Entries by jeff

News from the North; Lessons for the Snowboard Industry from Canadian Resorts

Last April, I headed to Tremblant for the Canadian Ski Council’s annual symposium on the state of the Canadian resort industry. Naturally, my naïve anticipation of great snowboarding had nothing to do with my decision to go. Groomed hardpack with mud and rocks sticking through on narrow runs wasn’t what I’d expected. Thanks El Nino. At least it […]

Just Who Are We Anyway? Perceptions of Market and Industry Evolution

One day, a few years ago, we looked up and had become “the snowboard industry.” Growth, friends, good margins, optimism, an endearing naivete about the future and a quotient of bullshit was all part of what made it fun. The boundaries were clear. We were on the right side of that boundary and knew what was up. If you […]

Specialty Snowboard Shops and the Industry Consolidation; Who Are They and What’s Happening to Them?

Over the last month, I’ve stopped by eight or ten snowboard retailers in the Northwest. I talked to the owner, manager, or whoever was around and not too busy to talk with me. The number of stores I went in probably isn’t large enough to be statistically significant, the stores were picked based on my personal biases, […]

The Financial Impact of Consolidation; Why Is It So Hard on Smaller Companies?

It’s conventional wisdom that smaller companies are having an especially tough time meeting their financial needs, or even surviving, in the snowboard industry shakeout. It’s so conventional it’s taken for granted; even chanted like a mantra at times. And it’s true. But why exactly? What are the specific changes in the financial operating environment of smaller companies that’s […]

Market Niches; Gimme One! Now! But How?

Last issue I took most of this space to discuss some tactical measures businesses could take to respond to the extremely difficult competitive conditions in the snowboard industry. I went on to say in what may have seemed like an after thought that none of those measures mattered if you didn’t have a way to compete. That […]

Winter Resorts and Snowboarding; Why Does It Seem Like an Arranged Marriage?

The Medici family of Italy rose to commercial prominence during the renaissance at least partly because of their ability to make or receive payments in widely dispersed geographic locations. Lacking a wire transfer system, they arranged marriages between family members and other prominent merchants in commercial centers that gave them the ability to move money or […]