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2011-2012 Was the Worst Ski Season in 20 Years - Page 3

post #61 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ske-Bum View Post

 

Amen!! KSL's answer to everything, put more bad skiers on the mountain. Screw the actual skiing experience that doesn't matter, let's see how many people we can get into the Rocker bar, and then give poor service to. That is the new model. I know a bunch of you people don't want to hear this, but pass prices need to go up. 


The most popular resort in this general area has pretty good season pass prices.... But they black out the whole week of Thanksgiving through the next Thursday (if they even manage to open).  They black out last week of December through mid January, MLK Weekend, Presidents Weekend, and a few other days.  I think they may also have a couple other weekends in Jan/Feb blacked out for pass holders.  So, rather than wicked stupid pass prices, they just only sell passes good on off season weekdays and a handful of weekend days. 

 

I heard that they are in deep financial problems since they couldn't open enough to sell enough day tickets this time around due to the horrible climate. 

post #62 of 82

^ wow...not sure that making inferences about someone's SES via information found on the internet is all that useful, but i totally agree with your point about raising pass prices.  i personally feel that raising prices is one of the biggest threats to the industry.  as someone who has worked in ticket sales, i have seen firsthand the painful expressions of disbelief that overwhelm patrons when they find out that a "fun day" on the slopes is going to cost them an arm and a leg.  factor in travel expenses, ski school, and ridiculously overpriced food and you are talking about a small fortune.  maybe i'm wrong, but i don't think making skiing exclusive to the super rich by raising prices is the best thing for the industry or the sport as a whole.  

post #63 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Ske-Bum-  Seriously????  I really don't get your f&ing problem.  As far as I know you are local, so presumably you know the mountain and may (or may not) be able to ski weekdays, so chances are you may not even care about the weekend warriors.  As far as I am concerned, I don't give a sh&t about most of the said bad skiers, because they and I tend to ski different lifts and different lines; and as a local guy with that kind of username you should be skiing different lifts too. Neither you should care about parking, because bad skiers arrive way later than you should be.   So, tell me how they screw your skiing experience?   Neither should you care about packing the Rocker because the place is god-awful crappy- overpriced food, bad service, and generally a waste of a great location. If you patronize it- I am sorry for you you.    And for the actual skiing experience- people packed into the Rocker are not on the slopes, so you should be happy that they are there.  

 

Good skiers paid Cushing prices before.  I know I did... and I hated it.  Squaw cadre shows up on powder Friday morning en-masse, most are playing hooky at work; do you think they are there only because of the cheap pass?  Seriously?  Seriously???   Raising the pass prices will achieve nothing, except shifting more financial burden to the skiers like you and I.  As someone who pays for 4 passes every year, plus the team fees, I kind of care about this, I hope you get that.  I also care about little things like a new Granite Chief lift upgrade, a new red Dog and the ability of Squaw to buy out Troy Caldwell in a fair deal and get a real connection going.  Shrinking the number of season passes will not help those goals, quite the contrary.  Someone needs to pay for this stuff, and I am happy that the said bad skiers help me pay for it.  And so should you.   

 

And last thing, do you really think that raising the pass prices will change KSL's business model?  Relative to other passes Squaw pass is still expensive, so raising the price will accomplish nothing positive.  I don't know whether you are wealthy to the point that you don't care, or whether you are geting your pass through a sponsor (although given that you list "occasional heli trips" in your profile, one of those options is likely).  Well, I got news for you: a lot of people like myself care about the price, this is significant part of my family's skiing budget.  So, yes, calls for raising prices upset me and for a good reason.  I wish I could get an "occasional heli trip", any tips for achieving that status?  Paying higher season pass prices certainly dont get me any closer to that.    

Yes, I'm dead serious. Will it happen, no. So calm the hell down, your cheap passes are save. I know what the new business model is, I know the people who make the model. So you buy four passes, I buy three big deal. If you can't look around and see what a junk show Squaw has/is turning into then I don't know what to tell you. You choose not to see it.  I still have to use some of the same lifts as the crowds to get where I ski, I still have to go through the base area, I still have to get out of the parking lot. 

 

I don't go to the Rocker, I was using it as an example of bad ideas coming out of KSL. KSL isn't the greatest owner Squaw could have.

 

Fine shift some financial burden to me, I took it in the past when passes were 1200, I will gladly do it again. I'm not rich, or sponsored so get off that kick. There is price point on passes where it is cheapened to the point the whole experience is junk, we are getting there. You seem to have a go to pieces, every time someone mentions raising pass prices. Do you really think they listen to me or any other local when we say raise the prices? The answer is no, nor do they listen to you when you say keep prices low. If you think I'm the only local that thinks the herd needs to be thinned somehow, you are sniffing glue. 

post #64 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ske-Bum View Post

Yes, I'm dead serious. Will it happen, no. So calm the hell down, your cheap passes are save. I know what the new business model is, I know the people who make the model. So you buy four passes, I buy three big deal. If you can't look around and see what a junk show Squaw has/is turning into then I don't know what to tell you. You choose not to see it.  I still have to use some of the same lifts as the crowds to get where I ski, I still have to go through the base area, I still have to get out of the parking lot. 

 

I don't go to the Rocker, I was using it as an example of bad ideas coming out of KSL. KSL isn't the greatest owner Squaw could have.

 

Fine shift some financial burden to me, I took it in the past when passes were 1200, I will gladly do it again. I'm not rich, or sponsored so get off that kick. There is price point on passes where it is cheapened to the point the whole experience is junk, we are getting there. You seem to have a go to pieces, every time someone mentions raising pass prices. Do you really think they listen to me or any other local when we say raise the prices? The answer is no, nor do they listen to you when you say keep prices low. If you think I'm the only local that thinks the herd needs to be thinned somehow, you are sniffing glue. 


I often, OFTEN, hear someone at Squaw say: I bought the pass for the first time. At this price, how could I not buy one?!

 

Now, to me, hearing that, there's an inference or two. they wouldn't buy it for more money; they don't really care where they ski; they don't have a particular loyalty or supportive attitude for Squaw (the mountain, not the company).

 

they are the type of skier (traversing, stopping, chopping and cutting, asserting their f'ing right of way) I don't EVER want to see on the hill. and they are now the MAIN type of skier we see on the hill, or more accurately, in the lift line. yes, I'm a little PISSED!  Well, I'm little. haha

 

Things were better at $1200. , IMO. 

post #65 of 82

At the risk of agreeing with Alexzn about anything, Ske-Bum's argument is weak sauce from several angles. Start with basic economics: Raising ticket prices beyond most recreational skiers' price points would lose far more money for the resort than it'll make up by sales to the limited numbers of I-Live-To-Ski types; go study up on elastic and inelastic demand. The outcome would be a season or two of blissful crowd reduction followed by financial meltdown and selling off to an even less desirable holding company. Then there's basic politics: Pricing people out of a market so a few can better enjoy their "rightful" access, is pretty much the 1% mindset, although the 19th century social Darwinism is seldom articulated. Since Ske-bum's not claiming 1% membership, assume he must drink  a lot of tea...nonono2.gif

post #66 of 82

not really interested in KSL's motivation or rationalization. or making an intelligent economic argument....BORING (all discussion is equally impotent). If you're there, you can feel the downgrading of the experience, it's palpable.

 

People in Alexn's class are not saying they bought a pass for the first time this year, or last year.

post #67 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Pricing people out of a market so a few can better enjoy their "rightful" access, is pretty much the 1% mindset, although the 19th century social Darwinism is seldom articulated. Since Ske-bum's not claiming 1% membership, assume he must drink  a lot of tea...nonono2.gif

 

Hey Beyond. I almost always like your posts because they reflect some careful thought and are generally clear, whether or not I agree with them. I'm waiting for Marie Antoinette to join this discussion and advise us to eat cake with our tea.

 

I have no experience at Squaw myself. I do have experience at crowded hills where I have struggled to find enough physical and mental breathing room to do any kind of skiing worthy of the name - as I conceive it, anyway. (Confession: I experience any group bigger than about six as a throng, as my long-suffering wife with a big extended family can attest.)  I totally get the argument that we need ski areas to attract a large enough crowd to be sustainable and thus provide us with quality places to practice our passion. At the same time, I think there are different ways to accomplish this end that result in very different skier experiences. Not everyplace has to cater to the same common denominator, thank God. If you look at Mad River, Killington, and Stowe, for example, you can see three different approaches, each of which sustains (I think?) a going concern, but attracts a different clientele with a different aesthetic. If I had been skiing at MRG for years and they suddenly decided to go to the Killington model, I'd be pretty ticked. Not saying that this is what happened at Squaw; I'm just making the point that preferring a cut-above-Walmart tone at your home area does not necessarily mean that you are a thoughtless elitist with money to burn.

post #68 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

At the risk of agreeing with Alexzn about anything, Ske-Bum's argument is weak sauce from several angles. Start with basic economics: Raising ticket prices beyond most recreational skiers' price points would lose far more money for the resort than it'll make up by sales to the limited numbers of I-Live-To-Ski types; go study up on elastic and inelastic demand. The outcome would be a season or two of blissful crowd reduction followed by financial meltdown and selling off to an even less desirable holding company. Then there's basic politics: Pricing people out of a market so a few can better enjoy their "rightful" access, is pretty much the 1% mindset, although the 19th century social Darwinism is seldom articulated. Since Ske-bum's not claiming 1% membership, assume he must drink  a lot of tea...nonono2.gif

Beyond,

 

Read the whole post and try not to take statements out of context. My point it that Squaw is now a junk show.  I understand what raising prices would do from an economic point. You can make all the 1% mindset arguments you want, the fact remains, the place is a mess.

 

Next fact for you, they are going to keep the prices right were they are, will they go up in the future? I don't know and only a few people do. Also doesn't matter what I say or what Alexzn says for that matter what you say, still doesn't mean I have to like it the crowds. Alexzn is correct about one thing, I do know how to get around most of the mess. Alexzn loves to scream bloody murder when anyone suggests they raise pass prices at Squaw, I kind of think it is funny.   

post #69 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

Hey Beyond. I almost always like your posts because they reflect some careful thought and are generally clear, whether or not I agree with them. I'm waiting for Marie Antoinette to join this discussion and advise us to eat cake with our tea.

 

I have no experience at Squaw myself. I do have experience at crowded hills where I have struggled to find enough physical and mental breathing room to do any kind of skiing worthy of the name - as I conceive it, anyway. (Confession: I experience any group bigger than about six as a throng, as my long-suffering wife with a big extended family can attest.)  I totally get the argument that we need ski areas to attract a large enough crowd to be sustainable and thus provide us with quality places to practice our passion. At the same time, I think there are different ways to accomplish this end that result in very different skier experiences. Not everyplace has to cater to the same common denominator, thank God. If you look at Mad River, Killington, and Stowe, for example, you can see three different approaches, each of which sustains (I think?) a going concern, but attracts a different clientele with a different aesthetic. If I had been skiing at MRG for years and they suddenly decided to go to the Killington model, I'd be pretty ticked. Not saying that this is what happened at Squaw; I'm just making the point that preferring a cut-above-Walmart tone at your home area does not necessarily mean that you are a thoughtless elitist with money to burn.

Point taken, qc. I was reacting more to the thrust and tone of Ske-bum's argument than assuming all folks who don't like Walmart-ton are rich elitists. In reality, I think it's more complicated than just price points. Accessibility is major. As long as Squaw is just off an interstate, and up the road from one of the nation's major summer/winter playgrounds, it's going to get hoards of people. That was Cushing's scheme, after all, when he was all tied up with the politics of the road and the Olympics. The niche the resort is aiming for, as you say, is also major, although I'm not sure it's so volitional as "hmmm, what should we be?" You become what the location allows. 

 

IMO there's a foundational paradox with skiing. By its nature, skiing is a very expensive sport that's not available to most citizens because either they don't live near mountains or they don't have the discretionary income to pursue it unless they abandon other aspects of their lives. It's also dependent on variables that are difficult to predict. If the Northeast has another couple of winters like this last one, it may not much matter whether Killington and MRG have different marketing strategies. 

 

So on the one hand, we have threads about wanting to grow - or save - the sport, about how to retain skiers, about small local mountains going under. On the other hand, we have posts - usually not whole threads - about how all the non-locals are screwing up the skiing for the locals. Or some variant of that, like how AT is screwing up the backcountry for serious backcountry types. Or how fat skis with rocker are screwing up powder. Blah blah blah. So how do we resolve this?

 

One thrust is that for our sport to thrive, it must be more inclusive. We have to share the commons, and somehow preserve its quality. Obviously I buy into this angle, and for more than just skiing. The problem, equally obviously, is how not to love skiing to death. Skiing's allure to many is all about an illusion of pristine nature, getting your head into a whole other ecosystem. The more people and cars you cram into this ecosystem, the less desirable it may become. IMO the answer may have more to do with issues of transportation and resort design/technology than how many skiers the resort handles. The day may be past when we can envision a ski resort as a place you drive to that has a bunch of parallel gouged out lines up a single ridge, with enough quads to make sure everyone's on the mountain at once. 

 

Another thrust is to creating more places that are out of reach to all but the affluent or the locals who have structured their lives around skiing. Then have a few despoiled mega-"junk shows" for the masses. Obviously I don't buy into this angle. Disregarding the not-in-my-backyard problem or the innately anti-democratic smell, there are plenty of reports that already fill the out-of-reach bill, either by their isolation or their prices or both. That Ske-Bum didn't happen to end up in Bozeman or Anchorage or Jackson or Ketchum or Silverton or Crested Butte or Taos or fill-in-the-blank is a shame I guess, but I'm not convinced that's an argument for making Squaw more difficult to ski if you're from San Francisco or Sacramento. And frankly, there's so much great backcountry around Squaw that I have a hard time feeling sorry for people who complain about jammed up lifts down below. Get there early and get yourself out!

 

This may reflect the fact that while I grew up skiing in California, I now live in the Northeast. Where your characterization of Stowe vs. K-ton vs. MRG is a bit off base IMO. They're all ridiculously crowded, with too many lifts for too little real vertical. Stowe can market itself differently because it's too far up the road from NYC to draw, and has a little town with a nice white Congregational church, so it's going for the condo crowd and becoming a chic four-season resort. But whatever mountain you're at, if you're smart you either seek out days when the weather's so crappy most people stay home or you go hide in the trees. So all this whining about Squaw getting too crowded with hackers just sounds self-indulgent to me...

post #70 of 82

I have never skied at Squaw either.  That being said, I'm not really sure that I want to ski at Squaw.  I realize that some people don't have the luxury of "choosing" their home mountain (many people are forced to go someplace that is close to home and convenient).  But if you are an avid skier and hate dealing with crowds, find yourself a nice local hill to call home.  The only way to prevent all of the small, family-owned resorts from being taken over by corporate giants is to support them while they are still around.  You may have to give up some of the conveniences that you find at major resorts, but that's the trade off I suppose. 

 

IMO, most of the corporate run mountains are designed to attract families and newcomers to the sport.  They aren't designed with real skiers in mind, who could give a crap about fancy restaurants, retail stores, and valet parking.  They focus far more on bringing modern amenities and creature comforts to a crowd looking for a leisurely winter retreat.  Think about Silverton, CO with their "all thrills, no frills" approach.  One chairlift accessing some of the gnarliest terrain in North America.  Good luck finding any crowds there.  

 

Anyway, my point is pretty simple:  If you hate dealing with crowds and gaper tourists, find a mountain that doesn't appeal to that clientele.  I ski at Taos in NM and IMO it is one of the most underrated resorts in North America, probably because it has absolutely no appeal to anyone other than core skiers...no high-speed chairlifts, no nightclubs, a handful of bars and restaurants, but most importantly, no crowds either.  With the exceptions of Christmas/New Years and spring break, Taos is essentially a private resort for locals.  Despite not having the most efficient lifts, lift lines are virtually non-existent.  On top of that, what we lack in amenities we make up for in value.  A day pass will run you $75 and if you buy any multi-day pass (2 or more days) you are looking at $70/day.  Kids are right around $45/day.  Ski school for kids is $115/day and includes rental, lunch, and 4 hours of instruction (not to mention that they are fully supervised from 8am to 4:30pm and Taos is consistently ranked one of the top ski schools in the country).  $800 for an adult pass before Oct. 1st and $1000 after Oct. 1st...you get my point.  Raising pass prices year after year does nothing but fund amenities that you may or may not value.  At Taos we try to keep things simple; we pay for the things we need to ski and we leave out the fluff.  If you hate your corporate run resort, look around for a family-owned mountain that delivers the goods and show a little support!    

post #71 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post

I have never skied at Squaw either.  That being said, I'm not really sure that I want to ski at Squaw.  I realize that some people don't have the luxury of "choosing" their home mountain (many people are forced to go someplace that is close to home and convenient).  But if you are an avid skier and hate dealing with crowds, find yourself a nice local hill to call home.  The only way to prevent all of the small, family-owned resorts from being taken over by corporate giants is to support them while they are still around.  You may have to give up some of the conveniences that you find at major resorts, but that's the trade off I suppose. 

 

IMO, most of the corporate run mountains are designed to attract families and newcomers to the sport.  They aren't designed with real skiers in mind, who could give a crap about fancy restaurants, retail stores, and valet parking.  They focus far more on bringing modern amenities and creature comforts to a crowd looking for a leisurely winter retreat.  Think about Silverton, CO with their "all thrills, no frills" approach.  One chairlift accessing some of the gnarliest terrain in North America.  Good luck finding any crowds there.  

 

Anyway, my point is pretty simple:  If you hate dealing with crowds and gaper tourists, find a mountain that doesn't appeal to that clientele.  I ski at Taos in NM and IMO it is one of the most underrated resorts in North America, probably because it has absolutely no appeal to anyone other than core skiers...no high-speed chairlifts, no nightclubs, a handful of bars and restaurants, but most importantly, no crowds either.  With the exceptions of Christmas/New Years and spring break, Taos is essentially a private resort for locals.  Despite not having the most efficient lifts, lift lines are virtually non-existent.  On top of that, what we lack in amenities we make up for in value.  A day pass will run you $75 and if you buy any multi-day pass (2 or more days) you are looking at $70/day.  Kids are right around $45/day.  Ski school for kids is $115/day and includes rental, lunch, and 4 hours of instruction (not to mention that they are fully supervised from 8am to 4:30pm and Taos is consistently ranked one of the top ski schools in the country).  $800 for an adult pass before Oct. 1st and $1000 after Oct. 1st...you get my point.  Raising pass prices year after year does nothing but fund amenities that you may or may not value.  At Taos we try to keep things simple; we pay for the things we need to ski and we leave out the fluff.  If you hate your corporate run resort, look around for a family-owned mountain that delivers the goods and show a little support!    

Well said, anyone who doesn't like the crowds at Squaw can drive down the road to Homewood.  Steeps won't be as gnarly, but there are a few.  There will be no lines even on the deepest days.  Season pass is $400, no blackouts.  Similar thing w/ Mt. Rose.

post #72 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post

I have never skied at Squaw either.  That being said, I'm not really sure that I want to ski at Squaw.  I realize that some people don't have the luxury of "choosing" their home mountain (many people are forced to go someplace that is close to home and convenient).  But if you are an avid skier and hate dealing with crowds, find yourself a nice local hill to call home.  The only way to prevent all of the small, family-owned resorts from being taken over by corporate giants is to support them while they are still around.  You may have to give up some of the conveniences that you find at major resorts, but that's the trade off I suppose. 

 

IMO, most of the corporate run mountains are designed to attract families and newcomers to the sport.  They aren't designed with real skiers in mind, who could give a crap about fancy restaurants, retail stores, and valet parking.  They focus far more on bringing modern amenities and creature comforts to a crowd looking for a leisurely winter retreat.  Think about Silverton, CO with their "all thrills, no frills" approach.  One chairlift accessing some of the gnarliest terrain in North America.  Good luck finding any crowds there.  

 

Anyway, my point is pretty simple:  If you hate dealing with crowds and gaper tourists, find a mountain that doesn't appeal to that clientele.  I ski at Taos in NM and IMO it is one of the most underrated resorts in North America, probably because it has absolutely no appeal to anyone other than core skiers...no high-speed chairlifts, no nightclubs, a handful of bars and restaurants, but most importantly, no crowds either.  With the exceptions of Christmas/New Years and spring break, Taos is essentially a private resort for locals.  Despite not having the most efficient lifts, lift lines are virtually non-existent.  On top of that, what we lack in amenities we make up for in value.  A day pass will run you $75 and if you buy any multi-day pass (2 or more days) you are looking at $70/day.  Kids are right around $45/day.  Ski school for kids is $115/day and includes rental, lunch, and 4 hours of instruction (not to mention that they are fully supervised from 8am to 4:30pm and Taos is consistently ranked one of the top ski schools in the country).  $800 for an adult pass before Oct. 1st and $1000 after Oct. 1st...you get my point.  Raising pass prices year after year does nothing but fund amenities that you may or may not value.  At Taos we try to keep things simple; we pay for the things we need to ski and we leave out the fluff.  If you hate your corporate run resort, look around for a family-owned mountain that delivers the goods and show a little support!    

 

I was in total agreement with your post, and thought Taos was sounding a lot like Montana Snowbowl where I ski, until you mentioned the pass prices. Ouch! Taos kids tickets cost more than an adult pass at Snowbowl! Season passes at full price are $400 dollars more! Sorry to break it to you, but those are NOT inexpensive ticket prices.


Edited by volantaddict - 6/18/12 at 1:18pm
post #73 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

Having lived through the great PNW '04-05 disaster, I can relate to the horror of a two week season that some had this year.  Things will get better, count on it.

You're still skiing, aren't you?  the PNW FTW in 2012!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

Why dwell on the negative?

 

While it wasn't a banner year for sure, I really didn't have any bad days on snow.

 

Just less of them....

 

Nothing is guaranteed you know! Every year is a crap shoot wink.gif

 

I had a good year, even with marginal snow in the beginning, and nothing super amazing at the end, there were some pretty darn good snow days this season, and I did lots of this > biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Hmmm. When I was there (late Feb) snowed almost everyday, but seldom more than a few inches. Nothing knee deep like the video. But then, I've literally never hit the big dump on a trip, after 40 some years of trips. I will be taking orders this season for copies of my travel plans, so you can make sure not to go when I am. biggrin.gif

Come see us, seriously!  We'll see what we can do about turing your bad luck around. 

post #74 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

 

I was in total agreement with your post, and thought Taos was sounding a lot like Montana Snowbowl where I ski, until you mentioned the pass prices. Ouch! Taos kids tickets cost more than an adult pass at Snowbowl! Season passes at full price are $400 dollars more! Sorry to break it to you, but those are NOT inexpensive ticket prices.

 Relatively speaking of course.  Not saying that Taos passes are cheap by any means (we all know that skiing is anything but a cheap sport).  But I think you missed my point...I'm just trying to say that by leaving the corporate giants behind, not only are you going to escape the crowds but you might also save a little money too.   

post #75 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post

 Relatively speaking of course.  Not saying that Taos passes are cheap by any means (we all know that skiing is anything but a cheap sport).  But I think you missed my point...I'm just trying to say that by leaving the corporate giants behind, not only are you going to escape the crowds but you might also save a little money too.   

 

No, I did not miss your point, but it was muted by sticker shock.

post #76 of 82

Since we appear to be off the quality of the season (sucked in the East but I somehow got three or so A+ days in the Catskills of all places and a great March trip to Jackson) I'll add my two cents on the pricing.  There's a government run ski area in NY called Belleayre.  It's a really nice family place with decent enough skiing for the area - meaning it's not going to be on the cover of any ski magazine but there are bumps and some tree runs.  Their ticket prices are already low - $50ish IIRC - but they decided a few years ago to have these special weekend days where you could get tickets for 1/2 price or so.  The place was a mob scene on these days and rather unpleasant.  Sure enough, on regular price days the crowds were the usual.  Last year the place was a ghost town.  Point is, none of these casual skiers gave any long-run support.  They came for the cheap day during a good year and went home to never come back.  Of course I don't have any evidence but it's certainly the way it seems.  Only thing the deals did were piss off the private areas and the regulars.

post #77 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldsbar View Post

Since we appear to be off the quality of the season (sucked in the East but I somehow got three or so A+ days in the Catskills of all places and a great March trip to Jackson) I'll add my two cents on the pricing.  There's a government run ski area in NY called Belleayre.  It's a really nice family place with decent enough skiing for the area - meaning it's not going to be on the cover of any ski magazine but there are bumps and some tree runs.  Their ticket prices are already low - $50ish IIRC - but they decided a few years ago to have these special weekend days where you could get tickets for 1/2 price or so.  The place was a mob scene on these days and rather unpleasant.  Sure enough, on regular price days the crowds were the usual.  Last year the place was a ghost town.  Point is, none of these casual skiers gave any long-run support.  They came for the cheap day during a good year and went home to never come back.  Of course I don't have any evidence but it's certainly the way it seems.  Only thing the deals did were piss off the private areas and the regulars.


I've actually skied Belleayre a number of times...not a bad little hill from what I remember.  But what's the deal with government run ski areas anyway???  Sorry for the thread jack but I think this is way more interesting than people complaining about last season.  Why the heck do state governments feel the need to operate ski resorts??  It doesn't really seem fair to privately owned mountains that are already struggling to turn a profit.  Maybe I'm missing something but it seems like another potentially huge waste of tax payer money.  I remember another government run hill in New Hampshire that eventually shifted to private ownership after it failed to ever break even.  Perhaps another example of why the government needs to spend more time governing and less time interfering with the free market.

post #78 of 82
Quote:
Why the heck do state governments feel the need to operate ski resorts??  It doesn't really seem fair to privately owned mountains that are already struggling to turn a profit.

 

I fail to see how 'the state' operating a ski resort in a state park would be noticeably different in the market than if 'the state' leased the land to a private company to operate the resort.  Unless the resort is being heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars.

 

In this particular case, the land is required by law to not be sold or leased to any private entity.  So the only way to have a ski resort there is to have the state operate it, or to change the laws regarding state parks in NY.

 

Quote:
...it seems like another potentially huge waste of tax payer money.

 

According to their 'mission statement' (http://www.belleayre.com/company/mission.htm) they are supposed to operate at no cost to the taxpayer.  However, they have been losing money as of late and they are considering handing over management to ORDA, the agency which operates Gore and Whiteface by Lake Placid (http://adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/528657/State-officials-consider--Should---.html).

post #79 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post


Belleayre...Why the heck do state governments feel the need to operate ski resorts?? 

Shockingly, outside of my gripe about the discount tickets that kill the private resorts, they actually do a good job from my consumer perspective.  No idea about their financials and potentially unfair to the private guys.  A few years ago there was talk of expanding to either skiers right (much more vertical) or skiers left (a small adjoining abondoned ski hill).  After the last couple of years - especially last year - the talk is of survival.

post #80 of 82

Enough thread-jacking, Bellayre is a little tiny dinky hill, not worthy of any mention here - particularly 5 posts. I skied there a couple times as a little kid, found it boring, and it hasn't grown any since then...

post #81 of 82

Sky Tavern, a little (formerly owned by the city of Reno) ski place between Reno and Mt Rose, is currently owned by a social club that tries to get under privileged kids exposed to skiing.  

These types of places really help feed the bigger places because they offer opportunity and inspiration to people who may not otherwise be exposed. 

post #82 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Sky Tavern, a little (formerly owned by the city of Reno) ski place between Reno and Mt Rose, is currently owned by a social club that tries to get under privileged kids exposed to skiing.  

These types of places really help feed the bigger places because they offer opportunity and inspiration to people who may not otherwise be exposed. 

TC, I love small resorts because they know their market.  I grew up in a one red light town with a tiny ski area consisting of a rope tow and a T-bar that took skirs to where a hooked drive would land from an old golf course.  Some good racers learned to ski on that hill (now closed).

 

The complaining (above posts) about Squaw and other resorts comes from management not properly defining their client(s).  Very few resorts can competently serve  every type of skier and expect them to walk away with an extraordinary experience (and this also consists of offering the right price point for seasons passes).   The economy is not getting better per Bernanke's remarks today, and this means resorts who are not cash flow positive (or have deep pocket backing) better define what customers will pay the bills.  Deer Valley never had a problem doing this, and neither did Bellayre. 

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