Skiing Facilities

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 300 skiing facilities firms in the US operate downhill, cross-country, or related skiing areas and/or operate equipment, such as ski lifts and tows. These establishments often provide food and beverage services, equipment rental services, and ski instruction services.

Highly Seasonal Demand

Peak ski season generally runs from mid-November through mid-April.

Struggle for Growth

The snow sport industry has struggled for about a decade to grow participation.

Industry size & Structure

The average skiing facility employs about 113 workers and generates $11 million annually.

    • The skiing facility industry consists of about 300 firms that employ about 34,600 workers and generate $3.4 billion annually.
    • Industry revenue is highly concentrated; the top 50 companies account for 86% of industry revenue. However, the resort market is fragmented; less than 20% of the roughly 460 ski resorts in the US are owned by companies with four or more properties.
    • Large firms include Vail Resorts, Aspen Skiing, Alterra Mountain and Boyne Resorts.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Skiing Facilities Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Mar 15, 2023 - More Resorts Using Dynamic Pricing
                                • More skiers are experiencing dynamic, or surge, pricing when buying a daily ski lift ticket as the pricing strategy becomes more prevalent, according to the Denver Post. With dynamic pricing, companies continuously adjust pricing based on demand, which boosts prices at popular times. Other factors used to determine prices include competition, the time of day, the day of the week, and the weather. While companies say dynamic-pricing software can help them fill excess capacity, reallocate demand, and maximize revenue, some customers are annoyed by the practice and call it price gouging. One Arizona ski resort was recently criticized for charging more than $300 for a daily pass following a record-breaking snowstorm. It’s not just large resorts using surge pricing. Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina announced in February that it has shifted to the dynamic pricing structure designed to spread out visitation to reduce crowding on busy days.
                                • Consumer confidence levels declined in February 2023 for the second consecutive month, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 102.9 in February 2023 from 106 in January 2023, as high prices and rising interest rates affected consumers’ willingness to spend. According to Ataman Ozyildirim, a senior director of economics at The Conference Board, “Consumer confidence declined again in February. The decrease reflected large drops in confidence for households aged 35 to 54 and for households earning $35,000 or more.” Plans to purchase homes, vehicles, and appliances have cooled, in addition to a drop in vacation intentions, per Ozyildirim.
                                • The global ski vacation market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8% from 2022 to 2032 and reach $15 billion in 2032, according to a report by Future Market Insights. The global ski market in 2022 is estimated to be $5 billion. The regions with the top market share are North America (28%) and Europe (25%). Online booking channels are the most popular method for booking ski vacations. According to the report, the pandemic reduced the number of tourists visiting ski resorts in 2020 and 2021 and negatively impacted employment opportunities at the resorts and neighboring ski villages. When ski resorts reopened, safety measures limited the number of skiers allowed on the premises.
                                • Ski resorts in states along the Colorado River basin may be negatively impacted by a potential need for those states to conserve an additional 2-4 million acre-feet of water amid a 22-year drought. The Colorado ski industry, for example, has enjoyed a deal with Denver that allows resorts to "borrow” water rights when they are making snow in fall so long as they return the snowmelt to the city’s reservoir in the spring. Hydropower plants, municipalities, and farmers downstream of the Colorado ski resorts have legal rights to demand more of the river’s total flow. Colorado’s ski industry would have little recourse if they do — as it might be legally bound to let the water flow by rather than turning it into snow. Ski industry executives note that it highlights one of the many ways the state’s economy and lifestyles were built for a healthy, robust Colorado River.
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