Starting a Cafe Near a Ski Resort? Here’s How to Capitalize on Skiers

Skiing is one of the most popular vacation activities in America. In 2023, more than 18.46 million Americans went skiing to enjoy the snowy slopes with family and friends. The skiing industry was worth over $4.6 billion last year, and it’s only going to keep getting bigger.

Thus, it wouldn’t be untrue to say that there’s a lot of potential for smart entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of the many business ideas around this sport. Starting a cafe or restaurant business near ski resorts is a particularly good idea. Here’s how you can capitalize on skiers to create a successful enterprise. 

1. Create a Warm and Inviting Ambiance 

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about skiing is snow, and snow goes hand in hand with cold weather. It’s almost guaranteed that skiers will be on the lookout for a place to order piping hot food and drinks.


The first place their feet are going to take them is one that appears warm and inviting. This means lovely earthy lights, a heated interior, of course, and a menu with delicious, hot options. 


You should also remember that a lot of skiers will be walking in with their equipment, so ensure you have a safe storage space ready. If you really want to stand out, you can invest in dryers that warm up gloves and boots. 


110V North American boot dryers are perfect for quickly drying all types of ski equipment. This includes boots, gloves, helmets, shoes, and basically any gear that can be hung. 


It might seem like a frivolous purchase, but remember, you are making a conscious choice by targeting skiers. Thus take every opportunity to ensure that your business gets the first choice instead of your competitors. 


If space is a concern, you don’t have to worry. According to ALPINE DRYERS, you can wall-mount many dryers or even create a free-standing dryer. It’s these investments that will end up pushing customers through your door.

2. Offer Pre-ordering and Takeout Services

People on vacation are often in a rush to move around and explore. It’s possible that you'll see a lot of skiers who are looking for takeout. That’s perfectly fine. Not everyone wants to sit down and eat outside on a cold day.


Ensure that you are catering to different needs like this and avoid staying rigid with your business strategy. You can even inform skiers that they can pre-order food from their phones while they are still out on the slopes. The idea of hot food waiting for them without wait times can be a great draw. 


If you can manage the logistics and if the ski resort is fine with it, you can also offer delivery services. The idea is to have all your bases covered so that you are targeting as many skiers as possible.


Remember, this is a business that is seasonal. Your skiing business window starts in November or December and lasts until about March. Some ski resorts may even go up to July, but the writing on the wall is clear. You want to ensure that in the months that you see customers, you draw in as many customers as possible.

3. Try to Partner With a Ski Resort

Partnerships are a great opportunity that can result in a drastic increase in customers and sales. Skiers are first going to be getting in contact with ski resorts, who often act as a sort of de facto guide. They inform skiers of the different attractions and restaurants nearby, and having your business mentioned among one of them is of huge help. 


Of course, the resort may also want to get something out of this partnership, so think of ways to make it attractive. This can include offering exclusive discounts or promotions to resort guests. You can offer to provide catering services within the ski resort during special functions and events. Recommending the ski resort to customers or featuring its branding within your business is also a good idea.

In this manner, both your establishments will benefit. Lastly, even if you agree to some sort of arrangement and trust the resort owners, it’s a good idea to have a simple agreement in place. This can avoid confusion or misunderstandings later on.


In conclusion, starting a cafe or restaurant business to take advantage of the ski season is a smart idea. Yes, there will be some kinks to iron out, and you obviously can’t rely on the income during the summer months, but that’s okay. 

Once you establish a foothold during ski season, you can also start to explore what opportunities you can take advantage of during the off-season

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