VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An economic observer with Simon Fraser University says this week’s sale of a major B.C. ski resort to an American company is a sign of the future of the resort industry.
A Utah-based firm confirmed the purchase this week of Silver Star, based in Vernon. And its not the first in the region to be bought up.
Professor Nicholas Schmitt says as the population gets older, resorts are working to adapt to the changes, and many, like Silver Star, are being consolidated.
“This is a particular one that is facing an aging population and therefore probably a smaller number of skiiers. And you need to make huge investments if you want to attract people during the summertime, not only in the wintertime,” he says. “The fundamental in that market is not growth in terms of possibilities for new resorts around the world in general, and in North America in particular.”
The sale comes just three years after a Colorado company acquired Whistler Blackcomb, and Schmitt says an aging demographic and a lack of other opportunities is to blame.
“You can see what happened in Whistler and other places. They have invested a lot to attract as many people during summer and all seasons. Everybody needs to do that if they want to survive in the longer term because there will be less, probably, people skiing in the wintertime,” he says.
In the announcement of the sale this week, Silver Star said its clients shouldn’t expect any immediate changes to their experience on the mountain this winter.