Time after time over the past 20 years, we have been told that snow is going to become a very scarce commodity. And we witnessed it several years ago in various parts of the world, when it failed to show up during part or most of the snow season.
Yet, during that very same period, we have been building large luxury resort properties in the Rockies, the Alps, Japan and many other places. Sticking to home, let’s just mention the St. Regis Deer Valley, the Montage Deer Valley, the Westin Vail Riverfront, the Viceroy Snowmass, the Waldorf-Astoria Park City, the Limelight Aspen, the Limelight Snowmass, the Four Seasons Vail, and many more.
France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland have done the same. The chic “stations” of Courchevel, Megève, Avoriaz, Chamonix, Les Arcs, Alpe d’Huez, Gstaad, Davos, Crans, Verbier, Kitzbuhel, St. Moritz, Courmayeur, Cortina d’Ampezzo and the Klosters have been adding Amanresorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the Oetker Collection, Cheval Blanc, and other prestige brands.
In my early teens such places as Les Deux Alpes, St. Gervais, and Cortina were DEAD in the summer, and their infrastructure would basically be mothballed seven+ months a year.
I also had the pleasure, in my thirties, to enjoy busy summers in those same places once hoteliers and developers had realized that mountain air is good for you, edelweiss and other flowers are wonderful and that the great food of the Alps (maybe that of the Rockies as well) is available the year round.
Today (providing there is snow for at least 3 months a year) a luxury resort can do well with two seasons, separated by two “mud” shoulders. Your capital works for you year round, and your cash flow does not have to hiccup anymore.
The last thing we want, however, is to eventually have only one very long summer season bordered by two “mud” shoulders and no snow in between.
Casino license, anyone?