The 2020 International Report on Mountain & Snow Tourism has just been published.
Overview of key industry figures for ski resorts
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April 2020 –
The 2020 edition of the International Report on Snow and Mountain Tourism has just been unveiled at an online press conference this Wednesday April 22, 2020 by the Swiss expert Laurent Vanat in partnership with the organizers of Mountain Planet, world’s leading trade fair for the mountain development and industry which should have been taken place from April 22 to 24, 2020 in Grenoble / Alpexpo. Based on the winter 2018/19 figures, it presents rejoicing figures in a depressed covid-19 environment.
Highlight – the 2018/19 ski season has been the best ski season of the millennium!
The 2018/19 ski season presented in the 2020 International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism report is the best of the new millennium as far as global visitation figures are concerned. It is a pleasure to see that despite adverse conditions the ski industry is facing, with climate change, increasing competition and the demographics, it still has the potential to feature globally 3 seasons in a row with growth. In today’s depressed environment further to covid-19 abrupt closure of the 2019/20 season in most of the northern hemispheres’ ski areas, this is heralding of a better tomorrow. It demonstrates the strength of the ski industry notwithstanding the current situation and allows dreaming that the 2020/21 season will enable to return to a high level of attendance at ski resorts all over the world.
During the 2018/19 winter, United States ski areas recovered with excellent snow conditions and performed well above average. The country is back on the top of the podium for the 2018/19 season. Visitation level was the 4th best in the past 41 years. It may also have been boosted by the spread of the mega-passes that the enhanced competition created by the consolidation of the industry is heavily promoting. This trend, together with dynamic pricing, has also now reached Europe. Both are introducing a disruption in the traditional business model of the industry that is still viewed with a touch of scepticism in some places and not yet widely adopted. However, discounted multi-resort seasonal passes seem to have helped for the recovery of attendance at Swiss resorts for instance. Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia are also featuring some interesting examples, which integrate interactive customer relationship management systems.
Mountain Travel Symposium 2019 in Whistler – a recap.
Just came a couple of weeks ago from the Mountain Travel Symposium, an event I have been working for the past six years and which I enjoy every moment of it. I noticed however, that as I am getting old, it is taking me longer to feel back human again.
The Mountain Travel Symposium (MTS for short) is not a sprint, definitely is a marathon – An event that lasts one week and for me makes me be twelve days away from home from my husband and kids. MTS is the largest mountain and ski gathering of suppliers from all over the world – ski resorts, hoteliers and service providers, with tour operators that sell skiing, also from all over the world, and ski clubs and ski councils from the USA and Canada, that travel internationally.
I am in charge of the international market and on widening the international attendees year on year. This is a part-time, but yearlong job for me. Now I have a couple of weeks to get ready and close all things from this past event before we open the early bird registration for MTS 2020. MTS 2020 will be in Squaw Valley, at the Resort of Squaw Creek, in North Lake Tahoe, CA, USA from March 29 – April 4, 2020. In May we’ll be opening registration, with the best rates available for one month only. Then rates go up four times during the year, so whoever can register early, get rates that are USD 800 cheaper than the last published rates!
But, getting back to MTS 2019, the event was in Whistler, BC. Canada. We have been In Whistler also in 2015, but the event took the Fairmont in Blackcomb. This year the event was at the Whistler Village Conference Center. I was an attendee at MTS being at the same place in 2002, when I was having my own incoming tour operator Ski Patagonia, where I was selling trips to Argentina and Chile.
A-Basin quits the Epic Pass cash cow due to their lack of parking.
Arapahoe Basin revenues doubled during the decade it was part of the Epic Pass, but parking problems outweigh the benefits of cash flow
From The Colorado Sun
Too many Epic Pass weekend skiers have forced A-Basin to abandon its decade-long partnership with Vail Resorts.
“We are pretty darn full on weekends and we don’t need any more people on weekends. If anything, we could probably whittle those numbers down a little bit,” Arapahoe Basin’s longtime leader Alan Henceroth said Monday, the day the resort announced it had pulled the plug on the Epic Pass partnership for the 2019-20 ski season. “Our parking is our pinch point.”
Arapahoe Basin, a local’s favorite with a rowdy selection of daunting steeps and a rootsy vibe, has thrived for 10 years under a deal with Vail Resorts that included the 1,428-acre ski area on the industry-dominating Epic Pass. Last fall the company sold more than 825,000 of those passes, offering skiing at 65 different locations.
Vail’s Summit County ski areas have partnered with Arapahoe Basin on various shared passes since 1998.
Arapahoe Basin, which is owned by Canada’s Dundee Resort Development, was Vail Resorts’ first partner resort on the Epic Pass, which now includes access to privately owned, independent resorts such as Telluride, Sun Valley and Snowbasin.
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz Gives $2 Million in Grants to Support Mental & Behavioral Health Programs in Mountain Resort Communities across North America
On 13th December, Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) announced that Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, have made significant contributions totalling more than $2 million to support emotional wellness programs in nearly every mountain resort community in which Vail Resorts operates. The 30 grants were issued by the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust and will impact thousands of people seeking mental and behavioral health support across North America.
“It is our hope that these grants will help improve access to much-needed services around mental health and substance abuse and reduce the stigma and misunderstanding around these issues to encourage more people to get the help they need,” said Katz. “It is our privilege to be able to support so many outstanding organizations and meaningful programs already in place across our local communities in Colorado, Utah, Tahoe, British Columbia, Vermont and New Hampshire.”
Katz and Amsterdam have donated nearly $100 million dollars in recent years to the family’s charitable trust and foundation and named Beth Ganz executive director of the foundation in October to facilitate community engagement, sponsor research and collaboration and to work with non-profit partners to drive towards improved mental health outcomes in mountain resort communities. Ganz joined the Katz Amsterdam Foundation after 11 years as vice president of public affairs and sustainability for Vail Resorts.
Vail Resorts Commits to$175 Million to $180 Million in Capital Investments to Reimagine the Guest Experience for the 2019-20 Season
New capital continues Vail
Resorts’ industry-leading track record of reinvestment in the guest
experience having invested more than $1.2 billion over the last decade
Guests will be able to access
the mountain faster with new technology allowing those who purchased lift
tickets in advance to bypass the ticket window entirely
Investments are focused on
getting resorts open sooner and with more terrain in the early season
through the pursuit of snowmaking upgrades at Vail, Keystone and Beaver
Additional plans include new or
upgraded lifts at Stevens Pass and Perisher, improvements in dining at
Park City, Okemo and Stevens Pass, and upgraded skier services at Beaver
Creek and Breckenridge as a part of the transformations
Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) yesterdayannounced that the Company plans to invest approximately $175 million to $180million in the guest experience in time for the 2019-20 winter ski andsnowboard season across its network of 18 resorts. This latest investment is inaddition to approximately $150 million invested for this season, bringing theCompany’s industry-leading resort investment total to more than $1.2 billionover the last decade.
From new mobile technology enhancements that will improve direct-to-lift accessto the pursuit of snowmaking upgrades at Vail, Beaver Creek and Keystone, theCompany announced significant investments that showcase its commitment togetting skiers and snowboarders on the mountain earlier in the season andfaster. Other significant investments include exciting upgrades to lifts,dining, ski school and skier services.
Vail Resorts Announces Long-Term Wind Energy Contract and Plan to Eliminate Conventional Single-Use Dining Plastics in its ‘Commitment to Zero’
Vail Resorts, Inc. yesterday took major steps in its ‘Commitment to Zero,’ as the Company announced a long-term wind energy contract to purchase the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 100 percent of its estimated FY 2019 North American operations by 2020. Additionally, Vail Resorts announced a partnership with Eco-Products to supply all of its North American restaurants with compostable and recycled-content items and eliminate conventional single-use plastics, a process which will begin during the 2018-19 winter season.
The agreement with Lincoln Clean Energy will produce enough wind energy to reduce the emissions associated with Vail Resorts’ estimated FY19 North American electricity use by 100 percent, which includes 17 resorts and their associated retail, hospitality, and corporate offices
Eco-Products named ‘Official Zero Waste Partner’ of Vail Resorts to help divert nearly 300 tons of waste from landfills through sustainable sourcing, including a Smart Straw initiative
Today’s announcements are a part of the Company’s first EpicPromise Progress Report around its ‘Commitment to Zero’ initiative and corporate giving programs
Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today took major steps in its ‘Commitment to Zero,’ as the Company announced a long-term wind energy contract to purchase the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 100 percent of its estimated FY 2019 North American operations by 2020. Additionally, Vail Resorts announced a partnership with Eco-Products to supply all of its North American restaurants with compostable and recycled-content items and eliminate conventional single-use plastics, a process which will begin during the 2018-19 winter season.
Alterra is expecting to sell 250,000 of the new IKON Pass while Vail Resorts stated that their sales of the EPIC Pass are up thanks mostly to the $99 military pass. This was the excerpt heard during the annual Governor’s Tourism Conference at the Talisa Hotel in Vail. The “Trends in ski” panel with Alterra’s Head of Sales Bob Stinchcomb, Vail Resorts marketing chief Kieran Cain and Powdr’s Jennifer Rudolph.
Lauren Berlamino, of Karsh Hagan, a marketing, design and tech company started the discussion with where the whole ski industry is in Colorado, noting the challenges of shorter seasons due to climate change and aging demographic. The opportunities to be had are the experiences beyond skiing and the leading the way in sustainability.
One-fifth of skiers are 55 years or older, with some of the most avid participants are aged 70 and older. Skiers and snowboarders visits in the country have increased from 8.7 million in 1996-97 to 9.2 million in 2017-18. Berlamino states that this growth does not correlate with the overall population growth over the past years.
“It kind of sounds like we’re facing an uphill battle, but really Colorado is doing amazing in this industry,” she said. “I think nobody’s better positioned than our state to continue to ride this momentum and be successful amidst all this change that we’re seeing.”
According to the National Ski Areas Association, Colorado’s share of overnight ski trips in the calendar year of 2017 was 21 percent, followed by California at 13.7 percent. Of the 53.2 million skier visits, that’s about 11 million visitors to Colorado.
What is the situation in Trentino-Alto Adige and Belluno: Gales and tide surges wreak havoc in all of Italy, killing at least 10.
Gales and tide surges wreak havoc in Italy, killing at least 10. After two days of severe weather that has caused historic flooding, at least 10 people are dead in Italy nationwide.
Italy has seen gales that sent trees crashing into cars, water surges have destroyed a port and high tides in Venice have flooded the San Marco Basilica.
There were dozens injured by the weather conditions.
But in the mountains, on Monday a body of a woman was found in Val di Sole, and the body of a fisherman was found by firefighters in Lake Levico in Trentino, and a volunteer firefighter was hit by a falling tree during an operation at San Martino in Badia, in Alto Adige. The fisherman found in Lake Levico is likely to have been blown into the lake by the winds. Falling trees was the cause of many of the deaths and of major disruption.
La Repubblica stated that “In 48 hours there have been over 7,000 interventions” by firefighters at a national level, many of them for removal of fallen trees, it reported.
Some mudslides isolated parts of the country and several rivers saw record levels and potential floods. In the northeast of Italy, snowstorms trapped tourists at resorts. At higher elevations as Stelvio pass near the border with Switzerland, 180 people remained cut out after a heavy snowfall blocked the alpine pass, ANSA reports.
CairnGorm Mountain’s funicular railway could be out of action for the whole of the upcoming ski season- as per the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The UK’s highest railway has already been closed for about one month due to problems with the structure supporting its tracks.
Early December there will be a report from engineers on their investigation of this issue.
HIE said that the ‘worst case scenario’ would be for the railway to be closed. Obviously this raised alarm bells and is cause of concern on the impact it will have locally.
Taos Regional Airport Launches Air Service to Dallas, Austin
Taos Air to increase accessibility to Northern New Mexico region, improve economic and tourism opportunities for Taos.
After its worst winter in 100 years, instead of flying to be bought by Alterra (even though it is now offered in the IKON pass) – or being bought by Vail Resorts and being part of the EPIC Pass, Taos decides to buy an airline! This is definitely not where the industry is going, but this completely got me hooked to learn more about it!
Getting to Taos Ski Valley has never been easy. The resort is located in the Sangre de Cristos mountains, a subrange of the Rockies in the north of New Mexico. The nearest airport is Albuquerque, three hours away. Santa Fe is only two hours away but has little regional flights, while Denver is a whooping 5 hours drive.