Welcome to Issue of 63 Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club.
So it is the last week of the school holidays; no doubt many of you have had plenty of skiing in the north island. Ruapehu has had some great days and weather of late, and with the longer nights come all the +side of spring skiing, snow softening everywhere, plenty of sunlight after a day on the slopes...really is the best time to ski/board in the North Island. Makes you wonder why you brave weather and snow conditions mid winter! Although, it has been winter conditions on occasion there; with lots of precip and cloud and wind, to test your clothing out. Still plenty of snow, if you can pick a weather window then Ruapehu is the place; not looking too bad for Labour Weekend too.
Locally, we going going for a period of 3 days from Wednesday 12 September. The Wednesday was great powder snow, Thursday softened though the tbar skied great with nice skier packed snow that didn't get gloppy, and Friday the top tow softened more and was great skiing even on the ridges, and no-one was there! (apparently no-one was at Turoa either).
Thursday 13 September; lots of skiing over the whole field!
Then came the rain and the start of another 'snow recession' on your local, since then the Top Tow has operated on 2 occasions, both to a very small crowd...with low level snow not amounting to enough to get going...
4 Mustang Dve Bell Block New Plymouth phone and fax (06)755 0005
GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area
Keep up with what Finlay Neeson is up to, SMC and current NZ Ski Team member; click here for his blog.
SMC AGM date set for Wednesday 28 November
The SMC 2012 AGM
Wednesday 28th November at 7:30pm at the NP Boardriders Club, Fitzroy Beach Reserve, New Plymouth. The bar will be open for liquid refreshements.
AGENDA: -Welcome/Apologies -Confirmation of 2011 AGM Minutes -Presentation of the Annual Report -Financial Statement -Election of: Honorary Surgeons, Auditor, and Honorary Solicitor -Election of Officers: The following positions are up this year; nominations* are invited for:
1 Lodge Convenor 2 Lower Lifts 3 Machinery 4 Racing and Training 5 Social Convenor 6 Ticketing Convenor
*Nominations close 14 November but can be accepted on the night, if no written nominations for a position are received prior. Interested in running for a commitee position?
SMC COMMITTEE NOMINATION FORM
Nominations are required to be submitted in writing to SMC, by 14 November. Nominations can only be taken from the floor at the AGM if there are no written nominations received.
SMC Committee Nomination Form
I ……………………………………………being a current financial member of the
SMC wish to nominate ……………………………………………….
for the position open for nomination of …………………………………………..
on the SMC Committee.
Proposer …………………..…… Print Name …...……………….…. Signed .……………..… Date
Seconder ………………….…… Print Name …...………………..…. Signed .……………..… Date
Please print, fill out above, and post to SMC Committee Nominations, PO box 3271 New Plymouth, or alternatively scan and email to email@example.com
Video from Thursday September 13 Top Tow...
Local Jack Young had his contour HD strapped on, so we were able to commandeer his top tow footage...
JUNIOR SKI RACING AND TRAINING
So some SMC junior ski racers were in action at the NI Primary Schools Primary and Intermediate Ski/Board Champs, held at Whakapapa in late August. Junior SMC Members Keiran Cullen, Adam Johnston, Robbie and Lachie White, and Tessa Keenan were there and gave it all in their resective events. Results are below...
Interestingly at the NI Primary/Int Schools Champs, Oakura School was the only Taranaki Pri/Int school represented. Quite amazing when you consider that the primary and intermediate schools in Taranaki would have their fair share of young budding skiers and snowboarders.
The North Island Primary and Intermediate School Ski Championships are held annually at Whakapapa in the last week of August. Teams of 5 ski competitors or 4 snowboard competitors from schools all over the North Island gather at the end of Term Three for this event. They are now one of the largest single sport primary schools sporting events in New Zealand and the largest skiing event held on Mt Ruapehu with over 300 competitors.
The organisers stressed this event is all about participation! Of course their are the nationally ranked serious ski racers, some of whome spend term 3 of the year in Wanaka so they can train every day. So those schools are out to win. But for the rest the challenge of a GS, dual slalom, and skier cross, and for the Snowboarders the same format is more than enough! The variety of schools was great; from Plimmerton to Napier, Auckland to Wellington, the whole of the north island was well represented.
This year the dual slalom was held, and with a points system for placings, it meant the overall results were quite close. A skier/boarder cross course was set up; unfortunately it was deemed too dangerous to hold any cross events there. The snowboarders had a timed run down it as part of their events; and skiers and snowboarders got to run the course individually ahead of the event, which in the end was cancelled. It was a shame as registrationwas totally voluntary, yet over 2/3 of all competitors had registered to enter in the knock out competition! Maybe next year we will see it staged, if the course can be safer, and another X event to add to the attraction of this week.
below is a movie compiled by Tessa Keenan for her Oakura School...
So if you don't have season passes, this is a cheap way to ski! Course officials and Managers are charged $50 for the 5 days for lift tickets, Course officials get a free lunch each day of competition, as well as que priority to get up to the course in good time. The cost? accommodation, fuel etc, and early starts, and a bit of managing the team, but the kids love it, and each day once competition is over, they are free-skiing. If this has you interested, be sure to talk to your schools next year and get a team of like minded kids and parents across to Whakapapa, to represent your kids school and of course the Taranaki region. Of course the kids are out of school, but they don't mind that!
NI Primary/Intermediate Ski/Board Champs results
RESULTS FOR SENIOR TEAMS 2012
place Team School Points 1. SKS 1 St Kentigern School for boys 88 2. Kristin Team 1 Kristin 85 3. Kristin Team 2 Kristin 85 4. Parnell Dist - St Stephens 85 5. King's B Kings 84 6. OhakuneWarriors Ohakune 81 7. StCuthberts ONE St Cuthberts 78 8. OakuraSnowbirds Oakura School 76 (total teams = 33) Ben Willis Poppy Mitchell Sam Raumati Sophie Willis Tessa Keenan
RESULTS FOR JUNIOR TEAMS 2012
place Team School Points 1. Bayfield Ballistics Bayfield 91 2. Hilltop Rokino Rokino 86 3. Ponsonby Blue Ponsonby Blue 86 27. Oakura J.B's Oakura School 49 (total teams = 36) Kieran Cullen Jack Mitchell Lachie White Adam Johnston Robbie White
Best individual result for the week was Oakura's Ben Willis, who placed 5th in the Jnr Boys. He was only 0.5s off the top skiers time.
NI Primary & Int Snowboard Champs, Whakapapa (held in conjunction with the Ski Champs)
Some good results for Taranaki Snowboarders here. Felix Ferris of Oakura School was tied for 10th after day 1 (only 3 points off 1st place), but unfortunately had a fall on his 1st dual slalom heat, and finished 2nd on his 2nd heat, so slipped down the leaderboard slightly finish tied for 11th out of 43 competitors.... Again the border X was cancelled, so maybe next year.
THe K2 NI Secondary Snowboard Champs, Turoa
Not to be outdone by her younger sibling, Georgia Ferris finished an amazing 2nd! Timi Te Ua placed 11th overall, pretty good for a year 9! Although he did win the Intermediate Champs last year.
Taranaki Primary and Intermediate Schools, & Taranaki Sec Schools Snowboard and Ski Race Day
And these didn't happen unfortunately this year. Lets hope they can be staged again next year.
SMC acknowledges support given by NZ Community Trust, towards our Vegetation Report.
SMC PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Well the season is still trying to send cold fronts at us but most seem to miss us or not cover the T-bar. We had a few reasons to get up the hill, but we all probably felt it was not enough. Lets hope 2013 is a big season.
The committee is close to finding out if we are successful for funding the T-bar maintenance programme that is planned for this summer. We will keep you posted on this.
The SMC Club AGM is set for Wednesday 28th November at the Board Riders Club, Fitzroy Beach at 7:30. We welcome additional members to our committee and look forward to receiving nominations.
Thank you all for supporting our awesome asset - Taranaki's only skifield.
Cheers Rhys Williams
Madwax is stocked at Kiwi Outdoors Centre and at Vertigo SH45
WHAT THE SMC COMMITTEE IS UP TO
The SMC committee is working on:
Insurance acceptance of new policy, refund from previous
3-YEAR MAJOR FUNDING PROJECT - 2012 – T-BAR TOWERS REPLACEMENT - awaiting funding decision, due Mid-October
Lodge bookings - on line bookings/payment system investigation
AGM prep and accounts
SNIPPETS OF INTEREST/ADVERTORIALS
snowscoots, snowskates and snow scooters...
So SMC were contacted by this crowd in Australia, with a view to stocking some of this product. Thought I would share with you, the video is interesting! I have seen the snowskates at Manganui recently; and they look great fun...
2012 International report on mountain tourism Overview of the key industry figures for ski resorts
Laurent Vanat is an independent consultant. Holder of a master in commercial & industrial sciences of the University of Geneva, he has over 25 years of professional experience, as business consultant as well as senior executive involved in management positions. He has on the one hand experience of executive functions in the sales, financial andgeneral management. On the other hand, he advises companies and organizations of all horizons and is well acquainted with numerous industries. Involved in the field of tourism, hospitality & leisure, he has followed closely for several years the ski areas industry. He publishes every year an overview of the market. This report examines in a broadly approach the European and World markets, in the search of new information. It thus enables to follow its evolution and furthermore to provide ideas to the operators. One of its objectives is to feed the reflexion of the industry and to render the local actors sensitive to the evolutions and the new ideas.
Participating countries One considers that there are about 80 countries in the world where ski is practised. Among these, roughly 70 countries offer open air ski areas, the balance having only indoor facilities. Even if the snow fields may be much more numerous, about 2’000 ski resorts have been identified worldwide. Besides the big ski destinations in terms of attendance, shown in blue in the map hereunder, there is a number of others, smaller, where ski has already been an industry for long, together with new developing ones. Those coming out quite obviously are Eastern Europe and China, but there are a number of other small players, spread over the globe: Algeria, Cyprus, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Lesotho, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey and many more. The industry is offering about 6 million commercial beds in the mountains. These mostly concentrate in the industrialised ski markets, where high volumes of skier visits are achieved.
The major ski resorts worldwide have been ranked hereafter on the basis of their average attendance during the last winter seasons
Top world resorts in million skier visits
Market share in the worldwide skier visits The relative importance of the major destinations is showed in the pie chart below. Clearly, the Alps are the biggest ski destination in the world, capturing 45% of the skier visits. The second biggest destination is America (mostly North America), accounting for 23% of skier visits worldwide..
repartition of skier visits worldwide
General benchmarking United States, Japan and France have the most ski resorts, with more than 200 each. Only Austria and France account more than 10 resorts with an attendance over 1 million skier visits per season. France, Austria and United States top the list of the countries with the most lifts, with about 3’000 each. With more than 50 millions, they are also the countries showing the highest figures of total skier visits, United States ranking first on a 5 years average. However, France and Austria demonstrate a close competition and these 3 countries may soon be near to the same level. The introduction of the data of South Korea in the benchmarking table make appear a record breaking figure as far as skier visits produced per lifts is concerned, with 43’139 skier visits generated per lift in the season. The number of skier visits per lift is also higher in Canada than in the other countries, showing the difference in the business model from Europe, where a big emphasis is placed on the lift mechanics and sophisticated infrastructure. With more than 1’300 million inhabitants, the biggest national market of the sample is, far from any other, China.
However, at this stage, the size of the ski industry is not in proportion. India, which also reaches over the billion inhabitants figure, still has a very low account of skiers. United States is the biggest mature market, with a population over 300 million inhabitants. Austrian, Swiss and Norwegians are the populations with the highest rate of participants, reaching 25% of skiers and over. As they benefit from larger headcounts, United States, Germany and France account however the highest number of national skiers, with around 12 million each. France, United States and Spain are the most visited countries by foreign visitors, but it is only in France that they noticeably benefit to the ski resorts. Most of them however do not come for the purpose of skiing. For the 2 other countries, the foreign visitors only marginally contribute to the attendance at ski resorts. In nearly all countries, the main part of the attendance consists of national skiers. There are only 3 countries worldwide where attendance is mostly or evenly represented by the international customers. In Andorra, Austria and Switzerland, they represent between 95% and 50% of the skier visits.
Canada Ski is practiced in Canada in the Rocky Mountains on the West Coast and in the Provinces of Québec, Ontario and the Atlantic22 on the East Coast. When the Rockies feature ski resorts that can compete with the Alps in terms of vertical drop, ski is practiced in the East on lower altitudes mountains and hills. With a long ski history, Canada demonstrates the characteristics of a mature market and has to face serious concerns about ageing and renewal of the customer base, with interesting ethnic issues. The attendance has been quite flat for all the decade, mostly influenced by weather conditions. The last ski season in Canada totalled 19.2 million skier visits, showing an increase since former one. The raise is mostly due to good performance of the ski areas of Western Canada. Market studies show that the number of practitioners continues to decline. The behaviour of the majority of skiers has been influenced by the crisis. They have been more actively seeking promotions or nearby ski. But some said the weather and snow conditions are still prevailing. The Canadian ski resorts depend on domestic and U.S. customer base. It is interesting to stress that some of the well known resorts, such as Whistler Blackcomb, Banff and to a lesser extend Tremblant, also attract some overseas skiers, even if their proportion in the foreign visitors is low. Furthermore, some very small resorts also appear to attract British tourists’ charters. Intrawest is the only significant multi-resorts operator. Besides, the operators are mostly locals. In front of the weak growth experienced over the last years, the Canadian Industry has led close studies about the demographics, in the line of the U.S., implementing the Model for Growth. Several operators have also diversified their activities and some of the major resorts now offer numerous summer activities that enabled to balance the attendance of both seasons. The idea of 4 seasons resorts has been highly developed and promoted. Some resorts close to metropolitan areas have developed heavily water rides and such other summer activities, which even enable to use some of the lifts during summer time and sell year long passes
United States The United States are the biggest ski market, with a high number or resorts and the highest attendance figures. The industry is dominated by several big players, operating several mostly integrated resorts. Besides, it accounts numerous independent ski areas of various sizes. Nevertheless, further to closures and other misfortunes, their number has been decreasing over the years. Beginning of the 1980’s, there were over 700 ski resorts in operation, when there are only about 480 still operating nowadays. The United States ski industry is the one that has been the most closely analysed over the years. There is a substantial history of statistical data available. It was the first in the industry to raise issues of the discrepancies between population growth and attendance in the ski resorts, especially as it mainly depends on its domestic participants. Despite a huge population, the participation rate is estimated only to a 3 or 4%. Apart from the 2008 crisis, highs and downs of the weather conditions have been modelling the shape of the evolution over the years, more than anything else. The evolution of the skier visits up to the beginning of the decade was just continuing a tendency that is already showed in this mature market since the end of the 1970’s. However, things began to change over the last 5 years, where 3 seasons were very good, leading thus again to a growing tendency. The 5-years average attendance has been slightly rising, further to the acknowledgement of the demographic issue and the set up of the Model for Growth. It aims at addressing the aging of the population, the increasing proportion of ethnical minorities and the skier’s retention scheme (increasing the interest of beginners, converting them into regular skiers and preventing regular skiers from abandoning). For several years now, measures have been taken in order to implement this Model for Growth, even if some drawbacks appeared and the U.S. industry still continues to have difficulties in extending its customer base. The results show that continuous efforts are required and their benefits are limited, so they need to be multiplied. With a market as big as Europe but only one third of the number of skier visits, the U.S. industry still seems to have some potential. The good news for the U.S. ski industry is that the number of skiers is growing significantly, with an average increase of 1.2% over the last ten years. The 2008 crisis impacted the U.S. resorts more than the European ones. This is explained partly because of declining consumer confidence and rising unemployment. On the other hand, winter sports in the U.S. lead to greater mobility, the distances to the resorts being larger, also causing longer stays. They are thus more sensitive to budget cuts caused by the crisis. However, the U.S. ski industry experienced a quick recovery during 2009/10 season. With an attendance of 59.6 million skier visits, compared to 57.1 million skier visits recorded in 2008/09, it was considered as the second best ever season. This performance was highly remarkable in a still weak economic environment. Furthermore, snow and weather conditions were only average. For the 2010/11 season, with over average snowfall and many ski areas operating late into the spring, and even summer, the U.S. ski areas set a new all-time record of 60.5 million skier visits.
Australia Skiing has already a long history in Australia. Miners are said to have begun skiing already in the XIXth century. Records indicate that they founded the first ski club in 1861. The 1920’s have seen and explosion of the winter sports. The industry got organised and Australia’s first ski lift was opened in 1937. Lodging facilities next to the slopes however remained limited up the 1950’s. Then, skiing became more popular and the resorts developed, with strong influences from the United States, Canada and Europe. However, some ski areas are located in Natural Parks and their expansion has been closely controlled. The boom of the ski industry lasted up to the 1970’s and then entered into a consolidation phase, with a flattening trend in the skier visits figures, which have been stable for the past ten years at least, with occasional good years such as 2004, alternating with average and poor years, such as 2001 and 2006. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are practiced primarily in 8 resorts of the New South Whales and Victoria states, in the region called Australian Alps, situated between Melbourne and Canberra. There are also two small ski resorts in Tasmania Island, located in National Parks, where snowfalls are not necessarily sufficient to enable skiing every year. Apart from one big resort, most of the ski areas are rather small with limited vertical drops. Most of the slopes are mechanically snowed. Some resorts offer a good atmosphere at night, but they are perceived as quite expensive and rather smart. With less than 2% of foreign visitors, Australian resorts do not demonstrate very attractive in the international competition, as New Zealand offers a close alternative with higher vertical drops, less expensive prices and as much fun. It even competes for the nationals, who partly also prefer to go skiing in New Zealand. As an example of the kind of resorts offered in Australia, with 50 runs serviced by 14 lifts, Thredbo has been built on the model of a European ski resort with its shops, nightlife and accommodations. The resort offers also the longest track in Australia, 3.2 kilometres long with a vertical drop of 670 meters. Thredbo is situated on the slopes of the highest mountain in Australia, which culminates at an altitude of 2’228 meters in the southern Snowy Mountains. Another example is Perisher Blue, located in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. It is the largest ski resort in Australia, with four villages (Perisher, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega) and seven summits (including five of the highest in the country) served by 49 lifts. There are 99 kilometres of trails for all levels, but 60% are intermediate.
Japan Japan is one of the countries with the highest number of ski areas. Resorts are located all along the Japanese islands, from the northern island of Hokkaido to the main southern island of Kyushu. Almost all the population is therefore only a couple hours away from a ski area. With its high level of inhabitants, this represents therefore a huge potential. The Japanese ski industry experienced a tremendous boom in the years 1970 – 1990, when skier visits reached record figures. In the eighties, the resorts development was dramatic, with several new, extended or fully rebuilt ones. The country offered the finest and most modern facilities in the world. Skiing became very fashionable and the most popular sport among young people. The resorts were busy and crowded to that extend that it was difficult to really ski! There were long lift queues and bottlenecks on the slopes. This surely contributed to render ski less attractive. Furthermore, Japan lived a strong economic downturn in the beginning of the 1990's and Real Estate was very much affected. Many resorts then experienced difficulties with the financing of their huge investments. Attendance began to decrease very severely. Today, the skier visits are under a yearly 40 million, about half of what they were in the 1980's. The slopes are no longer overcrowded.However, the industry is trying to recover and reconquest new clients. Some ski areas are turned into big resorts where skiing is only one of many options. Investments are directed to make these places attractive to both skiers and non skiers. True mountain base villages are developed, offering housing and multiple facilities. Some are even afraid of a certain Disneylandisation of the mountain. With these changes, the Japanese ski areas also attract more and more foreign visitors. 10 years ago, there was nearly no foreign visitor practicing ski. Nowadays, the country attracts skiers from abroad. It is now common to see skiers coming from Australia and East Asia, but the focus is now on attracting Europeans and Americans. Efforts are made to produce trail maps, sign and menus in English, Korean and Chinese.
New Zeakand New Zealand is a major southern destination for skiing and snowboarding. The resorts are well equipped and fairly evenly spread over the two main islands that make up the archipelago. The snow conditions are good, even if the powder is not as light as in the Alps or the Andes, due to a fairly marked oceanic climate. Only a few resorts are offering more than 500 meters vertical drop. The other ones present rather shorter slopes. The season starts late May and ends early November. Besides 14 commercial ski areas, New Zealand has a dozen private ski clubs and heli-skiing is also highly developed, with numerous possibilities, departing from 10 different bases. During last decade, ski was on the growing trend. Before the 2000’s, only exceptional season saw over one million skier visits in the country. Since, it has been the rule. The South of the country offers the best ski resorts of New Zealand. Indeed, near Queenstown, the mountains chain called the Remarkables boasts a vast ski area of about 220 hectares, reaching 1’935 meters above sea level. There are 4 ski resorts in the northern Island. Culminating at 2’300 meters above sea level on the North-East of Mount Ruapehu, a volcano still active, Whakapapa and Turoa are the most popular places. They merged recently and attract every year many skiers and snowboarders. Despite it is now the largest resort in the country, its size is quite limited compared with international benchmarks. It accounts only 43 trails and 16 lifts spread over 400 hectares...only?
Conclusion Nearly everywhere, the industry is facing the challenge of growth. In many places, the market is more than mature. The baby-boomers have been important participants. The older part of this generation will however progressively come out of some of the mature markets, without being properly replaced by further generations with a same enthusiasm for ski. The need to stimulate the market is thus very important and not always sufficiently addressed. As already experienced by the ski areas that have been looking for solutions, winning new customers in attracting non skiers and converting them into loyal participants is not a done deal. It requires many efforts and the rewards are only coming little by little. Innovation and customer relation management are keys. The first not only concern the lifts (much has already been done in this area), but all what is related to the mountain experience, and starting in some countries with the housing. It is in fact difficult to attract clients for one week of wonderful ski, with state of the art lifts, grooming and snowmaking, if guests have to spend the time they are not skiing in insane hotel rooms and restaurants. The newcomers in the industry are often well integrated and can offer modern facilities in all regards, with a lot of fun. Thus, if some traditional destinations still want to compete, they need to care for the quality of the whole resort infrastructure. In the global world, each individual appreciates to be taken care of personally. Technology, and especially the Internet, now makes it possible to offer one stop shopping where clients will be able to fulfil all their desires. However, despite, the Internet is a powerful sale and promotion tool towards existing customers and the ski areas can no longer escape the social networks. There has been a swap in the promotions channels. The Internet brings positive aspects but they are limited and mitigated by negative ones. The web enhances communication, facilitates bookings and travel arrangements, facilitates daily packages sales and makes snow conditions more transparent for skiers. The latter already presents some drawbacks. The competition is increased, directly and indirectly, and has been enhanced by Internet, as the communication. The web is by itself competing, when young people stay behind their screen in stead of being on the slopes! The benefits of Internet are also available to all competing industries. Finally, the web did not up to now enable to reach massively the non skiers and turn them into participants, neither does it help to learn skiing or facilitate the praxis! Independent from the potential benefits that the industry can get out of the web, the experience of the client will only be complete when his virtual purchases will turn into reality. At this stage also, the most careful attention is to be paid in order to maximise guest satisfaction. Quality and human touch are not options in order to really produce a distinctive client experience. This has become a strong reality in tourism, and alpine resorts will not escape. The potential for improvements still leaves wide perspectives open for the players of the industry that will understand these issues.
Glossary: FIS: International Ski Federation, based in Switzerland. It was founded in 1924and now comprises 107 national ski associations. Its mission is to promote and direct the development of ski and snowboarding activities worldwide, and monitor the competitions. Hourly output of the lifts (skiers/hour): The manufacturer’s rated number of skiers per hour a lift can transport to the top of the lift. Total country capacity is the sum of all the individual lifts capacity. Number of skiers transported yearly: Meant by number of passengers transported per leg; one skier taking 5 times the same lift accounts for 5 skiers transported, also called Frequencies. Participation rate nationals: Rate of skiers in total country population. Ski area: Notorious place of ski practice (in some countries, they may even account no lifts) Ski resort: A ski resort is considered as an organised ski area with more than four lifts. - this means Manganui is not a resort!! Surprise! (The goods lift does not really count!) Skier visits (or skier-days): One person (snowboard or skier!) visiting a ski area for all or any part of a day or night for the purpose of skiing, snowboarding, or other downhill sliding. Skier visits include full-day, half-day, night, complimentary, adult, child, season pass and any other type of ticket that gives a skier/snowboarder the use of an area's facilities. A skier skiing for a whole week in a resort accounts for 7 skier visits for instance. Skiers: One person practising ski, snowboard or other downhill slide, independent of the rate of practice.