Days are growing shorter, the temperature is dropping and families are beginning to dig their snow boots out of storage. Winter is fast approaching which means the lucrative ski market will begin to rise again worldwide. In America alone, the winter sports industry is valued at approximately 12 billion dollars and is expected to grow in the upcoming decades. However, many people are beginning to grow weary of the industry due to the looming idea of climate change.
In 2012, Vail, Colorado suffered from its driest winter in 30 years for the second year in a row, something which has not occurred in over a century with similar snowfalls occurring in the last five years. This has not impacted the number of visits the resorts got but did cause an economic crunch due to the amount of false snow they had to produce. This has led to many resorts worldwide making their businesses about more than just snowfall. The largest ski resort in North America is located in Whistler, Canada where they have discovered the bulk of their income, about 50%, is a result of lift ticket purchases. They have begun to implement different packages into their sales to drive revenue to other areas such as retail and dining.
On the other side of the globe, the interest in skiing and other snow sports has been spreading from traditional territories such as the UK to other countries which include Russia and China. The skiing market is made up of mainly of middle-aged individuals ranging in age from 43 to 65. The resorts located in Europe are watching the market age and are worried about the economic effects once the individuals hang up their skis for good. Additionally, the looming effects of Brexit are projected to cause an economic downturn because many resorts are popular with Britons. But the resorts are not letting up on promoting their mountains and increasing technology in their equipment.
The upcoming Winter Olympics has helped promote the skiing industry immensely in Asia causing an upturn in the economics. China is taking advantage of the opportunity to grow the industry by working to open new ski resorts and produce more ski wear. They want to corner their market and help promote this activity in their countries instead of having their residents travel to other areas of the world.