This article examines the determinants of the debt-to-capital ratio of ski lift operators. The analysis is based on the total population of 248 ski lift operators in Austria. The median debt-to-capital ratio is 73%, with a highly skewed distribution, where almost every fourth operator exhibits negative equity capital. Robust regressions show that the debt-to-capital ratio significantly depends on the size of the ski area, elevation, location, presence of a neighboring ski area, supply of accommodation nearby, and the proportion of foreign overnight stays. However, the significance and magnitude of these factors differ between East and West Austria. For eastern Austria, larger ski operators, with neighboring resorts close by and a vast supply of accommodation, have a significantly lower debt-to-capital ratio. In western Austria, elevation and presence of a neighbor are significant predictors. Operators with a neighbor nearby exhibit a 15-percentage-point lower debt ratio.
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