Expectations for Next Season: ~70% Believe COVID-19 Will Negatively Impact Next Season

SnowBrains | | Industry NewsIndustry News
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COVID-19 survey. Credit: Glade

Glade Optics recently surveyed their customers to get an idea of what their expectations are for the upcoming 20/21 ski season given the current COVID-19 climate.

A handful of resorts reopened in May and June, and Timberline Lodge, OR are currently open, proving that it will be possible for resorts to turn their lifts in some manner. However, spring and summer skiing and crowds pale into insignificance when compared to a winter powder day over Christmas or President’s weekend. And Vail Resorts just closed two of their resorts in Australia amidst surging COVID-19 cases, so even if a season begins, it could just as easily end abruptly, again.

The results of their survey of 1,124 skiers are below.

  • 69% of skiers/snowboarders believe that COVID-19 restrictions will negatively impact their ski season
  • 36% of skiers/snowboarders are buying less gear
  • 33% of skiers/snowboarders expect to travel less than usual
  • 30% of skiers/snowboarders are less likely to buy a season pass
  • 24% of skiers/snowboarders expect to ski/ride less than usual

A couple of these results stand out. Firstly, only 69% of people think that the season will be negatively impacted by COVID-19. That means that 31% of people think the season will be just like normal… really?

Secondly, with both the Ikon and Epic Pass and many independent resorts offering no questions asked refund policies for unused season passes, I’m not sure why almost a third of those surveyed are less likely to buy a season pass. 

Finally, 36% of those surveyed are buying less gear, which contradicts retailers claiming a 40% sales increase over last year.

What are your thoughts about next winter? Are you one of the positive 31% that believe the ski season will operate like nothing happened?

Born in Vermont and built in Colorado, Glade are a grassroots, independent brand building goggles for perfect vision in all conditions – guaranteed.

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7 thoughts on “Expectations for Next Season: ~70% Believe COVID-19 Will Negatively Impact Next Season

  1. Even though Epic and Ikon offer money-back guarantees for resort closures, that doesn’t cover being denied a ski day because of availability due to lottery systems. Also there are likely to be longer lift lines due to limiting the number of skiers on lifts for social distancing.

  2. Some people aren’t buying season passes because of a lack of money.

    Ikon Pass isn’t offering a refund as far as I understand it – only a rollover to the next year. Epic Pass does have a real money back policy.

    Some people think that skiing won’t be as much fun next year. No lodges (if they’re open, I’m not going into those Petri dishes), travel, especially flying, is likely to be difficult or even restricted, fear of going into restaurants, bars and hotels, etc.

    Lift lines could be long, and you don’t get to talk to the people on the lifts, because they may not let people outside of families ride on a lift – rules have yet to unfold. Part of the fun is meeting someone from Europe, or even a different state, for me.

    Retail sales will be down if people question whether they’ll ski. People are also afraid to go into stores for high touch sales like fitting boots. On top of that, I met some Burton employees at Stowe in early March, just before the world closed down and before I knew that Covid was going to be significant, and they told me that their supply lines had been cut off becasue China shipments had been delayed. They said it was already too late to get stuff in for the 20/21 season, and that would affect everyone in the ski industry, not just them.

  3. I’m guessing there will be 100% less skiing abroad. THANKS EVERYONE WHO WONT WEAR A MASK AND STAY AT HOME. You really ruined it for everyone

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