Let me tell you, we need more skiers and snowboarders on the mountain enjoying our sport—that is the most important piece. We need to band together as an industry—all brands, resorts, shops—to increase participation in winter sports. Then, in 25 years, we celebrate! Resorts will have dedicated more of their beginner-level terrain to be open free of charge, brands and shops will have partnered together on programs that encourage more people to get out and enjoy winter. People will be able to take their families skiing without spending their life savings.
My crystal ball tells me that skiing will expand, with many more participants then there are today. Skis will be even friendlier than they are now. Snowmaking ability will have improved to the point that, even if you live in Africa, someone will be making good snow.
Skiing will always depend on perceived snow conditions. If snow conditions are perceived as good, people will come out of the woodwork to ski. Snow is the most important thing. With no snow, trying to sell skiing is like trying to sell boats next to a lake with no water in it. I’ve tried that, and I know it doesn’t work. Now snowmaking is like life insurance. And it’s getting better and better.
Climate change is questionable. I would not worry too much about our snow sports in regard to the climate. There will be more skiing in Russia after the next winter Olympics. And more skiing in northern China. There will be snow somewhere.
Klaus Obermeyer is the founder of Sport Obermeyer.