Recreation Conflict and Tolerance Among Skiers and Snowboarders


  • Brijesh Thapa
  • Alan R. Graefe


recreation conflict, tolerance, skiers and snowboarders


Recreation conflict and tolerance between skiers and snowboarders has been an issue at winter resorts. With the number of snowboarding participants doubling in the last ten years and still growing, conflict situations with skiers seem likely to increase. The purpose of this study was to examine conflict and tolerance among skiers and snowboarders employing Jacob and Schreyer’s (1980) conflict model. Conflict was measured in two ways. One measure assessed whether respondents experienced reduced enjoyment due to the presence or behavior of other skiers or snowboarders. The second conflict indicator measured the extent to which certain events were perceived as problems affecting enjoyment. These items were combined to create a general index of conflict for both skiers and snowboarders. Similarly, tolerance was measured with three multiple-item indices: skier tolerance, snowboarder tolerance, and general compatibility between the two activities. Data were collected at a rural ski town in northcentral Colorado using on-site surveys (n=186).Three hypotheses about conflict, tolerance, and the relationship between conflict and tolerance among adult skiers and snowboarders were tested.One-way analysis of variance was used to explore the intra-and interactivity conflict relationships between the two activities. Pearson r correlations were used to examine relationships between the tolerance indices and conflict measures for both activities.Findings indicated that skiers and snowboarders had similar levels of conflict toward their outgroups. Both skiers and snowboarders expressed increased enjoyment when their respective groups were present or encountered, but skiers showed a greater degree of intra-activity conflict (conflict resulting from other skiers). In addition, skiers were less accepting than snowboarders towards the general compatibility of both activities. Finally, consistent with the findings of Jacob and Schreyer (1980), regardless of activity, individuals with higher tolerance experienced less conflict than individuals with lower tolerance. Information on the nature and extent of conflict among skiers and snowboarders can help managers resolve conflicts and ensure a high quality user’s experience.?





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