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A Guide to Resort Operations?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I have always found it peculiar watching resorts (via their websites) open trails. For instance I have been watching Bretton Woods the last few weeks as I'm going up there in a few weeks. They blasted the snow guns for three days and opened up one of their longest runs. Then they moved on to some other trails (which have less acreage than the opened ones) and have been blasting snow on them for five days and on top of that have received seven inches since then and are supposed to get six inches today, yet these trails have yet to open. Now I'm not here clamoring for them to open trails because theres snow on them--this thread is meant to learn how resorts choose how to open things. I'm sure there is a range of protocols with each area, but I want to know in general how resorts plan trail openings. Do they prefer to open trails as they get them ready or get a whole section of the mountain ready and then open a large swath rather than individual trails? Just general information about how resorts plan trail openings that non-resort employees wouldn't think about.

post #2 of 3

Areas that rely mainly on man-made snow for their opening bases tend to open slopes that require the least base (fewer rocks, no stumps, etc. to cover) first.  The more-difficult-to-cover runs get opened later.


Some times it's a water-draw limitation that determines how quickly they can open additional terrain.


Sometimes it's other aspects of the additional terrain's nature, such as difficulty of moving made snow around with grooming equipment, that determines how rapidly they can expand open terrain.


Some resorts that can make snow as long as they want will get runs open early with plans to return to them later for additional base build-up, and then concentrate for longer periods on runs where they will make snow only once.

Edited by Kneale Brownson - 12/6/10 at 9:23am
post #3 of 3

And/or the need to staff lifts compared to the amount of trail opened, and whether they want to hold on until peak season rather than having the snow skied off the rocks before christmas.


I prefer how we do it. Opening day, all lifts open. Thank heaven for mother nature!

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