Non Region Specific - Give ski area management one piece of helpful advice...

Dave Petersen

Graphic Designer/Social Media Manager
Admin
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Posts
8,690
This is carried over from our Facebook page. A lot of good discussion going on so I thought I would get it going on our website as well (not everyone uses Facebook).

 

Bad Bob

old n' slow
Skier
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
4,056
Location
West of CDA South of Canada
Love the grays.
Do something nice for us. A large communal table in the cafeteria? Support a seniors group?
There are lots of us, we spend money, and we bring family to your ski area (future generations of customers).
 

tomahawkins

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Posts
425
Location
Bellingham, WA
Can't stop at just one...

  • Stop running food service, rentals, and ski schools. Create and sublease storefronts and let other companies/individuals do it.
  • Minimize grooming to slow skiers down. Enhances safety and increases mountain capacity.
  • Stop selling season passes and daily tickets. Charge by lift served vertical. Maybe adjust pricing to control crowding.
  • Parking and highway capacity are limiting more than the mountain itself. Get into the bussing business to get more people to the hill.
  • Hire lots of great people, i.e. pay them and compensate them fairly.
  • Promote a safety culture that guests will embrace and further advocate for.
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
12,325
Location
The Bull City
Leave at least 25% of the terrain ungroomed to bump up.
 

François Pugh

Skiing the powder
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
5,537
Location
Great White North (Eastern side currently)
Slow six pack with close spacing is better than fast quad with the same capacity. Better to have skiers in the chair lift than on a crowded run; better to wait in the chair than standing in a line up.
Tell it like it is; don't make excuses.
Pay your staff well.
Post skiers responsibility code rules on lift towers.
 

jt10000

步步高升
Skier
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Posts
330
Location
New York City
More indoor space if possible or at least tented space around the lodges or even parking lots.

I'll do two more:
Have decent food. I don't mind overpaying for food - I get it. But I do mind over paying for really bad food.
If lines get large, have some line management in place. Waiting a long time is bad. Waiting a long time and feeling I have to protect from people cutting is horrendous (looking at Mountain Creeks lift on their big beginner hill as an offender)
 

fatbob

Not responding
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
3,948
On the lines front

At a certain length of line suspend ski school and team/programme line cutting privileges - nothing feels like more a kick in the teeth for a tourist than seeing local kids skip ahead. Line marshall before the lines start extending out the maze. Amazing how many of your customers can't count to 4 or 6 and who don't understand that singles line is not so you can ride double or pick your chairmates.
 

Nathanvg

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Posts
426
I firmly believe that skier days would have shifted to ski areas that are well staffed if it wasn't for season passes. I also believe that staffing issues would have been solved by now to stop that shift. My advice: passes have only delayed the financial impact so solve your operating issues promptly and build trust with customers by being transparent/honest and provide a partial refund for partial service.

To most independent ski areas: great job. Market your excellence.
 

chris_the_wrench

Spinning wrenches and throwing spokes.
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2020
Posts
537
Location
Big Mountain Montana
Charge more for season passes, but limit the number of passes sold, local zip codes get preferential purchasing, run ALL THE LIFTS EVERY F'ng day(you know powder days will be packed, even if its a weekday, and that's one reason im ok with ya charging more because you will pay enough to recruit/maintain employees).

One more, don't advertise in Ski magazine(give that advertising money to your employees)
 

Joe Strummer

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Posts
77
Location
Squamish, BC
I think running a ski hill amid Covid is a tough gig. This may be blasphemous, but I'm happy with the way VR is running Whistler/Blackcomb. I thought the Reservation System last year was a success. VR is investing in a new Creekside Gondola and Big Red Chair in the summer.

But skier numbers this year appear to be way down on last year. The longest I've waited for a Chairlift was 2 mins (Peak Express). Yes I'm a Single, but I've been skiing WB for year and I have never seen it this empty.

Be careful what you wish for and appreciate what you have. There's no guarantee the present will become the future.
 

johnnyvw

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Posts
951
Location
NEPA
Hmmm...a Canadian resort is down on skier visits, but US resorts are crowded? Seems to me that has a lot more to do with travel restrictions than anything else.
 

Joe Strummer

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Posts
77
Location
Squamish, BC
Hmmm...a Canadian resort is down on skier visits, but US resorts are crowded? Seems to me that has a lot more to do with travel restrictions than anything else.
The main restriction in Canada is the need to have a negative PCR test before arrival (oh and be double vaxxed). At around CAD 200/person, this makes a family ski trip to WB prohibitively expensive.

But I suspect interior hills (Sun Peaks, Big White, Silverstar, etc) are hemorrhaging money due to the November storms that caused so much damage to Interior Highways. I would suspect you could pick up a sweet deal that would more than offset the cost of a PCR Test.
 
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