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BBC article on the state of the ski industry.

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@johnE, the £200k a year figure is if you're sending 2 kids to "a" private school" for 5 years and then being impoverished to do it. When you take into account the silly mortgages we've got now as @dp, said for our sub 40 year olds, to get the deposit is tough enough. And if we want to go on a holiday 3 times a year, not dress from a charity shop, have a car etc etc. My friend loves a spreadsheet so did some calculations. 25+ days of holiday is a lovely thought, but again most of my friends in the above industries of my first post only get about 25 days of holiday total, lower sometimes for the 20-30s.

@Drammeister, that sounds awesome.....will have to look there next time. We're going to 3 Valleys this year with the 1 year old and luckily as it's super low season it's only £1400 excluding ski pass and my wife's hire. Bearing in mind there is £300 childcare included is a good deal, but we couldn't find good companies like this outside of France. But it's still £2k plus and we're not paying for the little one yet.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
A rather confused story, not sure what it’s trying to say?..
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
under a new name wrote:
A rather confused story, not sure what it’s trying to say?..


It's more expensive in real terms and unaffordable for most of the sub 40s generation.
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@dp, It's interesting to hear the perspective of someone a bit younger than many on Snowheads but I'm not convinced by some of your points:

Quote:

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.
Skiing has always been a rich man's sport and few people have ever even considered taking more than one week a year. The majority of people aged, say 45-70, have never taken a skiing holiday precisely because of the cost. It's entirely normal that only a few have ever afforded to ski.


Quote:

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.
The typical mortgage has always been 25 years, so those durations are not abnormal. With interest rates so incredibly cheap, why would people give up all holidays just to pay it off early?

Do the young really have less disposable income than, say, 20,30,40 years ago? I'm not entirely convinced. Housing has become much more expensive, but almost everything else has become significantly cheaper. All the graphs I can find for real-terms disposable income show steady improvements over many years. There was a dip just after the crisis, and growth has slowed but I think the point remains that we are all better off than we were in the past. That may not continue and we may stall at, or around, the current level.

I think that some things have changed in recent years:
1. Expectations are different. Since 1985 the number of overseas trips made by British residents has roughly tripled. People expect to have more overseas holidays than ever before. Holiday entitlement has increased too.
2. More travel options. 35 years ago it was relatively uncommon for people to take holidays outside Europe. A winter sun holiday was definitely a luxury. New destinations and cheap air travel have opened up many new options and new options means greater competition for ski resorts.
3. More ways of spending your cash. Ignoring any mention of cappuccinos or avocados, but what does the average 28-year-old spend on their mobile phone every year? i suspect that £40 a month or more is not unusual. That's £480 per year that we never had to spend and would pay for most of a skiing holiday.
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@xanderajma, The cost of a ski holiday is still pocket money compared to the cost of private education. I suggest moving somewhere with decent state schools now!
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dp wrote:
@jedster If prices better reflected the needs of current society, more people could ski.


I think that you need to look up the difference between "needs" and "wants".

Very few people need to go skiing. A lot of people want to go skiing.

No-one has a divine right to go on a ski holiday. If everything is too expensive then there will be two scenarios :-

1. Lots of companies will go bust.

2. Prices will come down.

It's the simple economics of supply and demand. If companies can get people to buy a product at a certain price point, they will - it's pretty basic business acumen. If you can't pay that price then I'm sorry.

I do feel for the Millennials a little given the current housing market, but can I let you into a secret ? Life was pretty hard for me too when I was your age and saving up for a deposit for my first flat. Two jobs and not earning a lot of money. I had to go without, scrimp and scrape to save. It's life - get over it.[/u]
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@foxtrotzulu,
Quote:

It's entirely normal that only a few have ever afforded to ski.
It's certainly why I started late - my parents couldn't afford to fund me.
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dp wrote:
@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?


It really isn't as simple as that. Most ski resorts are fully booked during the peak weeks. Yes, they could discount more during the off-weeks, but there is clearly a balance to be struck in order to maximise revenue and I'm not convinced that businesses operating in the Alps are so dim that they haven't experimented to find the optimum level. For a whole range of reasons, demand is not as elastic as you think. Just look at the last-minute sales that ski companies have and take note of how low they reduce their prices in order try and fill the beds... and still many go unsold.
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@snowymum,
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? Russians?
I don't think skier numbers are going down. The article says that growth from traditional markets (The UK and mainland Europe) has slowed but they are forecasting growth from new areas, such as Russia. So, yes, the answer to your questions was Russians.
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The issue isn't the now or even 5-10 years hence it's after that. Let's assume today's 50 and 60 somethings have aged out of the sport along with their final salary pensions and/ or accumulated property wealth. Even today's 40 somethings are probably not sitting on such promising nesteggs and that's before probably they've become mortgage top up to adult offspring. How many 20s-40s are going to have the funds to take up or reengage in skiing? And for every adult lost to the sport that's fewer kids or peers they drag along.

Golf is a sport that has real problems - too many assets competing for too few customers at too high a price while battling a fuddy duddy image that could make it irrelevant within a generation. Mass skiing could go the same way.

Solution = Chinese/ Indian tourism
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

sensible idea to bill in USD - pain keeping a record for HMRC though (though maybe that'e more automated these days)

It is, use a web based accounting solution with a plug-in that links to intra-bank rates and it's no more difficult than sterling. Exchange rate gains/losses will just appear in your opex as if by magic.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
How many 20s-40s are going to have the funds to take up or reengage in skiing?


The ones who have their parents accumulated property wealth bequeathed to them ?

7.4 million property owners back in 2014 were mortgage free. 6.9 million had a mortgage :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/11435636/Home-owners-outnumber-mortgage-borrowers-for-first-time.html

The silent majority.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
There is an obsession with "growth" every economy / business "HAS TO GROW!"
When i was made redundant and went self employed, I was asked how i would grow the business, I replied that once I was earning enough to buy a new car every 8 yrs and go skiing at least 3 weeks a year, I wouldn't need to grow the business any more which was apparently the wrong answer.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I think golf provides an insight into one of the potential solutions.
Golf is similar because it is accessible to people who are comfortable, but an extravagance otherwise.
I am a gen-X er and a group of my friends in the UK are financially secure, and I see every year when they come out for ski holidays.
A dozen or so of them, partners at consultancies, people who run their own hedge funds, people with property portfolios etc... they used to play golf together when they were in their late 30s but now they have ditched the golf clubs for road cycling.
Much like golf and skiing they spend $$$ on the latest kit and clothing expecting it to make them better, or just to have a bike 0.01g lighter than the next guy.
Many resorts have embraced mountain biking to keep the money coming in during the summer, but once kitted up like a power ranger, the gross propensity to consume remains solid, but the disposable income, not so much.
Road cycling on the other hand appeals to a slightly older demographic who do have funds to spend.
ITV are very smart, and the reason they have all the grand tours is that the demographic who are interested in it are an advertisers dream. Men in their 40s looking for expensive toys on which to spend their ill gotten gains.
Many resorts are already go-to places for roadies - Alpe d'Huez being a noteworthy case.
If resorts could convert some of this potential and deepen the markets, then they might be able to cross-subsidise the provision of winter activities with the extra income.
Naturally this is full of very broad brushstrokes, but the ski resorts have pretty much everything the need already in place.
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Huh.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Dave of the Marmottes,
Quote:

Golf is a sport that has real problems - too many assets competing for too few customers at too high a price while battling a fuddy duddy image that could make it irrelevant within a generation. Mass skiing could go the same way.

Possibly, although there is one fundamental difference. Skiing is an adrenalin sport, while golf is ..... not. Skiing will naturally appeal to the young and athletic while golf, cross-stitch, bowls and bonsai are the natural preserve of the elderly and less active. I may possibly be biased(!) but I have always seen the fashion for golf among the under 60's as something of an aberration. (Whenever my 86 year old mother is invited to play Bridge she politely refuses and promises to learn when she gets old).
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
JoyZipper wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
How many 20s-40s are going to have the funds to take up or re-engage in skiing?


The ones who have their parents accumulated property wealth bequeathed to them?

Indeed. Those houses and that wealth will remain in the system (unless Corbyn decides to pee it up against the wall). Once the baby boomers start to downsize and die off then the wealth will fuel further generations of skiers and home-owners.
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@WindOfChange, Thats pretty insightful - my dad loves road cycling and so booked our first family trip to Alpe d'Huez because of the bike connection. Id been on a school trip to Valloire for the first time the year before and convinced them we needed to go. I still remember him naming all the riders as we turned each hairpin on the transfer bus.
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JoyZipper wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
How many 20s-40s are going to have the funds to take up or reengage in skiing?


The ones who have their parents accumulated property wealth bequeathed to them ?

7.4 million property owners back in 2014 were mortgage free. 6.9 million had a mortgage :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/11435636/Home-owners-outnumber-mortgage-borrowers-for-first-time.html

The silent majority.


Fair point but those planning on an inheritance might find it doesn't arrive until they are of retirement age themselves if it isn't eaten up in care costs.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
.....if it isn't eaten up in care costs.


Which are not trivial Shocked
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@WindOfChange, Spot on about the roadie/triathlete demographic. Not sure it really could ever cross subsidise skiing - people tend to want to stay in valley towns so they can beast themselves on different epic climbs every day and it's still not exactly a family friendly activity.
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@achilles, indeed. I think it's a bit short-sighted to rely at all on any inheritance, as it may not materialise.

Our family sold a house last year, after the (now deceased) owner had been in care for several years. Once everything was paid up, all that remained was enough to pay for half a used Ford Focus Shocked
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Quote:

So, what do people see as the items where 'gouging' is happening?

agreed - I don't see many people with ski businesses making out like bandits! After all, loads of people would like to run a ski business and would definitely do so if there was a big profit pool to go after.
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jedster wrote:
Quote:

So, what do people see as the items where 'gouging' is happening?

agreed - I don't see many people with ski businesses making out like bandits! After all, loads of people would like to run a ski business and would definitely do so if there was a big profit pool to go after.


It's more the "only 13 weeks to make the money" factor which results in paying over the odds for a substandard baguette from a converted goat shed served with a surly attitude or a bit of resort economics as admin has helpfully pointed out to more than 1 French hotelier - charge 8 Euro a pint and have 50 customers in the week - charge 5 and have 100 every night.
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boredsurfin wrote:
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)
Just out of interest, how much does parking at SOU cost for a week?
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snoozeboy wrote:


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.


or dogging
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davidof wrote:
snoozeboy wrote:


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.


or dogging


3 years ago our group were at a chalet in Lavachet (Tignes) and the rest of the chalet was made up of a large group of friends from Kent - they knew each other through kitesurfing IIRC.

On the first night one of their number was regaling us with tales of his dogging exploits - I am pretty broadminded, but was a little taken aback. I thought it was BS at first, but one of his friends confirmed he was an afficionado Very Happy

This guy was fairly young though, so perhaps its a sport for all age groups !!!
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You know it makes sense.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
How many 20s-40s are going to have the funds to take up or reengage in skiing?


I know a few, myself and several other Snowheads included. Not having kids seems to be the answer.


btw golf can't legitimately be compared with skiing. Skiing is awesome, golf is s***e.
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rob@rar wrote:
boredsurfin wrote:
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)
Just out of interest, how much does parking at SOU cost for a week?


Nevermind the cost consider the risk that you might get seated next to Lordsurfin on the plane wink
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@Dave of the Marmottes, Laughing
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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? Russians?

Not sure if that is what the article actually said. The Laurent Vanat report says they are rising slightly but not as much as the population growth would indicate.

And yes there appears to be more beds, bigger lift queues, more crowded pistes. I suspect this is because the lower resorts are closing and thew crowds are moving to fewer bigger resorts.
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@rob@rar, The train station is at the airport why would you want to park Very Happy Without dates best I can find is £35.00 a week - which makes sense as 24 hours in City centre car parks is £5.00 per day. Unless you know someone who lives locally wink

BOH to GVA can be cheaper - but a car is essential (unless you like a lot of bother) and its from £40.00 a week to park, last time i parked at Bournemouth (Hurn) International it was £70 a week.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 30-11-17 19:01; edited 1 time in total
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boredsurfin wrote:
@rob@rar, The train station is at the airport why would you want to park Very Happy
Getting the train in to London then down to Southampton, perhaps with ski kit, makes that a non-starter as too much hassle. Driving to SOU is only slightly longer than driving to LGW, so if parking+flight at SOU is cheaper than parking+flight at LGW or cheaper than flight-only at LHR then it might be a sensible option for me.
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@rob@rar, You have a pm ...
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@boredsurfin, thanks for the info.
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One argument goes that the current generation can't afford skiing cos house prices are too high.
The other side of the coin is that because the house prices are too high, they can't even think about owing a property, and so prefer to spend it on the here and now.
Which ought to make them perfect targets for the skiing market.

On a slightly more downbeat note, one friend of mine has been diagnosed with a brain tumour this year. No more skiing for him.
Another just last week was told he has MND - had to cancel this January's trip, and no more for him. Ever.

If you think that I'm am going to let a few €8 pints stop me skiing when an out of the blue thunderbolt could stuff me up at any time, you are sadly mistaken. Spending the Kid's Inheritance, SKI, is the name of the game from now on. (OTOH, unless I screw up real bad, the kid does have the Les Arcs apartment to look forward to...)
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@Arctic Roll, It's not about you or indeed me - we probably have enough of a concept of mortality to know what we want to spend time and money on and what we can happily turn down. It's about the next gen plus, particularly those not benefitting from a parental ski pad.

Post 18 I always paid my own way for holidays and travel but these days it seems parents can be on the hook for ski hols well into the 20s. Something has changed.
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This is a quite amusing article but seems to miss a whole range of obvious points. Skiing is once again becoming a sport for the wealthier members of our society with so many of our younger folk facing an uncertain financial future with high housing costs, emphasis on saving for old age, huge student debts to pay off, salaries fixed for years and dropping in real terms etc. etc. Then there are the comments on the photos - so comfier boots are making it easier to take up skiing! Since when did the question of comfier boots come into the equation of ease of taking up skiing. Then the suggestion that young people need to be able to learn to ski in hours rather than weeks is again questionable although I would have to admit that it seems that snow boarding is quicker and easier to learn which may account for its popularity. Perhaps its all symptomatic of an era of want it all now not next week and not without having to work at it! Call me an old grouch but there you go.
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nelly0168 wrote:


This guy was fairly young though, so perhaps its a sport for all age groups !!!


ah maybe, there have been a few documentaries on the TV about it, it always seems to be the 50+ who are involved. Maybe everyone else is too tired working.
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