Louise Boyle's article The Winter Olympics and the true cost of fake snow dominating the slopes raises many of the problems associated with artificial snow. 'It takes 200,000 gallons of water to cover an acre with a foot of snow', which is a major issue in the water-scarce American West where many ski resorts reside. Luckily about 80% of the water returns to the watershed when the snow melts.
Boyle mentions the financial cost of snowmaking but this is only a problem for the smallest and most local ski areas. The cost of '$500,000 - $3.5 million each season to make snow' would be afterthought to Vail Resorts, which had $2.27 billion in revenue in 2019. In fact only 0.9 - 6.2% of revenue would be taken up for snowmaking on the 40 ski resorts owned by Vail Resorts when using Boyle's figure.
The real impact is in the propagation of the myth of a normal ski season. Although it may be obvious in the Olympics that snowmaking is used, there is no natural snow, in the US many people won't realize the extent of snowmaking. Even if the snow season is terrible, most ski resorts will be open for Thanksgiving due to the power of snowmaking and significant financial backing. This can make many visitors to ski resorts not see the true impacts of drought and climate change. Why would they when the ski runs are open (albeit artificial snow)? Ski resorts make money selling the facade and idea of a 'winter wonderland' and they will always deliver it, at the expense of the environment and by misleading their customers.
"DYSBIOSIS TO PLURIVERSEBIOSIS"
Madison Tinker and others of the University of Wyoming Ski Team