Bob Bits for December 2022

Bob Bits for December 2022



‘Tis the Season – Happy Holidays to you all. May the bullwheels spin, the snow fall, and all guests be happy!

The season has begun nationwide, with many ski areas open and more coming online almost daily. The snow has been plentiful in most of the West and only teasing in the East. Snowmaking is king in the Midwest and the East.

The ski area business seems poised for another good year. I don’t know whether it is just the beginning of season pent-up demand or there is sustainability in the industry’s growth from the past year. The installation of new lifts certainly reflects the industries’ belief that the growth is real and that the new paradigm of cheap multi-resort passes will sustain the expansion of lift capacity.

Snowmaking has also seen substantial capacity growth. In some way, that is troubling because we are now becoming even more dependent on artificial snow. The guest expects natural or artificial snow to cover the trails early in the season and throughout the year. It is almost not a choice to expand snowmaking facilities except for a few.

The ski area industry is on the cusp of significant changes in the current operating model. Many will challenge me, but I see headwinds ahead regarding the ski area workforce. I share my thinking below in the article titled What’s Next and Can We Change?

I am also diving into the essential features for ski patrol software to use on the hill as it relates to not just wrecks but how to manage the many patrol tasks and knowing what is where and who is doing what.

NSAA Winter Trade shows are around the corner, and I look forward to speaking with you about MountainOffice, SmartMountain, or anything related to skiing. I will be at Palisaidses Tahoe and Killington with a Steep Management booth.