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BBC article on the state of the ski industry.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42110566
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The 2/3rds of skiers who are between 43-65 is an interesting statistic in this article. I can understand that the future looks bleak, if the next generation is likely to be poorer than their parents. The big problem is how many skiers have children in that 43-65 bracket, and is there a replacement population or are these all snowheads?
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I haven't heard the phrase "progressively exit" used before as a euphemism for "die"
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Skiers never die, they progressively exit! Laughing
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Ironically, i believe that it is the high numbers of young people migrating or being born into Europe that is the root cause of fewer young people taking up skiing.
Increasing population, houses costing more to build, cost of building land, affluent people using housing as investment etcetc has pushed the cost of living for young people higher and higher and luxuries like skiing and going out have been replaced by rent or mortgage payments.
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I would have thought that the lack of reliable snow and shorter ski seasons would be the biggest threat to the industry, but I guess you end up in a feedback loop of fewer skiers and less snow.
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"The key visitors to the Austrian Alps are Germans, the second market is interestingly enough the Netherlands, and there are still UK visitors."

Never underestimate the Dutch! Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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I guess the Dutch will have more disposable income now they won't be spending it on tickets to Russia this Summer.
Smile
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We were not to keen on going to Russia anyway. Think the Ukrainian aircrash... Sad
And well, football....boring!
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"Mr Owen says another challenge facing the continental ski market is the potential effect of Brexit... it is becoming more expensive for UK skiers to take breaks in Eurozone nations."

I'm amazed I managed to get that quote in here before Stanton. Edit: nope, he got there before me on his "next season more expensive" thread.


The headline leads with "Is the ski industry on a slippery slope", before continuing in the 4th para with "participation is maintaining slight growth".

I think that one of the things missed by these reports is that people take up different things when they get older. Golf would be a good example.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Thu 30-11-17 12:49; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

The 2/3rds of skiers who are between 43-65 is an interesting statistic in this article. I can understand that the future looks bleak, if the next generation is likely to be poorer than their parents. The big problem is how many skiers have children in that 43-65 bracket, and is there a replacement population or are these all snowheads?


Price up skiing during peak season/when the kids are off school.
Its eyewatering. Dont forget most brits would have a summer holiday as their main holiday. Think it is rare to have 2x parents that love skiing enough for it to be a main holiday.
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@Langerzug, Dutch... fear of flying... football is boring... are you Dennis Bergkamp?
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Quote:


"Mr Owen says another challenge facing the continental ski market is the potential effect of Brexit... it is becoming more expensive for UK skiers to take breaks in Eurozone nations."

absolute crap.
If Alps prices you out of skiing there, then go to Pyrenees or Eastern Europe.
Or if you have to go to a certain resort, cut a day off.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Bigtipper wrote:
Skiers never die, they progressively exit! Laughing


Hmm. Well my skiing is tailing off from 3-4 weeks per season to 1-2. And the Grim Reaper has moved me from his long-term to his medium-term todo list.
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@achilles,
Quote:

the Grim Reaper has moved me from his long-term to his medium-term todo list.

Yeah, me too, but that's why I'm doing - everything being well - six weeks on skis this season. I appreciate, though, that your commitments would preclude that. I do hope, btw, that things are looking up on that score. Smile
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@Hurtle, I think that 2 weeks at LDA will still be on, thanks in part to a generous offer from a member of family to be at home. As to the immediate problems, the patient is recovering, and I am quite a bit more optimistic about the prospects of them returning home - with luck by Christmas. Nothing definite, yet, but I have strong hope Smile

I really think that 2 weeks is top wack for me these days - because of organisational and other considerations. But even if I did not have those difficulties, part of me has really got to loathe airport hassle - enough to deter me from making several trips a year. If I lived near London, then train travel might have made travel the Alps more appealing; I quite liked travelling TGV by day.
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@achilles, fingers crossed for you and for the patient. And I share your loathing for air travel, but feel it's worth it overall. Two of my trips are road trips and that is much more fun, plus I usually get an extra day's skiing out of it. Whilst I love travelling by train, lugging ski luggage around stations is not such fun.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I would still love to do the train trip but with Easy Jet and their £46.00 return from SOU to GVA, I cant justify the extra cost (even when factoring the transfer)
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Think I read this articlen in 1993 when I first started skiing.

And 2003.

And 2013.

Some of the comments on the bbc site are amusing.
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There's been a thread running on Pugski for a while on this topic. N American market dynamics are very different from Europe as the standard 6 day destination holiday is much less of a factor but some of the issues of a high cost of entry and sub optimal experiences are common.

https://www.pugski.com/threads/what-will-help-the-sport-of-skiing-grow.6439/
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Mr.Egg wrote:
Quote:


"Mr Owen says another challenge facing the continental ski market is the potential effect of Brexit... it is becoming more expensive for UK skiers to take breaks in Eurozone nations."

absolute crap.
If Alps prices you out of skiing there, then go to Pyrenees or Eastern Europe.
Or if you have to go to a certain resort, cut a day off.


I'm not quite sure what point you are making here. It's blindingly obvious that the weaker pound is likely to have a detrimental effect. Would you suggest that the incredibly strong Swiss Franc has not had a deterrent effect for Brits? Yes, some people might go to the Pyrenees or Eastern Europe, but many others will not. If you are accustomed to spending a week in a snow-sure French/Austrian resort with high-quality accommodation then it's entirely feasible that you would prefer not to go at all rather than settle for an alternative that you might (rightly or wrongly) consider inferior. As for 'cutting a day off' then that doesn't actually make much difference for most people. Switching from six days to five days will save little or nothing on lift passes and ski hire. Accommodation is usually done weekly so you will save nothing there. If you do manage to save money then you have just confirmed the basis of the article and the income of the ski resorts / money spent by Brits will have been reduced.
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@foxtrotzulu, Quite. With the current European skiing model you take a week's holiday or nothing and even then you are probably a person who takes a ski holiday rather than a skier. The more heads you have to pay for the less likely you will. I know plenty of families where one partner (sorry to be sexist but usually but not always the wife) would much rather spend the difference between a ski hol and a regular holiday on other stuff like home improvements etc. Plus there is the whole risk factor/hassle factor with kids that they won't like it, snow will suck etc etc.
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The article seems to focus on improving growth, however by far the most difficult thing to sort on a trip (I find) is the accommodation, because it’s all booked up several months in advance, people can’t ski if they have nowhere to stay, so that will keep a limit on growth surely
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@MountainIdiot, apart from campervan spaces. There always is room for one more. I would like to see some custom built covered heated car parks, in which you can charge your electric campervan as well as stay for a few nights. It would mean you could turn up when it was snowing at short notice, and have somewhere cheap to park and stay. Heating costs would be minimised, as heated covered car parks tend to be around 5-10 C and so inside a well insulated van it would be 10-15 C.

There will come a day when electric hook up points in car parks are the norm. Might as well make them into campervan spaces!
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Maybe people are just getting fed up with getting gouged left-right and centre...
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:
Quote:


"Mr Owen says another challenge facing the continental ski market is the potential effect of Brexit... it is becoming more expensive for UK skiers to take breaks in Eurozone nations."

absolute crap.
If Alps prices you out of skiing there, then go to Pyrenees or Eastern Europe.
Or if you have to go to a certain resort, cut a day off.


I'm not quite sure what point you are making here. It's blindingly obvious that the weaker pound is likely to have a detrimental effect. Would you suggest that the incredibly strong Swiss Franc has not had a deterrent effect for Brits? Yes, some people might go to the Pyrenees or Eastern Europe, but many others will not. If you are accustomed to spending a week in a snow-sure French/Austrian resort with high-quality accommodation then it's entirely feasible that you would prefer not to go at all rather than settle for an alternative that you might (rightly or wrongly) consider inferior. As for 'cutting a day off' then that doesn't actually make much difference for most people. Switching from six days to five days will save little or nothing on lift passes and ski hire. Accommodation is usually done weekly so you will save nothing there. If you do manage to save money then you have just confirmed the basis of the article and the income of the ski resorts / money spent by Brits will have been reduced.


I couldn't agree more with you @Foxtrotzulu & @Daveofthemarmottes. As one of the newly additional members of the family to take with us, we have a 1 year old. It is an increase. And as we're luckily going out of school holiday it's ok.

I think the point of going outside the usual French resorts is fine, but you get the choice of carriers and after doing lots of research, I've not found any family specialist companies outside of France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. Also those serious about skiing want to ski the good big resorts not Bulgaria and Pyrenees and Slovenia where you've done the ski area in the first 2 days. And it's not that much cheaper.

Luckily TOH loves skiing as much as I do, we honeymooned in Whistler for 2 weeks, and skiing is out main holiday, but the rising cost of living is hitting my friends and us hard. We have great jobs, doctors lawyers, accountants, bankers, consultants etc, but the cost of housing and living rising so much and added Brexit costs that will come, means will will it be affordable I don't know. Added to the fact the baby boomers aren't doing free child care because they are all off on holidays Toofy Grin !?! Spending our inheritance Razz LOL

We're luck we probably will be able to keep skiing but will we be able to keep skiing, pay for schooling (if we need to and/or want to?) and live in the fashion we've become accustomed to, probably not? £200k a year joint salary would be the minimum from some calculations. Will those not earning that amount be able to, probably not, so the Growth will shrink and then eventually turn to a decline with "progressive exits"

The point of cutting a day is not valid. When you're paying €9 a pint now, which when was £6 that was just about ok but now £8 with the exchange rate, do you want to swallow that?!? Add to that €20+ per person for lunch Laughing


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Thu 30-11-17 14:11; edited 1 time in total
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tangowaggon wrote:
Ironically, i believe that it is the high numbers of young people migrating or being born into Europe that is the root cause of fewer young people taking up skiing.
Increasing population, houses costing more to build, cost of building land, affluent people using housing as investment etcetc has pushed the cost of living for young people higher and higher and luxuries like skiing and going out have been replaced by rent or mortgage payments.


I'd agree with that. As a 28 year old skier I would say that the majority of my ski budget comes out of the money I inherited from my dad. But I've just spent all that on a flat so I'm coming to terms with the idea that the days of 4 weeks a year I've been used to are probably numbered.

For me, I'm not going to blame Brexit too much (despite being wholly against it). Skiing was really expensive before Brexit began. Young people literally have no money now. It's become more expensive. It might mean that some people can only do 3 weeks not 4 or 4 weeks not 5, but for the majority of young people who feel lucky to get a week in, it's just made more inaccessible rather than just inaccessible.

Amongst my friends, everyone's main goal is to get out of the rent game and buy a property.This for many people involves signing up to 20, 30 year mortgages. Every penny for the next 20 years is going to be paying that off early. Holidays are just off limits and besides, a lot of my friends are freelancers or zero hours, so they don't take time off anyway.

I think if the skiing industry wants to embrace young people it needs to get on board with what young people are going through. This is the Airbnb generation where you go on holiday and stay in somebody's spare room because hotels are out of reach. Yet the ski industry still demands 300 euros a week for your lift pass and the restaurants want 10 euros for a plastic burger and as much again for a 'large' beer which this year is 10% smaller than it was last year. It's got nothing to do with Brexit, it's got everything to do with greed.
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@dp,

Honestly I sympathise with the picture you describe - I think your generation have it tough.
But I'm afraid I don't see much scope for skiing to get cheaper, except perhaps, a bit more "off peak" pricing. Fundamentally you have to pay for all those ski lifts, hire shops and restaurants in only 4 months of the year - with utilisation that low, prices have to be high.
Quote:

It's got nothing to do with Brexit, it's got everything to do with greed.
No it's got everything to do with a short season.
Of course ski resorts tend to be very quiet in January yet lift passes and ski hire aren't much cheaper and meals/drinks tend to be the same price. Perhaps a little scope for further discounts at that time? But it might be that it really won't help demand much.
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That's the 'weaker pound' that today hit a year-long high against the Swiss Franc! wink
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The word "gouging" was used above and that is what has happened but there are still enough 45+ to give the industry enough current profit to gouge. Skis - a rather important commodity - hire costs in resort are ridiculous - don't pretend it is the cost of skis - there are cosy monopolies carving up the pricing - ever been into an unflashy in decent resort ski shop - no, as glitzy as car showrooms or occasionally glitzier. Interesting how much cheaper hire was in the Pyrennees. and of course the airlines have cottoned on and now charge a fortune for carriage and they know that you need a bag for a skiing holiday......then there are the ridiculous prices for beer and food in a few resorts - as long as there are people who pay they will stay ridiculous. Add in huge transfer prices - at least in Austria and Switzerland you can often do these by public transport but even in Switzerland the transfer ticket is now very dear. The only people I feel sorry for are the chalet operators and their margins are the ones being squeezed by the other high prices. and actually I do not think lift pass prices are too high - they are probably about right for resorts that invest. Again, generally older, people are happy to pay £50+ for a round of golf so compare the lift prices against that.

Yes, one can self drive, rent an apartment and shop down the valley - great but this is a holiday and when you compare what you can get a week in Gran Canaria, probably all-in, it is no wonder people are reallocating their budgets elsewhere.

One other factor as well - for whatever reason now there is a minimum holiday entitlement that has tended to become the norm - 20 days - again a week or two weeks in nice warm weather or a week in unpredictable weather at potentially twice the cost.......
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@jedster yes I agree with you but the reason it's greedy is because it's short sighted. If you take £100 from 10 people you get £1000 which is the same as £50 from 20 people. So if you can get £70 from 20 people then you come off better. If prices better reflected the needs of current society, more people could ski. More people skiing would mean more lift passes sold, more meals sold, more skis hired, and more chalets and hotel rooms full.

The problem is the ski industry are waiting for more people to come, but the people need the prices to come down. Who's going to break the deadlock?
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Quote:

£200k a year joint salary would be the minimum from some calculations.

Gulp!!!! Never earned anywhere near that but managed 25+ days skiing a year. How do you come up with that figure?

Quote:

Yes, one can self drive, rent an apartment and shop down the valley - great but this is a holiday and when you compare what you can get a week in Gran Canaria, probably all-in, it is no wonder people are reallocating their budgets elsewhere.

I don't see any hardship in this. I have never been to Gran Canaria but what is there to do there?
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Quote:

The problem is the ski industry are waiting for more people to come, but the people need the prices to come down. Who's going to break the deadlock?



... or there is a lot of overcapacity in the market and despite the high prices nobody is really making any money. Low quality / mediocre beds and support services will get striped out and the prices will go up.
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LOTA wrote:
That's the 'weaker pound' that today hit a year-long high against the Swiss Franc! wink


Still structurally weaker because of Brexit. I had a client who is actually moving activity to the Uk to me say last week - of course we'll have to invoice in USD or Euro because GBP is a dead duck as a currency.

But I agree Brexit induced currency weakness is just the cherry on the affordability cake for the marginal British skiers. A lot remains about priorities - when I hear what someone has spent on a new sofa I automatically think " that's X days skiing are they nuts" but I accept I'm not typical. Getting and holding millennials' interest as they struggle with the challenges of property ownership and raising families could make or break the industry. There is a somewhat cynical view but out there by people who I suspect don't actually talk to many U30s that millennials are only actually interested in what they can brag about of Instagram or Faceache etc and therefore something requiring as much commitment as skiing is never going to sustain long term interest. What they are neglecting is the crack/crystal meth attraction of snowsports.
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Bigtipper wrote:
Skiers never die, they progressively exit! Laughing


Old Skiers just keep going downhill until they reach the bottom; whilst continuously praying it's long run.
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johnE wrote:

I don't see any hardship in this. I have never been to Gran Canaria but what is there to do there?

Get the ferry to Tenerife and ski? NehNeh

http://www.teideski.com/location.php
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xanderajma wrote:

£200k a year joint salary would be the minimum from some calculations.


We have paid £2000-£2500 for a family of four for a week in Austria, all in, with lessons, for the last 5 years.
This in Feb half term too.

Quote:

The point of cutting a day is not valid. When you're paying €9 a pint now, which when was £6 that was just about ok but now £8 with the exchange rate, do you want to swallow that?!? Add to that €20+ per person for lunch Laughing


Well, if you insist on going to France or Switzerland...
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@Dave of the Marmottes, sensible idea to bill in USD - pain keeping a record for HMRC though (though maybe that'e more automated these days). As a model aircraft enthusiast, I have long been used to thinking in USD, since that is the currency that underpins Hobbyking's global operation, including the UK warehouse. It's been a lo-o-o-ong time since the £ was a reserve currency. Bearing in mind all the moaning in the 60s and 70s about it being one, it's probably a good thing that it no longer is.
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Talk of 'gouging' above. Nasty American expression, but putting that aside I wonder if it's really true. When you consider the costs involved and the short season I'm not sure there are many factors that are significantly over-priced. Who is making a killing in the ski industry? I think some of the clothing manufacturers charge extortionate amounts, but whether you choose to buy a £500 jacket is entirely up to you. Food and booze in mountain restaurants are expensive but, see above, is probably justified. Lift passes? A lot of money, but ... short season and hugely expensive infrastructure. Accommodation? Again, it's a short season.

So, what do people see as the items where 'gouging' is happening?
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It is nice to read that in my 40s I'm still young as skiers go. My children do not know how lucky they are to have been taken skiing once or twice a year since they were babies - now teenagers. I cannot see them stopping skiing when they leave home..expect we will still be paying for them to come with us but at least it won't be during school holidays then!

So I'm imagining there will be more intergenerational ski holidays as the years go by with the older generation paying for the whole family.

What I find hard to follow is that if skier numbers are going down why is so much building taking place in the alps? Every resort in France seems to have plans to add another few 1000 beds.. who is going to fill all the capacity that is being added? Russians?
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