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crosscountry

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The idea that LCC is becoming worse than I-70 after all of the LCC gloating over the years is not something we are going to let lay quietly.

I am not remotely better than that :duck:(although I have mostly given up on I-70 being worth it).

The whole thing is quite the topic on how the ski industry is struggling and most name brand resorts are essentially unbearable.
"The whole thing" is so familiar for us in the northeast! :roflmao:

For decades now, we've put up with traffic on the Thruway, on 91, on 93. An extra hour on the freeway? That's part for the course! Getting stuck for hours because a car had spun out on the snow? Happens all the time.

But no, that's never going to happen in Colorado! Let's move there and get away from all the hassle. :ogbiggrin: Wait, I-70 is getting as bad as the Thruway? Well, there's always Utah...:roflmao:
 

Tricia

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Sheesh, you're better than this.

The idea that LCC is becoming worse than I-70 after all of the LCC gloating over the years is not something we are going to let lay quietly.

What gloating would that be??!! How did this thread go from A Basin to schadenfreude about the Cottonwood Canyons??
I agree. I don't recall any gloating and certainly this thread should not be about the canyons at all, but more about the positives that came out of A-Basin switching from Epic to IKON.

@nay I'll repeat myself....
Sheesh, you're better than this.
 

SBrown

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I agree. I don't recall any gloating and certainly this thread should not be about the canyons at all, but more about the positives that came out of A-Basin switching from Epic to IKON.
I mean, yes, keep the thread on topic, but Coloradans have endured yeeeeaaarrrrrrzzzzz of gloating about how much better Utah is due to low crowds and better snow. It still has better snow.
 

Tricia

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I mean, yes, keep the thread on topic, but Coloradans have endured yeeeeaaarrrrrrzzzzz of gloating about how much better Utah is due to low crowds and better snow. It still has better snow.
I guess that was not on my radar because I was(am) one of those pesky digits in the over crowding pool.

Oddly enough the parts of the conversation I've paid attention to in the past 10 or so years is that SLC was... easier to fly to, and closer to skiing than flying into Denver, and lodging was more affordable in Utah.

In the past few years I've noticed a bit of a hike in $$ to find lodging in Utah.

I feel kind of odd this year because I only have 6 days total in Colorado.
Arapahoe Basin was the only IKON visit. 2 Loveland, 1, Monarch, 2 Crested Butte.

With the industry events being moved back to SLC, we're finding ourselves not going the extra 6+ hrs to Colorado as frequently.
I have 17 in Utah with only 3 of those not being on IKON, so I am clearly a source of the angst to the Utah-ns

Edit to add:
As of today I have 91 ski days
55 of which are NOT on my IKON Pass.
 
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Wilhelmson

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Are there any major ski resorts that aren’t crowded on weekends these days?
 

ski otter 2

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Are there any major ski resorts that aren’t crowded on weekends these days?
Yes. For example, no crowd at A Basin early, yesterday. And today. (A crowd developed later in the day for the Brew festival.)
Same with Mary Jane on Saturday. And probably today, don't know.
There are others, throughout the season, in Colorado. Most ordinary weekends. It varies.
 

nay

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I mean, yes, keep the thread on topic, but Coloradans have endured yeeeeaaarrrrrrzzzzz of gloating about how much better Utah is due to low crowds and better snow. It still has better snow.

It has better snow until they finish draining the Great Salt Lake for bluegrass lawns. Sorry @Tricia :P (although I notice you did not “sheesh” @SBrown:duck:)

I think it’s all on point that A-Basin, after the horribly strategized “We’re independent, buy a season pass ooops we’re on Ikon there goes the value of the independent ski area you bought that pass to access” debacle, has followed through in restricting season pass sales and window ticket sales, and they are carefully managing those results. We’ve heard that Alterra is paying a lot more per visit than Vail was (true or not) so we can only speculate whether Ikon is a nice to have for A-Basin or essential.

As they finish terrain expansion (Beavers) and lift upgrades (on Epic/Ikon money it would seem), plus the summer Vailesque stuff to be more four season, the question to me is simple: has A-Basin created enough value and associated demand to become independent and move off of Ikon? They talked this season about no more shared days with Taos noting that Taos is focused on its independence and the talk track is clearly there.

In the current oligopoly climate, an independent ski resort that can operate with (presumed) financial health while preserving skier experience (looking at you Loveland, sitting right on top of I-70) should be the goal for ski areas that aren’t really “resorts”, meaning lack of base lodging. Monarch, which is one of my two home ski areas now, is managing to stay independent while cultivating a uniquely weird ski experience so there are lots of potential ways to point loaded guns at your feet for no apparent reason so that people can have best days ever combined with worst days ever and it’s just a game of roulette.

One thing for sure is that having a second global ski pass (remember when people thought Alterra was going to be different than Vail?) has more radically altered the ski industry than the Epic pass, because it sparked a global acquisition war. Can A-Basin (and others) thrive by charging a premium price for a premium experience to a limited set of customers?

I think so.
 

nay

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Overcrowding and too much traffic means the ski industry is struggling? (I guess I'm taking struggling to mean "not doing well"... though I guess you could have meant "struggling to better serve customers".)
The topic is the ski industry for years and years has been declining skier visits and increasing age of average skier, which last I remember reading was in their 40’s.

This problem is overlaid by the ‘flocking’ that occurs to specific resorts on specific days or what I would say is “overconsumption of premium conditions” (powder days), which is not something that makes a ski area operator more money but costs them bad press. Remote work, which I have taken advantage of to ski on those precious Tuesdays for years and years, is now something that makes any premium day just another overconsumption day.

Having said that, go into a local bike shop right now. 2 years ago you’d wait a week or more for basic service and it wasn’t because of a lack of techs, it was because of demand. I walked into my LBS shop needing a tire mounted on a new rim and I was out the door in 15 minutes with techs sitting around no bikes on the stands being serviced. This late spring, from my injured perch, looks like it has had significant demand suppression due to raising interest rates. The bike industry is in significant retraction for the same reason (as least as I hear from the inside and can observationally correlate at the local level).

One thing I am keenly aware of, working now 7 years for tech startups, is that we had 14 years in the golden age of printing free money. That’s not meant to be political, it is just a reality that people had far more money in their pockets than they are going to have going forward. Both Epic and Ikon were launched during this Gilded Age and we don’t know what the impact will be on the seemingly endless expansion of those passes when the average skier is going to have a lot less money to spend on skiing. If you think about this Gilded Age starting in 2008, the entire lifespan of the iPhone has been in the age of free money. I started skiing in 2010, so I have never skied outside of this period.

It’s going to have a major impact, unless we are all affluent older folk, which gets back to the problem statement at the top of this post.
 

mikel

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Here is the latest Abasin skier visits news from this season:

"Of the 204 days the Colorado ski area was open there were nine days when parking became a challenge for guests"​


I know staffing comes up in some threads and found it interesting that A Basin was fully staffed all season.

 
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dbostedo

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The topic is the ski industry for years and years has been declining skier visits
I know I haven't likely read as much as many, but I'm not seeing that. I'm hearing about fluctuation, or not getting the growth they want. But declining skier visits is not borne out by NSAA data, nor by what we see of pass sales and crowding. (I.e. declining skier visits is either local/resort specific, or misunderstanding/misstating.)

Good points on age though, and the other points. Those do point to potential future problems more directly. And while not declining per available data, lack of real growth in line with population growth could be concerning for industry health (and probably tracks with the age data).
 
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Snowflake2420

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I'm an A Basin passholder and have been since that season where they left Epic and joined Ikon :).

This season was great, I think it also helped the front range was not getting hammered compared to other areas. LenX has dramatically changed that lift and made laps very fast.

The dream is A Basin going fully independent. My renewal pass with uphill was 9% higher vs. 22/23; $588 vs. $539. I'm happy they are going in the direction of upping pricing. A Basin can control the number of A Basin only passes it sells, they cannot control the number of Ikon passes sold and when those people show up even with "limited" days. What is their incentive to move off Ikon? I think Ikon is essential to their bottom line as it brings the volume and a good price per skier visit. I would bet on most weekend days the majority of skiers are Ikon passholders. The $s per skier visit from an A Basin passholder are much less as they probably get used much more and the volume of passholders is quite low relative to Ikon.
 
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crosscountry

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I'm hearing about fluctuation, or not getting the growth they want. But declining skier visits is not borne out by NSAA data, nor by what we see of pass sales and crowding. (I.e. declining skier visits is either local/resort specific, or misunderstanding/misstating.)
How do you get growth without crowding???

“overconsumption of premium conditions” (powder days)
Would that be particularly worse for resorts opting to only join IKON on "limited" days?
 
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fatbob

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I know I haven't likely read as much as many, but I'm not seeing that. I'm hearing about fluctuation, or not getting the growth they want. But declining skier visits is not borne out by NSAA data, nor by what we see of pass sales and crowding. (I.e. declining skier visits is either local/resort specific, or misunderstanding/misstating.)

Good points on age though, and the other points. Those do point to potential future problems more directly. And while not declining per available data, lack of real growth in line with population growth could be concerning for industry health (and probably tracks with the age data).


I think the problem is the (publically available) data is measured in skier visits not unique skiers. I'm sure VR & Alterra have heaps of more granular data on unique skiers (or the 40+ demographic & behaviourial types they divide into) but that's never going to be released. It's entirely possible for the industry to be busier and more crowded than ever in good season yet 10 years away from a major drop off in individual customers due to the boomer/Gen X age out and economic squeezes on younger generations.

Having said that I think places like A Basin are probably most secure. High quality long season skiing close to a major and growing outdoor orientated population with limited staffing overhead and no real estate to worry about fall off in bed nights etc.
 
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David Chaus

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I think the problem is the (publically available) data is measured in skier visits not unique skiers. I'm sure VR & Alterra have heaps of more granular data on unique skiers (or the 40+ demographic & behaviourial types they divide into) but that's never going to be released. It's entirely possible for the industry to be busier and more crowded than ever in good season yet 10 years away from a major drop off in individual customers due to the boomer/Gen X age out and economic squeezes on younger generations.

That, and what parts of the industry we’re evaluating. In my mind the more interesting data would be the increase in visits at Epic and Ikon resorts compared to any increases or decreases in visits to non-Ikon and non-Epic resorts. Whether the overall numbers of skiers and riders increase or decrease, it seems the crowding at the Epic and Ikon resorts gets worse, some places more than others. The Indy Ski pass is a good effort to support other resorts and ski areas but I don’t think will ever have the same impact as the consolidation of ski resorts under these two mega passes has had, just in the last 10-15 years.
 
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