Why is it so hard for resorts to have a decent policy for cafeteria tables?

jt10000

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Posts
81
Location
New York City
And i always feel bad for the dad and or mom (or both) with a couple little ones who walk around the lodge round and round forever with trays of food looking for somewhere to sit the family. And if your one who has a very respectful and passive personality you will basically eat standing up with your kids. Its sometimes sad when i see folks not know what to do with thier kids to sit and eat. Ive actually told people to come and sit.
This was me and my boy (just one - seven years old at the time) at Shawnee in Pennsylvania the season before last. We had to start eating sitting on the floor. Eventually a group nearby let him squeeze in, while I ate standing up.

My recommendation is to eschew on-mountain dining entirely
Good if that works for you.
 
Last edited:

jseeski

Skiing a little BC powder
Skier
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Posts
152
Location
Salmo, British Columbia, Canada
For the cafeteria and the downstairs "brown bag" area, Whitewater has picnic tables. No individual chairs. Reservations were nominally required this year, but most of the time there was plenty of room. Booting up first thing in the morning was no problem. During a normal year, the cafeteria can get very busy, and kids race groups and school groups can take a lot of space. I can still usually find a place for hot chocolate (when skiing with my wife), partly because WH2O is small and we can almost always find a table occupied by people we know.

When I ski alone, I usually ski straight through until about 2:00 (no break at 10:30) and then go home. No lunch at the ski area for YOU!!
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
3,366
Location
Sun Peaks B.C. in winter, Victoria B.C. in summer
For the cafeteria and the downstairs "brown bag" area, Whitewater has picnic tables. No individual chairs. Reservations were nominally required this year, but most of the time there was plenty of room. Booting up first thing in the morning was no problem. During a normal year, the cafeteria can get very busy, and kids race groups and school groups can take a lot of space. I can still usually find a place for hot chocolate (when skiing with my wife), partly because WH2O is small and we can almost always find a table occupied by people we know.

When I ski alone, I usually ski straight through until about 2:00 (no break at 10:30) and then go home. No lunch at the ski area for YOU!!
^^^No, No, No. The food at Whitewater is too good to pass up. Ski Canada magazine once called it the best cafeteria food in Canada.
 

Goose

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Posts
1,299
And so,...its kind of curious to me why it is after all the decades of skiing, the lodge issues (at least in my area) has never seemed to change much at all. The issues mentioned have been the same in the 70's the 80's all the way till now. One would think after so many years of these issues that things would have eventually changed for the better, or somehow evolved to a much smoother and more practical lodge experience. A small over crowded zoo just is what it is. Simply just never has been able to accommodate the amount of guests. Oh yea many places did expand and renovate due to the increases customer crowds through the years. But buy the time they did it was already too late.

I understand expanding lodges is not as easily done than it is said. All kinds of rules and regulations must be met or often make it impossible. What is the answer? is it second levels (where applicable)? Is it stricter enforcement? and if so,....who is going to enforce it anyway? Do we think some low paid employee is going to mix it up with guest after guest?
 

jseeski

Skiing a little BC powder
Skier
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Posts
152
Location
Salmo, British Columbia, Canada
^^^No, No, No. The food at Whitewater is too good to pass up. Ski Canada magazine once called it the best cafeteria food in Canada.
You're right. But if I ate lunch at WH2O, I would gain too much weight, spend too much money and end up skiing less. (Lessee...go in at 11:30 to beat the crowd, have a nice lunch at Coal Oil Johnny's, then have an after-lunch nap in the comfy seats of my truck - can't ski on a full stomach, don'tcha know, then wake up, get moving and ski some more...wait! What??!? It's 3:30 you say? What do you mean you're closing for the day?! I've only skied for couple of hours! Who's in charge here? I wanna speak to the management!)
 

scott43

Skiing the powder
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
6,901
Location
.
And so,...its kind of curious to me why it is after all the decades of skiing, the lodge issues (at least in my area) has never seemed to change much at all. The issues mentioned have been the same in the 70's the 80's all the way till now. One would think after so many years of these issues that things would have eventually changed for the better, or somehow evolved to a much smoother and more practical lodge experience. A small over crowded zoo just is what it is. Simply just never has been able to accommodate the amount of guests. Oh yea many places did expand and renovate due to the increases customer crowds through the years. But buy the time they did it was already too late.

I understand expanding lodges is not as easily done than it is said. All kinds of rules and regulations must be met or often make it impossible. What is the answer? is it second levels (where applicable)? Is it stricter enforcement? and if so,....who is going to enforce it anyway? Do we think some low paid employee is going to mix it up with guest after guest?
Yeah, dunno the answer. A big sign saying "NO HOLDING TABLES" that I could point to would be nice... Not sure why it has to come to fisticuffs...
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
18,564
Location
Tahoe
Mt. Rose had tables limited to 30 minutes this season due to the Vid. Only people eating could sit there. They had a person assigned to the entry to the table area who passed out a little card with the time by which you had to leave. Also, signs saying "Helmets and gear don't save seats." Early on in the season, if you didn't have a pass you couldn't be in the lodge.

On a normal year, however, HOLY SMOKES! When the racer kids rolled in there was no room in the Slide side lodge. This year that lodge was closed except for restrooms; I don't know what the racers did.

I think the 30 minute thing should continue, as well as not just sitting at a table during peak hours in your Uggs while playing on the computer waiting for your family to come back.
And, usually, the baselodge mom is supposed to stay in the upper level of the main lodge. Not sure about Slide side policies, but sure seems like there aren't any.
 

pchewn

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Posts
1,540
Location
Beaverton OR USA
The lodge at Silver Mountain in Idaho has several very large prominent signs declaring that bags and equipment are not to be left in the seating area. (e.g. To reserve spots). It is a somewhat unique condition though, because the lodge is on the top of the mountain and the parking lot is a 20-minute (one-way) gondola trip from the base (where there is no skiing and often no snow).

So I imagine lots of people want to bring their spare and extra gear up on the mountain, but there's not much space to store it. If I remember the signs, they said something like "Bags and gear will be removed and can be claimed .... (somewhere)"

It was a very empty lodge when I was there.
 

scott43

Skiing the powder
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
6,901
Location
.
The lodge at Silver Mountain in Idaho has several very large prominent signs declaring that bags and equipment are not to be left in the seating area. (e.g. To reserve spots). It is a somewhat unique condition though, because the lodge is on the top of the mountain and the parking lot is a 20-minute (one-way) gondola trip from the base (where there is no skiing and often no snow).

So I imagine lots of people want to bring their spare and extra gear up on the mountain, but there's not much space to store it. If I remember the signs, they said something like "Bags and gear will be removed and can be claimed .... (somewhere)"

It was a very empty lodge when I was there.
This I like...
 

Popeye Cahn

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Posts
162
Location
Under the Top Gun skies
Oh lord, don't get me started...

The last day I was at Bear Mountain in April, a number of tables that had umbrellas (not many...) were taken up by sitters and leavers, meaning they left their sh!t and were no where to be found. I sat down with my grom at one table filled with crap and relaxed in the shade. I seriously considered moving their crap to another open and un-shaded table, but I'm not that passively aggressive. Maybe next time I will, to hell with that sh!t.
 

Goose

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Posts
1,299
This is also one those things I feel really does add enormously to the list of daunting tasks and negative sides to skiing which can lead to being the difference between a newer family becoming ski addicted vs never returning.

I mean think of it for a moment. All the hurtles to endure for a first time ski day for a fam within 2 or more hrs drive of a ski hill. Or even an avid skier dad with a first time family ski day.
Got to get all the clothing prepared for the family the night before. Get up perhaps 5am get everything and everyone ready and in the car. Stop somewhere for breakfast or make plans to have something while driving.

If your renting off mountain you have to stop at rental shop and take care of all that and load the car. Dress and boot up the fam at the car. Or if renting on mountain, we are still dressing everyone at the car and making way to lodge. Deal with lift tix purchasing or (nowadays) if pre-purchased) still have to obtain the passes. Then of course the kids and likely also parents have to hit the bathroom. then you hit the rental area and go through that usually fairly slow ordeal. Now once all things are set and all equipment is set and been through the lines and waiting (even if early still have lines) you have to boot up, dress up the fam, need a place to put your stuff so you rent a locker or find a space or go back out to put stuff in the car (if close enough). And finally its now about 9am after feeling like youve already had a full days worth of labor since 5am you can head on out to perhaps the first time lesson for the kids but the wife is in a different group or perhaps private, whatever the case.

So now you got the fam after lessons and are slowly making your way along the bunny hill/s area and dealing with the falling, and whos feet hurt, and whos cold and etc. Now of course someone has to hit the bathroom. And so you figure we all may as well go again so as to get it over with. deal with removing skis and racking them and the lodge is getting filed and bathroom lines etc. Then its again boot up. dress up again and back out for round 2.

Well, now its lunch time and the kids are thirsty and hungry. Dismount all from skis and find a rack to place. And on top of all the daunting tasks you been through you make your way inside to find no tables to sit at. So you walk and view the room three times over and still no tables. After standing around for 10 clueless moments with the kids you finally eye up a table who looks like they are done and go to ask if they will be leaving. They say yes in just a few moments. So you wait for them to finally decide to gather thier things and leave. And just as they are (if your not standing over the table) someone else runs over and tries to claim the table. And if the people who were at the table dont vouch for the fact that you were patiently waiting on them you now have a problem with thie new table claimer. I seen it numerous times. .
I mean its like "F this crap". Who the heck needs all that daunting efforts and money spent already and now have to deal with lunch (instead of a pleasant break) being an even larger daunting task. And we still have the rest of day to go yet and then basically do everything in reverse till your home and all unpacked. That crap right then and there at luch can actually be enough for one to say ..."screw this S#!t Im outta here" and never return. That overcrowded lodge not capable op handle its own load can be one the ugliest parts of the day and instead of being an asset towards ones decisions to return it actually adds a huge detriment. For first time people the zoo of a weekend at a small crowded hill in the lodge can be the straw that breaks the camels back. Speaking of which CamelBack PA is about one the worst ones for this I can think of.lol .
 

Ogg

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Posts
1,995
Location
Long Island, NY
Taking your kids anywhere popular on a weekend will likely be a similar experience to what @Goose described above. Ski areas generally aren't going to build enough lodge capacity for ~20 really busy days a season that is going to be empty 5 days a week.
 

lisamamot

Lisa MA MOT
Skier
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Posts
280
Location
West of Boston, MA
there are a million non-skiing moms with packed lunches who have a table big enough for 8 people by themselves
Yup, non-skiers are frequently moms and grandparents. It is great they give up their day to spend them at the mountain with their fam. Hopefully if the table is “saved” they just received a text saying everyone is coming in, otherwise they need to slide over until that moment arrives!

you've got soccer moms wearing uggs sitting with her laptop in a prime spot.
That is a lodge mom, not a soccer mom! As a longtime soccer mom I can attest we are a far tougher breed. I have never been colder than standing on the sidelines of my daughter’s “spring” soccer tourneys the first weekend in March in New England. Standing snow and ice on the fields, winds whipping while often actively snowing/raining/sleeting - we are fierce, and we pale in comparison to our daughters!
 

Goose

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Posts
1,299
Taking your kids anywhere popular on a weekend will likely be a similar experience to what @Goose described above. Ski areas generally aren't going to build enough lodge capacity for ~20 really busy days a season that is going to be empty 5 days a week.
you dont even need a brick and mortar lodge expansion. Something like just simple as a tennis bubble for table space could do wonders. Of course there needs to be room to place one.
 

pchewn

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Posts
1,540
Location
Beaverton OR USA
This is also one those things I feel really does add enormously to the list of daunting tasks and negative sides to skiing which can lead to being the difference between a newer family becoming ski addicted vs never returning.

I mean think of it for a moment. All the hurtles to endure for a first time ski day for a fam within 2 or more hrs drive of a ski hill. Or even an avid skier dad with a first time family ski day.
Got to get all the clothing prepared for the family the night before. Get up perhaps 5am get everything and everyone ready and in the car. Stop somewhere for breakfast or make plans to have something while driving.

If your renting off mountain you have to stop at rental shop and take care of all that and load the car. Dress and boot up the fam at the car. Or if renting on mountain, we are still dressing everyone at the car and making way to lodge. Deal with lift tix purchasing or (nowadays) if pre-purchased) still have to obtain the passes. Then of course the kids and likely also parents have to hit the bathroom. then you hit the rental area and go through that usually fairly slow ordeal. Now once all things are set and all equipment is set and been through the lines and waiting (even if early still have lines) you have to boot up, dress up the fam, need a place to put your stuff so you rent a locker or find a space or go back out to put stuff in the car (if close enough). And finally its now about 9am after feeling like youve already had a full days worth of labor since 5am you can head on out to perhaps the first time lesson for the kids but the wife is in a different group or perhaps private, whatever the case.

So now you got the fam after lessons and are slowly making your way along the bunny hill/s area and dealing with the falling, and whos feet hurt, and whos cold and etc. Now of course someone has to hit the bathroom. And so you figure we all may as well go again so as to get it over with. deal with removing skis and racking them and the lodge is getting filed and bathroom lines etc. Then its again boot up. dress up again and back out for round 2.

Well, now its lunch time and the kids are thirsty and hungry. Dismount all from skis and find a rack to place. And on top of all the daunting tasks you been through you make your way inside to find no tables to sit at. So you walk and view the room three times over and still no tables. After standing around for 10 clueless moments with the kids you finally eye up a table who looks like they are done and go to ask if they will be leaving. They say yes in just a few moments. So you wait for them to finally decide to gather thier things and leave. And just as they are (if your not standing over the table) someone else runs over and tries to claim the table. And if the people who were at the table dont vouch for the fact that you were patiently waiting on them you now have a problem with thie new table claimer. I seen it numerous times. .
I mean its like "F this crap". Who the heck needs all that daunting efforts and money spent already and now have to deal with lunch (instead of a pleasant break) being an even larger daunting task. And we still have the rest of day to go yet and then basically do everything in reverse till your home and all unpacked. That crap right then and there at luch can actually be enough for one to say ..."screw this S#!t Im outta here" and never return. That overcrowded lodge not capable op handle its own load can be one the ugliest parts of the day and instead of being an asset towards ones decisions to return it actually adds a huge detriment. For first time people the zoo of a weekend at a small crowded hill in the lodge can be the straw that breaks the camels back. Speaking of which CamelBack PA is about one the worst ones for this I can think of.lol .

Wow @Goose , that rant really makes me want to go skiing.
 

Goose

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Posts
1,299
Wow @Goose , that rant really makes me want to go skiing.
I know what you mean lol. But.....Honestly that wasnt a rant. It was simply stating the facts of what often needs to be endured. Skiing does have a lot of hurtles. And the lodge situation which could be something to help the day go better but instead it usually adds a whole other hurtle in itself.
 

surfsnowgirl

Magic Mountain girl
Skier
Joined
May 12, 2016
Posts
4,507
Location
Londonderry, VT
That is a lodge mom, not a soccer mom! As a longtime soccer mom I can attest we are a far tougher breed. I have never been colder than standing on the sidelines of my daughter’s “spring” soccer tourneys the first weekend in March in New England. Standing snow and ice on the fields, winds whipping while often actively snowing/raining/sleeting - we are fierce, and we pale in comparison to our daughters!
Lisa, relax, no offense intended. My comment wasn't meant to be taken so literally. The generic term soccer mom is a mere generic term to describe a lodge lounger.
 
Last edited:

Scrundy

I like beer
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
563
Location
Conklin NY
This is also one those things I feel really does add enormously to the list of daunting tasks and negative sides to skiing which can lead to being the difference between a newer family becoming ski addicted vs never returning.

I mean think of it for a moment. All the hurtles to endure for a first time ski day for a fam within 2 or more hrs drive of a ski hill. Or even an avid skier dad with a first time family ski day.
Got to get all the clothing prepared for the family the night before. Get up perhaps 5am get everything and everyone ready and in the car. Stop somewhere for breakfast or make plans to have something while driving.

If your renting off mountain you have to stop at rental shop and take care of all that and load the car. Dress and boot up the fam at the car. Or if renting on mountain, we are still dressing everyone at the car and making way to lodge. Deal with lift tix purchasing or (nowadays) if pre-purchased) still have to obtain the passes. Then of course the kids and likely also parents have to hit the bathroom. then you hit the rental area and go through that usually fairly slow ordeal. Now once all things are set and all equipment is set and been through the lines and waiting (even if early still have lines) you have to boot up, dress up the fam, need a place to put your stuff so you rent a locker or find a space or go back out to put stuff in the car (if close enough). And finally its now about 9am after feeling like youve already had a full days worth of labor since 5am you can head on out to perhaps the first time lesson for the kids but the wife is in a different group or perhaps private, whatever the case.

So now you got the fam after lessons and are slowly making your way along the bunny hill/s area and dealing with the falling, and whos feet hurt, and whos cold and etc. Now of course someone has to hit the bathroom. And so you figure we all may as well go again so as to get it over with. deal with removing skis and racking them and the lodge is getting filed and bathroom lines etc. Then its again boot up. dress up again and back out for round 2.

Well, now its lunch time and the kids are thirsty and hungry. Dismount all from skis and find a rack to place. And on top of all the daunting tasks you been through you make your way inside to find no tables to sit at. So you walk and view the room three times over and still no tables. After standing around for 10 clueless moments with the kids you finally eye up a table who looks like they are done and go to ask if they will be leaving. They say yes in just a few moments. So you wait for them to finally decide to gather thier things and leave. And just as they are (if your not standing over the table) someone else runs over and tries to claim the table. And if the people who were at the table dont vouch for the fact that you were patiently waiting on them you now have a problem with thie new table claimer. I seen it numerous times. .
I mean its like "F this crap". Who the heck needs all that daunting efforts and money spent already and now have to deal with lunch (instead of a pleasant break) being an even larger daunting task. And we still have the rest of day to go yet and then basically do everything in reverse till your home and all unpacked. That crap right then and there at luch can actually be enough for one to say ..."screw this S#!t Im outta here" and never return. That overcrowded lodge not capable op handle its own load can be one the ugliest parts of the day and instead of being an asset towards ones decisions to return it actually adds a huge detriment. For first time people the zoo of a weekend at a small crowded hill in the lodge can be the straw that breaks the camels back. Speaking of which CamelBack PA is about one the worst ones for this I can think of.lol .
A lot of truth spoken, I try to bypass all that by skiing off peak times. Renting skis for children all season is huge and cost affective. Hell I bought a pass for my daughter this season just so can walk by ticket line. Food is a different story and can be a hassle, but by doing the other things makes it seem not to bad. Skiing half days on weekends helps with that also, feed her before we go and on the way home.
Think I’d ski anyway if I had to go threw that every time, cause once your out there it’s all good.
But to your point yes definitely a turn off to average Joe. My wife doesn’t ski and after a typical day like you described very acutely, she’d bail on any future outings.
 
Top