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Ski Resort Trends

ss20

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1970s- Snowmaking is at most mountains
1980s- Wide slopes are being cut instead of narrow trails
1990s- Snowboarding becomes mainstream; high-speed lifts are at most resorts; slopeside lodging and resort "villages" are becoming more common
2000s- Most resorts now have terrain parks; high-tech snowmaking
2010s- Tree skiing is being expanded and "boundary to boundary" policies are being introduced; Backcountry and sidecounry are growing; the modern fan gun becomes a common sight; off-hill winter and summer activites

What's next?


Disclaimer: This is meant to be a fun off-season thread.
 

VTKilarney

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2020's: Ski areas struggle as baby boomers age out of the sport. Western ski areas court Asian skiers to fight this trend. Northeastern ski areas build out summer attractions. This supports additional condo sales. The industry struggles with high energy costs. Maine has four fewer ski areas. PA and south lose 25% of their ski areas. One or two more private ski areas crop up from those ashes. Bubble chairs are common. Only two double chairs are left in Vermont and New Hampshire.
 

Smellytele

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2020's: Ski areas struggle as baby boomers age out of the sport. Western ski areas court Asian skiers to fight this trend. Northeastern ski areas build out summer attractions. This supports additional condo sales. The industry struggles with high energy costs. Maine has four fewer ski areas. PA and south lose 25% of their ski areas. One or two more private ski areas crop up from those ashes. Bubble chairs are common. Only two double chairs are left in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Mr Doom an Gloom. Turn back, we're doomed. We're never going to make it.
 

drjeff

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2020 - 1/2 pipes are essentially extinct

Disney style "fast pass" systems are in place at many major resorts to allow guests to map out their day, more evenly distribute crowds across the mountain and its lift system and let the "average" guest get 8 runs instead of 6 runs per day

Scotty Skis has his own officially recognized language with its own official AZ translator feature! ;-)
 

BenedictGomez

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2020s

- Park will have run its' course, or be seriously diminished due to maintenance expense, insurance expense, and a non-attractive cost/benefit for the resorts from a lack of numerical interest of patrons

-Americans will be skiing on generally shorter skis (much like Europeans) as the "you suck if you're not skiing 285cm skis" thing subsides

- The first ever resort will make "helmets mandatory" (which will piss me off)

- The mostly non-predictable unintended negative consequences of economic EB-5 meddling will first rear their ugly head in Vermont

- Snowboarding numbers rebound as the 1st "growth generation" of boarders has young children getting into the sport

- An eastern season ski pass partnership will emerge (probably with dissimilar general markets) similar to some western resorts

- Scotty will be living in Colorado
 

deadheadskier

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Disney style "fast pass" systems are in place at many major resorts to allow guests to map out their day, more evenly distribute crowds across the mountain and its lift system and let the "average" guest get 8 runs instead of 6 runs per day

And I will be skiing at none of those resorts no matter how good the terrain is or snow quality. ....even if its Stowe
 

thetrailboss

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I think you need to add high speed detachable lifts to the list. I'd say 1990's for that one. For the mainstream market HS lifts are critical and some folks stay on HS lifts as much as they can.
 

skiNEwhere

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2020s


- The first ever resort will make "helmets mandatory" (which will piss me off)

Powder ridge is doing that.

-Uphill access becomes more popular

-People buying day tickets will have to sign waivers first (Like season pass users need to do first)

-Speed will be enforced with automatic radar guns that warn you via an electronic sign over the trail if you're going too fast (5 bucks say Breck or Vail will be the first to do this)
 

VTKilarney

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Mr Doom an Gloom. Turn back, we're doomed. We're never going to make it.
For an industry that's been in near-perpetual contraction? You do understand this reality, no? No offense, but if you don't think that energy prices are going to rise and that some ski areas are going to close, you're just plain naive. Can you name a decade in the last five that has NOT seen a closure? Can you?

Snowmaking requires lots of energy. Since southern resorts rely the most on snowmaking, it stands to reason that they will feel the pressure the most.
 
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abc

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2020's: Ski areas struggle as baby boomers age out of the sport.
Actually, you're quite a bit off in time frame. The baby boomers will be still going strong in 2020's. (I'm a baby boomer and I envision I'll be skiing a whole lot more in the next 10-20 years as I approach retirement! :) ).
 

VTKilarney

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Actually, you're quite a bit off in time frame. The baby boomers will be still going strong in 2020's. (I'm a baby boomer and I envision I'll be skiing a whole lot more in the next 10-20 years as I approach retirement! :) ).
If baby boomers are people born from 1946-1964, the youngest baby boomer will be 65 in 2029. Statistically, what is the average age when people stop skiing?
 

abc

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If baby boomers are people born from 1946-1964, the youngest baby boomer will be 65 in 2029. Statistically, what is the average age when people stop skiing?
I think skiing days are dumbbell shaped. A lot when they're in college, a lot pre/post retirement (~70?). Less when they're too busy working and raising kids.

As for what age they stop skiing? That's a moving goal post. 50 years ago, people DIE at the age most people are now happily skiing! Don't forget those artificial knees and hips too! ;)

I'm beginning to see how the "Mr Gloom and Doom" label come about... :(
 

VTKilarney

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Like it or not, some baby boomers will be 83 years old by 2029. Their earning capacity will be less than it is today. Some of them will have moved to Florida. Some of them will have health issues. Is it seriously "doom and gloom" to think that fewer baby boomers will be skiing in 2025 than today? Surely people have not checked their common sense at the door! Or have they?

Maybe it's "doom and gloom" to base an opinion on actual statistics, but one way or the other, your "dumbbell" theory of skier ages is completely wrong: http://www.snowsports.org/Retailers/Research/SnowSportsFactSheet

I'll refrain from making the easy joke. ;-)
 
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Cannonball

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If baby boomers are people born from 1946-1964, the youngest baby boomer will be 65 in 2029. Statistically, what is the average age when people stop skiing?

And only 56 years old in 2020! I think you are getting the "doom and gloom" label because you are always jumping to the worst case scenario.
 

ScottySkis

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Scott will have over 500,0000 posts by then i kove fact of me kiving in CO. Althougj by then my plant will be legal for everulyone i think. I think next 10 years will be snowy ones so i thini Catskills business goes up and Platt has a few more traips. Natural snow will be great come on mini global chill.
 

VTKilarney

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Maybe I'm missing something. How is it that there won't be fewer baby boomers skiing by the end of the 2020's than are skiing now? I'm not trying to be difficult. I just fail to any credible see evidence to the contrary. Google came up with tons of articles showing how ski areas are anticipating this challenge (while enjoying lots of skiing boomers in the present). Are all of the ski area managers and trade associations wrong? I fail to see how it's "doom and gloom" to merely echo what an entire industry has concluded. Heck, I thought that this would be the LEAST controversial aspect of my post.
 

Cannonball

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All of the 'illegal' on-mountain smoke shacks will have been destroyed. Meanwhile, you will be able to buy and smoke herb at the base lodge but it will be at 500% ski area mark-up.
 
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