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The Business of… Winter sports

What with all this chaos in the region, Kipp felt like a bit of escapism today. So we decided to take a look at the multi-billion industry that is, basically, sledging.

January 30, 2011 2:48 by


This is where most of the money is made, of course, so we may as well start here. How is the money made? Well the whole place is a recreational focal point, providing accommodation, equipment, food, drink, entertainment, and more often than not ski lifts to give you access to the slopes, and it charges for every one of these. Often, of course, a resort is comprised of numerous hotels and facilities, making whole villages and towns into a resort. In some areas it comprises almost all of the local industry.

According to a bit of web trawling, in the US alone boasts a ski industry comprising 350 companies, 400 ski areas, and a combined annual revenue of $2 billion. Pretty amazing, isn’t it. But it’s not all profit: according to the same research, the industry is labour intensive, with average annual revenue per worker is around $45,000. Sixty percent of income is from admin fees (like lift passes, etc), less than 15 percent from sales of food and beverages; 10 percent from instruction fees; and 10 percent from merchandise sales and equipment rentals.


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