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Superpasses: more crowds?

camberstick

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No, the SLC I remember is dead it sounds. The big resorts aren't worth the hassle any more with the way things are going.
 

thetrailboss

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No, the SLC I remember is dead it sounds. The big resorts aren't worth the hassle any more with the way things are going.

We've been out here now nine years. There has been a gradual uptick in traffic, but the last two years or so it is really congested. The economy is hot.

As to BCC and LCC, for the first four years or so there was only a problem when the road was closed for avi work and/or there was fresh snow and/or it was a holiday. Then it crept up to a few days here and there....but same pattern...new snow, holiday, and /or closure. Now it has gotten to the point where every weekend is a mess. Today as I mentioned it was 55 F and sunny in the valley with no new snow and pretty marginal conditions in need of a refresh. But LCC closed at 11am due to traffic and our drive up was slow. Again, first weekend after an IKON blackout.

I really wish that Alterra would take some accountability for the mess they have made. Instead it is spin. They brag that they have "saved" skiing and made it affordable. This is not what anyone wanted.
 

abc

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Why would they take any accountability? They are printing money like it's toilet paper. Wait for the price increases...
I don’t see any price increases coming.

Revenue = price x volume. As long as volume is increasing, there’ll be no price increase. It’ll take a few more years for volume to plateau. Still amazing number of people haven’t heard of Ikon.

But I’ll be curious whether Jackson will remain on Ikon after 2021.
 

drjeff

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I don’t see any price increases coming.

Revenue = price x volume. As long as volume is increasing, there’ll be no price increase. It’ll take a few more years for volume to plateau. Still amazing number of people haven’t heard of Ikon.

But I’ll be curious whether Jackson will remain on Ikon after 2021.
Not sure if a large price increase will happen, but even a small one, when they're selling around a supposed 500k+ IKON's or roughly 1000000 EPIC's a year currently starts becoming a decent amount of added revenue per year for them, without seeming like it's a major increase to the consumer

Do I expect to see in the not too distant future that next seasons IKON and EPIC passes have gone up in price say $100? Nope.

Would I be surprised to see that they went up between $25 and $50? Nope

Would a $25 to $50 increase likely cause a sizable drop in their sales over this year? Probably not

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Scruffy

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We've been out here now nine years. There has been a gradual uptick in traffic, but the last two years or so it is really congested. The economy is hot.

As to BCC and LCC, for the first four years or so there was only a problem when the road was closed for avi work and/or there was fresh snow and/or it was a holiday. Then it crept up to a few days here and there....but same pattern...new snow, holiday, and /or closure. Now it has gotten to the point where every weekend is a mess. Today as I mentioned it was 55 F and sunny in the valley with no new snow and pretty marginal conditions in need of a refresh. But LCC closed at 11am due to traffic and our drive up was slow. Again, first weekend after an IKON blackout.

I really wish that Alterra would take some accountability for the mess they have made. Instead it is spin. They brag that they have "saved" skiing and made it affordable. This is not what anyone wanted.

Understand your angst, but, as you know, Alterra doesn't own Alta/Bird, they're only a "partner" resort. Alta/Bird owns some of that accountability for the mess in LCC, and Alta/Bird can drop out of IKON, raise their pass rates and restore order to LCC. The question is, will they?
 

1dog

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Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone[/QUOTE]

Understand your angst, but, as you know, Alterra doesn't own Alta/Bird, they're only a "partner" resort. Alta/Bird owns some of that accountability for the mess in LCC, and Alta/Bird can drop out of IKON, raise their pass rates and restore order to LCC. The question is, will they?


If some of these areas have seen a large increase in food service, and how could they not - that is where the margins are in a very thin/slim margin business, I can't see any of them dropping out of the 'club'.

Even I spend more $$ in cafeteria now. I was one of a lot of people who bagged everything including water, never spent a dime in the over-priced, generally lower quality food offerings. I ate on the lift half the time.

Maybe because I'm older, more confident in the economy, quality has gone up, or I am done with my water freezing, whatever the reasons, all in my ski house spend more than the past 20 years.

I do wonder if they have ( on National Forest Land anyway) flexibility to open earlier- say 7 on non-avi control mornings?

Pendulum always swings a liitle too far. Keep hearing prices coming out soon for next year but nothing so far.

I read this site: https://www.zrankings.com/ski-resorts/season-passes


Even though a couple of spread sheets are mis-aligned - I can't see how that PAF number works.
 

mbedle

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I know this has been discussed multiple times and I am pretty sure that the general consensus was that companies with multiple resorts passes, the majority of their revenue was generated by pass sales. I was just reading the Vail 2019 investors' conference presentation and they actually generated in 2018 almost half of their revenue (I am assuming this is only revenue associated with pass/ticket sales) from lift ticket sales. I find that really hard to believe.
 

1dog

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And. . . .most of it is in Spring prior to the season - regardless of snow conditions. . . . a huge plus.
 

AdironRider

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It hasn’t snowed in six days. No big events up here. Skiing is ok but not great. But the place is overwhelmed. And coincidentally this is the FIRST weekend after a blackout for IKON. Seems pretty clear to me what is at least part of the problem.....


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Double the people and completely full, turn around you can't park here conditions on Saturday, with no new snow in a week and it was 0 degrees out here in Jackson.

You had to wait in a multiple buss line just to get from the parking lot to the lift. Insane.
 

BenedictGomez

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And if nothing changes, I’m seriously considering dumping my Alta/Bird Pass. The traffic is just too crazy now.

Where will you ski?

It hasn’t snowed in six days. No big events up here. Skiing is ok but not great. But the place is overwhelmed. And coincidentally this is the FIRST weekend after a blackout for IKON. Seems pretty clear to me what is at least part of the problem.....

The ski resort CEOs, GMs, COOs, and marketing folks will need to put in some serious OT to spin this. Realistically, I believe that in the postmortem of the 2019-2020 ski season, you're going to see some management "break from the ranks" and simply admit that IKON & EPIC lead to crowding. I dont think they can hold the "great snow" & "locals are skiing more" BS together much longer.
 

thetrailboss

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Understand your angst, but, as you know, Alterra doesn't own Alta/Bird, they're only a "partner" resort. Alta/Bird owns some of that accountability for the mess in LCC, and Alta/Bird can drop out of IKON, raise their pass rates and restore order to LCC. The question is, will they?

That is true, but the bigger thing that me and others have been saying, is that Alterra last year was creating "alternative facts" that partner resorts were all saying. Big Sky, Aspen, Jackson Hole, and at least Alta were all using the same, "gosh, the snow is so good" and "the crowding is because of season passholders skiing" lines instead of admitting that yes, IKON was driving traffic. Big Sky, Jackson, and Alta were also imploring locals to "love the IKON passholders". What is disingenuous is that Alterra did a good job of diverting the anger directed towards it and the partner resorts to the skiers and riders who had the passes.

The other piece is that for every news article covering this "newfound crowding problem" that "all of the sudden" sprung up in 2018-2020 shows a clear pattern of what connects the resorts. Ski areas mentioned and discussed: Alta/Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Deer Valley, Jackson Hole Aspen-Snowmass, Vail, and Crystal Mountain. With the exception of Vail, the other resorts are ALL on the IKON Pass. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what is a big part of the problem.

And what you said got me thinking with regards to LCC: Alta/Snowbird share that IKON revenue. So, theoretically, the return for Snowbird is not nearly as good as it may seem. Same with Alta.
 

thetrailboss

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If some of these areas have seen a large increase in food service, and how could they not - that is where the margins are in a very thin/slim margin business, I can't see any of them dropping out of the 'club'.

That is the conventional wisdom. And the traditional business reasoning. You lose $$$ in the ticket sales, but you make it up in food/bev sales and souvenir sales. Guess what? That isn't happening. A good friend of mine worked in food and bev at Snowbird. Their numbers are down. One reason is that Utah has a new .05 BAC that has scared the hell out of visitors who are visiting and are not doing apres ski. The other reason though is that more locals have IKON passes instead of season passes or no pass. Those folks are on a budget and are brownbagging, not buying alcohol (either due to religion or the aforementioned BAC law), and not buying lessons or souvenirs. So they end up making less $$$ and have the issue of crowding.

Now Snowbird has remained silent during this IKON pass debacle. They have sent us lots of surveys and have not trotted out the Alterra line about why there is crowding. Dave Fields was asked last week about IKON and he did not directly answer the question. He said it is being "evaluated" but he did admit that things are broken in terms of traffic, that Snowbird pass sales (and revenue) are down, and that although they are "taking a hard look" at paid parking, that will not happen in 2020-2021 and if it does it will be part of a "holistic approach" that includes other stakeholders. That last part was a dig at Alterra and what they did with Solitude by announcing last fall that they were doing paid parking well after pass sales were done and without warning to other areas.

I certainly do hope that Snowbird would either, (a) dump IKON, or (b) cut it back so that folks only come up non-holiday midweek.

Knowing John Cummings and his track record of incredibly dumb business decisions, I think that they will increase Snowbird pass prices and bend over to keep IKON thus making more people angry. :roll:

Sorry to IKON passholders here. I don't mean any offense to you--the deal IS GOOD for consumers but it is too good to be true. In essence what Alterra has done is to try to take out its competition by bringing them into this program, but they are insidiously taking away business from resorts due to a loss of season pass sales. As I said a few months ago, are traditional season pass sales going to end? They are down at Snowbird due to IKON.
 

thetrailboss

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Double the people and completely full, turn around you can't park here conditions on Saturday, with no new snow in a week and it was 0 degrees out here in Jackson.

You had to wait in a multiple buss line just to get from the parking lot to the lift. Insane.

Same thing. The weekend after an IKON blackout. Amazing coincidence. :roll:
 

thetrailboss

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Where will you ski?

Well, when you consider the amount we spend on my Alta/Bird Pass and one for my daughter, her ski camp, and my wife's pass (this year she got IKON, which made me :roll: ), we do have some options in terms of budget.

LCC is just a mess. The traffic and crowding make it so that we do not get our ROI on our programs. The traffic also makes it so that I am :angry: before I even arrive at the parking lot and it ruins the day.

There are other drivers to this thought process too. First, the consequences of a hot economy and an incredibly dumb business decision two seasons ago by Snowbird ownership to cut pay and benefits to staff have come to roost this season. Our staple ski camp program for my daughter has been a complete failure this season. In six Sundays she has had four different instructors who are either too old to give a shit or not at all motivated to actually teach. The chaos has made my daughter understandably anxious and upset. On Saturday night she was in tears about going Sunday because she was scared of getting hurt. We've been in the program five seasons and this is the first where I have now had to ride the ass of the manager to get this right. Before this season I had no idea who that person even was. He is trying, but I know that a lot of their good instructors left and he is in a bad spot. That said, we invested too much to have her now in a spot where she is behind her skillset last season and where she doesn't even want to go to Snowbird. And to put it in perspective, the cost of the 10-weeks is about the same as my Alta/Bird pass.

The second issue is that my wife had an accident at Snowbird now seven years ago and the memory prevents her from skiing there. So we have to accommodate her.

Another factor is that literally three of our closest families have up and moved for various reasons. Two of them are in Montana now (hence, the Ski Discovery visits on my tally this season). They want us to buy passes to Discovery and commit to coming up every major holiday.

It is too soon to say what I will do, but it may be a hodgepodge of tickets or other passes.
 
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deadheadskier

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If some of these areas have seen a large increase in food service, and how could they not - that is where the margins are in a very thin/slim margin business, I can't see any of them dropping out of the 'club'.

.

Is this opinion based off seeing $12 cheeseburgers and $5 candy bars in ski resort cafeterias or actually looking at resort P&L statements?

I used to be accountable for updating the F&B portions of the P&L at two ski resorts, Snowshoe WV (large destination resort managed by Intrawest at the time) and Wisp, MD (primarily a day trip area).

Both had ski, golf, lodging and multiple F&B outlets. I can tell you for both that the order of profitability was:

Lift tickets / Pass Sales
Ski school operations
Golf Operations
Lodging operations
F&B

Over the course of the year, F&B was lucky to break even or eek out a small profit. That was the case for all of the other Intrawest resorts at the time too; even Whistler. Also knew the VP of F&B at Vail at the time (early 2000s) and his profit scenario was the same.




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BenedictGomez

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It is too soon to say what I will do, but it may be a hodgepodge of tickets or other passes.

Wow. I'm very sorry to hear all this; especially the bit about your little girl which is heart-wrenching. Hopefully it all works out somehow.
 

kingslug

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Glad i at least spent the last 20 years skiing LCC before it turned into a shit show..basing out of PC is our plan now...midweek trip to LCC...and keep flying around to different places...although this Corona virus might keep me away from Europe for a while.
Sad. :(
 
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