Thirty-one percent of skiers last season were are 45 and older compared with 21% during the 1997/98 ski season. All these Baby Boomers taking to the slopes are driving up demand for nearby vacation homes.
However, if you are willing to drive to the ski slopes each morning, you can save a bundle buying a small house in a small town within 20 or 30 miles of the gondola. Another alternative is to share the cost of your ski condo with someone you have chosen carefully and then rent the place (through an ethical rental agent) when neither of you is using it.
Although America's seniors are much fitter than their predecessors, they generally have slower reflexes, less strength and aching joints. Ski resorts are trying to respond by flattening and taming their ski runs to keep Baby Boomers coming back for more. Craig Tuber, 60, a Chicago resident who owns a second home near the Beaver Creek resort west of Vail, CO, says, "when the grooming is great you get drawn to it so you can make those nice turns and enjoy yourself in a different way. For people who are a little older it is easier on your body."
Opening up more of the mountain to less experienced and older skiers is wise when demographics suggest the bottom line is behind the grooming.
Source: Robert Weller, The Associated Press, November 9, 2005