STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Deep in the heat of summer,
the marketing team for the Intrawest ski resorts is at work in Steamboat
Springs, plotting out how to confront a weak economy and rising oil prices that
have made flying more expensive.
One plan being rolled out to flights to and from Steamboat is a
promotion in which kids fly free, and so do bags.
“Our mechanism is basically to be giving people a card
pre-charged with that amount of money to take care of their bags at check-in,”
Andy Wirth, Intrawest’s vice president for marketing, told The Steamboat Pilot
& Today. “American Express has given us a very smooth mechanism for this.”
If the deal works well during the first 45 to 60 days of
operation, the baggage promotion could expand to other Intrawest resorts, Wirth
“The game’s won or lost in spring or summer,” Wirth told the
newspaper. “Even though it’s 85 degrees outside, we’ve very much in the heat of
battle for the dead of winter.”
Ski areas decry visa cap
LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Ski area operators are describing
labor issues with the sort of language usually described for drought.
The specific source of anxiety, reports the
, is the cap on H-2B visas,
which was reached last October. Ski resorts recently learned that the U.S.
government will reject all additional applications unless Congress removes the
“It’s kind of a nightmare for us,” Ed Youmans, general manager
of Diamond Peak, a ski resort at Incline Village.
Bob Roberts, executive director of the California Ski Industry
Association, said the cap could bar 200 of the 1,500 to 2,000 foreign workers
at California resorts. As well, the cap affects snowmaking experts, ski
patrollers, and food-and- beverage workers.
A reason for surge in tourism
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – Gas prices reached record highs in
June. Yet at Yellowstone, the quintessential drive-by national park, visitation
also reached a record high. What’s going on?
Jonathan Schechter, an economics columnist in the
Hole News & Guide
, said there may be an
easy explanation for this seeming anomaly: international visitors. Because park
officials don’t track the nationalities of visitors, there’s no way to know for
sure, he says, but anecdotal evidence points firmly toward that as an