A Mountain Vacation HomeWith on-going chatter about the possibility of a double-dip recession it was interesting to read an article in USA Today about the growth of the second home market in family-friendly resorts. The article puts ski resorts together with golf and private-club communities, but here’s what it notes about ski resorts:

Ski resorts. Some resorts focus more on family activities than others. Among the most popular amenities is a slope-side “village center” that offers skating, dining, rentals, ski school and kids’ club in one convenient location. Beaver Creek, Colo.; Whistler, British Columbia, Canada; Northstar, Calif.; Stowe, Vt.; and several other resorts have them. Beaver Creek’s elaborate system of escalators in its village is frequently cited by parents of ski-boot-wearing children as their favorite feature. Beaver Creek and Colorado’s Snowmass, with its huge “Kids’ Treehouse,” were ranked in the top five family-friendly resorts by Ski Magazine. Beaver Creek is one of the priciest areas. Snowmass offerings start at $500,000-plus and run into seven figures. More-affordable options: California’s Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort has a new village center with ice rink and “Mommy, Daddy and Me” ski school packages. Condos in the Village at Northstar start just under $300,000.

Are family-centric offerings key to a successful ski resort, or are they just one more pricey gimmick that may lure in a few people but isn’t truly a way to build a long term and sustainable business?

Photo credit: Flickr user dhgoodman