Just for the record, there's a general split of 60 males to 40 females on our nation's ski slopes just about everywhere. That's an interesting statistic for those who operate ski resorts because studies prove women generally control the family recreation budget.
The National Ski Areas Association Journal, an industry trade magazine, devoted a section of its fall issue to an extensive look at the situation and how the industry might try to close up the ratio.
"In general, our whole society is moving toward the idea that women can participate in more of these activities and I think the ski industry sees the potential in that," wrote Sally Helm, CEO, Dodge Ridge Resort, Calif.
Renee Mattison, executive director at Minnesota's Spirit Mountain, thinks the best way to reach the female market segment is through education about women-specific equipment. "Our Mountain Divas program blends lessons and camaraderie along with a weekly program," she says.
"Women go on vacation to get away from it all," says Kelly Pawlak, general manager at Mount Snow in Vermont. "The vacation cannot be more tiring than their job. A resort Web site is an example. When a woman books a vacation, she wants to get it done and cross it off her list. Lame Web sites are unacceptable," Pawlak adds.
Carolyn Stimpson, vice president for mountain services at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Massachusetts, doesn't like seeing women hanging out in the lodge while the family is skiing. "I always strive to lure them onto the slopes. I think it's about women giving themselves permission to go out there and enjoy themselves," she said.
Lisa Densmore, an author, journalist, and instructor, says her experience after teaching more than 5,000 women in her Head Women's Ski Clinics over the past dozen years has given her plenty of insight into what it takes to turn women into passionate skiers.
"I call it the Four C's: Comfort, Camaraderie, Convenience, and Confidence," she says.
It's not just skiing and snowboarding that is making a renewed effort to woo the ladies. The NSAA Journal reports the golf industry is in the same boat:
"The golf industry needs customers, and the obvious group to pursue is women," a recent study conducted for the National Golf Course Owners Association concluded. "There is a great economic opportunity for the golf industry to attract and keep a large, underrepresented and underserved portion of the golfing public."