Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!
You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!
This has nothing to do with skier visits and your making my point.
Even season pass-holder skier visits can substantially vary though depending on the weather. In a good year, season pass-holder skier visits can be significantly up (as is the case this year according to many resorts). In a bad year, you get a mix of results from pass-holders. Some will visit anyway "because I already paid and want to use it" while others may only use it enough to break even. You can argue that "well the pass is paid for so who cares whether they ski 1 day or 100 days", but it still does matter. Many pass-holders do spend additional money on the mountain on days they are there. Or if the season is really good they may contribute to other people visiting (i.e. maybe they go to work and talk to co-workers or call up friends saying "conditions are amazing. You should get out there and go skiing".) So you need to consider indirect benefits of season pass-holder visits being up as well.
Today thanks to technology many/most resorts can get an accurate picture of pass-holder skier visits. Years ago when these annual skier visit numbers were generated, they would be pretty much just making an estimated guess on how many skier visits a season pass should count as. Today any resort with RFID or scanning can get a pretty accurate count.
Skier visits, while certainly not a perfect metric, are still one of the key metrics to compare year over year performance in a pretty consistent manner. NSAA does produce some other interesting metrics too and someone that really wants to understand the full picture of industry performance would be reading the detailed report once it is released (and if they manage a resort would surely be studying their own internal numbers too).
I honestly can't think of a single "better" metric to use to compare performance from one season to another. The next closest is probably the number of people participating in the sport (unique visitors). If that number goes down year after year, then you could have a major problem. But conversely it also doesn't help if that number goes up but skier visits as a whole goes down. Of course age is another key factor too from a long term growth perspective. But now we're again getting away from a "single" simple number to use for quick comparison and making things more complicated with multiple metrics that need to be looked at together.
How about how most companies/corporations measure success - revenue, gross and net profit, etc?
I found it interesting that everyone treats season pass holders as "expense" as soon as they paid up for their pass!Even season pass-holder skier visits can substantially vary though depending on the weather.
if the season is really good they may contribute to other people visiting (i.e. maybe they go to work and talk to co-workers or call up friends saying "conditions are amazing. You should get out there and go skiing".) So you need to consider indirect benefits of season pass-holder visits being up as well.
Does anyone have a rough idea of what the average number of ski visits for pass holders?
Top line revenue would be a good metric, but as noted, not available.
This is one of the additional metrics NSAA does release in one of their yearly reports. For the 16-17 season it was 13.7 in the northeast, 10.9 southeast, 10.1 midwest, 9.1 rocky mountains, 9.7 pacific southwest, and 10.6 pacific northwest.
Surprises me it's that low given the average skier is at 6 days per year. I'd have thought a pass holder average would be much higher.
Makes me wonder if IKON/EPIC are bringing that number down? More people buying a pass primarily for 1 week in Colorado or Utah, etc...
I didn't realize I was addressing anything you'd said, but I don't think what you suggested about the optimal mix makes any sense in practice.
I have a strong suspicion that's THE main factor on the average pass holder visit number.Perhaps overall cheaper pass prices also could contribute a bit to lower average ski days per pass (i.e. the break even point is lower so more people are buying them and simply not using them to their full potential). That sort of goes along with your point of people buying Epic/Ikon just to use for 1 week of vacation somewhere.
You say this in half jest, but yet you do say it, as do thousands of other people. Imagine training your customers to think that by jacking your walk up day rate to stratospheric levels, you can "break even" by buying a pass for about the same as 5-6 day tickets. That's quite an accomplishment for mega pass marketing.So now, I only need to break even in 1 single western trip. All my northeast skiing will be "free"!
You say this in half jest, but yet you do say it, as do thousands of other people. Imagine training your customers to think that by jacking your walk up day rate to stratospheric levels, you can "break even" by buying a pass for about the same as 5-6 day tickets. That's quite an accomplishment for mega pass marketing.
I agree, but only to a degree.My prediction is that while this is great for short-term business, it's bad for long-term business
And don't forget the intentional elimination of virtually all S.O.T.C. deals & BOGOs as well, which is part of the "strategy". Make it hurt so bad to buy a lift ticket, that you buy their pass instead.
My prediction is that while this is great for short-term business, it's bad for long-term business
Price to enter the sport is getting cost prohibitive as well so they are cutting out the stream of new skiers in order to keep their aging customer base. New skiers are not going to just jump at a season pass that will save them money after X number of days as they have no idea if they even want to continue in the sport. Will they even pay $160 to ski 1 day plus rentals and other costs?
Price to enter the sport is getting cost prohibitive as well so they are cutting out the stream of new skiers
I also wonder if the super passes will squeeze smaller feeder hills out of business by driving more of the established skiers through a smaller number of resorts. It's tough for independent hills to compete with low cost passes and "free" days at Vail or Alterra resorts on the margin after customers have bought their passes. These smaller hills seem to be the most budget friendly for beginners in most cases. Their potential demise could hurt the pipeline of new skiers.That is precisely what I meant when I said EPIC/IKON are bad for long-term business.
But that wont show up in the data for roughly a decade. Until then, EPIC/IKON will appear to be a great success.
In fact, my prediction is that soon you're going to start seeing even cheaper, "learn to ski" packages as a result. I also predict that wont work appreciably enough to cover the damage.