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Save Snow for More Profit

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Christmas eve and Christmas day my wife and I were to ski Stevens Pass Washington. Being long time skiers in the great pacific northwest we are use to the rain and this year there is plenty of it. The snow conditions were skiable but not the best, we decided to go ahead and made plans and reservations anyway.

Stevens Pass had snow, minimal but enough to run some lifts and open a few runs. Again something we northwesterners have become use to. But this year Stevens does something a little different.

Stevens Pass decided to not open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because historically those dates are low ticket sales periods. So in there infinate wisdom, Stevens Pass closes until the 26th of December stating they are "Saving the Snow" for a more profitable day.

Maybe I am a little confused but it seems to me that if a ski area is going to maximize ticket sales by only opening on profitable days we who like to ski the uncrowded slopes or trackless are looking at a bleak future.

Some readers of this thread may not realize that the ski areas in the Pacific Northwest are on Public Land. Land we as US citizens own and we give the ski areas the "privalige" to operate on OUR land.

If the management of ski areas are allowed to solely base there operations on tickets sales we may be looking at crowded "weekend only" areas, with very high ticket costs in the not to distant future.
post #2 of 6
I wouldn't want to see your prophecy come true, but what if weekends only meant lower ticket prices? If they are losing money every weekday, maybe staying closed on those days would actually save enough money to make tickets cheaper.
post #3 of 6
Interesting. You may want to speak with the local USFS office to see if their lease has any stipulations in it. It may very well have some that the Stevens Pass folks forgot to consider. They may need to be reminded.

However, the lifts are owned by the resort management, so they can't be forced to run them unless it's part of their agreement with the USFS.
post #4 of 6
Baker closes on Xmas day. They were lucky at all (only 3 chairs) to be open the day after. I can't imagine conditions at Stevens were any better. Just consider yourself lucky they are spinning the chairs at all at this moment, and sit back and remember who did and didn't treat their customers well after last winter. It's your own damn fault for continuing to patronize Stevens Pass.

And if you're going to complain about a company running their chairlifts at a massive loss under incredibly sub-par conditions, and what a "privalege" you have to recreate on that land, then quit bitching and start hiking or skinning there -- nobody would have stopped you from enjoying your Public Lands, unless you're too lazy... If you want to get pissed off about something, then get involved in the dispute at Crystal Mountain, where the Forest Service is disallowing people to enter public lands from the ski area, effectively closing off historically skied backcountry terrain.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi BakerBoy,

I just wanted to thank you for your interest in my post "Save Snow for More Profit". I do want to try to clarify a few items.
1) I do not typically patronize Stevens Pass. I do however enjoy skiing a different mountain just for variety. The back side of Stevens Pass can be excellent in the right conditions.
2) In my post my intent was not to complain about a company running their chairlifts at a massive loss, to the contrary, I am concerned that if a ski area is able to pick and choose what days they operate strickly based on maximized profit, we may find areas only operating on large volumn days, with both huge crowds and higher ticket prices.
3) It is interesting that on the one hand you suggest I have the "privilege" to recreate on the land because "nobody will stop you from enjoying your public lands", but just down the page on your reply you suggest I get involved in the "Crystal Mountain dispute" because there is an assault on public access to those very back country lands by the forest service. I agree that the Crystal Mountain dispute is a noble cause to be involved in and I will do what I can to get involved.
3) I think we are in agreement that an individual could and should go to the back country if unhappy with the local ski areas, but if we do not pay attention to public policy we may not continue to have access to these areas.

In clarification, I just want to say that as an avid skier I believe we should not and must not let the ski areas make arbitrary decisions based on their profit at the expense of a skiers access to the snow.

Again thanks for your reply!
post #6 of 6
I think that you have identified a trend that will continue. Many small hills in New England operate only on weekends. Many resorts typically do not run all their lifts during the week. Sugarbush, for example, started running it's famed interconnect lift, the Slidebrook Express, between the Bush's two mountains only on weekends and holidays last year.

Personally, I find it hard to blame the resorts as it just gets harder and harder to make a profit so they have to do whatever it takes to survive. 100 ski hills have gone out of business in Vermont alone according to NELSAP.
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