Here it is, the middle of March 2009, Alpine Meadows has 170 inches on the mountain AND THEY'RE CLOSING APRIL 19TH !?!?!? WTF?
Gee, aren't they listed in that one "SKI" magazine as having one of the longest seasons in the west? Isn't there a die-hard, loyal following (both local and tourist) that lives for the Spring Corn season at Alpine? Can the economy truly be the reason for cutting our season so short? Time will tell as myself and many other longtime season pass holders either cut back to midweek passes or bail to Squaw altogether.
When JMA Ventures, LLC bought Alpine (and Homewood), they stuck their necks out and made claims that they "were going to take the areas back to a time when the locals were taken care of and appreciated..." That B.S. went out the window at the beginning of the season when they chose to open for three days with manmade snow on a swath a block long and twenty yards wide and THEN SHUT DOWN FOR FIVE DAYS FOLLOWING A HUGE DUMP!!!
Yeah, thanks to the vocal ranting of a few assertive locals, they did kick a few week-end days open for the midweek passholders to limit a riot en mass, but things were only to get worse, not better.
With a limited staff on hand, they tried lift maze configurations that reduced the number of lifties needed to check tickets, which resulted in much confusion and heated tempers, as well as making it a hassle and dangerous for people entering the maze or trying to get past to get to the lodge.
Fortunately, the voices of those on the frontlines, the lifties, were eventually heard and they went back to the tried and true method of getting people in and out of the base area.
The closing or non operation of certain lifts came next, and all of that can't be blamed on weather related issues or a lack of skiers on the hill. The term "money hold" became the norm and a part of everyday chairlift discussions. At one point, we were threatened with the prospect of the Sherwood chair shutting down in mid-January and NOT spinning again this year, even if we got more snow. This came to pass and the threat proved to be idle, but the mere thought of the management putting these kinds of things out for us to digest was enough to further incite our ire and for us to long for the days when POWDR CORP was calling the shots (not that they didn't piss us off too; just not nearly as much as JMA has so far!).
Now, with some of the potentially best Spring skiing conditions in recent memory, they're pulling the plug with the earliest closing date since 1976 (hmm, that was a really meager snow year, yes? 170 inches on top right now...get real!!!)!
I spoke with someone in management to make my points and to see if I could be a voice for my midweek passholder buddies and find out if they were going to open week-ends to the midweekers as they have in the past, and was told that "probably not" was going to happen. Then I brought up the fact that
Squaw Valley just announced some of the best value, lowest priced passes in the country for next season and wanted to know how Alpine planned to respond. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that "what you do with your money is your business. Leave running a resort to us..."
So, thanks for the loyalty Alpine Meadows! You've made it clear that you don't value my business or intend to support your local customer base. Word will get out and many people like myself, will do whatever it takes to limit the amount of money that we flow your way. Yes, things are tough all over, money is harder to come by and more is being put into other things, but for those of us that have built our lives to accommodate the pursuit of our passion, we will be doing less of it in a way that lines your pockets to any degree.
So, look out KT-22, here we come!!!!!
Edited by TahoeBru - 3/19/2009 at 04:11 am