The consolidation of the ski industry has significantly impacted small ski towns, as ski resort companies have squeezed them to increase profits.
Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass is an example, enabling the company to acquire smaller resorts, making them available on a single pass. By owning and operating everything from hotels and restaurants to rental shops and real estate brokerages, Vail and Alterra are competing against local businesses and eliminating opportunities for local success. The situation has resulted in the financial impossibility of minimum-wage work, with housing costs too high for employees to find affordable accommodation.
While the industry has created jobs, nature, and income in small ski towns, consolidation has not made them affordable for the locals.