• 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!

Permanent Industry Changes in the Post-COVID World

ss20

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
3,006
Points
63
Location
CT
Arapahoe Basin says they're not gonna stop limiting capacity... https://unofficialnetworks.com/2021/03/12/abasin-season-pass-model/

“A-Basin is bucking the traditional ski resort sales model of “sell as much access product as possible” and is reducing the number of unrestricted A-Basin passes by 10 percent. When they are sold out, they are sold out. Lift tickets will also continue to be limited and will only be sold online and in advance.

For us, it’s not complicated. We believe great skiing and riding should be about great skiing and riding. It should not be about standing in long lift lines all the time or struggling to find parking. It should not be about new snow getting completely skied off by noon. We are doing what we feel we need to do to protect the A-Basin experience.

Simply put, we recognize that keeping crowd sizes down and spreading people out will make the experience on our 1,428 acres better for everyone. Limiting pass and ticket sales this season for COVID-19 health and safety reasons showed us that we can be successful and have happier guests when we do that.”

There's certainly gonna be a lot of stuff that's changed forever. COVID is more than likely the last nail in the coffin for the walk-up lift ticket at the major resorts. 10 years ago that would've been unfathomable.
 

snoseek

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,339
Points
48
Location
NH
I could see the busier, larger resorts near big population centers like the I-70 resorts and LCC/BCC going this route for good reason. Somewhere like Wildcat or Saddleback would kind of suck as the weather can get so weird.
 

njdiver85

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2015
Messages
170
Points
18
Pretty likely the reservation system is here to stay (at the places that had it this year).
 

machski

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
2,387
Points
48
Location
Northwood, NH (Sunday River, ME)
Pretty likely the reservation system is here to stay (at the places that had it this year).
I cannot see a reservation system for unlimited season pass holders surviving. That just kills the entire idea of unlimited and wow to any operator (Vail) that may decide to continue that. Now, they could shift to a more definitive limited quantity of passes, but for Vail and Alterra, I don't see how that would work within their model.

I can see parking reservation s sticking around at areas with limited traffic capacity (BCC/LCC resorts in particular) but not at places like Killington. I also see what Boyne is doing with the NEP's this year where they are on sale in unlimited quantities but only through April 30th. They will then come off sale with passes being offered later in the summer but some products may not be available then. Day tickets needed to be purchased in advance with definitive caps could stick around too.
 

abc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
4,634
Points
63
Location
Lower Hudson Valley
There's certainly gonna be a lot of stuff that's changed forever. COVID is more than likely the last nail in the coffin for the walk-up lift ticket at the major resorts. 10 years ago that would've been unfathomable.
I would think instead of being the last nail in walk-up lift tickets, it maybe the last nail in unlimited season pass!

Especially "unlimited access" part of those cheap multiple mountain passes.
 
Last edited:

PAabe

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
154
Points
28
Location
Lancaster, PA
The places without deep pockets are certainly not going to limit ticket sales going forward. They need to get as many people to show up as they can.
 

drjeff

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
17,443
Points
63
Location
Brooklyn, CT
No more boot bags in the lodges.... I could handle that

Some type of reservation system with limited time amounts for tables in the lodges.... I could handle that as well
 

Mum skier

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
39
Points
8
No more boot bags in the lodges.... I could handle that

Some type of reservation system with limited time amounts for tables in the lodges.... I could handle that as well
Yes I have liked the quieter lodge. Being able to get a table for lunch rather than contend with all the boot bags and non skiing family members who camp out all day taking up an 8 person table for one person has been good. Half an hour is enough for a food break. Booting up at the car seems to save time, seems we have less to carry now as you wear most of it. Just have to carry the skis or board not all the boots, pants, helmets in a huge bag.
 

JimG.

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 29, 2004
Messages
11,309
Points
83
Location
Hopewell Jct., NY
I would think instead of being the last nail in walk-up lift tickets, it maybe the last nail in unlimited season pass!

Especially "unlimited access" part of those cheap multiple mountain passes.
I agree with you on the part about no unlimited access anywhere for mountains on megapasses. Although I'm sure property owners at those mountains will have something to say about that.

Independent mountains will wisely cater to the traditional season passholder. They will offer season passes for the savvy skier/boarder for a period of time and then shut off season pass sales for the season. Then they will offer day tickets on a limited and expensive basis.
 

PAabe

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
154
Points
28
Location
Lancaster, PA
No more boot bags in the lodges.... I could handle that

Some type of reservation system with limited time amounts for tables in the lodges.... I could handle that as well

One thing regarding bags, groups coming in buses don't really have the option to not gear up and leave all their stuff in the lodge. Also places where you have to park far away, leaving your stuff in the car is a real pain especially if you have to go back to the car to get something. And booting up in the lodge is far superior to booting up in a gravel parking lot imo

And the ones who have share holders are?

I agree, I would be surprised if many places permanently limit ticket sales. No way many places will see limiting tickets as improving the bottom line or even the customer experience enough to justify turning people away. Also it seemed to me that the ticket sales weren't even capped that low most places anyway - even non-epic places seemed to be busier than usual and not just because lift capacity was limited.

I don't like buying tickets online. I would rather pay in cash and would rather pay once I am physically there and ready to ski, unless you are really getting a discount for purchasing in advance- what if the place is packed or conditions are not what was expected? What if something comes up and you don't make it? How do you chase the snow? You cannot in many cases spontaneously decide to go - and what about the no-shows? Let people ski - if you don't want to wait in line, don't go when/where it is busy - everyone else has just as much right to ski as you.

I hope people don't get permanently weirded out by sharing chairs because I really miss meeting people on the lift. Many people in PA did not even want to share quad chairs although this was not the case at Gore.

I also hope big group lessons come back because it is hard enough to get people to try their hand at skiing without having to convince them to cough up $100+ for a private lesson.

The only change I hope lasts is that more people seem to be skiing and more people are skiing more. This is good - more friends who will ski with you, the industry has more revenue for improvements and less places will be at risk of going NELSAP. This industry has been flat for years, people getting out of the house and doing stuff besides staring at screens is a good thing.
 
Last edited:

icecoast1

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
542
Points
28
Pretty likely the reservation system is here to stay (at the places that had it this year).
I hope not. But then again I survived without a mega pass this year, I can continue to do so going forward if the reservation systems stay
 

ThatGuy

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
91
Points
18
Location
America
I agree with you on the part about no unlimited access anywhere for mountains on megapasses.
I feel like an ideal solution for the mega passes would be 5-7 days at each resort with discounted tickets after that (and not the garbage buddy discount offered now). Maybe for a higher price point you could choose a home mountain for unlimited access.
 

Zand

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
3,696
Points
63
Location
Spencer, MA
No more boot bags in the lodges.... I could handle that

Some type of reservation system with limited time amounts for tables in the lodges.... I could handle that as well
Count me out on both of those.

If anything, the lodges need more cubbies/lockers/storage space. Some mountains have a ton, but too many have none. They should enforce no bags on/under tables. There are some days when booting up in the lodge is infinitely better than at the car.

Also my wife is a non skier and occasionally tags along on my ski trips and reads in the lodge. If any ski area ever has time limits for reasons outside of covid I will never give them my business again. I agree it's obnoxious when one person hogs an entire table and that should be dealt with, but there should absolutely never be a "reservation system" for the main seating area of a lodge after the pandemic is over.

I'm sure you could "handle all that" when your family can just go back to your condo if this stuff were to continue permanently. Some of us don't have that luxury.
 

cdskier

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
4,369
Points
83
Location
NJ
One thing regarding bags, groups coming in buses don't really have the option to not gear up and leave all their stuff in the lodge. Also places where you have to park far away, leaving your stuff in the car is a real pain especially if you have to go back to the car to get something. And booting up in the lodge is far superior to booting up in a gravel parking lot imo

I have problems comprehending why booting up at the car is an issue or why you need to go back to the car to get something. I've been booting up at the car for 15+ years now probably so this wasn't a change at all for me this year. Maybe I'm just inherently not trusting of other people, but I have no desire to ever leave stuff in the lodge.

You might have a point on buses though. Although I don't see why it would be impossible to boot up at the bus and leave your stuff on the bus either. 🤷‍♂️
 

JimG.

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 29, 2004
Messages
11,309
Points
83
Location
Hopewell Jct., NY
Count me out on both of those.

If anything, the lodges need more cubbies/lockers/storage space. Some mountains have a ton, but too many have none. They should enforce no bags on/under tables. There are some days when booting up in the lodge is infinitely better than at the car.

Also my wife is a non skier and occasionally tags along on my ski trips and reads in the lodge. If any ski area ever has time limits for reasons outside of covid I will never give them my business again. I agree it's obnoxious when one person hogs an entire table and that should be dealt with, but there should absolutely never be a "reservation system" for the main seating area of a lodge after the pandemic is over.

I'm sure you could "handle all that" when your family can just go back to your condo if this stuff were to continue permanently. Some of us don't have that luxury.
I'll admit I like the car/lodge thing. I like my own territory which is something tough to stake out in a lodge.

But I also agree that the lodge is preferable on certain days and agree it is important for spouses/family members/friends who don't ski but want to come along.
 

JimG.

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 29, 2004
Messages
11,309
Points
83
Location
Hopewell Jct., NY
You might have a point on buses though. Although I don't see why it would be impossible to boot up at the bus and leave your stuff on the bus either. 🤷‍♂️
Clearly you don't have kids. Consider how that might "work out" with a bus on a high school bus trip. I assure you the bus driver isn't going to sit there and open and close the door all day to accommodate forgetful teenagers. And how will anyone be able to boot up in a crowded bus?
 

cdskier

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
4,369
Points
83
Location
NJ
Clearly you don't have kids. Consider how that might "work out" with a bus on a high school bus trip. I assure you the bus driver isn't going to sit there and open and close the door all day to accommodate forgetful teenagers. And how will anyone be able to boot up in a crowded bus?

I don't have kids, but I was a kid. I didn't say boot up in the bus. I said at the bus (aka outside it just like everyone is doing at their cars right now). As a kid, I don't remember once having to go back and get anything after I started skiing. What exactly are people forgetting so often that this is an issue? If you're missing your gloves, helmet, goggles, etc, wouldn't you realize that immediately as you start walking away from the bus? Only one time did I forget something (left my gloves in the condo on a warm spring day).
 

PAabe

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
154
Points
28
Location
Lancaster, PA
Don't you ever need to add or remove layers as the conditions/temperature changes through the day? I like to keep a water bottle in my bag too.

Cubbies definitely the way to go - provide cubbies and then ban gear from the tables. Roundtop does this and it is nice. Blue has a boot up room, no cubbies but everyone just leaves all their crap lying around in there rather than by the tables so that works too. Obviously don't leave stuff lying around that would be mega bad if it was stolen but I haven't had any of my stuff snatched yet. Most local places around here have free ski checks at least.
 
Top