• 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!

Globalization, COVID-19 and skiing

ski&soccermom

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
42
Points
6
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?
 

djd66

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Messages
258
Points
18
There are a few people on this forum that know everything,... I’m sure you will hear from them.
 

ss20

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
2,584
Points
38
Location
CT
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!
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
916
Points
18
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.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
916
Points
18
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).
 

cdskier

Active member
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
3,743
Points
38
Location
NJ
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.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
916
Points
18
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.

Good catch. In that case, we're saying the same thing.
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
25,615
Points
38
Location
Southeast NH
I agree that for the first time in a long while, there will be ample local workers to fill openings.

I shudder to think about just how many vacant restaurant spaces we will see in ski country come next season. They have such short windows to turn a profit that if they aren't allowed to operate at full capacity very soon, many will fail in a hurry.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app
 

BenedictGomez

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
10,671
Points
38
Location
PRNJ
It's really impossible to figure out what the true unemployment rate is or will be given for the first time in history you have an artificial condition making being unemployed more beneficial financially than working for many people.

By the end of August we should have a better picture of unemployment once that condition has expired & some time has passed, but I suspect it's not going to be anywhere near as bad as what people are currently thinking. In other words, I dont think you're going to see hoards of unemployed for the ski resorts to choose from in the key November hiring timeframe.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
916
Points
18
I agree that for the first time in a long while, there will be ample local workers to fill openings.

I shudder to think about just how many vacant restaurant spaces we will see in ski country come next season. They have such short windows to turn a profit that if they aren't allowed to operate at full capacity very soon, many will fail in a hurry.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app

Agreed. Fortunately missing the last two months is much easier for them to swallow than most. Like you say, they need to get back to it soon though.
 

VTKilarney

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
5,372
Points
38
Location
VT NEK
It will be interesting to see what happens to the unemployment rate when businesses start running out of PPP loan money.

Georgia and Florida are proving to be good examples that the sky will not fall if a state opens up. It turns out that the most important thing is protecting senior citizens. Cuomo shoving sick senior citizens into nursing homes is one of the biggest governmental blunders I have seen in my lifetime.
 

BenedictGomez

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
10,671
Points
38
Location
PRNJ
Georgia and Florida are proving to be good examples that the sky will not fall if a state opens up. It turns out that the most important thing is protecting senior citizens. Cuomo shoving sick senior citizens into nursing homes is one of the biggest governmental blunders I have seen in my lifetime.

The media in lock-step concert acted as if every man, woman & child in Georgia would already be dead by now.

How many people know that Georgia's COVID19 death rate has actually slightly DROPPED to static at worst since opening up 3 weeks ago? Very few I'd imagine, because that same media isn't running that story. If you count them it's probably 3,482 stories to 8 stories. LOL

EDIT: Added data
 
Last edited:

skiur

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
785
Points
18
The media in lock-step concert acted as if every man, woman & child in Georgia would already be dead by now.

How many people know that Georgia's COVID19 death rate has actually slightly DROPPED to static at worst since opening up 3 weeks ago? Very few I'd imagine, because that same media isn't running that story. If you count them it's probably 3,482 stories to 8 stories. LOL

EDIT: Added data


Not that I dont agree that opening up is a good thing, but the current death rate in Georgia doesn't really matter as much as new cases does right now to judge the effect of the reopening.
 

BenedictGomez

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
10,671
Points
38
Location
PRNJ
Not that I dont agree that opening up is a good thing, but the current death rate in Georgia doesn't really matter as much as new cases does right now to judge the effect of the reopening.

Deaths are simply a lagging indicator of new cases, so new cases are declining.
 

VTKilarney

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
5,372
Points
38
Location
VT NEK
If you are a business are you going to locate in Georgia, Texas, New York or California? The states that have opened up will reap the financial rewards for a long time.
 
Top