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When should a ski resort make snow?

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Abstract:

Snow-making is an expensive operation for a ski resort. However, many resorts would be unable to operate without man-made snow. Deciding when to make snow involves several uncertain factors, as well as significant strategic issues. First, the author describes the framework for this decision. Next, he proposes analytical modelling. Finally, he compares the proposed models to actual practice at several resorts and proposes further research. The author finds that actual practice at most ski resorts does not involve formal analytical methods. While the resorts consider many of the factors included in the models, the decision is generally not modelled explicitly. The use of the proposed analytical models could lead to a better understanding of the factors involved in the snow-making decision, and thus to better service at a reduced cost.

Keywords: DECISION TREES; RESORT OPERATIONS; SKI RESORTS; SNOW-MAKING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/te.2011.0092

Publication date: December 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

    Fast Track. Tourism Economics Fast Track papers have been peer-reviewed, revised and fully accepted for publication. However, although these are the final versions from the authors, they are unedited manuscripts and will undergo a rigorous editing process before their appearance in an issue of the journal. This means that the Fast Track manuscripts may not conform to journal style in terms of presentation, spelling and other usages. They may also contain errors of typography, grammar, spelling, referencing, etc, all of which will be corrected in the processes of copy-editing and proofreading.
    Tourism Economics operates a Fast Track online publication system so that papers can be published and made available almost immediately on final acceptance by the journal. Each Fast Track article is given a DOI. When the paper is assigned to an issue, this DOI will automatically be transferred to the article in the journal issue.
    Fast Track articles may be cited using the DOI. Citations should include the author's or authors' name(s), the title of the article, the title of the journal followed by the words Fast Track, the year of Fast Track publication and the DOI. For example:

    Smith, J. (2013), Article title, Tourism Economics Fast Track, DOI xxxxxxxx.

    Once the paper has been published in an issue of the journal, the DOI will automatically resolve to that final version and the article can be cited in accordance with normal bibliographical conventions.

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