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May 2011

Summer in the Mountains

To find out just how important summer operations are at mountain resorts, SAM conducted a survey. The results show that summer is a very viable season.
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This past January, SAM surveyed ski resorts across the globe about their other-season operations. More than 100 ski resorts responded, shedding light on what they currently offer, how much summer operations play a part in the revenue picture, and what operations resorts are eying for the future.

Summer remains a growth opportunity. While summer revenues already top 20 percent of the annual total for a quarter of the resorts that responded, they are less than 10 percent for half of them.

#1 "Other" attraction resorts offer:
Summer Camps for Children

#1 "Other" attraction resorts plan to add:
Expanded hiking and biking

Resorts have clearly shifted away from traditional activities, such as tennis and golf, to newer, more family-oriented ones.

Tellingly, disc golf is offered at more respondents than golf, with even more resorts planning to add the disc variety. Climbing walls and bungee trampolines, which have been around for more than a decade already, are still increasing in number. So are skate parks and summer tubing installations, and even mini golf.

Many of the growth activities are gravity fed. They include mountain biking and alpine coasters, ziplines, and canopy tours. At present, just nine percent of responding areas offer a mountain coaster; 23 percent plan to install one soon. These activities are a logical extension of the downhill experiences resorts provide in winter. Will resorts expand further, to include an even greater variety of outdoor, fitness and wellness activities? Bet on it.

CLICK HERE for details on SAM's 2011 Summer Ops Camp