The ski industry is getting bigger — or at least a few companies that own ski resorts are getting bigger.
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So the smaller guys are playing up their local personalities to stay competitive.
From baking fresh doughnuts for skiers to displaying local art to play up a sense of community, independent resorts need all the help they can get to compete with megaresorts.
One Colorado mountain offers the nation's most expensive lift ticket — $700. Only this lift ticket comes with a sweet bonus: A pair of handcrafted skis made from Colorado wood.
Other mountains brag about low visitation numbers or the fact that they don't use snow-making machines.
It's a way of turning their disadvantages into an advantage. Owners of smaller ski resorts say they need to play up their differences to hang on in a consolidating industry.