Ski Resorts Management

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Principles of Management

SKI RESORTS IN THE USA

CASE STUDY

Table of Contents:

1. Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………………..3

2. Question 1………………………………………………………………………………………4

3. Question 2………………………………………………………………………………………5

4. Question 3………………………………………………………………………………………7

5. Question 4………………………………………………………………………………………8

6. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………9

7. Reference list…………………………………………………………………………………10

Abstract

The following paper discusses business operations of major ski resorts in the USA. This is achieved through answering several important questions. First of all, the environment surrounding ski resorts is examined and how they have been affected by changes that have occurred since 1970’s. Next, the business reactions of ski resorts in order to adapt to these changes are discussed, as well as the greater importance of management comparing to past years. The third part discusses different competition that resorts on the west and east coasts of the USA are facing. Moreover, the impact of European competition to east coast resorts is examined, as well. In the end, different forecasts for further changes in ski resorts business environment are provided, as well as several suggestions for actions that can be taken in the near future.

Question 1: What are the most important changes in the environment that have contributed to the drop in revenues?

In 1970’s, ski industry in the United States experienced great market expansion. However, the preceding years brought numerous problems and significant decrease in profits as the business environment of the ski resorts was changing. In order to better understand this issue, several factors need to be considered.

To begin with, one of the main changes that contributed to profit decrease of ski resorts is certainly the one of customer age. Results of research showed that the average age of customers has risen. (Anon, 2007) This was mainly due to ageing of people who were born in period from 1946 to 1964, or so called ‘Baby Boomers’. These people came to an age when they had more responsibilities, work and family obligations being some of them. For this reason, they had less time and money which could be spent on holidays. This has lead to a great decrease in the number of customers and ski resorts had problems reacting to this occurrence. (Anon, 1997) Problems began to increase as numerous resorts had more facilities than needed and low level of management lead to disaster of many resorts. According to research, the number of ski resorts is decreasing which leads to increased competition and cost of doing business. (Randall, 1996)

To continue, the climate change is another major factor affecting the business of ski resorts. The increased emission of Greenhouse gasses causes global warming which is a great threat to extremely weather-dependant ski industry. Winters are becoming more and more warmer, which affects skiing seasons which are shorter with interruptions and less snow.

Finally, trends are constantly changing and this also affected the business of ski resorts. For instance younger generations prefer playing computer games and surfing on the internet to skiing or doing any sport. Furthermore, the popularity of skiing dramatically decreased within young generations as snowboarding emerged and took most of their attention. (Palmeri, 2005) All this lead to a state that most of skiers were of older age, and as mentioned above, these people didn’t have as much time for skiing holidays as when they were young.

Question 2: Why is management a more important success factor for ski resorts now, compared to 20-30 years ago?

As Ski resorts in the USA started to experience great losses in 1980’s due to changes in the environment, they had to adapt to these changes in order to survive and remain competitive in the industry. For this reason, management began to play a very important role in the...
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