By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The prevailing corporate model of ski area ownership and management may not have run out of gas completely, but it’s sputtering along, sustained mainly by cannibalizing itself through more mergers and vertical integration (by which large corporations buy up retail and rental outlets, lodging and transportation facilities, as well as trying to dominate media, marketing and social media).
In short, the ski industry for the most part has become a monopolistic juggernaut. It may serve the short-term financial interests of Wall Street on a quarter-to-fiscal quarter-basis, but anyone with a lick of common sense can see that it’s not sustainable in the long-term.
Like the dinosaurs, it’s too big for its own circulatory system, and like the dinosaurs, it’s going to go extinct in its present form, perhaps when the next bubble breaks on the handful of giant real estate investment trusts that now control most of the base area real estate at resorts around the country. (more…)