Companies in this industry operate recreation areas used for downhill and cross-country skiing. No major companies dominate the industry. Companies that operate ski lodges and resorts -- facilities with overnight accommodations for guests -- are not included in the industry, but those companies are significant competitors of independent ski facilities. Important ski lodge and resort operators include Aspen Skiing Company, Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Boyne USA, Alterra Mountain Company, and Vail Resorts (all based in the US); Canada-based Whistler Blackcomb; and Compagnie des Alpes.
Globally, there are between 5,000 and 6,000 commercially operated ski areas in about 70 countries, according to the International Report on Snow and Mountain Tourism. The Alps and the Canadian Rockies are popular ski destinations outside the US. France, Austria, and the US have the most ski lifts and the highest total skier visits. The industry is growing in Eastern Europe, China, and the Middle East.
The US ski facilities industry includes about 400 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) that operate about 460 ski areas (down from more than 700 in the 1980s) with combined annual revenue of about $2 billion.
Companies that operate ski lodges and resorts are covered as part of the Hotels, Motels & Resorts industry profile.
Good snow conditions and personal income drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing and efficient skiing and business operations. Large companies have advantages in marketing and in sharing resources and staff among multiple skiing sites. Small companies can compete effectively by catering to the local population or providing customized services. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 80% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major services at ski facilities are facility use, food and beverage sales, instruction fees, merchandise sales, and equipment rentals. Usage or admission
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms