I'm finding you are missing another core group in your discussion.
They work minimum wage for the resort, spend their money in bars-own by the resort and buy their latest snowboard gear that they are crazy stoked on in the stores owned by the resort.
Tell me the resorts are not making money from this group...their paychecks are recycled and overdrawn.
Im not even talking about people who have been around for a season, many of those people come, stay and make it their lives, have kids and will survive on their measly wage to go snowboarding.
I know this, because I am one. I definitely keep the industry alive, when visitor hear how happy and stoked I am, they get stoked too. They go to the restaurants I recommend and drink at the bars I mention. They listen when I tell them who the best bootfitters are and where to get their new jackets from....
I think everyone keeps the industry alive. If the kids weren't about making things 'cool' then new people wouldn't get into the sport.
Once a skiier/snowboarder, hooked for life.