Three of the major themes media is obsessed with in the snow industry include, climate change, ticket pricing and the state of the industry, especially in the US. Often that can get repetitive. This is an interesting article however as it’s got some good numbers on the US industry, and it’s directly quoting Katz, “(he) attributes the stagnant ski-market size to a failure to bring new participants into the industry, even as ski-resort operators have gotten better at rewarding and retaining existing skiers and snowboarders.”
There’s also some reasonable discussion of the pricing model, and some valid criticism.
“Sticker shock at the ticket window is a likely reason that the industry is having trouble attracting new skiers and snowboarders … I’m also talking about people who have skied only a few times and are not yet major enthusiasts: They’re not good candidates to buy season passes; they’re unlikely to eagerly book ski tickets months in advance for discounts; and they’re likely unwilling to pay sky-high prices at the last minute.”
And … “There is a downside of ski areas copying the airline pricing model. For airlines, advance-purchase discounts and high last-minute prices are an effective price-discrimination strategy: Last-minute buyers are likely to be business travelers, or people who otherwise really need to travel right away, and are probably less price sensitive.” And following on “Now that ski areas have better and better deals for the price-sensitive shoppers who make their ski plans in November or earlier, they are free to squeeze those last-minute buyers for more money, just like the airlines do. But that also means people with the most marginal attachment to skiing at a pastime are getting hit with the steepest price increases.”
What is clear, is that pricing is segmenting the market and the part to me that is at risk, is that uncommitted “not yet a snow lover”. As Katz says, the industry has got better at rewarding and retaining existing skiers and snowboarders but has been less successful bringing new participants into the industry.
It’s a good article, worth the 6 minute investment to read. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/02/why-is-skiing-so-expensive-its-not-if-you-plan-right.html