The highly competitive and refined nature of the modern ski industry in the United States contrasts sharply with the rustic European origins of the sport. Resort operators are now sophisticated, automated, well-financed, high-tech businesses. The ski industry readily exercises the considerable power of capital in the political, transportation, labor, and insurance markets. Once the exclusive pastime of wealthy urban adults, skiing, snowboarding, and other snow-riding activities have evolved from sports into “recreational activities.” Many different groups of people, including the very young and a disproportionately large cohort of participants over age 60, enjoy these activities.

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