Child’s Play: Reviving the Snowboarding Industry
What to do when a profit-driving trend might be on its way out? The snowboarding industry isn’t quite giving up yet on the sport.
The warmer-than-usual January weather might not make for wintry wonderlands this year, but those involved with snowboarding are hoping for more than just a good snowfall: They want their industry to stay on top.
According to a new report by The New York Times, it seems that snowboarding is on the decline. The study by RRC Associates, which tracks trends affecting the winter-resort industry, points to snowboarding as a thing of the past.
“Today, there is every indication that the growth in snowboarding we took for granted has stalled, and visitation from snowboarding is headed toward a path of substantial decline,” Nate Fristoe, the RRC’s director of operations, wrote in the National Ski Areas Association Journal.
According to MSN.com’s report on the study, the number of snowboarders visiting U.S. ski areas has dropped for two years in a row, which means a decline for ski resorts as a whole. Some reasons for the decline: Snowboarding is seen as a “male” sport, and young adopters are now, well, not so young.
To combat the drop, Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association, is suggesting the trend du jour: Collaboration.
“We need skiing and snowboarding to grow in lock step,” Berry said to the Times. To further this, many ski resorts have upped the ante to attract snowboarders, such as offering lessons for those as young as 3 years old to start snowboarding. The obvious hope here is to instill a sense of loyalty to the sport from a young age.
It seems the United States of America Snowboard Association agrees: Its newest executive director, Peter Millis Davis, has experience with getting children to love snowboarding as a coach, teacher, and director of special events for a local school.
What advice would you give the ski resort industry to revive their stake? Has your association ever been faced with a downturn?