Environmental Forces Affecting the Ski Industry

There are many environmental forces in the upcoming three years that will have an effect on the ski industry. I intend to look at the general and task environments under which these forces will have an impact on the ski industry. When we look at the impact that general environmental forces have on the ski industry, there are several factors to be considered. New technology is having an effect on the industry and how ski areas are being run. As the importance of going “green” continues to be a major world focus, the ski industry is finding new and improved ways of operating ski areas. One of the newest is harnessing the wind to power ski lifts, as well as using solar power to light the facilities in the ski area.

As technology continues to improve there will be more environmentally friendly and efficient ways to power lifts and the surrounding facilities. Another change that is coming is the fact that many of the baby-boomers who have embraced the skiing industry are getting older and finding less and less time to ski. These are the people that, until recently, have shared in keeping the industry alive. A trend that has been taking over in the last decade or two, however, is snowboarding. Snowboarding, very realistically may have saved the ski industry in the early 1990’s. While the average age of skiers on the mountains today is 40 plus, seventy percent of the people on the mountains in Montana, are snowboarders (Jamison, 2010).

Snowboarding is the choice of the younger generation and will help keep the industry alive for many years to come. The economy and the recent recession, one would think, would have a major effect on the ski industry. The equipment, the travel, and the lift tickets to visit a ski area are expensive. It is not a “poor man’s sport.” To take a family to the mountains for a week could cost thousands of dollars. However; in a study of Montana ski resorts, the national recession is not deterring skiers and.

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