Ski symposium emphasizes keys to success |

Ski symposium emphasizes keys to success

Bob Berwyn/Summit County Correspondent

For the second day in a row, speakers at the Mountain Travel Symposium told their audience that things could be worse. It may be small comfort, but the European economy may take an even bigger hit, said Dr. Oren Harari, a consultant and well-known speaker known for helping businesses achieve a competitive advantage in a chaotic environment.

“It’s been a tough year in your industry, no doubt about it,” said Harari at the final day of the symposium, in Keystone. “Anyone who tells you we’re coming out of this next year is delusional or wildly optimistic. I foresee a three to five year thing, and some people are saying 10 years,” Horari said.

He emphasized the global nature of the downturn, explaining that British banks bought toxic assets from their American counterparts, then leveraged them to make loans to Eastern Europe, where some countries now are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Businesses must focus on delivering real value and differentiate themselves from the pack just to survive, he said. Just as the speakers who preceded him on the first day pointed out, consumers have come to expect bargains these days, and travelers are no exception. They’re willing to wait, often until the very last minute, to find the best deal possible, Harari said, referring to a recent Wall Street Journal article about the same subject.