chapter 2 mountain based resorts the impact of development on operations l.
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Chapter 2 Mountain Based Resorts: The Impact of Development on Operations Identify key elements in the development process that maintain a balance between the physical capacity of a site and the economic needs of the developer.

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Identify key elements in the developmentprocess that maintain a balance between the physical capacity of a site and theeconomic needs of the developer.

  • The conceptual design philosophy involves a balance—a physical balance must exist between the ski area and the market and an economic balance must exist between investment and earning power.
    • Physical Balance
    • Economic Balance
physical balance
Physical Balance
  • Size of ski area must meet the needs of the market without being so large that the area is underutilized
  • Size of mountain dictates number of skiers that can be accommodated
  • Capacity of lifts bringing people up the mountain must balance with trail capacity to bring them down the mountain
  • Capacity indicates the support facilities needed at base and surrounding areas
economic balance
Economic Balance
  • Economic balance brings together the amount of money invested and the earning capacity of a project
  • The quality and quantity of the physical plant must be sufficient enough to generate revenue and give investors a return on their money
  • Revenue comes from number of skiers, revenue per skier visit, and the length of the season
main factors affecting the attractiveness of a site
Main factors affecting the attractiveness of a site:
  • People look for a desirable mix of climate, snow conditions, exposure, snow retention, and forest cover
  • No extreme temperatures
  • Infrequent wind problems
  • Dry snow with a minimum of 250 inches
attractiveness factors cont
Attractiveness Factors (cont.)
  • Forest cover adds to the aesthetics and provides protection from the wind
  • Terrain should provide a variety of grades and views
  • Space at the base is necessary for aesthetics, especially regarding parking facilities
    • Lift systems are most effective in dispersing skiers across the resort
  • Potential length of the season
the role of general design principles in site planning and maintaining community identity
The role of general design principles in site planning and maintaining community identity.

Physical, aesthetic, and social forces help determine the design of a community. Certain design principles provide an umbrella for the specifics of site planning:

  • Design of ski area must conform to existing physical site
  • Difficulty of slopes should be matched with the ability of skiers
  • Newly groomed slopes attract less advanced skiers while slopes with icy conditions increase difficulty
general design principles cont
General Design Principles (cont.)
  • A given ski area supports fewer and fewer skiers as their ability level increases
  • Novices and intermediate skiers bring in more money than do advanced skiers.
  • Access road design should be based on expected peak traffic where weather is not a factor
the process used to design the capacity of a ski area
The process used to design the capacity of a ski area:

The general process of identifying capacity is to use the amount of skiable area for each skier classification to determine ski area capacity, which is used, in turn, to determine the ski lift and base area facilities necessary. Identify legal boundaries

  • Determine total skiable acreage available
  • Break down total skiable acreage by type of skier
  • Compare actual number of acres in each gradient category to ideal ratios
  • Determine the number of acres to be developed in each category
designing the capacity of a ski area cont
Designing the capacity of a ski area (cont.)
  • Determine total number of acres to be cleared
  • Calculate the total number of skiers, which is equal to the number of net skiable acres times the appropriate skier density factor
  • Skiers at One Time (SAOT)
    • Approximately 50% of skiers are on the slopes at one time
  • Persons At One Time (PAOT)
    • Takes into account that non-skiers also visit the resort
  • Night Skiing
    • Adding illumination can increase capacity by as much as 60%.
the impact of capacity on site design ski lift network and the types of base area facilities
The impact of capacity on site design, ski lift network and the types of base area facilities.

Site Design:

  • Follow the runs parallel to the fall line to produce efficient, high-quality trails
  • Variations of gradients should be offered for a more interesting experience
  • Runs should be wider at the top and bottom to avoid congestion
  • Separate runs and lifts for purposes of safety.
site design cont
Site Design (cont.)
  • Increase shade and wind control to help keep snow on the slopes
  • Keep the cutting boundary feathered and uneven and retain trees at varying heights and at varying distances from the trail’s center line to help control wind while maintaining a pleasing aesthetic
  • Groom all ski runs
  • Add moguls to make the slopes more interesting for the more advanced skier
ski lift network
Ski Lift Network
  • The capacity of the lifts to bring skiers up the mountain must be balanced against the capacity of the trails to take them down
  • Longer lifts increase potential capacity
  • By comparing the hourly capacity required to service the mountain by the hourly capacity of various lifts, the number of lifts required can be determined
types of lifts
Types of Lifts
  • Tows
  • Cable lifts
  • Chairlifts
  • Gondolas or Tramways
base area
Base Area
  • Parking
    • Underground parking reduces risk of congestion between pedestrians, skiers and cars
    • Skiers arrive either by private transportation, public transportation or on foot
  • Access Roads
    • Must consider patterns of arrival and departure
base area cont
Base Area (cont.)
  • Food Service
    • Balance of restaurants and snack bars
    • Seating capacity is a matter of customer turnover
  • Accommodations
    • Range from resort hotels and second homes to condominiums and timeshares
    • The closer to the slope, the higher the density of accommodation
base area cont17
Base Area (cont.)
  • Maintenance
    • Grooming vehicles are the most useful and expensive tools a ski area possesses
  • Emergency Care
    • Ski patrol and emergency care facilities must be provided at all ski areas