News ski industry faces challenge of replacing older loyal skiers

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Richard, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept
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  2. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty
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    Could you promote a cage fight between some of the regular adversaries and sell ppv?
     
  3. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept
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    now you're talking - best idea in years!

    I'll make inquiry with Don King. He'll know what to do.
     
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  4. Gimped

    Gimped Addicted

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    paywalled, or something like that.
    Couldn't read without doing the survey.
     
  5. sastrugi

    sastrugi Part of the Furniture
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    It's telling that the article is from the Vail site. I don't know anyone younger than baby boomers (IRL) who ski Vail and not an awful lot who ski A$pen. Different story over at Jackson where there's a big slab of young crew coming through.

    Perhaps costs of skiing need to be reviewed again... I know the article talks about ticket price wars but what about accommodation and food added on... Now that mummy and daddy boomers aren't paying for the ski holidays, their kids with younger families often drop out of the loop. Used to see it in our lodge a bit too.
     
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  6. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    Just anectodally - I think a big issue is retaining skiers through their twenties and their early/mid thirties

    Just looking at my school mates, lots of them grew up skiing, then stopped through uni and the early career to early family years, they've now re-appeared with their kids, motivated by family skiing and also at an age that they're more established and have a few spare bucks.
     
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  7. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    I wonder if the change in season prices for
    Many resorts will affect this?
     
  8. D-eye

    D-eye Photographer and skier
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    It's not just skiing, it's a bunch of other sports (looking at you golf - which I don't play)
     
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  9. Sbooker

    Sbooker Addicted

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    I don't find Aspen that much more expensive than the other Ikon resorts. Still affordable accom (much cheaper than here in Oz) to be found in Snowmass.
    I can understand why kids can't afford to ski without their parents help. I know once mine are on their own they will unlikely have the money to go on ski holidays because they will have plenty of other things to pay for.
     
  10. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept
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    Hard to imagine that cost of accom isn’t a big part of the problem.

    Not that it will ever be cheap in a snow resort, but $1000 buys a lot of nights for a young person in SE Asia / Indonesia etc.

    Again it’s the Low Cost Carriers that have dramatically increased the breadth of travel and activity choice for the current generation.
     
  11. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty
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    The mountain companies would be better served lobbying for the abolishment of truancy penalties placed on parents if the child is indeed taking an excursion with his or her family to a snow resort.
     
  12. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Maybe my anecdotal observations are just that...

    However this doesn't seem to be a trend at Perisher. Especially in recent years with the Epic pass.
    Skiing and snowboarding really seems like a thing.
     
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  13. sastrugi

    sastrugi Part of the Furniture
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    I guess it depends on your priorities in your own lives. Once +1 and I left living at the snow and got our first mortgage, we forfeited lots of things to be able to afford an annual ski holiday as that was very important to us. We don't buy hardware regularly, we just look after what we've got and it helps to make our skiing more affordable too. Lodge accommodation is a big help for us.
     
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  14. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    BTW i stopped reading at Aspen
     
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  15. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept
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    I observe this too.

    I suspect there is an element of stealing pie from other resorts, not growing the pie. Imo, Perisher have out-executed the other four locals by some margin the last five years. Hotham and Falls have been sleepwalking since Merlin. Buller just milks the low hanging fruit from Melb and Thredbo have had no new blood at the top for too long.
     
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  16. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    It also passes the pub test.
     
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  17. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Or did they create a whole new market segment?
    *this is based purely on my observations of the camping mid 20's market at both a winter and summer level.
     
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  18. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept
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    Hard to know if this is a material volume but they certainly have found new energy that’s not burning elsewhere.
     
  19. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    I could tell by the van park booking out of unpowered sites weeks beforehand.

    A couple of years ago...you didn't need to book
     
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  20. Seth

    Seth Pool Room
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    That number one attribute for running a ski resort in Australia is patience.

    Having the patience to wait out everyone else to get to the top.
     
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  21. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture
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    I see the same demographic trend in surfing. When I was an 18 year old surfer in the early eighties I felt like I was an average age for a surfer, and probably was. Now at 53 I’m probably not much older than the “average”.

    I’m not sure quite what’s happened here. Of course in the 70’s there were few cooler things to be than a surfer (and maybe a skier?) so maybe that’s an influence? Surfing (and skiing) are still cool but maybe not so much as before? But I don’t think that’s it - both surfing and skiing both have an X factor about them still. Maybe cost is a factor but is it any more expensive than it ever was, relatively speaking?

    I just think less people are physically active than was once the case, as a % of the population.

    But skiing could definitely become less expensive. Thredbo commercial accomodation in school hols is just ridiculous. The sensible decision is to skip a week in Oz and ski two in Japan, at those prices.

    Overseas travel is so much more inexpensive than it once was, yet skiing in Australia is probably just as expensive as it once was. Maybe it just doesn’t compete as well for the leisure dollar, in a less active population.
     
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  22. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    #perisher is a massive thing with the insta crowd

    #thredbo..... not so much

    *except when Tom Tilley is there.
     
  23. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
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    The local resorts aren't competing with overseas ski holidays, they're competing with non snow holidays.
     
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  24. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    Disagree slightly there. Local resorts are competing with OS for people that aren’t within driving distance. IE if you lived in Brisbane you’d probably consider Japan or NZ before Oz. But then you’re 3-5 hours drive from a fix, you’re gonna be tempted.
     
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  25. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable
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    Back in the day surfing or skiing was rebellious and cool, these days Asia is the rebellion and a coupla cheap tatts is cool

    Fashion not sports .... insta

    Legs couldn't pick a fight with a pillow
     
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  26. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty
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    I read this as pube test *heh heh*heh heh*
     
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  27. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Walking on a dream
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    Yes, no and no.

    It's a lot more to do with lack of access to accom particularly, than the mid-late Millenials being obsessed with Asia, etc. My extended family's adult kids and their friends all still come up to Buller on a varying basis, from a few weekends to every weekend of the season, all because we have apartments up there. It's mostly about accessibility and cost IMO.
     
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  28. Whatever really

    Whatever really Hard Yards

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    I had this conversation last winter with all the guys on my building site,
    Most had stopped because it was to expensive as an apprentice, they do student deals but nothing for apprentices, so these guys just don’t go.
    Making the sport appealing for students and apprentices alike would greatly help I think
     
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  29. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty
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    Is it wrong of me to hope for less skiers on the slopes?
     
  30. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture
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    Interesting quote here:
    Takes me back immediately to when I used to follow Thredbo on Social Media... Their cringe-worthy blogs, stories and updates on the 'apres' events is very off putting. Perhaps I am the exception though.
     
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  31. VSG

    VSG Pool Room
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    Better.
     
  32. hipo

    hipo One of Us
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    60's, 70's 80's the dollar went further. Bunch of mates in a car or van heading surf or snow - Happy to roll out a tent on some beach or by an alpine fed lake, a burger with the lot was a good meal and even better if a cold beer was at hand. reckon our standards were lower but our value was higher and just happy to be there.
     
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  33. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Its interesting re the debate about generations vs ticket price vs freq. ski days?

    Some here talk about ‘cheap season oasses making skiing cheaper’.

    But I reckon its mostly seasoned establshed (read older) skiers that buying season passes.

    Buying a season pass at a resort locks in a series (min no. Days & hence expenses) of purchases that would probably result in at least $3-4k pp once petrol, entry, accom & food s factored in. This is a serious commitment fot many (most) ave income earners and way beyond what most learner / beginner ( younger?) skiers are prepared to spend.

    So these younger new skiers spend up to $140+ for a weekend day ticket - effectively subsidising the v good value season passes of older established skiers.

    Is it any wonder then that industry folk wonder where the next crop of youngsters (paying huge city rents & often HECS) will appear from?

    I’d love to know what other ‘oldies’ (~ 50+) think?
     
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  34. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Phew! I'm saved from answering for the next little while!!
     
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  35. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
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    So, nothing's changed from my youth. But it has. Skiing used to be regarded as elitist - the preserve of professionals and their private school kids. Now it seems to be embraced by a much broader demographic, which would seem to imply it's become more accessible.
     
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  36. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    IMO .
    The biggest rise in season pass growth at Perisher ...Is the 20/28 age group.

    * perisher is at odds with the rest of the ski industry it seems.
    Unless you ski there, often. I don't think you can appreciate how much.
     
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  37. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    While there are common factors, i think the us experience is rather different to here. Lots of Americans live very close to ski hills. The rest live a long way from them. Our population is particularly clustered around melb & syd. That means few people here can go skiing without at least a big day trip, but many can go just for a weekend. In the US many can go skiing within a short distance from home but a big proportion really need to travel for more than a weekend break. (IIRC US only get 2 weeks annual holidays which puts more pressure on destination skiers too.) So skiing has been more widespread as part of us culture but more niche here. Hence the figure that most us skiers started by 10 YO. I suspect that most aus skiers started after that, possibly even from 17 onwards.
    So in US a bigger proportion of skiers were kids who did it because that was just what you did and here we have a big cohort of 17-30ish trying it for the first time. For many it will be a one off (or not much more) experience. We do still have a lot of kids who grow up skiing and then fall away, but not as much as US.

    Retaining people is still a huge challenge but i think the issues and answers are not identical. Cost us obviously still a big one. For the addicted skier who can accept very basic "accommodation", skiing is probably as cheap as it's ever been. The proportion who fit that description is probably falling and cheap accommodation options are also probably falling.

    Casualisation of work for 17-35s is probably another factor that makes it hard for them to develop the ski habit.
     
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  38. TheFake

    TheFake Hard Yards

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    I can't imagine there's too many people in Aus who decide to go skiing for the first time by themselves, it seems more like something you get dragged along to by some mates or introduced to by your parents.

    I feel like in Aus in particular, given our winters in big cities are fairly mild, people don't have the quality winter clothes a lot of US/Canada do for every day use, which also adds to the cost of entry to the sport. Unless your mates are already into the sport and can give you loaner gear to try out (mainly clothing), its a very expensive day trip ($150 lift ticket, $100 rental, $80 lesson, $50 gate pass...)
     
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  39. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us
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    Whew where to start?
    As an expartner in a ski shop, many years ago, I’ve seen how young people will want to get their winter fix of skiing or boarding if only for the piss up and the cool value. Social media enhances this. I also saw how younger generations of new waves of immigrants tested it out and some became involved. Notice the small number of young Indian/ Sri Lankan guys all kitted out in new gear at Perisher last season, while a lot of their friends were with an instructor, not just tobogganing.
    Finally in my real job, running a school, I saw the families who jumping onto the cheap passes esp at Perisher giving them another family sport to get into, and the occasional ski weekend turned into a planned season commitment. Thus the crush on caravan parks and accommodation out to Berridale and Dalgety. The success of the Aldi gear and the cheap overseas websites when the dollar was strong. Lots of debates about this but it all happened at the same time.
    And now the popularity of back country has fed another segment into the market. It’s not everyone, but it’s enough for smart operators to survive the bad times and prosper long term.
     
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  40. Gumbo

    Gumbo One of Us
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    Couple of years ago basic accom in jindy was not 500+ a night...
     
  41. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    No it wasn't.
    Yet those places are booked out as well.
     
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  42. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
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    $50 gate pass only if they go alone.
    BDO ticket costs $150 + drugs/drinks whatever.
    Falls Festival: A 3-day ticket, 3 Day Festival Ticket: $299.00 + $13.83 Fee = $312.83 plus camping Camping tickets (will be sold at $109 + 14.83 booking fees) made it a total of $436.66.

    No one has ever said it's a cheap sport. But, it's not outrageously priced in the scheme of things.
     
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  43. Gumbo

    Gumbo One of Us
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    In don’t think skiing has gotten any cheaper. The saving from the season pass has just been picked up by another service provider down the snow.
     
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  44. Gumbo

    Gumbo One of Us
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    But unless you have a group of friends that already ski the festival will win out.
     
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  45. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    In Victoria at least, from a cost perspective the true vampires are the RMBs.

    The lift companies have their moments, sure, but overall I think they provide decent value for what they offer. Buller's dynamic pricing last season was good, there's not that many days in a season where you get slugged the full price and as we all know the season passes are great if you want to ski more than a week a year.

    But anything where the RMB has something to do with it is where you get bent over. The obvious part is the gate entry and oversnow (at Falls/Buller) but a big part of what you are made to pay for accommodation is due to the completely OTT RMB rates. I doubt any other tourism accommodation providers are required to operate in such an onerous environment.
     
  46. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
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    They have choices. Same as always. What I was saying is that if they can afford the festival, they can afford to ski.
     
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  47. Gumbo

    Gumbo One of Us
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    On the NSW side of things I do wonder if it will become its own worst enemy. Sure everything was booked out last year however I was amazed at the volume of people complaining about literally everything... yes it was alway an expensive sport but it’s core people (like everyone on this site) will always find a way to get to the snow. Also being further along the skill level give you the ability to get out and about. I do wonder if the sheer crowds especially on beginner slopes will have a negative effect on new sliders. Will we see a taper off on the season passes as the greed from some does make the sport way too expensive again. End of the day the season pass is only one part of the trip.

    I’m also amazed at how many people are forgoing the Aus trips now and doing the family trips OS. Yes some previously did this but in our group it was always ones and twos that did this. Now days I have many friends/work colleagues that now do this.
     
  48. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture
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    Exchange rate against the Yen was the big shift IMO
    Serious skiers were the first to see the value in Japan, they came back and spread the word to occasional skiers it then became cool combined with cheap Jetstar flights and 20 to 25 year olds and bingo people reduced their skiing days in Australia to focus on much better value in Japan.
    I now see families who can barely ski heading to Japan every Jan, they do this and choose not to ski in Australia at all
     
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  49. Gumbo

    Gumbo One of Us
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    100% they have a choice but a festival is still cheaper than a trip down the snow. Not by as much as it once was but it still is especially if your coming from a major city and you have to factor petrol
     
  50. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    I have people that do both.
    Three years ago they hadn't seen snow.