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BBC article on the state of the ski industry.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
There's plenty of overweight skiers, just like there are overweight cyclists in lycra on the roads each weekend (and swimmers in swimming pools / golfers on golf courses etc)This isn't the reason people the ski companies should be worried.
The season seems to be getting shorter (or the guarantee of snow for xmas is), the "kids" that fuelled the extreme sports boom (think snowboarding and freestyle skiing that saved the resorts in the 00's and made snow holidays cool again) are growing up, dropping off and choosing other hobbies (see cycling above), Ski and board tech advanced massively in the last 15 years but since then seems to have plateaued - Are this years skis THAT much better than skis from 4/5 years ago? if not why should I upgrade???, lift prices are going up, and despite the improvements to capacity this isn't a thought when you're shelling out £200 for the privilege.
Winter sports holidays have always been expensive, although I think at times it was definitely possible to do it cheaper than others - anyone else remember £5.99 flights from Gatwick to Geneva?, this with a £30 return transfer meant you could go London to Morzine return for less than £50! Those days are long gone, as are the days of being able to take a board / ski bag for free. This all adds up, and when you're looking at a family of 4 its substantial.
There is a choice in what you want from a snow holiday - Do you holiday for the adrenaline / rush of pushing yourself (can this be achieved elsewhere cheaper?, probably given the wealth of other sports we now have access to) or do you holiday for the social / family aspect. If its the later then this is where to costs start to get ridiculous for peak times and you'd probably look somewhere else.
As a 30 something I'm caught between the two - The days of slumming it in a tiny studio and going first chair / last call with my mates are gone*. We start to expect (or even demand) more - better accommodation, more practical flight times, increased guarantee of snow, safer runs and better apres. The price is bound to increase, and with all the other options available and limited funds always being the limiting factor (whether you're on 30k or 200k PA) snow holidays start to look less and less appealing.
*Apart from this year, where I'm acting like a 20 year old again and going without the kids wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
foxtrotzulu wrote:
@dp,
Quote:

It depends which way you look at it. If skiing is a luxury to you then 3-4 weeks a year is maybe a lot. To me it's my hobby. 3-4 weeks a year doing your hobby is not outrageous.

You’re missing the point. It doesn’t matter whether you consider skiing a luxury, a hobby or a chore. To be able to afford to go skiing that much is pretty astonishing and exceptional. It always has been. It certainly couldn’t be considered normal to be able to afford such things.

With regard to the time aspect, I’m not even sure there are many people who would be able to devote anything like that much holiday time to a hobby. Most hobbies, and I’m not sure how many people have hobbies these days, consist more of a few minutes here and there, an afternoon train spotting, or even an occasional day at a stamp collecting fair.

It's a question of priorities, this will be the first year that my earnongs have topped the £30k mark but I had 18 days in Canada and 16 days in Italy last season and have four weeks booked for this season so far. Renovation of my house has been a long process and I don't go out much but I spend money on what I enjoy rather than waste it on new bathrooms and summer holidays
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My sister's family are occasional but not regular skiers, maybe once every two or three years. When I think about what stops them seeing skiing as a regular part of their holiday plans I think there are three main factors:

1. Perceptions of value for money, and as a related issue term-time holiday restrictions meaning peak prices
2. Family friendly facilities, especially when her kids were younger
3. Quality of ski instruction

1. My sister could afford to have skiing as a regular part of her holiday plans, but she doesn't. But her family are regular visitors to Center Parcs and to Disney (mainly Paris, but also Orlando). Those non-skiing holidays are just as, if not more expensive than skiing, but I think she perceives them to be better value for money. So those kinds of holidays have taken priority over skiing. For a family of four eating on the hill every lunchtime is very expensive. There are cheaper options, such as small snack huts with just outdoor seating, but these are perceived as second class rather than just a cheaper option. I have no idea of the economics of running a mountain restaurant and whether your standard full-service or self-service eatery is a licence to print money, but if resorts could find a way of encouraging more in the way of fast-food type prices that's going to be a winner with most families, for at least some of the week.

2. When my sisters kids were little, toddler age, the one main factor which concerned her was childcare facilities. She had one very bad experience and that understandably put her off. If resorts want to capture the next generation, start 'em young and invest in facilities which will bring families back not put them off. I was deeply impressed with the family friendly facilities when I visited Ruka in Finland. Lots and lots of stuff on the hill for kids who could ski a bit, so fun trails, reindeer compounds, shelters with open fire pits to toast marshmallows. Even as an adult these were an enjoyable diversion, but for kids it was just magical. I see a little bit of that kind of experience in some Alpine resorts, but nowhere near enough.

3. My sister's family, like a number of people I know, have had some spectacularly poor ski school experiences. It stops them talking lessons, which often means that they get less fun out of skiing than they otherwise would, especially when conditions get tricky such as poor light, icy snow, bumpy snow, deep snow, etc. If the core activity on holiday is not enjoyable, the experience is considered poor value for money and you are worried about whether your kids are happy and having fun why on earth would you choose to keep doing it.

There are plenty that resorts could do to increase guest numbers, they don't even have to invent new ways of doing that. Just learn from some of the good stuff which is happening in one place or another an invest for the future.
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@TheGingerPrince,
Quote:

There's plenty of overweight skiers,

I do think that is a factor, but an utterly insignificant one in comparison to others.




Quote:

anyone else remember £5.99 flights from Gatwick to Geneva?, this with a £30 return transfer meant you could go London to Morzine return for less than £50! Those days are long gone, as are the days of being able to take a board / ski bag for free.
I must admit I don't remember £5.99 flights. I struggle to believe these were freely available or anything like the average fare. Maybe they were just a few promotional seats - much in the way that budget airlines sell some £0.99 flights these days. As for the £30 transfer... You can do the transfer today for 60 euros return, so that's not a massive increase over the years.

Transfers have increased over time, but there is no doubt that flying has become cheaper and cheaper. Even when you add back in the cost of luggage I'm sure it's still cheaper than ever.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@rob@rar, I agree with every point you've put there.
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Arctic Roll - I think you are correct when you say house prices are stopping younger folk from thinking about buying but this doesnt solve their housing woes, there is an unquantifiable need for social housing at reasonable or affordable rents. Private renting is sky high and offers no security of tenure. People/families want homes, not just somewhere to live until their landlord decides to double the rent or sell the property forcing them to move on. Housing is in crisis and anyone who doesnt believe this is deluding themselves. Many young professionals even with decent salaries cannot find decent and permanent or even semi permanent places to live and because of high rentals have little chance of saving for a deposit. Quite simply skiing is expensive and s such as becoming less and less available to average families. We lived in a period of hey days in the 70s and 80s when houses were affordable, salaries enabled even young folk to get on the housing ladder and even social housing was more available than it is today. Times have changed and skiing for many many folks will be a luxury they cannot and may never be able to afford. those who seekk it and sacrifice ll else to live the dream and head for the ountains may have a wonderful time for a few years but even for them reality starts to creep in when they reach their 30s and 40s and want to settle down and have a home and family and this is really difficult to achieve in most ski areas. Even the 'inhertance' can no longer be relied upon as a stop gap with so many parents now remortgaging to help their offspring achieve a deposit for their first home. Get real folks, we are the lucky ones mostly with our own homes, with good salaries or pensions and for most of us with many years of skiing behind us but times have changed and non essentials (which skiing is for very many) are dropping off the wish list by the day.
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@FFIRMIN,
Quote:

Private renting is sky high and offers no security of tenure


At the risk of thread drift ....

I'm not sure if you meant the proportion of private renting or the rental fee. I assume the latter. If so, then I'd argue that rents are not that expensive compared to house prices. In recent years, rents have been growing at around 1.5%. Gross rental yields in my area, purely as an example, are around 3.5%. By the time you have deducted maintenance, insurance and every other thing they will end up with a net yield of way below that amount. I appreciate that rents may amount to a lot of money but it's not down to landlords being greedy or charging extortionate amounts.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@FFIRMIN, yep, were it not for inheriting money then I wouldn’t have a house.

But I never really saved to get one, I was quite happy living with my parents well into my mid-20s and doing hobbies that I enjoyed rather than putting money away.

Now that I have a house I’d rather spend money on multiple holidays than a new bathroom.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
@dp,
Quote:

It depends which way you look at it. If skiing is a luxury to you then 3-4 weeks a year is maybe a lot. To me it's my hobby. 3-4 weeks a year doing your hobby is not outrageous.

You’re missing the point. It doesn’t matter whether you consider skiing a luxury, a hobby or a chore. To be able to afford to go skiing that much is pretty astonishing and exceptional. It always has been. It certainly couldn’t be considered normal to be able to afford such things.


Not to drag this too far off topic, but I still disagree, I think that it depends entirely on your priorities and your other life choices. By 'traditional' values, being able to afford to ski 3-4 times a year might seem like I am the lucky one.
I make a lot of sacrifices in my normal life to keep money for skiing. I don't have a car, I walk to work most days or occasionally catch the bus, so that I don't have the expense of running a car. I live in a house share (which I think some people would find alien in their late 20s) to save money. I don't go out for drinks etc with friends on the weekends. My girlfriend and I both recognise that kids are a million miles from even thinking about because we want to spend our money on things like skiing.

There's more examples but I think the last one is particularly pertinent. To previous generations, the 'picket fence' life plan was normal... married in mid-20s, kids by late-20s, settle down in a nice suburban 3/4 bedroom house with a big garden and a nice family car and watch your kids go to school whilst holding down middle of the line jobs to support it and look forward to the one or two family holidays a year which might, if you're lucky, include skiing. My generation has largely said hell to that. I am in a generation of people to whom marriage and kids are just not even on the table because they want to live their lives right now. And I think the annual cost of 2 rugrats running around the house is probably way higher than several ski trips.

I don't doubt that I'm comparatively lucky, there are many people living in total poverty... although I didn't start off with money, I did get here myself. But I do feel strongly that making it out that it's abnormal to be able to afford it is a bit of an unfair judgement in my opinion. There are life choices that have to be made to allow me to treat my hobby that way. Those life choices, I'm betting, probably don't align with yours which is maybe why 3-4 weeks seem a lot. I think a lot more people could afford 3-4 weeks skiing a year, if they wanted to and were willing to make sacrifices in order to do so.

I think basically the way that young people are spending their money today is changing, people are looking for experiences right now, not waiting until the kids have grown up. Which is why plenty of young people do make it out for several weeks a year of skiing. The problem is just that a large majority of young people, whilst looking for experiences right now, have to instead channel all their money into the pit that is private renting and saving every last penny they can find to get a deposit together. The previous generation weren't all pressured into going to university and running up what is now a £27,000 debt (and that's just fees, you can estimate half that again for living expenses) before you get your first pay cheque.

Maybe the ski market has a different audience... more young people looking to go out and do awesome stuff, rather than so many family holidays. The trouble is just that too many of those young people are trapped in debt and high living costs and and not everyone has managed to find themselves a good job to escape that.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Fri 1-12-17 12:34; edited 1 time in total
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@rob@rar, Good points, well made.
Although the license to print money thing is not quite what it seems.
If you are on the mountain you only have lunchtime service.
Similarly in resort you really only have evening service, as people are up the hill.
So over the course of 120 or so services you need to make enough to live off for the year.
On top of the normal expensive line items such as staff wages, social charges, staff accommodation, VAT, rent, utilities etc...
Being on the mountain means that you have elevated costs for the transport of supplies, refuse disposal, delivery of gas bottles etc..
In France, the auditors are looking for 3.5 - 4x for sales over ingredient costs, but despite this "license to print money" out of a turnover of 130k we had about 20k to live off until the next Winter. ( Figures from 2008 )
Since we sold our restaurant the VAT rate has dropped from 19.6% to 5.5%.
Some restaurants, have used the extra money for improving the customer experience, with Dyson Airblades in the toilets, or buying square plates, wooden boards and slates on which to serve the meals.
Alas many business owners have missed to opportunity to pass the saving onto the customers.
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WindOfChange wrote:
@rob@rar, Good points, well made.
Although the license to print money thing is not quite what it seems.
Indeed, which is why I was careful to say I had no idea if it was a licence to print money. But whatever the case, it would seem sensible to me for some form of concerted effort (private enterprise, local government, lift companies, etc) to do more to offer lower cost options on the hill, and then perhaps more PR to counter the impression that every meal you eat is going to cost €20 per head (a place that I often use in Les Arcs offers an espresso and a big slice of pizza for about €4, perfectly good enough for a light lunch but how often do you hear popular opinion talk about rip-off prices in France?).
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Whether or not things like food are value for money or not isn't the issue - it's the perception that going on a ski-holiday is a rip-off left, right and centre which is the issue you need to combat if you're going to encourage people to come. Tales of €40 spagbols, €60 salads €10 beers and €15 orange juices affect the perception of a trip being expensive when it's perfectly possible to avoid those prices (and equally possible to exceed them if you're not careful!).

IMV, It's the perception of high costs, being cold and wet, getting bellowed at by an ageing ESF instructor and all the other clichés which represent the barrier to entry, rarely the 'facts' of it.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Richard_Sideways, that’s true that there is a perception that it’s expensive. People (non-skiers) are often surprised at how cheaply I can do a ski trip....although Snowheads has been a big factor in that.
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You know it makes sense.
Richard_Sideways wrote:
IMV, It's the perception of high costs, being cold and wet, getting bellowed at by an ageing ESF instructor and all the other clichés which represent the barrier to entry, rarely the 'facts' of it.
Agreed, I think that's a large part of the mythology. Unfortunately it seems to me that the biggest PR push by resorts is to emphasise the free ride, extreme, uber-party town, aspects of skiing (just look at the auto-play movies that resort websites show on their homepage), which appeal to a fairly small fraction of their potential audience. That does nothing to counter the negative perceptions, and little to tempt the market which I believe is most important to them.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I wonder if this oncoming problem will make the French drop their in Resort prices.I have to say I have only been to the bigger French areas, but they don't help themselves with the day to day pricing of food and alcohol.I LIVE IN north London ( and London is expensive)and I pay a fiver for a pint then you go to France and pay sometimes up to 10 euros plus.I remember paying between 25/30 euros for a bowl of pasta in tigne/ Val disere ( 3 or 4 years ago)that would cost half that in Austria( now).Whilst our kids are older and all away from home and budget is not such a big issue now, I feel sorry for families who love skiing but are trying to encourage their kids in the sport on a budget and go to France and get fleeced.I also love Switzerland but when I'm planning my trips for the year I know that if one Is in Switzerland then I may have to have one less as it's so expensive..Maybe some hotels in European ski areas need to think about not charging quite so much during school holidays.It would benefit them in the long term with the increased number of families participating.
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Angus og wrote:
.Maybe some hotels in European ski areas need to think about not charging quite so much during school holidays.It would benefit them in the long term with the increased number of families participating.


That is only ever going to happen if resorts aren't chocka during peak school holiday weeks.. That's when they really make their money - so on an individual basis no one is seeing the problem. When a resort is only half full at half term I'd argue the industry is on the verge of dying.
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rob@rar wrote:
a place that I often use in Les Arcs offers an espresso and a big slice of pizza for about €4, perfectly good enough for a light lunch but how often do you hear popular opinion talk about rip-off prices in France?).


Where's that? (Sounds useful)
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Alastair wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
a place that I often use in Les Arcs offers an espresso and a big slice of pizza for about €4, perfectly good enough for a light lunch but how often do you hear popular opinion talk about rip-off prices in France?).


Where's that? (Sounds useful)
It's the Bulle Cafe in the Arc 2000 bowl, sometimes called the Mushroom bar because of its shape (a giant dome like tent). 90 cents for an espresso, slices of pizza for €3, an amazing seafood platter (which is more expensive), and they play an excellent chilled jazz and house playlist with amazing views up the Aiguille Rouge. One of my favourite places, but always very busy. Who says France is always a rip-off... wink
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Angus og wrote:
.Maybe some hotels in European ski areas need to think about not charging quite so much during school holidays.It would benefit them in the long term with the increased number of families participating.


That is only ever going to happen if resorts aren't chocka during peak school holiday weeks.. That's when they really make their money - so on an individual basis no one is seeing the problem. When a resort is only half full at half term I'd argue the industry is on the verge of dying.
This. I rent an apartment and don't put up my prices at half-term, I reduce them significantly in the quiet weeks (and even then can't fill every week I'd like to).
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Being American I skimmed the Pugski thread. US skiing is basically a two-tiered system, where the upper middle class and wealthy ski the best resorts and don't blink at paying eyewateringly high prices for flights, tickets, lessons, food etc. And then spend gobs of money "shopping" at base villages.

On the other side are the local hills that struggle each year and are dependent on increasingly inconsistent natural snowfall. And even those local and regional hills, unless you buy a season pass, are 2x more expensive than the Alps. But in the US the cost of litigation insurance has got to be a huge factor, and we'll probably see a slow closing of some of those areas.

The big, corporation owned resorts are doing better than fine, even if numbers fall a bit. I'm sure that per-visitor spending is pretty robust.
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Thinking about barriers to entry, a lot comes down to the first ski experience you have. Cost is something of a red herring.

Too often, and I hear this from friends, is that their first days or week on skies was very "uncomfortable." On a recent thread about soft exoskeleton boots, I wondered why they were never developed specifically for beginners. And why aren't beginners on super short (100 cm), lightweight wide skis for the first day or two?

If I wanted to develop new clients for my (fictitious) resort, I'd offer incentives like free lunches/coffee/future lift-ticket coupons for beginners and first timers. I'd let them store their skis and boots in a special area on the slope, so they wouldn't have to hump their skies and tromp around in boots.

Basically I'd hold their hand through the process and make it impossible for them NOT to want to return.
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Pasigal wrote:
I'd let them store their skis and boots in a special area on the slope, so they wouldn't have to hump their skies and tromp around in boots.
Yes, more ski storage at the resort base for a sensible price; more luggage and changing facilities for people who arrive early on transfer day; more 'ski with a local' to tour the pistes; more of a welcome for visiting ski schools (I declare a personal interest wink ); free wifi so you can checkin with your social media; etc. None of those suggestions are novel, just not widespread enough, yet.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
^^Absolutely. The act of skiing itself is great, but it's the interstitial activities that are a huge drag, especially for newbies.
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Skiing

Is it a Holiday

or a

Sport ?
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Quote:

free wifi so you can checkin with your social media; etc. None of those suggestions are novel, just not widespread enough, yet.

That one is happening

But then tbh, I think the big ski resorts trying to sell their own tracking apps (Dolomiti Superski, Zillertal, etc.) was probably a key reason for them to provide free wifi on the mountain.
But now data is inclusive across EU (and some other non-EU nations), so should be moot.
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Pasigal wrote:


If I wanted to develop new clients for my (fictitious) resort, I'd offer incentives like free lunches/coffee/future lift-ticket coupons for beginners and first timers. I'd let them store their skis and boots in a special area on the slope, so they wouldn't have to hump their skies and tromp around in boots.

Basically I'd hold their hand through the process and make it impossible for them NOT to want to return.


Yep I'd make it all-in "easy" experience for a fixed price even include clothing hire etc in the bundle if necessary - kinda like the ski in a day packages offered at snowdomes.
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WindOfChange wrote:
@rob@rar, Good points, well made.
Although the license to print money thing is not quite what it seems.
If you are on the mountain you only have lunchtime service.
Similarly in resort you really only have evening service, as people are up the hill.
So over the course of 120 or so services you need to make enough to live off for the year.
On top of the normal expensive line items such as staff wages, social charges, staff accommodation, VAT, rent, utilities etc...
Being on the mountain means that you have elevated costs for the transport of supplies, refuse disposal, delivery of gas bottles etc..
In France, the auditors are looking for 3.5 - 4x for sales over ingredient costs, but despite this "license to print money" out of a turnover of 130k we had about 20k to live off until the next Winter. ( Figures from 2008 )
Since we sold our restaurant the VAT rate has dropped from 19.6% to 5.5%.
Some restaurants, have used the extra money for improving the customer experience, with Dyson Airblades in the toilets, or buying square plates, wooden boards and slates on which to serve the meals.
Alas many business owners have missed to opportunity to pass the saving onto the customers.


genuine question, sounds like you might know the answer....

we live in chamonix and very rarely buy anything up the hill, its just too expensive on a regular basis. Why is it so much cheaper through the tunnel in Italy?!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
dode wrote:
It is ludicrous to suggest you need a £200k pa income to be able to afford to ski.


That wasn't the calculation, that's the cost of being able to send 2 theoretical kids to private school and not killing yourself to do do that. So living as you do now and affording private education, if you want to, and still holidaying etc. Just as a benchmark from one friend's calculations.

The point is for our generation to live a similar life to that our parents did, requires much more than it did back then. So I think this is one reason there hasn't been as much growth as you'd expect. The baby boomers 2.4 children all getting married, having children and taking them skiing so helping that growth, isn't happening.

We used to do 20+ people trips at uni., call that 40+ people now we're all coupled up, but not everyone who wants to continues to ski every year and it's down to cost and time in the main. I'm lucky in that with TOH if we could only do 1 holiday a year it would be to the slopes.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
eddiethebus wrote:

we live in chamonix and very rarely buy anything up the hill, its just too expensive on a regular basis. Why is it so much cheaper through the tunnel in Italy?!


Because the French resent you for skiing in their country whereas the Italians appreciate it.

Well that's how they act anyway.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Having started skiing 'locally' (one day here and there in Scotland) in my 40s (teaching the kids who quickly surpassed me) we only took a foriegn ski holiday for the first time two years ago. Back again this year Very Happy for another one week holiday. Hope to get a day or three here and there at home, but that's all we are willing to pay for, now in our 50s still paying off mortgage. Hope to keep going for a decade or two, but we're not going to be in the big spenders league.
Despite lack of long-term experience, French alpine skiing is clearly a far better/easier experience than it was 20 or 30 years ago - the new high-speed lifts and all the snow-making kit is testament to that. As for accommodation, we're back in a 2* aparthotel with decent ordinary buffet meals rather than splashing out on the flashy hotels - we're here to ski.
Is it really such a gloomy picture with all the increasing accommodation on the slopes?
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@Pasigal, “why aren't beginners on super short (100 cm), lightweight wide skis for the first day or two? ”

Was called Ski Evolutif, tried and abandoned in the 70s, possibly still extant in Les Arcs?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I also note the comments about price of food on the slopes. We had half board in our package so that we didn't have to worry about cooking etc*. So lunch wasn't massive. That said, I didn't notice shelling out huge amounts on lunches, as we didn't go for the flash places or the big menus.
* and the place we were at only gave a small variety in their buffet dinners. So not hugely expensive, not lots of choice - but good tasty hot cooking. Who needs a 5* 4 course fancy meal?
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@rob@rar,
Quote:

This. I rent an apartment and don't put up my prices at half-term, I reduce them significantly in the quiet weeks (and even then can't fill every week I'd like to).

Isn't that the same thing? You still end up with the price changing according to demand. Personally, I think it's sensible if prices are proportional to demand. Apart from the fact that it's good business sense it also provides the incentive needed to spread demand throughout the season.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
foxtrotzulu wrote:
Isn't that the same thing?
Yes and no. I think it it is sensible and an obvious way to conduct business. But one does risk the wrath of families when they see that half-term is 65% more expensive than early January, so I thought putting an alternative spin on why winter prices are like they are might help...
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@eddiethebus, I only worked with 1 Italian supplier ( for Absinthe ), but labour costs are way less in Italy than in France.
For a waiter on minimum wage for 1 hour in France:
basic wage : 9.61
Social charge: 6.7
accommodation : 5 ( based on rent 700 pm / 140 hours)
social charge on meals and accommodation amortised over month :2
Medecin de travailail, food, uniform, amortised over season: 1


So it costs the business about 24 euros per hour for somebody on minimum wage.
There is no official minimum wage in Italy, but unofficially its around EUR 7 and employer pays 30% on the top for social charges - so say EUR 9.
Don't know about legal obligations with reference to employers supplying accommodation and food in Italy, but you can see straight away a difference of 15 EUR per hour per member of staff in terms of cost.
Factor in that all services which involve other people ( deliveries, refuse collection etc..) will also be subject to the same skewed labour costs, and you'll begin to see why services which are delivered by people are expensive in France compared to the surrounding countries. ( Not CH, that's different altogether)
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Being a keen dinghy sailor, there is a similar discussion going on in our sport ... and I also note that golf is going through the same pains.

I think that part of the problem is that people are put off by the time required to be invested in order to look competent. My kids initially snowboarded because you can get to places with less time invested in learning.

So it is all about accessibility.

Let’s face it, if you have no mates or relations who Ski, the whole process of getting to a point where you are getting around the slopes is by no means straight forward.

With regard to cost, while I would hate to fund my middle class family ski trip on a regular basis, we have managed it relatively inexpensively at half term in the 3v’s, by driving and self catering down the valley, but you do need to be creative and know where and what to eat.

More recently I have skied in Austria which has been far better value.

But again, at the entry point you don’t have the knowledge to work out how to organise your own itinerary.

Yep, Brexit, or more importantly the slide in sterling makes any trip to Europe more expensive, but I think the bigger challenge going forward will be the pain added to the travel process by border controls, look at the non-EU queues to get a look at the future.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

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?

@snowymum, The whole thing is bunkum in my view, just more drivel spewing out of the BBC......must have been a slow news day after all the Royal Wedding splurge cheered up post-Brexit Britain for 24 hours, and we fell out of love for the US with Trump at the helm (again) so the BBC come out with no-news story about skiing.

I see loads of development going on whenever I go on winter-sports holidays, it's a growing sport and if Brits don't go there's plenty of affluent eastern Balkans and ex-eastern block Europeans, and more than a few Chinese folks who will be skiing if the Brits all die off starving in 20 years time......if I had a spare coffers i'd be buying in a ski resort tomorrow as an investment rather than a UK based pension fund.
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Someone here must have access to some facts about UK ski participation. Does anyone work in the holiday industry and have data about younger participation ?
I don’t suppose we have data about snow heads age cohorts?

Might find that we are all middle aged Shocked
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
I’ve just remembered a conversation I had at Yad moss last year. I met a young bloke who had a company organising uni ski trips. I told him I used to ski on Newcastle trips. We used to organise about 3 trips of 15- 40 students a year plus some great trips up to Scotland.

He told me that last year the Newcastle trip alone sent 1000 skiers Shocked

Participation Carnt be that bad although I believe there are some fairly affluent students at Newcastle these days. Lots of hooray types apparently, so not everything is better. wink
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