The Business of Ski Resorts

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Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther (
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster
Music by
Select footage courtesy the AP Archive

JA MES Prieš 14 val
Why are Winter Olympics in Beijing then? Biggest world polluter with crappy artificial snow. I’d protest that if I were competing. Why don’t those towns use rain systems instead of busses. Also, the climate change aspect you’re talking about is total shit. Make better videos
Cass Willard
Cass Willard Prieš 19 val
No mention of summer activities like downhill Mountain Bike Parks at many of the these places as a source of revenue.
S Cv
S Cv Prieš dieną
Tahoe...... So expensive!
Michael Cerean
Michael Cerean Prieš 2 dienas
🧐🧐 Not sure if they’re buying up all the resorts to mitigate risk and lower their prices Or...... To monopolize the industry and raise their prices.
Ghazy Pangerang
Ghazy Pangerang Prieš 2 dienas
Don't ski resorts convert themselves into bike parks during hotter seasons?
Adam D
Adam D Prieš 5 dienų
I’ve worked for Vail resorts for seven years most of this information is wrong. The employee housing that they bought is cheap subsidize land that they Did not pay very much money for. They paid contractors not very much money to build them. As far as general Housing goes the employee housing is extremely cheap for them. Yet they charge up to $700 per month for the employees to live there. The employee Housing stands for over 30 years.. to say that employee housing costs Vail or Aspen money is ridiculous they’re actually making thousands of dollars a week off of their employees so in reality they’re actually paying their employees less than minimum wage because they’re making money off of their housing because they own the only affordable housing in town. The largest cost to ski resorts is actually snow making and electricity to run the lifts. It’s extremely expensive and often times local municipalities or national forest want a cut of that as well most of their profits actually come not from Lift sales but from restaurants and food courts something you claimed cost them lots of money. Another thing is until 2020 they never had a labor shortage ever. They will fire you over nothing because they know there’s another young kid waiting to take the job. A lot of what you said here was completely inaccurate. you should’ve called someone actually worked at ski resort for a decade like I have before you said a lot of incorrect information here man.
Will Davids
Will Davids Prieš 5 dienų
Snow and cold? No thanks!
Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson Prieš 6 dienų
These ski resort companies have made me stop lift skiing. Thank god for backcountry skiing and earning your turns. I have no desire to go to any resort and deal with the BS.
dylan carmel
dylan carmel Prieš 6 dienų
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Diana Mincher
Diana Mincher Prieš 6 dienų
Many thanks for this super video.
Pertti Hei
Pertti Hei Prieš 6 dienų
Suomi mainittu, torilla tavataan!
Seán Hannan
Seán Hannan Prieš 6 dienų
Sam: "Bolth" Me: "?"
Kryozzz Prieš 7 dienų
Is wendover production also the same guy as hai?
Ali K
Ali K Prieš 8 dienų
lol he aint wrong, i'm flying out to aspen this upcoming thursday
平野愛実 Prieš 8 dienų
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Dankrupt Prieš 9 dienų
I thought the jobs at ski resorts are popular, like they have wait lists or something. At Whistler/Blackcomb, most of the workers said they are foreigners and get a special deal to stay there and work at the same time during the season
Jeffery Zielinski
Jeffery Zielinski Prieš 10 dienų
It's like you got pulled into a sob story by a ski exec... Although you mention the consolidation, you don't mention how it has facilitated drastic and rapid increases in ticket price, thereby undercutting your argument that it's expensive, because none of the factors you mentioned have changed in proportion to ticket prices... You say "Some ski resorts will actually get more snow" -- so no worries for the consumer, but "Season variability will increase" -- the viewer should feel bad for the resort's profitability... Ski resorts are also super exploitative towards their workers (e.g. housing subservience increases power, the people available to work are willing to do anything to ski, etc.)... Not to "both sides" things, but it would be more informative if the peoples' side was spoken (too)...
Blue Harvest
Blue Harvest Prieš 11 dienų
In Quebec you see more and more mountains adapting for summer activites (Mountain biking, hiking and even having water parks).
saddlepiggy | The Purple Pig
saddlepiggy | The Purple Pig Prieš 11 dienų
This thumbnail is amazing.
Sean Yang
Sean Yang Prieš 12 dienų
to think that the joy of skiing in ungroomed snow could soon be taken away from us... 😔
Mike Parrott
Mike Parrott Prieš 17 dienų
This nahhhht bad! Nice work
Tmb1112 Prieš 18 dienų
Ski lessons: cost upwards of $250-500 Me teaching that lesson: Makes under $50 per lesson
Tim F
Tim F Prieš 18 dienų
209 $ for the lift ticket of a ski resort that has 32 lifts. In Austria the ski resort Saalbach which has 70 lifts, one day of skiing costs 56 € or 64$
Abigail Layton
Abigail Layton Prieš 18 dienų
I just got a raise at a ski resort haha. Someone has to pay for it
Didrik f
Didrik f Prieš 19 dienų
(10:58) "Target acquired warlock"
Mountaineer Matt
Mountaineer Matt Prieš 19 dienų
here in Ontario Canada a typical lift ticket is 30-50 bucks lol
Kat Cosby
Kat Cosby Prieš 19 dienų
Ski areas are shady! I should know I live in one!
Stan The Man
Stan The Man Prieš 21 dieną
Uh global warming is f ake
Lawson H.
Lawson H. Prieš 23 dienas
Anybody here know about a resort called Holiday Valley?
Forgotten Places
Forgotten Places Prieš 24 dienas
What is that song in the 3-4 min mark?
David Bäcker
David Bäcker Prieš 25 dienų
In Austria, you pay 60$ for a Day in much better ski resorts. They reach from village to village and are not just 32 lifts packed together on just one mountain. Jst Google Ski Arlberg for example
joda red
joda red Prieš 26 dienų
In Europe skiing is very cheap, it's around 25€ for a daily ticket in a resort hou have around 10lifts
lere snipez
lere snipez Prieš mėn
Let’s be honest if they didn’t make money they wouldn’t exist
TrailsVonMudder Prieš mėn
10:10 - whoa I see my lil small town PA mountain
Brandon Prieš mėn
Subway or ski resort I’ll take ski resort. Of all the factors thousands of employees thousands of miles of roads for these employees you name the one thing they can’t control climate change as the number one issue. John Carrie just said from the podium even if we get US omissions to zero which is impossible they would still be 90% global omissions stop lying to yourself and others about climate change scam
Nicholas Mine
Nicholas Mine Prieš mėn
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Nicholas Mine
Nicholas Mine Prieš mėn
The thirsty jail initially unfasten because apple ideally reproduce versus a absent salary. clever, fancy meeting
Lord Sarcasm
Lord Sarcasm Prieš mėn
all these skilifts looked outdated. *Laughts in Alps and 50€ skipass*
Alice Warnick
Alice Warnick Prieš mėn
raised part-time in a colorado ski town (breckenridge) and local ski culture is super unique. hard skiiers (like my dad) would wake up at 4am, take the bus to the slope, and "skin" up the mountain- that's where you put these weird fluffy attachments on your skis that grip the snow so you can walk up it- 6 out of 7 days in the week. everyone skied, it was really the only conversation point, and everyone was damn good at it- just about any born and raised local bragged about how they placed on the Imperial Challenge and were on ski patrol (the really good skiers who are hired to be cops/search and rescue on the slopes). It was interesting and I don't regret my time as a ski bum, but I'm glad I joined the real world eventually.
Ed Brook
Ed Brook Prieš mėn
“The most basic form of lift is a chair lift” actually when I first started skiing the lifts were basically ropes that would drag you along and I broke my leg on it. Chair lifts seemed luxurious after that
David Simon
David Simon Prieš mėn
The one missing aspect is the real estate component which has figured into the business model of resorts located on more private land.
ClazziKz Prieš mėn
Europe: Has 80+ lifts for about 50 - 100 dollars Me: *Laughs in European*
Taco Keijzer
Taco Keijzer Prieš mėn
I live in europe and a lift pas here is normaly abouth €60 a day
darklord Prieš mėn
Heavenly at lake tahoe is as expensive as vail. 164$ from 9 to 4, insane..
Jussi Kauramäki
Jussi Kauramäki Prieš mėn
why is there video from Ruka finland?
Jussi Kauramäki
Jussi Kauramäki Prieš mėn
How the fuck are those prices so high, in the alps you ski for the fucking week for 300€.... Its like 30€ for a day
Start Now - Game End
Start Now - Game End Prieš mėn
Do a computor building business or a computor part building business
Dean Maxwell
Dean Maxwell Prieš mėn
You can actually make snow in temperatures as high as 50° by using colder water and turning up fan speed. The real killer is humidity. If it's too humid, you get no snow. Source: Being a snowmaker at a local resort
pinew Prieš mėn
mountains are cool
Matt the Slav
Matt the Slav Prieš mėn
2:37 lets all appreciate that good boi in the background
Ervin Guinto
Ervin Guinto Prieš mėn
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Mediarahan Prieš mėn
Worth noting that a lot of resorts also have MTB trails that help out during off seasons.
keco185 Prieš mėn
2:10 everything you mention there pays for itself outside of ticket costs
Ronald Rice
Ronald Rice Prieš mėn
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Sebastian MARCIANO
Sebastian MARCIANO Prieš mėn
Not good video
donnaddrake Prieš mėn
Or just go to Salt Lake where most of the ski resorts are 30 minutes from SLC and Park City is a pretty good sized town
Michael Steven
Michael Steven Prieš mėn
Climate change? China could care less about American ski resorts.
Z E P H Y R Prieš mėn
My local mountain has 4 lifts and day tickets are like $30 while season passes are like $325 or something, it’s one of the only non-profit ski resorts in the world
Leggo My Ego
Leggo My Ego Prieš mėn
I wouldn't want to be in the ski resort business anywhere outside of Canada.
cherry limeade
cherry limeade Prieš mėn
I couldn't have been the only person that paused the video and looked for my local ski resort lol. It was on there.
Khu NoPie
Khu NoPie Prieš mėn
Some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Aspen.
Emilio Alban
Emilio Alban Prieš mėn
FYI, you made a mistake at 5:25. The bus system in the Roaring Fork valley is called the RFTA, for Roaring Fork (as in the roaring fork valley, the valley that Aspen is in) Transit Authority, not the RTFA.
Kieran Cooke
Kieran Cooke Prieš mėn
Where I live my ski resort is not terribly expensive (160$ for a season pass and 200$ for seasonal ski rentals) but all the snow is fake snow cuz we never get any snow anymore which is kinda sad
Just Larry
Just Larry Prieš mėn
so this is the first year that val has owned my locals Boston mills brandy and alpine, and god damn has it been rough. They are so miss managed and prices went up 2x. I don't even know if I want to ski there this season it's so bad.
Michiel Smals
Michiel Smals Prieš mėn
Chair lift for 1 person? Damn in my 15 years skying I have seen a 2 person lift 1 time, and a 1 person lift never.
mamoopy Prieš mėn
maybe he's counting button lifts?
Zombsroyale TEDDY
Zombsroyale TEDDY Prieš mėn
Where is the dusk image at? It looks beautiful.
Andrew H
Andrew H Prieš mėn
Those towns water supply also needs to be able to accommodate 2-4x the offseason demand which could be an interesting video.
David N.
David N. Prieš mėn
Ski is an expensive sport.
Antonio Norton
Antonio Norton Prieš 2 mėnesius
Ok explain the 700$ private classes
Jesse Espinosa
Jesse Espinosa Prieš 2 mėnesius
Wow dude you completely forgot about an entire season called summer. Those resorts make a ton of money to supplement the failing reliable snowfall and impact to the business that subsequently follows, by allowing access, and building special trails for, mountain bikes. Mountain bikes are far more expensive than skis. By many orders of magnitude.
MrBeans Prieš 2 mėnesius
lol i work at a resort. so i found this very interesting lol. Ours is Owned by the County/town and not some big corporation, so our tickets are much cheaper. and yes Dopplemeyer high speed lifts are NOT cheap! and you still gotta factor in actually running the things almost 24/7, (as well as having 3-4 ppl manning the lift at all times) as well as maintenance, snow making, grooming, we employ almost 1,000 people every winter too. as well as Summers, most mountains will run lifts all summer long too for other activities like biking and hiking and such. when i worked at copper in Colorado we had a lot of ppl from other countries, New Zealand, Australia, south africa. and they would juts come for the season then go home. but they have employee housing which is very very cheap. yup its all rented! lol not Gunstock we own the land. hes not kidding when he says its a never ending cycle. colorado has some of the best public transportations systems ive ever seen. a lot of people hitchhike too
Maxima Prieš 2 mėnesius
It's the same as every other US company....price gouge
Brand-ON- Prieš 2 mėnesius
Bruh I’m at a ski resort rn 😳
BigDickEnergy dinosauerier
BigDickEnergy dinosauerier Prieš 2 mėnesius
Damn skiing in America is expensive as shit, another reason I’m happy living in Europe. Like I was skiing yesterday and it was one of the pricier ones about 30€ a day. And today cross-country skiing, of course for free. I’m from Austria btw. And thanks for that informativ video!! It’s awesome!!
Luke Michalowski
Luke Michalowski Prieš 2 mėnesius
whats to stop me from taking a snowmobile and a friend and riding up public land and boarding down?
Łuaksz Prieš 2 mėnesius
6:55 what resort is that. It looks beautiful
Matthew Szoke
Matthew Szoke Prieš 2 mėnesius
Was the footage at 7:46 shot at Jasna Ski Resort in Slovakia, by any chance?
Gun Sum Wong
Gun Sum Wong Prieš 2 mėnesius
The analysis is on American resorts only. European Alpine and Scandinavian resorts are different and more affordable. Generally American resorts are not easy to get to, catering for wealthy visitors mainly, have a lot fewer lifts which are basic and outdated and have the most expensive ski pass system in the world. European resorts, especially in Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy are for weekend recreations by the locals. They are a lot smaller but more numerous. Some European resorts are many times bigger than the biggest North American resorts. An America chairlift can have several queues but European chairlift is always one-queue system. Additional queues are for instructors and children and they are only restricted to the French resorts. Some American resorts do extreme skiing while European skiing is for holiday and weekend recreation.
Teacher Guy
Teacher Guy Prieš 2 mėnesius
It would be more interesting if you would take a deep dive into the actual financials of these would-be monopolists. Yes, it's expensive to run a ski area, but what ARE the real returns on equity when you don't drop the $20 million executive pay packages (that's Vail in recent years) out of the calculation? And what do they pay the South American college students working the seasonal jobs on J1 visas? I've heard it's WAY less than minimum wage. The ski companies are whining about the block on J1 visas and saying they won't be profitable without them, but in the next breath are saying J1's only fill 5% of the ski area jobs. Does not compute. I think there's probably plenty of money in the near-urban and destination resort ski areas if it doesn't all go to the top execs in stock options. Katz (CEO of Vail) has gotten about $120 million that way in the past 5 years. Yes, he uses it to fund his "charitable foundation." Charity begins at home.
Max H
Max H Prieš 2 mėnesius
Climate change huh? I've been hearing for 50 years now how it's warming and the snows about to end. Always seems to hold off for another year
What What
What What Prieš 2 mėnesius
As someone who grew up in the french alps there is no doubt that climate change already took its toll on the ecosystem, seasons have shortened and the snow mass each year has significantly shrunken in spite of massive investment in artificial snow infrastructures (a technology that was barely used thirty years ago) This is even worst for resorts lower down the mountains, some of which have already gone out of business since they did not make enough revenues from the ever shorter seasons. Snow won’t disappear in our lifetime but the number of ski resorts will definitely shrink, packing more and more people in high altitude resorts over shorter seasons which will make it a lot less fun unfortunately.
Thor knows planes
Thor knows planes Prieš 2 mėnesius
i live in park city and ski almost every day
Jacob Spaulding
Jacob Spaulding Prieš 2 mėnesius
I didn’t need a climate change talk by this nutcase
Dulu Gabriel
Dulu Gabriel Prieš 2 mėnesius
i guess im not the only one who searched for ksi domain and got this, right?
Jackly Stackly
Jackly Stackly Prieš 2 mėnesius
This'll age badly, just wait.....
xlixify Prieš 2 mėnesius
I saw a resort that vail owns thats 5 mins from my house
DW Prieš 2 mėnesius
When I started snowboarding in the early 90's lift tickets were less than $30 and the lines were short so you didn't hardly have to wait for the lifts. Nowtickets are around $100 or more and the lift lines are so long you spend more time in lines that you do on the slopes. After all the extra expenses like parking, food, gas, etc you can end up spending $300-500 for a poor experience. This basically why I stopped snowboarding when I usedtogo every single weekend there was snow.
Mike Qi
Mike Qi Prieš 2 mėnesius
Hi, I sell ski bags on Amazon, ADBEE ski bag
k y
k y Prieš 2 mėnesius
This is epic since I go to them all the time
Andrew Podolio
Andrew Podolio Prieš 2 mėnesius
the most shocking thing about this video is finding out there's ski resorts in Australia
Wilson Gambade
Wilson Gambade Prieš 2 mėnesius
Wow American capitalism at its finest. As a french skier 100-209$ for a day ski pass id rather nordic ski then take the lift.
Osyis R6
Osyis R6 Prieš mėn
Vail is shit. There are a lot of places that are cheaper or even free.
JRodizAwesome Prieš 2 mėnesius
4:21 Taking a shot at Glenwood Springs I see.
Me Frosty
Me Frosty Prieš 2 mėnesius
You should talk about small ski resorts like mount Sima and how Covid has changed business for ski resorts
Me Frosty
Me Frosty Prieš 2 mėnesius
You should talk about small ski resorts like mount Sima and how Covid has changed business for ski resorts
Ray Rowley
Ray Rowley Prieš 2 mėnesius
One of the biggest expenses is the operation of the lifts. They typically run on diesel and must run no matter how many people show up.
LegitTweaks Prieš 2 mėnesius
From 2008 to 2016 we saw hardly any snow on these mountains, 2016 came along and a certain someone wanted to utilize the governments "weather control machine" which just creates clouds with precipitation and boom it rains. I think most people forget that this is a planet we are living on and every other planet goes through some major geological changes every few thousand years to hundreds of thousands of years. If youre gunna talk about climate change, do it in a separate video otherwise it literally doesn't apply to "The Business of Ski Resorts"
Rami Touhami
Rami Touhami Prieš 2 mėnesius
Bruh i got recommended this while in a ski trip
Andrew Valdez
Andrew Valdez Prieš 2 mėnesius
Over here in CA, Mammoth is trying to single handedly kill the sport with their greed. 💰💰💰 $160 a lift ticket 🤣🙄🤣
ATF Prieš 2 mėnesius
I have a season pass for a local independent ski resort. Even they have teamed up with other small resorts around the globe to form the “powder alliance” and provide me with three free days at many of the nations top ski resorts.
Mark Prieš 2 mėnesius
1:45 Why the FUCK they are riding the open chair???
Corck 9
Corck 9 Prieš 2 mėnesius
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