Every now and then, we give readers a status report on the state of the older skier and the status of SeniorsSkiing.com.

It’s fair to say that we’re all doing well. The magazine started in the Fall of 2013 with exactly “0” subscribers. Today there are 17,000 of you, and the number is growing.

We know from industry trade association statistics that in the US, 20% of all skiers and boarders are 52 and older. We also know that the number of skiers/boarders in this country has fluctuated between 8.3 million and 10.2 million for 25 years. The market is not expanding.

Our annual reader surveys tell us a lot about the older segment of that market. Almost 3500 readers – more than 21% of the subscriber base — responded to our last survey. 

Your average age is just shy of 70. When we started, it was closer to 67. Two-thirds of you are male. When we started, the split was 60/40 (m/f).

A few seasons back, you skied about 15.5 days per season, compared to the national average of 6 days per season. Last season, short as it was, you skied, on average, almost 33 days!

Contrary to the perceptions of some in the industry, you are a significant economic force. When asked how much you spent on all aspects of skiing during the past season for yourselves and others, 51% reported up to $2500; 29% spent between $2500 and $5000, and 20% spent more than $5000. We expect that while there are larger numbers of younger skiers, the amount they spend in a season as individuals is considerably less. Two-thirds of you have told us that you’re financially independent.

Publishing SeniorsSkiing.com every week takes a lot of effort. No one – writers or publishers – gets paid. Ad sales and reader contributions cover costs, and the more we grow, the higher those costs. Our annual fund-raiser is conducted in February.

Sometimes we slip behind. Last season’s Trail Masters list is overdue, as is the annual report of North American ski areas where seniors ski free or at deep discount. It’s a lot for two older guys working with some younger people for technology, graphics and other specialized needs.

It would be nice to wave a wand and attract ads from companies selling pain relievers, financial services, and health plans. We’ve tried, but our audience isn’t big enough for their needs. It also would be great if ski makers and/or ski pass companies chose to advertise. When approached, they show minimal interest.

Is it because we’re focused on the older end of the market? Do they figure that SeniorsSkiing.com readers will buy skis and passes regardless of whether or not they advertise? Perhaps.

Skiing is a youth-oriented sport in a youth-oriented culture. When is the last time you saw an age-contemporary featured in an advertisement for skis or a ski destination? In an editorial feature in one of the few remaining ski magazines? In a recently released ski video?

SeniorsSkiing.com exists to show the world of non-mechanized snowsports through the eyes of the older skier.  If you like what we’re doing, forward an issue to other older skiing friends. 

Snow in the West

Source: Alta

Winter arrived at the Western ski resorts this week. Snowbird, in Utah‘s Little Cottonwood Canyon, got 29″. Alta, next-door, reported 30″. Wolf Creek in the Southwest corner of Colorado reports a 50’base, 7 out of 10 lifts open and 127 out of 133 open rails. Another pulse is expected over the coming weeks.

Vermont Covid Policy Places Season in Jeopardy

This week, the State of Vermont, suspended its policy allowing travelers from the Northeast to visit the Green Mountain State without quarantining. If Covid rates drop, the policy will probably allow more visitors in the state without requiring quarantine.

Utah: Too Little, Too Late

The Governor of Utah finally issued a statewide mask mandate. Cases there have been skyrocketing and wide portions of the population are defying suggested precautions. Among other reports from The Salt Lake Tribune, people in Utah County (south of Salt Lake County) have hosted large-scale, maskless dance parties. Mothers in the county are reported to be applying icepacks to children’s foreheads to help them pass school temperature checks, and coaches have been encouraging team members to conceal if they’re feeling flu symptoms. Prior to the new mandate, the governor’s mantra was that citizens of Utah “will do the right thing.

Mask = Specs = Foggy Lenses

Using 3M Nexcare paper tape (available in most drugstores), tape the gap between top of mask and your face. It should eliminate fogging by preventing warm breath from reaching the glasses.

Joe Biden Skis

There are numerous Internet references to sightings of Joe on the hills of Aspen and Vail but no pictures of the President-elect on boards. If anyone has one, please email to [email protected], and we’ll publish with credit.

Tricks on Skis: 1937 Newsreel

This 1937 Pathe newsreel isn’t graceful but it’s worth watching.

Snowball Fight 1896


This early film of a snowball fight was shot in 1897 in Lyons, France. Less than a minute long. Keep watching to see the modern, colorized version. It’s pure joy!

$1 Buys 1 Month of Classified Advertising

We’ve extended the offer to December 4. Purchase one month of classified ads for $1. Click on Classifieds on the dark blue bar at the top of the Home Page to place ad or see what’s being offered.

Nordic to be Featured in Next Week’s Edition

As part of our commitment to Nordic activities, next week’s edition will be dedicated to all things Nordic. Numerous Covid-related obstacles are interfering with the coming Alpine season. We expect many of you to shift at least part of your skiing attention to cross-country, skate-skiing, snowshoeing, etc. If you have not already done so, please visit our new Make More Tracks Nordic Resource Guide. And enjoy our weekly Nordic features.



One Comment

  1. I’ve said for years, Support Your Local Area! Now with Covid-19 this may be even more important since travel & resort reservations may be harder this season. Plus in many cases you don’t have to purchase an Epic or Icon pass. The local may not be as big but you still get to go up and DOWN.

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