Plattekill Mountain Announces“Return To The Snow” Initiative
Family-owned mountain establishes new model to address industry-wide skier lapse trend
Roxbury, N.Y. Plattekill Mountain is launching its new trademark Return To The SnowTM initiative, addressing a growing trend of skier lapse occurring at mountains throughout North America.
The Return To The SnowTM initiative offers discounts on packages, and a unique offer of private family lessons to reengage lapsed skiers, and welcome younger generations to the sport at a realistic price point. Their Return To The SnowPackageTM includes lift tickets, rentals and a one- or two-hour private lesson for returning skiers/riders to bring back their skills starting at $165. In addition, Plattekill is introducing a family private lesson with exclusive, private instruction for families for two hours starting at $325. The mountain also offers a Value Club Card at $79 that includes one free anytime adult lift ticket and saves skiers any day they visit the mountain ¾ a great option for those time-starved with flex schedules to choose their day on the slopes.
“The ski industry has changed these past years, I hear it all the time,” said Laszlo Vajtay, owner of Plattekill Mountain. “Back in the hay day of the 70’s through the 90’s, skiing was humbler. Families piled out of the family wagon in droves to meet up with friends, monkey around and make memories together out on the slopes (or drop the kids off at ski school), and get in some adult time at après. It was a fun, unpretentious, nostalgic time for the sport… a lot different from the resort megalopolises, $16 cafeteria cheeseburgers, and triple digit lift ticket prices skiers experience today. In addition, there were far fewer distractions than today’s youth faces. We want to bring back that old clean fun spirit of the sport, remind people why they should return to the snow, and give them affordable options to do just that.”
The National Ski Area Association (NSAA) reports that since the 2000/01 ski season, the number of active skiers and snowboarders in the United States has fallen from approximately 10.5 million to 9.2 million in 2017/18, with a consistent dip dating back to the 2008 recession. The millennial generation averages the lowest number of annual ski visits per active skier at 4.8 days annually, compared to Baby Boomers who visit the mountain 7.6 days annually, and pre-Boomers who average 8.9 days on the snow, despite shrinking volumes of skiers in older generations.
As Boomer skiers age and leave the slopes, younger skiers are not keeping pace to replace them, signaling trouble for the sustainability of the ski industry. Further, as ski resort chains continue to consolidate and competition decreases, ticket prices continue to increase – raising the bar to acquire new participants for the sport.
Plattekill Mountain defines itself as a fiercely independent family-owned mountain and is committed to giving lapsed skiers and their growing families an affordable destination to enjoy winter and ski culture without the corporate markup and atmosphere.
Millennial and Plattekill skier, Sarah Gordon, 35, said “I had a hard time getting on the mountain in the last 10 years because of student loans and other financial factors. I went from skiing more than 30 days a season in my early 20’s to less than 5 days per year over the last decade. But, lately I’ve been b-lining for Plattekill – which I wish I had known about earlier. It’s by far my favorite skiing in the Catskills – affordable, rustic, challenging for an experienced skier, and feels like stepping back in time to the mountains I loved skiing while I was growing up around here. I’m even more excited to have my 4-year old daughter skiing at Plattekill now, and she’ll ski free until she’s 7 there!”
Breaking the mold isn’t new for Plattekill. A few years ago, the Vajtay family debuted its private mountain rental program, enabling companies and groups to rent the entire mountain – trails, lodge, lifts and all – for a per diem rate on Mondays through Thursdays when the mountain was otherwise closed. This model has proven to be a tremendous success for the Vajtay family – not only because the mountain has just about sold out of private daily rentals in the 2019/20 season, but because this concept has brought back many lapsed skiers who took advantage of the opportunity when their affiliated corporation or organization rented a ski mountain for a day. Plattekill’s hope is that these skiers return to the snow on the regular.
Plattekill is finding new ways to think outside the box, maintain its footing and grow an engaged following focused on a unique and authentic experience in an industry that has conglomerated and significantly transformed over the past two decades, being creative about its approach so it can stay true to its mission, independent spirit, and clientele.