers’ and riders’ best friend,” Roberts said. “Value is the name of everyone’s game.” Interesting…. Read the full Article HERE