I think this is a great idea. But I need to remind everyone that I can be very evil. The cool part about really really bad ideas is that you don't need to waste any effort trying to kill them. The stronger you fight them, the more determined people are to do them. The faster they get implemented, the quicker they die from their own stupidity. Six trails down to 3? No, no no! Make it 9!
You see, there really are not a lot of ways for an owner to tell skier only snobs to man up and enjoy the fact that without snowboarding their favorite resorts would be circling the drain. If the owner told these folks what they really need to hear when they come whining, he'd just piss them off and lose loyal customers. Now he can do a nice little experiment, piss off the growing portion of his client base, suffer a net loss in traffic (hidden in the middle of a good snow year), declare victory, end the experiment and then make everyone happy.
There is no possible way for this "experiment" to succeed. Okemo used to have a skier only trail. Key words = used to.
Taos used to be one of those "over my dead body" no snowboarder resorts. Last season (the first full season of allowing riders) they saw 30% growth directly attributable to riding while their competitors saw a 30% decline in total visits. They have seen the light. I was riding at Taos at the end of last season. The reactions of skiers to riders varied across the board from encouragement to indifference to outright indignance. It might have been my imagination, but I got a a strong sense (e.g. body language, overheard discussions that faded as I neared) from a small minority of skiers that my presense really pissed them off. But I could also tell that these people knew how successful allowing riding had been, that there was no turning back and that complaining wasn't going to do them any good. They had had their say for years and they were proven wrong. My money is that the skier only crowd at Granite is in for a similar rude awakening.
At Whitetail, I've had guests complain to me about all the snowboarders sitting in the middle of the slope. It's sad and funny that I could see the same proportion of skiing guests (i.e. a 70-30 ratios of skiers to riders) standing in the middle of the slope (including the guest and myself - I was on skis at the time). When I started to point out to one guest that there was no effective difference between a stopped skier and a stopped rider and no significant difference in the percentages involved, I quickly saw the error of my ways. The guest was blind with respect to seeing skiers. The guest did not want to hear me tell him that there was not a problem. The guest wanted me to commit to fixing the obvious problem. The politest way to respond was to say "I hear you. I understand you. I will report this to the people who can do something about it." If he's not going to listen to me when I tell him he's full of it, why bother? When these kind of people complain loudly enough to SAM, you can't blame them for trying to avoid a no-win confrontation. SAM is supposed to listen to their customers and find some way to do what they ask without going belly up.
So kudos to Granite for having the courage to try this idiotic experiment. And kudos to Mad River, Alta and Deer Valley for having the courage to stay true to their loyal skiing customers in the face of overwhelming evidence that allowing snowboarding would improve their business. Still, maybe one more failed experiment like this one might be the straw of evidence to turn one more of these misguided resorts over to the dark side.
Bwa ha ha ha ha!