Its a combination of factors, but I'd guess that the current state of the economy is to blame.
Snowboarders tend to be younger. If you don't live within driving distance (8 hours or less, say) of a slope then it is BIG dollars to snowboard.
A trip with 3 days worth of riding out west would cost me a minimum of $600-$700, and that is only if I found $200 airfare,a resort with $65 lift tickets (Loveland?), and ~$50 a night lodging. I already own my own gear, so a new rider might spend another $400 more. Atlanta is a big airline hub, so it is probably cheaper to fly from here than many other places.
In contrast, If I lived close to a hill, $600-$700 would buy me a season pass to one or two of them.
Spending most of your rent on a 3 day winter vacation is less and less a viable option with disposable incomes falling in the USA.
The 20-somethings who would ordinarily replace the now-30-somethings on the hill have having very hard times finding decent jobs, which is why less of them have the cash to learn to snowboard.
Bicycles are cheap. PS3's are cheap, even booze-filled road trips to Savannah for St. Patty's or New Orleans for Mardi Gras are cheap compared to snowboarding regularly.
If/when the economy improves, numbers will go back up... unless global warming starts melting all the snow off the mountain!
Read on another forum: "If someone held a gun to my head and said, "You have to move to Salida tomorrow", I'd probably do it. If they told me I had to go to Breckenridge instead, I think I'd just let them pull the trigger."
Last edited by Tarzanman; 01-17-2013 at 03:50 PM.