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What YGCC is Reading #489
Skiing in America: Monopoly and Pricing Shift

The skiing industry in America has undergone a transformative shift driven by clever pricing and industry consolidation. Vail Resorts, the owner of Breckenridge and 41 other resorts, introduced the "Epic Pass" in 2008, offering unlimited skiing at various resorts at a discounted rate if purchased early. While this strategy has made skiing reliably profitable, it has led to industry consolidation and raised concerns about overcrowding. Vail's revenue increased by 14% in the last year, with season passes contributing to 61% of lift-ticket revenue. However, the shift towards a mass business model has not been universally welcomed, particularly among the local communities that once enjoyed a skiing culture tailored to their needs. As Vail faces challenges accommodating the growing number of skiers, the industry underscores broader economic changes with implications for market power and price discrimination.

  • How might the skiing industry address the challenges of overcrowding and accommodation costs?

  • How can the ski industry mitigate the environmental impact resulting from the renovation and expansion of ski resorts?

 

Read more from The Economist here.

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Image modified from The Economist.

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