Tom Elvin: Don’t forget the boomers |

Tom Elvin: Don’t forget the boomers

Tom Elvin

Am I missing something? I read the Dec. 10 Summit Daily article entitled “Ski resorts alter approach as baby boomer fade away,” by Scott Willoughy of the Denver Post and noticed many contradictions within the article. It cites statistics from the National Ski Areas Association and these statistics state, “a third of all resort visitors last year were 45 or older, a continued expansion among that age group” and “During the past decade, the percentage of visitors-defined as one skier or snowboarder riding a chairlift per day-age 45-54 has increased from 14.0 percent to 19.9 percent, with age groupings above 54 also showing an increase”.

What these numbers tell me is that while the ski areas are busy building trick snowboarding barns like Woodward at Copper and giant half-pipes and turning their base areas into amusement parks, that they really need to pay attention to the baby boomers. It is this demographic, people born between 1946 and 1964 – 76 million of us – that not only have provided the drive behind most of the ski areas in existence today, but will continue to in the future. I believe that with the baby boomers, whose retirements have begun, we will see large increases from this age group at our ski areas not only this season, but in the seasons to come. With more time, cashing out of jobs and lives in other states and either moving to Colorado or having time for extended visits, we will see big increases in skier numbers from this group. It is not the time to back away from this group, but to seek them out. What they want may not be half-pipes and terrain parks, but new terrain, glade skiing, back bowls, groomed runs and lunch on a sunny deck.

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