By Julie Brown, Powder
I don’t think twice about buying a season pass. It’s a line item in my budget and as important to my happiness as a roof over my head, and unless my friends decide to mass migrate to another mountain, I’m probably going to stick with the resort I’ve skied at my entire life. But lately, in a year as politically active as this one, I’ve been wondering whether, as skiers, we should be thinking more about where we spend our dollars, and how we can support the businesses that pay it forward to our communities and environment—and that includes where we buy our season passes and lift tickets.
This year has been a strong example of consumer activism, a textbook tool of social change that is as old as the American Revolution and the boycott on British goods. Last spring, Patagonia spearheaded a movement in the name of public lands to take the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow out of Utah, landing a $45 million hit on the state’s economy. When Uber continued to provide service to JFK airport last winter on the night President Trump’s travel ban was first announced, the #DeleteUber movement caused the business to lose 200,000 clients.
Skier dollars matter, too, especially right now when the ski industry is becoming more corporate (which means business decisions are more removed from local communities) and the stakes of climate change are becoming more critical. We don’t have to boycott ski resorts. But we should be more informed about the resorts where we ski, and whether their practices deserve our business.