Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums banner

Will the 2020/2021 season go ahead in your opinion?

  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    15
41 - 55 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
This is a copy of email just sent out for Perisher/Blue pass holders in Australia.

Thank you for your continued patience during this challenging time.
With the snow falling at Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham, we know that you are looking forward to the upcoming 2020 winter season. We are too. While the National Cabinet recently released a three-step plan to a COVIDSafe Australia, the details of how that plan will apply to ski and ride operations in New South Wales and Victoria are still evolving. Because of this, I unfortunately do not have an update on when we will be able to open for the 2020 season.
That said, I can assure you that our team is continuing all necessary pre-season work to ensure we are ready to open once we are able to. In preparing for the upcoming season, first and foremost we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests, employees and communities. Our plans will continue to be informed by guidance from public health authorities and government health orders relating to resort operations.
We previously informed you that, if you have the final payment remaining for your Epic Australia Pass, we would delay it until 1 June. While we do not know exactly how the season will play out, with 1 June only a few weeks away, we do believe that there will be some impact to the season from COVID-19. As a result, I wanted to share an update on our plans following the guidance provided by the National Cabinet’s three-step plan to a COVIDSafe Australia:


  • We will not take the final payment for your 2020 Epic Australia Pass on 1 June.
  • By 15 June, we will share more information about the season ahead as well as new pass options that will address the expected COVID-19 impacts on our season.
  • Once we have shared more information, you will have the option to request a refund of all payments made towards your 2020 Epic Australia Pass and Pass Refund Protection or move forward with a new pass product. If you decide to purchase a pass, the final payment date will also be announced on 15 June, after you have had the opportunity to consider your options.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding. I will keep you updated as we learn more about this season and I hope to be able to do so very soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I think (hope) we’ll be fine. What worries me is will resorts be able to make snow? I live in NY and do most of my riding in VT. If tri-state and Boston people aren’t traveling, will VT resorts have the money to make snow? Same goes for other places that depend on travel and not just locals. I think mask will be required and people are already wearing gloves. May not have the outside music spots or crowded food places/bars but who cares about that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I have been wondering if/when ski/snowboard areas in my home state of Mass. would reopen. Massachusetts has a 4-phase reopening plan which I will post the link to here:


I know none of us have a crystal ball, but based on my own educated guess, my thought is that Mass. snowboarding might open by Phase 3 (with restriction/limitations) or we may have to wait until phase 4 (development of vaccine &/or treatment for coronavirus, whenever that may be).

Anyone else want to click on the link, read it, and comment? I'd especially like to hear from others on the forum who, like myself, live in &/or snowboard in Massachusetts. But I'm also open to hearing thoughts from other snowboarders on the forum as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,143 Posts
I have been wondering if/when ski/snowboard areas in my home state of Mass. would reopen. Massachusetts has a 4-phase reopening plan which I will post the link to here:


I know none of us have a crystal ball, but based on my own educated guess, my thought is that Mass. snowboarding might open by Phase 3 (with restriction/limitations) or we may have to wait until phase 4 (development of vaccine &/or treatment for coronavirus, whenever that may be).

Anyone else want to click on the link, read it, and comment? I'd especially like to hear from others on the forum who, like myself, live in &/or snowboard in Massachusetts. But I'm also open to hearing thoughts from other snowboarders on the forum as well.
I think that those phases are stupidly idiotic and wont make it to the end like that. They literally call for permanent social distancing hahahahaha. One phase tells people not to travel but also allows lodging which is kind of counter-productive. BUT all that being said based on that you'd likely see ski resorts open in phase 3. Unless things get substantially worse (possible) the state would have a VERY hard time keeping all tourism and travel and outdoor recreation closed for that length of time. Revolts are happening nation wide, many businesses illegal reopening, etc, and we're only 2 months in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
644 Posts
Been riding every year since 1985 and the thought of this “virus” causing me to miss my first season in 35 years really pisses me off, but like I said come November it will all be forgotten
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
20/21 will be the rise of small resorts. We're going into a grand solar minimum. The last few years have seen record low sun activity, and it usually takes a year or two for those effects to be felt over winter. This spring has been massively below normal, it's already almost June here and we've had some of the most rain ever in spring with it being one of the coldest. International travel is going to be a huge problem, the resorts that rely on international travelers are going to suffer, even if Wuhan Flu is 100% gone by then.

My little Wisconsin resort had one of the best years ever last year. As people are afraid of traveling now, they're going to flock to small local places. With the solar minimum, 20/21 should be an awesome year for small resorts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,496 Posts
Living in the most visited shred town in America I can point to a lot of things that are going on, but one thing is for certain if people can travel they will travel. That is already abundantly clear. Our weekends look like they normally would. Rona is going up here. But the CDC has back tested a few people that got tested for the flu in November and now it's coming back as being the Rona since at the time they didn't know what it was. So we probably had it before everyone else. I'm waiting on the state to send me in for an antibody test as we're not sure what I had back in Jan/Feb that almost killed me, but my guess, Rona.

Here's how I see this rolling out.

Vail worked a deal with BoA to get capital in some form that doesn't go to infrastructure upgrades but into sustaining business and snow making. This deal I believe from what I briefly read goes till 2023 or 24 but is essentially what's going to float them while they figure some shit out.

Alterra basically said to its resorts, "you're partners figure it out as you go along". That could make some issues there with their smaller resorts.

Small resorts, they fucked!

Season pass sales. If you notice how Ikon extended their early renewal till June 17th and Vails is till Labor Day weekend. That's a sign that passes aren't selling right away. Doesn't mean they won't sell, just means people are being slow to purchase, especially as job losses climb, and the economy is slow to reopen. Will people buy passes? Die hards, optimistic people, and those that understand value. Shit I'm actually considering an Epic this year and I already purchased my Ikon and A Basin. May even renew my Indy pass too.

Season pass sales are essential to resorts as that gives them up front capital to fire up snow making as well as do upgrades. Obviously upgrades have been cancelled at most resorts this year as it's more or less how to do we survive this after laying off 70 plus percent of our staff. But if people buy it they will try to open. Add to that all the insurance/assurances they're offering to pass holders and it may sway some people.

Now lets talk hotels/airbnb. We went into lock down before everyone else and we still have some of the strictest guidelines for reopening. What hotels have to do here is operate at 50% occupancy with a 3 day grace period before the room can be used again. They're running odd/even rooms based on the day/week. We have a full mask ordinance for them when not in the room. Obviously it's scary to some people, but this ordinance will expire at some time in the future. With that said talked with 3 different reservation agents and have a roommate that does night audit. His property already has people booking and it's the most expensive one in all of Breckenridge at 500 a night for the cheapest unit. The others I've talked to have between 100% to 50% of that 50% occupancy booked. That tells me people are willing to come. The biggest conference center with the most rooms is still hurting and had to cancel its conventions, but people are trying to fill those rooms that they lost from that. Will this continue into the winter? My guess is we'll have between 50% and 75% occupancy available on a case by case unit.

Now Airbnb. These guys are so fucked right now. We're going to see a total collapse in peoples mini empires. Already seeing owners scramble to go from short term rental to long term rental as the state/county/town ordinances are pretty strict. Basically can't rent them for under 31 days right now. This may end June 1st. But what I've seen is those that could lower their rates got people to come for 30 plus days. Those that couldn't are now putting these back onto the long term market. Some are offering month to month up to 6 month leases hoping that they'll be back to renting them out for the season. Others have scrapped that entirely. Those that scrapped it entirely are either trying to rent them at an absurd rate which is making people laugh and these people are going to lose these properties (already seeing them enter the housing sale market), but those that are offering them at or below "normal" market value are having them swooped up by locals or people moving here. Yes people are still moving here. What this is doing though is offering up affordable housing for those that want to live in the mountains. This will sustain our work force to an extent and if it continues could provide us with snow carnies for the winter.

Retail. Vail has closed their retail as has Alterra or its partners. This segment took a huge hit and continues to take a huge hit. Main street in any shred town is going to look a little more bleak. Consumer confidence is pretty sad in terms of snow sports. People can argue with me all they want but they aren't taking phone calls from some of the largest online retailers like I am, so I know the numbers a bit better, plus as one of the largest snowboard affiliates in the world I can see the numbers and know how this is. While those that have money are still shopping and taking advantage of deals, those that are less well off aren't. I see a spike in used gear sales, but my initial fears of product not shipping on time seem to be dissipating as more brands are already shipping gear. What does this mean? I think we'll see gear this year, it will be a post season with a serious glut and there will be even more insane deals. T shirt shops and touristy shit will be hurting though.

Restaurants. Here's where shit gets real. A lot of restaurants are just straight fucked. Some of your favorite places to eat/dine afterwards are probably going to be gone by the winter. Those hanging on might be changing menus. What you'll notice though is that staffing is going to be different. They aren't going to have as many people working for them as they're seeing that they can operate with less people. This means your fine dining is probably going to shift and your mid tier restaurants are going to turn and burn a bit more.

Snow carnies. Here's the issue. International visas. Any resort that relies on them is going to be hurting. It's a headache and a half to get them here, house them, and then deal with them if Rona 2.0 flares up. We still have ones trapped here, and we had a small cluster of Rona break out and a bunch fled south. Here you go Chile enjoy a pandemic. This means that resorts are going to have to change their hiring processes and wages. It also means you can't cram 3 to a one bedroom anymore, might not even be able to cram 2 to a room if they're worried about social distancing. What I think this means is they'll have to dig deeper to higher closer to home and that means either higher wages or taking advantage of all the people that had non essential jobs that are going to be unemployed.

Now lets talk unemployment from a mountain town perspective. I'll use some anecdotal evidence I'm seeing which I've been doing as well as some numbers I know. Those on unemployment here qualified for the max with the C.A.R.E.S. act. They're making $22.30 an hour here. There are jobs to be had here, but most people are using the "why would I work for 15 when I'm making more on unemployment". This is naive on their part as jobs are going to be slow to return. I'm already seeing this as I got called back to work at the liquor store (I quit in November to do Angry full time) because they lost half their staff (not due to Rona sickness). My boss is having a hell of a time finding applicants to want to work because it's 7 dollars less than unemployment. His reason for calling me was "I know you're not on unemployment, I know you're bored, and I know you'll work" my response "shit might as well come back now because if Angry dies due to this at least I won't be fighting 50% of the town who will be looking for jobs" so it future proofs me. But a lot of people as previously mentioned are being short sighted. A lot of businesses are seeing how much staff they truly need to run their business and as such to save overhead won't be hiring back.

Now lets talk local housing as I've already mentioned. Last month 30% of our county residents couldn't make rent. Our rent assistance program was utilized 100% after it had a 1.5 million cash influx put into it. That's a scary amount right there. Good land lords are working with tenets, but bad ones are just waiting for the eviction process to be allowed again. Those that could have fled, fled during this. A lot of people I have known for years left. So that right there is somewhat telling. But at the same time those that hated Denver or living in a city somewhere and want to experience "mountain town" life are moving here. Best time to honestly move because their belief that they can get something for close to what they paid where they're from is somewhat true now. So we may see an influx of people stupid enough to work for a shit wage at the resort if they don't increase their wage. Or they're just dumb enough to be sold on the resort worker lifestyle. So I'm a bit optimistic this will help with resort staffing somewhat.

Here's some numbers our Mayor predicted half way through lock down. 50% decrease in summer tourism and 75% decrease in winter tourism. This isn't just referring to the ski resorts this is over all tourism and our numbers aren't fully resolved to how the resort does. For frame of reference a busy weekend is 85,000 plus people in town but only 25,000 plus on the slopes. So you can see that the resort isn't our only draw. Now I think his numbers for summer at least are optimistic, I feel we're going to take more of a 75% hit there and by fall/early winter we'll probably be at a 50% winter. If a 2.0 wave hits again, well then we're fucked.

This means we'll be relying more on front range traffic than out of state, but those that can drive will. Texas (scariest state on earth right now) can be here in 8 to 10 hours depending on where they're driving from. As that state hasn't taken this seriously and has clearly shown zero fucks to care what any other state does they will return. Florida, well they got in a pissing match with our governor so maybe they won't fully return but I doubt it. The Midwest, they'll come if they can after all who wants to sit around staring at dirt for 10 weeks of quarantine. So I'm a bit optimistic on them traveling here but instead of flying they'll drive. Those 7 day trips here will revert to 5 day trips. 5 day trips will become long weekends instead. Mid weeks will be emptier than usual.

International travel, fuck who knows at this point. Maybe a 30% return of that if I'm being optimistic. Australia/NZ will be the place to watch and see how they continue on with this. If they do well I bet some of them travel this year. The Brits though with Brexit and shit, your guess is as good as mine. China ain't coming and if they do I foresee a lot of racism towards them. The EU will stay local I bet.

At the end this is my perspective from keeping an eye on things and seeing how we are recovering as well as reading up on the news from various sources/mountain town papers. It's going to be a weird wild ride. But those that can take advantage of it will, those that can make it happen will, and if everything seems to stay on course we'll be doing OK. But those that are struggling are fucked, little resorts this might be their last year, and as previously stated by others the lower income people are fucked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,143 Posts
Interesting to see some info specific to your area. But ya a lot of this is pretty even across the board. A few notes I would make

Small resorts, they fucked!

Season pass sales. If you notice how Ikon extended their early renewal till June 17th and Vails is till Labor Day weekend. That's a sign that passes aren't selling right away. Doesn't mean they won't sell, just means people are being slow to purchase, especially as job losses climb, and the economy is slow to reopen. Will people buy passes? Die hards, optimistic people, and those that understand value. Shit I'm actually considering an Epic this year and I already purchased my Ikon and A Basin. May even renew my Indy pass too.
This is the most interesting but and least understood part of what's going on.Household spending has actually not been killed by Covid. Add in most resorts didnt close until late March,. That's a full season for resorts in the Midwest, Central and south East, 95% of a season in the NE and still a very hefty portion of the season for all areas outside the huge dump areas like Mammoth and some PNW and then A-Basin. Presidents day in late February often starts the slow down turn for many resorts. This means mega resorts should all have gotten enough money to be ok-ish. Small resorts on shoe string budgets who need every week of the season, well this was about the equivilant of a bad snow year in terms of total time available to be open for revenue from the 19-20 season.

Season pass sales are essential to resorts as that gives them up front capital to fire up snow making as well as do upgrades. Obviously upgrades have been cancelled at most resorts this year as it's more or less how to do we survive this after laying off 70 plus percent of our staff. But if people buy it they will try to open. Add to that all the insurance/assurances they're offering to pass holders and it may sway some people.
People are still spending money though, especially recreation and luxury goods. I got this from one of the largest watersports companies in the world yesterday

"As far as our line product line we are over sold on wake board boots, vests and too early to tell on surf boards. Just in one day last week we took over 2,000 orders from dealers just on Thursday, this is more that we normally do in a month. We have never seen it so busy"

I can confirm water sports sales are just.... literally beyond comprehension right now where as snow sales literally since late March have been 100% non existent. This would show it's not a money issue but rather something else at play. My theory is that people are more focused on what they can buy to do things now rather than buying for the future currently. People are more focused on getting out of their house tomorrow than in December with being in lock down. If that is indeed the case you'd expect to see season pass sales go from non existent to massive as people emerge from their homes and shake off the dust. Can resorts wait a few extra months to get season pass money, I'd like to think that with all the business loans and such out right now, they should be able to. Just have to be wiling to bank on a later season pass sales season.

Now lets talk unemployment from a mountain town perspective. I'll use some anecdotal evidence I'm seeing which I've been doing as well as some numbers I know. Those on unemployment here qualified for the max with the C.A.R.E.S. act. They're making $22.30 an hour here. There are jobs to be had here, but most people are using the "why would I work for 15 when I'm making more on unemployment". This is naive on their part as jobs are going to be slow to return. I'm already seeing this as I got called back to work at the liquor store (I quit in November to do Angry full time) because they lost half their staff (not due to Rona sickness). My boss is having a hell of a time finding applicants to want to work because it's 7 dollars less than unemployment. His reason for calling me was "I know you're not on unemployment, I know you're bored, and I know you'll work" my response "shit might as well come back now because if Angry dies due to this at least I won't be fighting 50% of the town who will be looking for jobs" so it future proofs me. But a lot of people as previously mentioned are being short sighted. A lot of businesses are seeing how much staff they truly need to run their business and as such to save overhead won't be hiring back.
Ya unemployment now is VERY different from what it will be in 6-7 months. all this extra pay and super high unemployment pay currently authorized goes away as places start opening up. And when that happens like you said you're gonnna have a MASS of people now with no job, tons of jobs permanently lost so lowering hiring, and everyone fighting for scraps. In reality knowing how capitalism works this gives TONS more power to shit employers. What do you do when you have a million people who all need any job coming out of the worst economic situation you've ever seen? You can toss out the shittiest moldiest bread crumbs you got and have people scrambling and fighting over them. This really is so much worse for the poor than most people can even begin to fathom.

as previously stated by others the lower income people are fucked.
Preach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
People are 100% tired of being on lockdown, they just want to get out. My lake has been the busiest I've ever seen it in May. Tons of people out, this Memorial Day weekend looks rainy and crappy and it'll probably still be very busy. They aren't thinking about winter, they're thinking about getting out of their houses tomorrow.

I don't think Midwestern resorts were hurt badly last season. My home hill closed down the 8th of March, one week short of when they usually do, and it was due to rain and temps. Another hill that tries and makes it to April shut down the 15th because of the virus, but they don't make much money selling all day lift tickets that time of year for $15 a piece. I don't know what happened, but their holiday weekends were all very close to setting records. Maybe it was the economy or something else, but my home hill had an extremely good year last year.

I can't speak for the big resorts, but a lot of Midwestern resorts are an hour or less drive from a major city. Where I'm at, it's smack dab in the middle of Madison, Chicago, and Milwaukee, all within an hour or so from each of them.
Those hotel room restrictions are going to play havoc on the big resorts. It's going to be a lot of locals. But the places with access to a lot of potential customers who can make day trips are going to be doing awesome.

I still think smaller resorts are going to boom. There will be a lot of people who can't afford a ski trip with hotel rooms and typical costs of going out West, and instead will just settling for going to their local little hill instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Australians from what I can see now are getting very restless and there is now a big push to open borders certainly within Australia but also towards the trans-tasman bubble.

I've got itchy feet and will travel if I can but realistically where I live will be the last border to open so even though I'll be able to get out it won't be until August/September I can get back in I'm guessing, back-end of the season but we'll see.

Vic and NSW are still seeing cases so much to pan out there with potential second waves and ongoing clusters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,663 Posts
My hopes aren't too high to be honest. A second wave of this stuff in the fall is inevitable. We won't be starting in mid-late January with no cases this time. We'll be starting at the very beginning of cold/flu season with a well established virus. The second wave starting this fall will be a lot worse than what we saw this spring. The resorts that survive will get back to normal operations in '21/'22. Vail will buy up a shit ton more of them as many go insolvent. I think this is going to be very ugly for the industry. Not just the resorts themselves, but the entire towns and also equipment manufacturers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,143 Posts
My hopes aren't too high to be honest. A second wave of this stuff in the fall is inevitable. We won't be starting in mid-late January with no cases this time. We'll be starting at the very beginning of cold/flu season with a well established virus. The second wave starting this fall will be a lot worse than what we saw this spring. The resorts that survive will get back to normal operations in '21/'22. Vail will buy up a shit ton more of them as many go insolvent. I think this is going to be very ugly for the industry. Not just the resorts themselves, but the entire towns and also equipment manufacturers.
I'd argue that, while possible, this is the least likely outcome. The idea of a second wave coming, bigger and harder but also waiting and not hitting until after 7 months of decline seems, illogical and based purely on the idea that it is a completely seasonal virus and would lose it's contagiousness in summer in unprecedented ways compared to any virus we've seen.

But FAR more importantly is how much more time people have to develop reactions, treatments, calm down and make rational decisions, all of which didn't exist this round. People wont be acting out of pure fear. We tried mass shutting down all industries and we saw how unsustainable it was. Two months in to this and you have businesses ignoring lockdowns, going to court, protests and complete restlessness, any approaches to dealing with the virus in a future setting would be a far different response than we used this time around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
As a tour operator in Alberta, we rely heavily on the ski season for our winter income & we have had cancellations right up to Oct 2020 (we don't have much booked beyond that..yet). We service Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Revelstoke, Whitefish, Fernie, Panorama, Kimberley.. everything has just ceased. We too are worried about any of it coming back for this winter. It is pretty interesting to watch different locations reacting/handling things differently depending on spread. Stay safe y'all and if I can help in Alberta let me know!
 
41 - 55 of 55 Posts
Top