The ski industry responds to ageing

Silver skiers are staying on the slopes far longer, and in greater numbers in the USA, than anyone imagined possible a decade ago according to an article in North Jersey.


According to an annual study conducted by the National Ski Areas Association, the percentage of people ages 55 to 64 on the slopes has more than doubled to 9.2 percent since the 1997–98 ski season. And the number of skiers 65 and older has been inching up every year as well.

Ironically, now there are so many 70-plus skiers that many ski resorts have stopped offering lift ticket discounts for that age group.

Advances in ski technology are allowing skiers to stay active well into their 70s. And the demands of older skiers are shaping the industry’s products and services.

Ski Barn, a four-store retail chain recently invested in a $3,000 boot press that allows it to custom-shape ski boots to create extra space for bunions or other ailments of aging feet. The stores also can outfit older skiers with remote-controlled boot heaters; custom insoles for fallen arches; and shorter, hourglass-shaped skis that can make a 50-something skier feel like he or she is 20-something again.