What do you think is the biggest problem facing the mountain resort industry?

Bad Economy
17% (106 votes)
Customers Aging Out
22% (136 votes)
Lack of Conversion
16% (97 votes)
Too Seasonal
12% (73 votes)
Climate Change
27% (162 votes)
No Problems Here
6% (36 votes)
Total votes: 610


How about adding COST!

Every time I see this poll, I immediately think - COST - IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE to bring your whole family out to ski anymore. When I grew up we could go skiing for less than $30... now it's more like $300. It's just too much!

Scaring skiers

@Chic Your point, my niece dropped out of skiing after being hit by two different snowboarders over the course of a couple weeks. She and her family are likely never to ski.

Crazies are hurting the sport!

What's gonna kill the sport are the crazies on the hill. Too fast and out of control skiers and boarders are driving the older life long participants off the hill. This season alone I know of 12 friends hit by participants skiing too fast or being oblivious to the environment they r in. Who do I blame? Lets start with the ski manufacturers, in an effort to make skis easier to ski we have added rocker which reduces snow contact and makes skis easier to skid and throw around. Ad a wider platform along with a shorter length and you have false sense of security. Next, let's look at the resorts, which do not do a good enough job controlling their resorts, the fear of taking away a ticket and pissing off a customer is far more important than safety. Now let's add in PSIA as a level three certified instructor ski schools are more concerned with returning business and happy customers than teaching technique. Now it is about skidding turns instead of carving, why? Easy anyone can through a ski into a turn, add some speed and you can cheat your way into thinking you are a good skier. Plus what ever happened to skier etiquette, stop at edge of trail, look uphill when starting, uphill skier avoids downhill skier. It's a dead art, young instructors never learned this so why teach it? As an industry we r so concerned about conversion numbers, I would be concerned about keeping existing skiers on the hill. My family is a skiing family, but if my grandson gets hit I can tell you you will loose the entire second generation of skiers, the parents will not risk injury to their child. . Here's a solution though, treat the ski resort as a public highway, each participant buys their own liability insurance and like Colorado the ski resort is not held responsible for any accident. If you hit someone, YOU MUST STOP AND EXCHANGE INFO, just like an auto accident. This will lower the cost of insurance a resort has to pay, pass that along to the ticket buyer in the form of cheaper tickets and passes. The fear of higher insurance rates and legal action will reign in the sport. Now watch the sport grow when a local area lowers their day ticket from $60 to $40. It's time the industry to back some control of the sport!

climate and aging

Some irony in the two top vote getting categories: aging skiers won't be around to see any of the purported effects of climate change.


In Austria, at Ski Alberg most of the lifts are six person lifts, which heated seats and domes. They have enough capacity they basely don't have lift lines. This changes everything. Ski becomes pleasant. I believe that if we had the same ski experience here so many more people would be attached to sport. The retention of skier would also be much higher. The ability to change massive improve the experience is there. I think the industry would be well served to move in this direction.

Biggest Problems Faceing Mountain (should be ski resort) Industr

(1) canabalistic marketing vs market developement (2) high entry level equipment pricing (3) weather- too cold too warm too wet and these things usually happen at the worst times (4) difficulties finding enough ski instructor candidates (5) glitz marketing conveying the image that if you cant ski in the mountains dont bother to ski can be a turn off for non skiers to try because of the high implied initial (in mountains ) cost.

Where's the leadership?

These are the issues, but where is the leadership? The national trade group would have us believe "No problem here." What have your dues done for you lately?

Skier Visits

Many European countries have more skier visits than the US. Look at some countries like the alp countries such as Austria, which has more than 50 million skier visits and is only the size of VT and NH. Another factor is that many resorts are a community effort and not the alone approach. As we know there are many more factors. Transportation is a key point as well as many countries invest into railroads and road system.


The issue with capital investment is the high cost of running and maintaining a resort. Most resorts in N.America are extremely pricey compared to all European resorts.. I don't know how they are able to continue their improvements and keep their ticket price below $50. There are many more skier visits in most European resorts though. In regards to the roads..the European roads are far worse then N. America, but you are correct about the TSA and issues flying into the States, I know many many people that state they have had it with flying into the States. North American resorts are pricing themselves out of visitors, it feels like they are looking at more short term profits vs. Europe is more long term thinking.

The poll is missing some major options

Lack of capital investment into the industry You compare US resorts, to European resorts and we look like were in the stone ages. Have to wonder how different sking would be in this country, if we invested in modern lift with heated seats and domes. Part of this is lack of access to capital at reasonable rates. Not sure what's going to happen to this industry, when the average age of lift starts become 30 to 40 years old. The failing transportation system The fact is the world airplane travel is very different, airlines are filling plane at much higher capacity levels. Making air more risky, when flights are canceled it is far more inconvenient traveler. When on a planes are full, much less comfortable for travelers. I believe there are people that don't go skiing to avoid having to deal with airlines. Furthermore many of our roads are terrible disrepair, making travel difficult.