Is Skiing a dying sport?

dbostedo

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Here's a 2000's graph now with 2022...

1652457950144.png
 

Wilhelmson

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So skiing is primarily a developed market sport, and developed market population grows by about 3%. What are US, Canada, , Europe and Japan GDP or real wage growth for the last 20 years?
 

slow-line-fast

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Further gentrifying.

It’s getting squeezed, more people with money go to top places, non-top places struggle to stay in business, and access to the sport drops. It was always a sport of access (grow up in the mountains or have enough money to make trips/ buy second homes there), but just getting more so.
 

4aprice

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, non-top places struggle to stay in business, and access to the sport drops..
Can you show where this is true? What places are struggling? From everything that I've seen even some of the smaller ski areas are doing quite well but maybe I'm missing something
 
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Ken_R

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Philpug

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Interesting. While unique visitors is flat, skier days are up, that means the same amount of skiers are skiing more. I think this can be attributed to passes. I take a close look at similar metrics when looking at SkiTalk, the amount of unique eyes verses returning ones.
 

dbostedo

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showing that unique participants has been close to flat domestically:

While unique visitors is flat, skier days are up

I don't think this is the right take. Here are the graphs, with trendlines, for both skier visits and unique participants:

1652540089097.png


1652540107928.png



Even though the years don't line up, it's pretty flat for total visits and slightly upward trending for unique skiers. Total visits is actually slightly downward. Now the 2020 drop-off colors that... so let's assume 2020 is more in line with both 2019 and 2021... then you get these graphs:

1652540155756.png


1652540168788.png


Both visits and participants show a slight upward rise... very slight on total visits, and much more on the unique visits graph. And this is similar in slope to the upward rise of the population as a whole (which is why they had that line on the unique visits graph on statista).
 

David Chaus

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I’ve never skied east of Colorado, though by reports it seems there are simply fewer available ski days in the NE and Mid-Atlantic due to a shorter season, and fewer days means fewer skier visits. So even if the snow isn’t as much fun as ”out West” the availability to ski or board may be more limited, especially around the holidays when resorts typically see a large number of first time or occasional skiers.

More population growth in places like Seattle, the Bay Area, SLC and the Front Range means more skier days in those regions. Crowds at any resort in the PNW on weekends is not new, but the size of the crowding the past few years is unprecedented. Maybe it is the availability of multi-resort passes, which are only slightly more expensive (or even less expensive) than the single resort season passes they replaced, but a lot of it is due the overall population growth in these regions.

So it may look like skier days across the US as whole looks pretty flat, but I can tell you that around here, it is anything but flat.

This year was very unusual, with poor early season conditions, then a large amount of snowfall at the end of December, then nada for a couple months, then an amazing April and even into May. So great spring season conditions for die-hards and those of us in “lunatic fringe mode”, and probably very little in the way of new participant growth.
 
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Ken_R

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Can't say I blame them. Skiing is very much a growing sport out West. And arguably growing too fast for some in terms of ability for infrastructure to keep up or preservation of the overall experience.

Many more new skiers out West than new terrain. Terrain has expanded but it is not enough and will never be enough at least here in Colorado. Even if you could expand, wildlife and ecosystems have been stressed enough as it is.

I think the present (and future) of ski areas here is to make the terrain they already have more skiable by trimming vegetation and thinning out forested areas of dead / beetle kill damaged trees. This helps spread people out and in turn reduce the fuel for fires. Some ski areas like Vail will greatly benefit from this given the amount of people that ski there.
 
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Ken_R

Ken_R

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Any data on ski touring growth? Wouldn’t be skier days, but maybe something to do with equipment sales?

It exploded when aki areas closed the lifts because of covid but it seems a LOT of people realized its not that easy and going uphill is hard and you spend more time going up than skiing down. Lots of AT setups for sale since last season.
 

James

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it seems there are simply fewer available ski days in the NE and Mid-Atlantic due to a shorter season,
Not really true in the NE. Goes to mid April and usually closes for lack of people not snow. Will give you early November generally. Killington is open longer than most. Mammoth and Abasin and Hood? Doesn’t Hood close then reopen?
 

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