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In March TechnoAlpin hosted its annual European Tour for US Resort Managers.
Of course, there is great food and fantastic scenery that is very different than we’d see here in North America, but everyone commented on how much they had learned. Europe has a deep culture and long history of skiing and enjoyment in the mountains. We have Lindsay Vonn, Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin. We have our Aspens and Vails but skiing and the mountain lifestyle is only a passion for a very small subset of Americans. It is not embedded in our national culture. It seems to be reflective of how we invest in and operate our resorts. European stuff is built to last. And because most European resorts don’t have real estate development to underwrite ski area capital and operations, European resorts have to run with low labor and high energy efficiency. Their tickets are cheaper and they still make money. There is something to be learned here.