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Squaw Layoffs

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Well, the rumors have turned out to be true.  The lack of snow has taken its toll.  The layoffs have begun.

 

Today I got notice that the Homeowner Experience & Customer Service Manager at the Village for the last 4 years has been terminated.  In all of my dealings with her, I had always been impressed.

 

Anyone know of other layoffs?  I assume seasonal staff could also get the axe.  Although these things are complicated by potential visa issues, as well as staffing up once the snow and people return.

 

And lest we forget, many non-salaried folks have been effectively laid-off just by not having any work.  I'm sure the ski instructors are hurting.  And who knows how many other local businesses have laid people off.

post #2 of 23

I know several instructors in the ski school at Squaw/Alpine. Haven't heard of layoffs but have heard that many part-time instructors have been given the option to reduce their time commitments - i.e. by not working over some of the upcoming weekends and holidays when they would normally be needed. We'll see if that changes as the season progresses.

post #3 of 23

First I've heard of layoffs. I did hear something about a temporary hiring freeze, but I heard it indirectly. Instructor hours have definitely been cut back. It is regrettable, but understandable. I'm sure it will change when the weather does.

post #4 of 23

Are  Nstar and Heavenly any different?

post #5 of 23

From what I've witnessed, skier numbers are down everywhere out here, but Northstar seems to be a bit stronger.

 

Mt Rose has got some of the best snow conditions but they've been seeing the impact from this drought, too.

 

post #6 of 23

Yeah, the vids on FB show very empty runs - I have a nudeboarding vid (yep) of naked chicks on an empty slope whizzing down a terrain park. Sheese, even nude chicks on boards can't draw the crowds! Andy will have to come up with some ideas better than mine rolleyes.gif

 

 

post #7 of 23

Yes - well, sort of.  Most of the instructors I've talked to at Northstar have said they've been surprisingly busy with lessons all things considered.  Having more trails open - even man made - goes a long way for this sort of thing.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by veteran View Post

Are  Nstar and Heavenly any different?



 

post #8 of 23

The good news is  I heard they fired Ullr!

 

"Key Performance Indicators  require the successful snowgod to deliver 5' of pow every night and bluebird skies every day": icon14.gif

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

The comparison with Northstar is interesting.  It seems that early investments in snowmaking can reduce losses later.  I'm not sure if it balances out in one year, but Squaw's black eye is going to cost money next year, too.  I'm skeptical that temperature inversions have been present on the upper mountain every night since opening day until 1/6/2012.  I've heard too many rumors about problems with pumps, dams, etc.

 

And why are the layoffs happening right before a big snowstorm?  If I'm the guy with one finger on the money and the other finger on the weather, I could have called for layoffs in November or December.  Maybe the holiday week wasn't a good time for them, but why start January 12th instead of January 2nd?  And how many people does it take to provide excellent service to half the normal crowd on three open trails?  If the plan is to hire some people back when the snow comes, there's usually ample warning.  It's not like one storm will instantly open it all up.  In the ongoing competition with Vail Corp., I don't think Squaw can afford to have a scaled-back Presidents' Week unless it's outside of human control.

post #10 of 23

The OP says only one employee has been terminated and people who work there have not heard of layoffs. It is just internet rumor right now.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

The comparison with Northstar is interesting.  It seems that early investments in snowmaking can reduce losses later.  I'm not sure if it balances out in one year, but Squaw's black eye is going to cost money next year, too.  I'm skeptical that temperature inversions have been present on the upper mountain every night since opening day until 1/6/2012.  I've heard too many rumors about problems with pumps, dams, etc.

 

And why are the layoffs happening right before a big snowstorm?  If I'm the guy with one finger on the money and the other finger on the weather, I could have called for layoffs in November or December.  Maybe the holiday week wasn't a good time for them, but why start January 12th instead of January 2nd?  And how many people does it take to provide excellent service to half the normal crowd on three open trails?  If the plan is to hire some people back when the snow comes, there's usually ample warning.  It's not like one storm will instantly open it all up.  In the ongoing competition with Vail Corp., I don't think Squaw can afford to have a scaled-back Presidents' Week unless it's outside of human control.



 

post #11 of 23

True about it hurting them in the future.  This season I wasn't sure if I was going to get an Epic pass or a Squaw / Alpine pass, and ultimately decided on epic because I have a cousin who lives in CO and knew I'd spend at least one week out there.  But the reality has been, so far, that I'm really glad I went with epic because of the snow making capabilities.  Even when it does dump and we get natural snow in Tahoe, Northstar / Heavenly will be in much better shape because of it.  A February 1st comparison should be interesting.  So this will be a point of consideration in the future.  Granted, I'm more likely next season to just get passes at both, but I'm sure this will cross other people's minds as well.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

The comparison with Northstar is interesting.  It seems that early investments in snowmaking can reduce losses later.  I'm not sure if it balances out in one year, but Squaw's black eye is going to cost money next year, too.  I'm skeptical that temperature inversions have been present on the upper mountain every night since opening day until 1/6/2012.  I've heard too many rumors about problems with pumps, dams, etc.

 

And why are the layoffs happening right before a big snowstorm?  If I'm the guy with one finger on the money and the other finger on the weather, I could have called for layoffs in November or December.  Maybe the holiday week wasn't a good time for them, but why start January 12th instead of January 2nd?  And how many people does it take to provide excellent service to half the normal crowd on three open trails?  If the plan is to hire some people back when the snow comes, there's usually ample warning.  It's not like one storm will instantly open it all up.  In the ongoing competition with Vail Corp., I don't think Squaw can afford to have a scaled-back Presidents' Week unless it's outside of human control.



 

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

hellside, I'm not going to name names, but I've personally verified the one termination and in discussion with that person's supervisor, I was told "many other departments are being hit much harder."  You can believe me or not.  Your choice.

post #13 of 23

Sure, I believe you but this info was not given in OP
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

hellside, I'm not going to name names, but I've personally verified the one termination and in discussion with that person's supervisor, I was told "many other departments are being hit much harder."  You can believe me or not.  Your choice.



 

post #14 of 23

What I read is that Squaw is going to get a new customer despite the drought so far.th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by JayT View Post

True about it hurting them in the future.  This season I wasn't sure if I was going to get an Epic pass or a Squaw / Alpine pass, and ultimately decided on epic because I have a cousin who lives in CO and knew I'd spend at least one week out there.  But the reality has been, so far, that I'm really glad I went with epic because of the snow making capabilities.  Even when it does dump and we get natural snow in Tahoe, Northstar / Heavenly will be in much better shape because of it.  A February 1st comparison should be interesting.  So this will be a point of consideration in the future.  Granted, I'm more likely next season to just get passes at both, but I'm sure this will cross other people's minds as well.
 



 



 

post #15 of 23

Pretty 'steady as she goes" at Vail Resorts though there's a problem converting passholders into visitors who buy things. But I suspect SV aren't faring as well. 

 

 

"The data mentioned in this release is interim period data and subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustments.

Highlights

  • Season-to-date total lift ticket revenue at the Company's six mountain resort properties, and including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up approximately 0.6% through January 2, 2012, compared to the prior year season—to- date period ended January 3, 2011.
  • Season-to-date revenue for ski school was up 0.9% while dining was down 5.6% due to limited access to certain on-mountain dining facilities, through January 2, 2012, compared to the prior year season-to-date period ended January 3, 2011.  
  • Fiscal year-to-date retail/rental revenue, which includes preseason ski sale events, was down 0.7% through January 2, 2012 compared to the same period in the prior year. 
  • Season-to-date total skier visits for the Company's six mountain resort properties were down approximately 15.3% through January 2, 2012, compared to the prior year season-to-date period ended January 3, 2011, including lower utilization by season pass holders.

Our performance in these conditions highlights our strong season pass program, the full experience and comprehensive set of activities and amenities that we provide at our resorts, and the investments we have made across our resorts in constantly improving and broadening the guest experience.  This is most apparent in Tahoe, where our investment in snowmaking has allowed us to open up more terrain than all the other resorts in the area combined.  At this point, with three quarters of the ski season still remaining, we are not revising the earnings guidance we issued in September 2011.  However, we would acknowledge that those targets will be more difficult to achieve given the results over the holidays"

 

So things are 'up' at VR on the bumper year of 2010/11 where things, like ski school revenue were already up 12 or 13% iirc. . SV  though is a different hill with different people and different terrain but there's probably a kerzillion little ways to grow it even in bad snow seasons

 

post #16 of 23

Yes, but most people either don't ski enough to get two separate passes and/or can't afford it.  I would have gotten passes to both northstar / squawlpine this year too but with a 6 month old at home I knew I wouldn't get away enough this year to justify it so I made a choice (and I'll still get several days at Squaw/Alpine but it'll be cheaper than the pass would have been).  I wouldn't classify my situation as typical in the grand pass-buying scheme of things.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellside View Post

What I read is that Squaw is going to get a new customer despite the drought so far.th_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif

 

Quote:



 



 

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

True about it hurting them in the future.  This season I wasn't sure if I was going to get an Epic pass or a Squaw / Alpine pass, and ultimately decided on epic because I have a cousin who lives in CO and knew I'd spend at least one week out there.  But the reality has been, so far, that I'm really glad I went with epic because of the snow making capabilities.  Even when it does dump and we get natural snow in Tahoe, Northstar / Heavenly will be in much better shape because of it.  A February 1st comparison should be interesting.  So this will be a point of consideration in the future.  Granted, I'm more likely next season to just get passes at both, but I'm sure this will cross other people's minds as well.
 



 


We got the Epic Pass because we know we have a couple trips to Colorado in our plans.  We also got a Squaw Pass  which has gone unused to this point, but we KNOW the season will turn around and we'll get use out of that as well. 

 

So far, though, we've been using our Epic Pass' a lot!

I've also been spending quite a bit of time at Mt Rose.

 

 

post #18 of 23

I heard Whitefish has 745 skiers, out of around 6000 p/day on the hill, despite 'their dump' - how full, or empty, are the runs the pubs and the lodgings are Squaw, Nstar or Heavenly. We came out of similar season down here. Occupancy was down 40% in unimaginative establishments, whereas others were close to full - a matched the record profit in the 2010 bumper season - with good pricing, good entertainment and free events for the hard core die hards like:

Chicks with Stix (CwS) is a grass-roots organisation that aims to provide much needed encouragement and opportunities for young girls to help them become involved in skiing – bumps, freeride, slopestyle and big mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicks with Stix run FREE shred sessions throughout the Australian Alps with Australia’s most experienced female freestyle coaches.

Girls that join CwS  have an opportunity to watch, learn and improve their skills  in a safe and non-threatening environment.
CwS provides an outlet for self-expression, social connection, self esteem and fitness…and they have some serious fun at the same time!

Starting with a bunch of passionate skiers, in 2010, the CwS network has since now grown to include snow-boarders as well.

This season, as well as at their home mountain Buller, CwS will be heading to Thredbo, Perisher, Hotham and Baw Baw to interact with chicks all over the Australian Alps.

Over the coming years,  CwS hopes to feed into the Olympic and FIS World Cup pathway to help channel girls to the most competitive end of the sport. Either way, Chicks with Stix is looking forward to catching up at the next CwS freeride session at a mountain near you!

 

 

 

 

 

Anna won a Winter X and Katya was just pipped out of the top 16 in the World Cup. The girls loved a very informal all day grass roots shred session - and the parents party all night at nights like this

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=149521968466945&set=a.149521898466952.39597.134585193293956&type=1&ref=nf

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=149696238449518&set=a.149696201782855.39642.134585193293956&type=1&ref=nf

 

post #19 of 23

I know what you are saying, just having fun with you, hope you don't mind. I think it will take more than 1 drought for people with squaw pass 2 or more years to consider other areas.  But I do think there is going to be an impact on gold pass sale next year. My family probably will just use the money to get a cheap non-blackout kirkwood pass or get 3 for $99 tickets to compliment the lower level squaw pass. I am very impressed with Kirkwood this year. They are working very hard to attract visitors. I don't see Squaw showing half their effort.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Yes, but most people either don't ski enough to get two separate passes and/or can't afford it.  I would have gotten passes to both northstar / squawlpine this year too but with a 6 month old at home I knew I wouldn't get away enough this year to justify it so I made a choice (and I'll still get several days at Squaw/Alpine but it'll be cheaper than the pass would have been).  I wouldn't classify my situation as typical in the grand pass-buying scheme of things.
 



 



 

post #20 of 23

Not sure what you are saying here?  We rarely have 6000 skiers in a day, only at Christmas.  Are you saying on a normal day we only have 745?  If so, I agree.  My understanding was that Christmas was pretty close to what was expected in terms of numbers and that we had two 6000 skier days, the Friday and Saturday before New Years.  

 

I haven't been reading this thread.  Not sure why you are bringing Whitefish up?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by veteran View Post

I heard Whitefish has 745 skiers, out of around 6000 p/day on the hill, despite 'their dump' - how full, or empty, are the runs the pubs and the lodgings are Squaw, Nstar or Heavenly. We came out of similar season down here. Occupancy was down 40% in unimaginative establishments, whereas others were close to full - a matched the record profit in the 2010 bumper season - with good pricing, good entertainment and free events for the hard core die hards like:

 

 

post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 

A few more "facts"...

 

It sounds like Squaw did actually do some layoffs right before Christmas.  Not popular, but it shows the bean counters have been minding the store.

 

According to a patroller I talked to on the lift, they've laid off some of the pro patrol.

 

It sounds like the core of the layoffs were year-round employees.  Not that it's "right", but those are the folks whose salaries really affect the budget projections.

post #22 of 23

After Squaw spent all that money to get featured in the latest Warren Miller movie bragging about 800 inches of snow over and over again, I'm going to have to blame them for jinxing all of Tahoe.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

A few more "facts"...

 

It sounds like Squaw did actually do some layoffs right before Christmas.  Not popular, but it shows the bean counters have been minding the store.

 

According to a patroller I talked to on the lift, they've laid off some of the pro patrol.

 

It sounds like the core of the layoffs were year-round employees.  Not that it's "right", but those are the folks whose salaries really affect the budget projections.



 

post #23 of 23

I know a snowboard instructor at Northstar that got laid off last week.

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