Is the middle class being priced out of skiing?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 24, 2014 10:12 PM GMT
    http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/11/can_the_middle_class_afford_to.html#incart_m-rpt-1

    The percentage of people who participate in snow sports with household incomes over $100,000 has risen over the past eight seasons from 45 percent of ski area visitors in the 2006-07 season to 56 percent of visitors in the 2013-14 season, according to the report.

    Meanwhile, those with household incomes under $50,000 dropped from 30 percent of ski area visitors to 19 percent over the same period. Visitors who make between $50,000 and $99,999 remained steady over the years at about 25 percent.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 25, 2014 12:25 AM GMT
    Same could be said for mountain biking, road biking, surfing, golf, and dollar nugget day at micky d's.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 25, 2014 12:54 AM GMT
    Although there are equipment costs, you don't have to pay an "operator" to bike or surf.

    Certainly skiing was out of reach when I was a kid, although I was able to buy a Schwinn Varsity.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 25, 2014 2:25 PM GMT
    Vintage equipment's where its at. You should check out my Western Wood Caribbeans, Recommended by Mike Suyderhoud!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 25, 2014 6:45 PM GMT
    No question that the casual middle class skier is being pinched. The cost of the new season's equipment has vastly increased in the last decades. It is of course possible to shop the end of season sales, the ski club sales and swaps, and find some bargains, but as for new prices...

    It seems that the resorts' operating expenses must have risen significantly given the cost of a singly day lift ticket. At Tahoe I think most places are $100 or more, which means a weekend ski trip several times a winter or a family of four could easily range into more than $2000 a weekend when one factors in transportation, food, and lodging. Concomitantly, however, season passes seem relatively cheaper, as one can make them pay after only about 2 to 3 ski trips at the major resorts unlike earlier where it took 5 to 6 to pay them off.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 25, 2014 7:17 PM GMT
    The middle class is being squeezed out of so much more. There was a time when a middle class family could have a comfortable life on a single salary. My father and mother raised a family of four kids on my father's salary as a machinist. They owned their home, two cars and a jalopy for the teens, and sent the kids to parochial/private schools and two of us went to college.

    Try doing that today on one salary.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 25, 2014 8:04 PM GMT
    Iknow! I love to come up and snowboard but it is so expensive!! Like $500 for 4-5 days icon_sad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2014 12:22 AM GMT
    I don't think you have to be super wealthy to ski. I'm a poor college student, and I'm buying my season pass at Alta. If I'm really desperate, I'll just hike and backcountry my way down the slopes - the Wasatch is very large, and many parts are unpatrolled (unsafe). I'm climbing Mt. Nebo next weekend with a buddy of mine, and we may (considering the conditions) ski down most of the way returning.

    When I was in high school I would scrimp and save in the summer, and use most of my money for nordic and alpine skiing.

    I don't buy my gear new, unless I can absolutely afford it. I would only buy new skis and gear, if I was racing or competing; otherwise it just seems like a waste of money.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2014 3:13 AM GMT
    I hit the mountains annually, which ends up being about a thousand dollars for a week. I also usually pick up a piece or two of new equipment which can set me back anywhere from $200 (jacket, boots) to well over $500 for a new board and bindings. Snowboarding is 90% of the reason why I work during the semester, otherwise my summer jobs could pull me through (the other 10% being that bartending is fun and being a professional flirt isn't the worst job I've had).

    So lets say on average I'm paying $1300 annually to participate, on top of spending about 30 hours in a car in order to drive to BC. Keep in mind, snowboarding and skiing aren't very fun for people who aren't fit or who can't keep up with their friends. If you don't live in a mountain town or live somewhere where the slopes are less than a couple hours away (i.e. Vancouver to Whistler), you belong to a niche market. The cost of hitting the mountains carries tons of implicit opportunity costs, which is why I think there's such a evident cultural shift to going to all inclusive resorts in Mexico instead of exploring back country.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Nov 26, 2014 4:17 AM GMT
    Sulla saidNo question that the casual middle class skier is being pinched. The cost of the new season's equipment has vastly increased in the last decades. It is of course possible to shop the end of season sales, the ski club sales and swaps, and find some bargains, but as for new prices...

    It seems that the resorts' operating expenses must have risen significantly given the cost of a singly day lift ticket. At Tahoe I think most places are $100 or more, which means a weekend ski trip several times a winter or a family of four could easily range into more than $2000 a weekend when one factors in transportation, food, and lodging. Concomitantly, however, season passes seem relatively cheaper, as one can make them pay after only about 2 to 3 ski trips at the major resorts unlike earlier where it took 5 to 6 to pay them off.



    None of the Tahoe ones have gone over $100...yet. Squaw was $95 last year, but that also gets you into Alpine Meadows.

    http://www.skilaketahoe.com/lift-tickets


    But in all honesty...if you think about it....If a lift ticket is $80 and the resort is open from 8am-4pm, that's eight hours of skiing and breaks down to $10/hr. Really not that expensive once you have your gear.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2014 10:52 AM GMT
    vindog said...

    None of the Tahoe ones have gone over $100...yet. Squaw was $95 last year, but that also gets you into Alpine Meadows.

    http://www.skilaketahoe.com/lift-tickets


    But in all honesty...if you think about it....If a lift ticket is $80 and the resort is open from 8am-4pm, that's eight hours of skiing and breaks down to $10/hr. Really not that expensive once you have your gear.


    I didn't check this season's prices, but $95 is essentially a Benjamin!

    One has to put matters in perspective when talking about costs. People who already live in ski communities don't have lodging, restaurants, and transportation costs to factor into the economics of a ski trip. People who live one to five hours from a ski resort have additional costs for a day-trip or weekend of skiing, and if family is going, then the costs are multiplied by the number of people in the family. If the family skies often enough to justify a season pass, yes it can become more economical, but if a family only goes two or three times a winter, then the costs can quickly get out of control.

    Also, gear is expensive, and buying used is dicey for some of the items, where safety is also a factor, not to mention that the correct size might not be available. While ski gear has always been pricey, current prices are proportionally much more comparatively.

    Yes, the ski bum life is still possible for those lucky enough to have the time, opportunity, and resourcefulness to manage it, but even that is becoming more difficult what with spiraling rents with too little affordable housing nearby.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 26, 2014 5:34 PM GMT
    TomSOCAL saidThe ski operators don't like the rif raf, the meth, the pot, so they raise their rates to keep it out. Same reason why a marriott or holiday inn express is so expensive. California, lots of drugs, rates go up. The lift operators also hate gays. It's a very socially conservative industry.


    And yet, according to grindr, there is a lot of cruising going on up at the mountain icon_wink.gif
  • sd1040

    Posts: 7

    Nov 27, 2014 6:20 AM GMT
    A lot of technology is at work in today's ski hill and that comes at a price... No more simple fixed grip chairlifts, now everything is a high speed quad or six pack, or a gondola. Gets us all up there faster, but there's a lot of tech in those lifts. Not like in the 80's when it was a car engine hooked up to the gearbox running it all...with no safety systems.
    Same with snowmaking...underground networks of water pipelines and high voltage power lines to make it all work. Computerized snowguns to sense temp and humidity for more efficient production. Back in the day if it didn't snow, the hill closed..
    Remember moguls the size of Volkswagens? Now they're groomed to perfect cordoroy every day. Fleets of diesel snowcats with gps and onboard computers to make sure every pass is the perfect depth.
    Alpine restaurants... serving a perfect burger at 8000' when it's minus 20 outside and the wind is howling at 80k... instead of a soggy squished sandwich from your backpack...made 5 hours ago.
    Gear is amazing now..polarized goggles, carbon fibre, custom fitted boots, gore-tex..being soaking wet and uncomfortable used to be just part of the day.lol

    Sure it's more expensive, but we're getting a whole lot more than we used to as well...shop the sales, book online, and come to Whistler for Winterpride.. they don't hate gays :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 27, 2014 3:27 PM GMT
    Outside of stickball and jacks, all sports are expensive.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14353

    Nov 27, 2014 5:53 PM GMT

    The middle class is being priced out of everything. Go figure.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 29, 2014 1:00 AM GMT
    Water polo ........... all you need are wet balls.
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSgVsUj6vHkMrcL2aGEjQ4
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14353

    Nov 29, 2014 6:16 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidWater polo ........... all you need are wet balls.
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSgVsUj6vHkMrcL2aGEjQ4
    And a speedoicon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 18, 2014 10:32 PM GMT
    State Supreme Court throws out liability waivers! Sue operators for all your hotdogging injuries!
    http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/12/broad_liability_waivers_are_un.html#incart_river

    Wonder what this will do to the price of lift tickets? And all other sports, for that matter.