Yea, the industry pushed for it because it was profitable to them. And variable rates can work for some consumers when low rates get fixed for a short period of time. Not many consumers but it does work for some. Snowmaking and grooming are two expenses that ski areas can't live without (with few exceptions as previously cited and those exceptions ONLY exist because of strong community support and often times coop structure). Your comparison does not hold water. Snowmaking and grooming are expected. Hell, even I expect them.That logic doesn't always work. Let's try again: if people can afford 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 5 1/2%, why did they end up with a variable rate at 5% only to see it gone up to 7%? The answer is: the industry pushed for it!
Regarding your not skiing in November: I am glad the ski industry doesn't base their decisions on you alone. That isn't a strong position from which to argue, that they shouldn't do something because it doesn't benefit you personally.
AGAIN, if you want to debate the merits of grooming or not grooming specific trails... that is fine. That is not what my original comments about snowmaking and grooming were in the context of. I'd love to see more terrain left ungroomed. I think we are seeing many ski areas respond to that market. We've clearly seen massive expansions of gladed terrain from almost all ski areas. Many have some half groom and half bump trails. A few have added seeded bumps. That is all great.
But it has nothing to do with my original point: that snowmaking and grooming get mountains open sooner and almost everyone that skis at ski areas appreciates having these two expenses put to use. Even if you don't ski until January... YOU are still benefiting from snowmaking and grooming that laid the base down. If ski areas only relied on natural snow without augmentation... not only would the season start latter, but there would be very few open trails even by January.