Is this where skiing is headed everywhere?
A recent photo of Steven's Pass ski area shows incredibly long lines of frustrated "would be" skiers... "would be" because they are spending a large portion of their day in line complaining about the long lines instead of actually skiing. With a reported only 40% of their mountain open due to staffing issues making it difficult to clear all the new snow and staff the lifts, Stevens Pass has been attacked as "mismanaging their mountain and thereby potentially defrauding their pass holders. We can see this general problem at play across the entire ski industry. In the final analysis we have to wonder why commercial skiing has seemingly not been able to keep up with consumer needs. Thankfully, Mt. Rose is doing a much better job at meeting the current challenges the ski industry faces... not that they are perfect by any means but definitely better than most. Let's look at a couple major issues the ski industry faces below.
Issue #1, investing and growing ski areas commensurate with population growth so we are not standing around 20 minutes in line for a 2 minute ride down. As the population continues to grow we have not kept growing our ski areas or adding new ones to keep up with skier demand. Rose is doing well here with the addition of the new Lakeview High Speed Lift Extension next summer as well as the Atoma Project slated for 2024. And frankly Rose faces limits on a small mountain with nowhere to grow that other ski areas don't have to face.
Issue #2, investing in livable and attractive hourly minimum wages and incentives so that workers really want to be hired and retained. It is a whole new work world out there where competency is rewarded and job progression pathways along with competitive wages and incentives keep positions filled and workers happy about their prospects.
Issue#3, On another very windy day this is something to think about... unbridled population growth is kinda like cancer... not something any politician is willing to touch at this point but it effects the quality of everything we do from skiing to shopping to driving to flying. More is not always better... especially in this case. Any politician willing to tackle this beast has my vote regardless of party. Otherwise the end game is just that... the end.
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