CA and NV were 2 of the states hit hardest by the housing crash and recession. I would think that these events would have impacted the ski resorts located in these states.
Yes, like every other single business in the U.S. it did effect the CA/NV ski industry.
I lived in CA from 2006 through 2009 and towards the end most of the ski resort types had fled the state.
What does "ski resort types" mean? If you are speaking about wealthier people, I assume you don't realize that the VAST majority of people skiing and snowboarding are not "rich".
So can anyone here in CA/NV comment on any changes with CA/NV ski resorts? I'm sure some of you have been frequenting these ski resorts since 2006 and still do.
Yes. I now live in Las Vegas, NV and San Diego, CA and head up to the Mammoth and Tahoe areas a lot. I also lived in South Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles between 2005-2009. What I can tell you now is that while numbers of visitors are down slightly per the major resort's own figures, the resorts seem to be still busy and packed just as much as they were before.
Are ski resorts generally for the 1% who tend to be most resilient in an economic downturn?
No. Are you even serious?
I'm guessing there are probably fewer visitors than in 2006 because jobs are fewer and pay is lower. I'm also guessing that the demographic is more families and fewer people in their 20's since people in their mid 30's+ are more established and are more likely to have good jobs even if those jobs don't pay quite as much as they used to 5 years ago.
Why would you guess when you can easily Google that info? While many resort's individual bookings are down, group bookings are up, sites like Groupon are selling TONS of ski deals, and business has more or less adapted to the new economic climate. Basically, don't look for Mammoth or Heavenly to be closing up shop any time soon.
Has fewer people and less business led to these ski resorts cutting corners?
In what way would they cut corners? Many places have hired less staff and the Tahoe resorts in particular have brought in less foreign labor, but the resorts still have to have the proper people in place, proper maintenance of the mountain and their facilities and equipment, and are spending an increased amount of money on marketing efforts. So, just like any other business, they trim the fat where they can, and expand where they have opportunities.
Has a smaller 20's crowd put a noticeable dent in the youthful spirit at these ski resorts?
There ISN'T a smaller 20s crowd. At all.
The bottom line: People STILL have money, and STILL want to ski and snowboard in California and Nevada.
Shining proof of this is right where I live part time in Las Vegas. There is one ski resort on Mt. Charleston, about 20 minutes outside of the city. It is currently a small resort with 3 lifts and 10 trails. Within the next few years, they plan to more than QUADRUPLE
it's size and expand the resort to 10 lifts, 50 trails, and increase the overall riding area from 70 acres to more than 500!
Why? Because demand is so steep! Even with the cruddy snow, the tiny resort size, etc people still show up en masse to ride there. I'd say that's a pretty good economic sign.
Read more about it here: Ski & Snowboard Resort expansion to add trails, create jobs - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | 2 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun