Globalization, COVID-19 and skiing

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  1. #1

    Globalization, COVID-19 and skiing

    I was just having a conversation with my college daughter who returned early from a semester abroad. What are your thoughts on how the current pandemic and travel restrictions will affect ski operations next winter for the mountains that rely on international employees? Will their business models change? Will the international employees still be able to come? I realize we are all speculating at this point but does anyone have any inside info regarding what next winter might look like?

  2. #2
    There are a few people on this forum that know everything,... I’m sure you will hear from them.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by djd66 View Post
    There are a few people on this forum that know everything,... I’m sure you will hear from them.
    Better opinion on this subject on Harvey NY ski forum

    https://nyskiblog.com/forums/
    Woodstove ( ski thread(
    ---1
    Up surprised they have said there g_d opinion yet here

    Last edited by ScottySkis; May 20, 2020 at 2:32 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by djd66 View Post
    There are a few people on this forum that know everything,... I’m sure you will hear from them.
    LOL - love this...

  5. #5
    If history is any indicator of the future, local ski resort employment will increase. When unemployment is high people can't find work. When people can't find work they can't ski. So they work at the resort for the 3-4 month season, earn some cash, and more importantly, earn a season pass. Now the reason we've seen such a reliance on visa workers the past few seasons is with decreasing pass prices there's less incentive to get a ski area job for the pass (and record low unemployment). People would rather pony up the $500-800 for the pass rather than work for it. When pass prices were at a minimum $1,000 a season (and this was 15ish years ago...don't forget to add inflation in that time!) the earned pass was worth more than the actual $$$ you'd make!

    And with the travel, food, and hospitality industries decimated these people are perfect for entering the ski industry. That may help this situation for the resorts.

    In summation I don't think there will be as prevalent a reliance on foreign workers next season if the above holds true. Not saying we won't need them though. I don't want to predict anything happening in the next 6 weeks, let alone the status of international air travel in the next 6 months!
    2019-2020 59 days and holding...
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    "Skiing is the closest you'll get to flying without leaving the ground." -snowmonster

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by djd66 View Post
    There are a few people on this forum that know everything,... I’m sure you will hear from them.
    Good one!!
    Live for today

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ski&soccermom View Post
    I was just having a conversation with my college daughter who returned early from a semester abroad. What are your thoughts on how the current pandemic and travel restrictions will affect ski operations next winter for the mountains that rely on international employees? Will their business models change? Will the international employees still be able to come? I realize we are all speculating at this point but does anyone have any inside info regarding what next winter might look like?
    This is a fun topic - I'll take a stab. I'll say upfront that I have no inside info. Just speculating like you.

    I suspect there will be more domestic appetite to work jobs that would normally be filled by foreign workers. Between people who have lost their livelihoods and a class of high school and college graduates who will likely have trouble finding work they would rather do, labor supply should unfortunately be bountiful come winter (barring a very quick return to "normal"). I'm in no place to opine on whether international laborers will be allowed to come, but I do think there will be less of a need for them in 2020/2021 than in recent memory.

    Social distancing will probably still have a temporary affect on how lodges are set up this winter. I'd keep an eye on how restaurants are required/choose to adapt over the coming months as a guide.

    I've also seen people question whether gondolas will be allowed to open this year, but that will depend on how worried people are come November/December. It wouldn't shock me to see limited capacity on gondolas and (less likely) chairlifts to start the year.
    Ski season is always too short

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ss20 View Post
    If history is any indicator of the future, local ski resort employment will increase. When unemployment is high people can't find work. When people can't find work they can't ski. So they work at the resort for the 3-4 month season, earn some cash, and more importantly, earn a season pass.
    I think I've said this before, but I'd be really surprised to see ski resort employment increase over last year. I think skier visits are likely to take a dive given likely higher unemployment (as you mention) on top of reticence by some/many to ski in crowds on weekends. I don't see how resorts justify hiring more workers when they should expect to make much less money than they did in 2018/2019 (and maybe even less than 2019/2020 depending on the resort).
    Ski season is always too short

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by djd66 View Post
    There are a few people on this forum that know everything,... I’m sure you will hear from them.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by eastern powder baby View Post
    I think I've said this before, but I'd be really surprised to see ski resort employment increase over last year. I think skier visits are likely to take a dive given likely higher unemployment (as you mention) on top of reticence by some/many to ski in crowds on weekends. I don't see how resorts justify hiring more workers when they should expect to make much less money than they did in 2018/2019 (and maybe even less than 2019/2020 depending on the resort).
    I interpreted ss20's post entirely differently than you did. I took his "local ski resort employment will increase" comment to mean a higher percentage of resort employees will come from the "local" community vs being brought in from other countries. I didn't take it to mean they would hire more people overall. I agree with you that there's no reason to hire more workers overall.

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