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On Wed, 4 Dec 2002, Leigh Daboll wrote:
> Unless you are prepared to surrender to a life in [shudder] golf purgatory,
> don't bitch about egalitarianism or lack thereof, improper or proper use of
> forest lands, and everything else purportedly wrong with the state of
> skiing.
>
> There is room for both visions.
> There is a need for both visions.
>

That wasnt really the point I was hoping to get discussed here. My own
biased view is that the big purpose-built resorts are souless and lame,
but that's just an opinion based solely on my preference. Nobody really
cares and that doesnt bother me too much. We can bitch back and forth
about purism vs McSki but that will just lead to two very polarized views
coming across. That horse is dead.

But, the question I would like to pose is, is the Intrawest purpose-built
resort "village" ski resort model realisticly profitable, over the next 20
years, in modern America? What is the critical number of big ski resorts
that can be supported by a very finite pool of skiers able to afford that
sort of experience? It seems to me that the skier numbers (and prospective
growth of said numbers) that resort developers have been relying on might
be a bit off. Here's something from John Fry, in SKI .. hardly a purist
publication:

http://www.skimag.com/skimag/in_my_view/article/0,12795,,00.html

Has the only reason that anyone's made any money at all the real estate
market? Is US ski resort operation profitable by itself? Like Skip said,
Canada (and Intrawest) is a special case -- I wouldnt expect to see
government in the US funding ski resort development, so if/when the real
estate bubble bursts, will the big resort operators be able to hack it
here?

I personally dont think so. There just arent enough skiers with enough
money to support it. The only way I can see it happening is by making
skiing, and ski vacations, more affordable for regular people. And even if
they can do that, will there be enough money coming in to operate the
resorts themselves? Without all this real estante money flowing I just
dont see it happening. Once you get past the huge percentage of Amercians
that want nothing to do with cold and snow there really arent that many
people that want to do this, even if it's just to go on a vaction to a
nice resort in the mountains without skiing at all. To my knowledge even
Intrawest has not been able to install a tropical white sand beach in the
mountains. Without that, how can they compete with Disney and the cruise
lines? It just doens't seem realistic .. and from the way Wall Street has
reacted it seems to me that I'm not the only person with this take on
the subject.

Jerm

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