A ski resort is a resort area that has been developed specifically for skiing and other winter sports such as snowboarding. They are towns, villages, and other areas around the ski areas that provide services for skiing and other winter outdoor activities.
Ski markets have long since grown out of being a single-season market and have evolved to attract guests year-round. Just as these resorts offer more than just skiing during winter with activities ranging from snowboarding and sledding to snowmobiling, they now cater to warmer weather mountain/outdoor activities like mountain biking and hiking. The mountains themselves offer great views and an atmosphere of romance throughout the year, despite the distinct differences between summer and winter.
A high value sports tourism market that mainly markets to a richer customer, ski resorts are also characterized by offerings of amazing and localized cuisine, high-end shopping and spa and wellness treatments enhanced by fresh mountain air.
Despite the number of vacation rentals available in these markets likely to have increased following higher interest in purchasing ski properties during the pandemic marked by record purchase values, they remain hotel dominated, leaving space for vacation rental offerings to gain further traction. Stricter cancellation policies are also common, providing additional protection in case of disruptions due to weather and other unforeseeable circumstances.
The high mountain valley of Jackson Hole is the first ski area to have opened in Wyoming with the Snow King area in 1939. The town of Jackson is a gateway to both the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and the Bridger-Teton national forest and home to the National Elk Refuge. It is also home to three major ski areas: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain, and Corbet’s Couloir. Apart from skiing there is also snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snow tubing, dog sledding, sleigh rides, biking, shooting, and wildlife tours. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is known for its high-speed aerial tram known as ‘the box’.
Jackson Hole offers a variety of art and cultural events to keep visitors entertained all year round, such as the world’s longest running shootout. There are plenty of spa and wellness facilities and dining options on the mountain while Jackson Hole Airport makes traveling even more convenient. Teton Village, in the valley, is known for its great food, drinks, and live music and together with Jackson offers a variety of lodging options.
According to 2022 AirDNA data for Jackson:
ADR is $812 (July)
Average occupancy is 93% (September)
Average monthly revenue is $15,200 (July)
87% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 2.8 bedrooms and 6.9 guests
Cancellation policies more often are strict (65%) with 1 night stays the most popular (41%)
According to AirDNA data for Teton Village:
ADR is $1,300 (December 2021)
Average occupancy is 84% (August 2022)
Average monthly revenue is $15,400 (August 2022)
96% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 3.1 bedrooms and 8.1 guests
Cancellation policies are strict (93%)
One in every four stays is for 4-6 nights in length
Vail mountain in Colorado is huge, allowing for over 5,000 acres of varied skiing and snowboard terrain which is composed of three areas. The Front Side is heavily treed, has the most amount of groomed terrain and the greatest vertical. Most visitors end up exploring just the front side. The legendary seven Back Bowls are nearly treeless bowls that provide fabulous inbound bowl skiing. The over 3,000 acres offer 2,000 vertical feet of face shots skiing. Blue Sky Basin, mostly unmanicured terrain of 645 acres, is best suited for advanced skiers and snowboarders. Two gondolas, 17 express chair lifts and an array of other chair and surface lifts serve the massive terrain and are powered by clean and renewable sources. Ski season begins in November/December and ends in March.
Vail is also not too far from other ski resorts such as Beaver Creek, Ski Cooper, and Copper Mountain, all less than an hour away, making it a great base for skiing in Colorado. The village also hosts several events year round such as the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. Dining venues and bars can be found open across the mountain.
According to AirDNA data for Vail:
ADR is $763 (March 2021)
Average occupancy is 82% (February 2022)
Average monthly revenue is $11,800 (March 2022)
95% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 2.4 bedrooms and 6.7 guests
Cancellation policies more often are strict (68%) with 1-2 night stays the most popular (60%)
A 19th century Utah mountain mining town before it was transformed into a ski resort, Park City consists of 7,300 acres of skiable terrain and contains several training courses for the national ski team of the United States. It even hosted a number of events during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Just 40 minutes from the Salt Lake City airport, it is well-known for being a family-friendly destination and even makes a great base for visiting other ski resorts in Utah. Offering a wide choice of vacation rental properties, rates are generally more affordably priced than other towns like Aspen, Breckenridge of Jackson Hole.
A vibrant and cosmopolitan town that is home to the world-renowned Park City ski resort, the town also draws non-ski visitors even during winter. Host of the Sundance Festival, it offers plenty of fun and exciting events year-round. There is also great shopping, delightful restaurants, and a lively nightlife scene.
According to 2022 AirDNA data for Park City:
ADR is $628 (February)
Average occupancy is 83% (February)
Average monthly revenue is $10,000 (February)
96% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 2.4 bedrooms and 7.4 guests
Cancellation policies more often are strict (75%)
The ski resort and town of Whistler in Canada is catered to by two large mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb. It is the largest ski resort in North America with over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain. It also has a vertical drop about a mile long allowing for runs that last up to 30 minutes. Just a two-hour drive from Vancouver international airport, its year-round population of 14,000 can surge up to 55,000 at peak times.
At 2,200 ft above sea level, Whistler doesn’t require acclimatizing the way Breckenridge at 9.600ft does. Its highest runs start at 7,500 ft, still below 8,000 ft, which is considered to be the point at which many people start feeling uncomfortable. The year-round destination has grown from being a ski-only attraction in the 1960s and now offers mountain biking, golf, great dining, and nightlife. The town is also close to five lakes accessible by Highway 99 in the Whistler valley.
According to AirDNA data for Whistler:
ADR is $517 (December 2021)
Average occupancy is 86% (August 2022)
Average monthly revenue is $7,800 (December 2021)
98% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 1.9 bedrooms and 5.7 guests each
Cancellation policies tend to be strict (81%)
Stays of 2-3 nights (54%) are the most common
Located in New South Wales, the Snowy Mountains area is a popular skiing destination. It is home to the ski resorts of Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass and Mount Selwyn. Thredbo in particular is one of the highest rate ski resorts in Australia with over 50km of mapped runs and slopes. It also contains the Thredbo Supertrail, the longest ski run. Meanwhile Perisher hosts 65km of ski runs but has the highest ticket prices of all the resorts. Ski season begins in June and ends in September.
Other attractions to be found in Snowy Mountains are Kosciuszko National Park, Yarrangobilly Caves, Tuross Falls, Biosphere Reserve, and the platypus reserve Bombala.
According to 2022 AirDNA data for Snowy River:
ADR is $666 (July)
Average occupancy is 100% (August)
Average monthly revenue is $14,200 (August)
97% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 2.4 bedrooms and 6.2 guests
Cancellation policies more often are strict (66%) with 2 night stays the most common (61%)
The southern shore of Lake Tahoe in California, South Lake Tahoe is served by 3 ski resorts. Heavenly Mountain Resort has the biggest influence on the town and caters to skiers of all skill levels. It also provides one of the best views of Lake Tahoe all year round. Heavenly also caters to other winter sports, like tubing and terrain parks and in the Summer has rope courses, climbing walls, zip lines, biking, and hiking. The Sierra at Tahoe ski resort is popular among families and big groups and works for skiers of all abilities. It has the only superpipe in the south shore. Kirkwood Mountain Resort is located farthest from the town and is great for more advanced skiers looking to test their skills. It also has snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Other ski resorts nearby include Homewood, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Mt Rose, and Diamond Peak.
South Lake Tahoe receives approximately 300 days of sunshine each year and about 500 inches of snow. Together with a variety of accommodation and dining options and an enchanting lake with its many water-based activities, as well as its proximity to legal gambling, casinos, and fun nightlife on the Nevada side of the border.
According to AirDNA data for South Lake Tahoe:
ADR is $478 (December 2021)
Average occupancy is 83% (July 2022)
Average monthly revenue is $7,500 (July 2022)
91% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 2.7 bedrooms and 7.1 guests
Cancellation policies more often are strict (64%) with 1-2 night stays the most popular (63%)
Frequently recognized as the best ski destination in the world, Zermatt attracts enthusiasts from around the world who want to experience the miles of pistes and slopes on offer. With fantastic blue, red, black, and yellow runs it welcomes skiers of all levels. It’s also known for its gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping, and the largest flock of blacknose sheep. More recently, coworking spaces have opened up in the town, encouraging digital nomads.
Zermatt features Europe’s highest lift, longest piste, and highest outdoor rack railway the Gornergrat Bahn. It’s also considered the sunniest place in Switzerland, recording an average duration of sunshine of 62%. The Rotenboden toboggan run on the Gornergrat is not only the highest in Europe but also one of the most beautiful for sledging and takes about 10 minutes with a vertical drop of 233m. Locals believe March and April to be the best time for skiing in Zermatt.
According to AirDNA data for Zermatt:
ADR is Fr320 (December 2021)
Average occupancy is 87% (February 2022)
Average monthly revenue is Fr5,300 (March 2022)
94% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 2.1 bedrooms and 5 guests each
Cancellation policies more often are strict (65%)
Accounting for a ski area of 179km, the scenic ski resort of Kitzbuhel in Austria is not only one of the biggest in that nation but is also known for the infamous Hahnenkamm Downhill course that can challenge even the best. It however provides courses suitable for everyone, from beginners to experts. There is also over 200 sq.km of off-piste terrain for professionals to explore with the help of a guide.
A medieval town with charming old buildings and traditional Austrian restaurants that has been recognized as the most beautiful ski towns in Europe, Kitzbuhel is also known for modern investments like a high-speed lift system with 57 gondolas and lifts and designer boutiques. It also has two specially designated photo points to claim the best selfie in the region and 13 award winning restaurants. All practice lifts are free and ski buses are made available for all skiers.
According to AirDNA data for Kitzbuhel:
ADR is Є215 (December 2021)
Average occupancy is 84% (August 2022)
Average monthly revenue is Є3,100 (February2022)
95% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 2.2 bedrooms and 5.6 guests each
Cancellation policies tend to be strict (61%)
Longer stays of 3-6 nights (50%) are the most common. Meanwhile, 13% of stays were 7-29 days in length
Located in the Alta Valtellina mountains in the Lombardy region of Italy, Livigno offers 115km of optimally tended slopes situated between elevations of 1,816m and 2,798m above sea level. This includes 12 black, 37 red, and 29 blue slopes as well as 6 gondolas, 12 ski lifts, 14 chair lifts, and a free shuttle bus service to the other side of the ski area. Livigno also offers 30km of cross country ski trails, sled slopes, snow tubing, snow parks, modern facilities, and night skiing once a week from 8.30 to 10.30pm. The official season for skiing and snowboarding is between the end of November and beginning of May.
The resort village of Livigno was formed from the merging of three original hamlets: Santa Maria, San Antonio, and San Rocco. Known as ‘Little Tibet’, the remote ski resort is situated close to the Swiss border and high up in the Italian Alps. Shoppers can delight in the availability of duty-free pricing on everything from clothes to cameras and alcohol while wellness enthusiasts will be enthused by the choice of spas. It’s also got good pubs, bars, and clubs for those who like nightlife.
According to 2022 AirDNA data for Livigno:
ADR is Є185 (February)
Average occupancy is 88% (August)
Average monthly revenue is Є3,100 (August)
98% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 1.7 bedrooms and 4.9 guests each
Cancellation policies more often are strict (70%)
22% of all stays are between 7 and 29 nights long
The stunning valley of Chamonix-Mont Blanc, located in Upper Savoy in the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes region has been a tourism destination for nearly 300 years. The world-famous destination that epitomizes a ski holiday is also enhanced by railway links to French, Swiss, German and Italian markets, drawing about 2.5 million visitors each year.
Helmed by the iconic Mont Blanc and the Alps, Chamonix-Mont Blanc fulfills the full gamut of expectations of a classic ski destination, from 5 ski stations and gorgeous runs to fondue and cheese pots to hot tubs and saunas. There are also plenty of events emblematic of both ski and resort culture. Summer guests are not limited for options with everything from trail running and paragliding to golf and tennis on offer.
According to AirDNA data for Chamonix:
ADR is Є181 (December 2021)
Average occupancy is 90% (August 2022)
Average monthly revenue is Є2,900 (August 2022)
96% of all vacation rentals are entire homes, averaging 2 bedrooms and 5.4 guests each
Strict cancellation policies are the most common (61%)
Longer stays of 3-6 nights (50%)are the most common. Only 1 in 5 guest parties stayed 1 night