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 major resort operators such as Aspen Skiing Company, Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Boyne USA, Intrawest, and Vail Resorts (all based in the US); Canada-based Whistler Blackcomb; and Compagnie des Alpes in France are significant competitors of independent ski facilities.
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 fees (including lift tickets) account for about 65% of revenue. About 10% of revenue comes from meals and beverage services; instruction fees account for another 10%.