It may seem like a small thing, but good coffee and specialty coffee drinks can show guests a ski area's concern for quality. Nowadays, it's easier and cheaper than ever for ski areas to improve this facet of food service operation.
A survey of U.S. ski areas conducted by RRC Associates for NSAA and Transworld SNOWboarding Business examines the continuing gains in snowboarding visits, currently estimated by responding areas at 19 percent of total visits. Statistics are broken down by region and size of area and examine potential for future growth.
Three out of the four major Southern California ski areas are streamlining ticket prices and throwing out many discounts, but the biggest surprise of all came when the market leader, Snow Summit, adopted an "everyday low price" policy and wiped the discount slate clean.
Creative ideas from ski areas include: Christmas tree fences from Powder Ridge, Minn., rubber walkways from Buttermilk Ski Area, Colo., and an adjustable handle tow modified for deep snow from Soda Springs, Calif.
A SAM "Profile in Profit," Ski Apache, N.M., has the highest lift capacity in the state, over 200,000 annual skier visits and operates in the black. Owned by the Mescalero tribe and run by Roy Parker, here's how they achieved their success.