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Vail: How it's changed skiing and where it might be going.

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
My husband said all this bother for 1 day of skiing is dumb. My new thought is maybe visit my folks in Philly & convince my dad to ski w me on some easy stuff in the Poconos...

could you tack on a few inexpensive days at nearby mountains in Vermont? Magic mountain, Bromley, and suicide six are all close by.

Otherwise yeah that makes sense. Is Jack Frost any good this season?
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
could you tack on a few inexpensive days at nearby mountains in Vermont? Magic mountain, Bromley, and suicide six are all close by.

Otherwise yeah that makes sense. Is Jack Frost any good this season?
I'm guessing those are all pretty busy on Saturdays, though?

Tbh, I'm not too jazzed about Jack Frost or BB.

I might just eat the leftover pass day if I can't put a plan together. Ah well...
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
I'm guessing those are all pretty busy on Saturdays, though?
“Busy” is extremely relative. The lifts won’t be ski on but I would hazard a guess that the lines might, at most, have a 5 to 10 minute wait. Even busy Saturdays at Sugarbush lately have been in the 5 to 10 minute wait time category for me.
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
“Busy” is extremely relative. The lifts won’t be ski on but I would hazard a guess that the lines might, at most, have a 5 to 10 minute wait. Even busy Saturdays at Sugarbush lately have been in the 5 to 10 minute wait time category for me.
I will tuck this info away for when I have more time to explore the area & visit more resorts. Thank you!
 

Christy

Angel Diva
I might just eat the leftover pass day if I can't put a plan together. Ah well...

If it were me I'd be leery of spending more money (plane fare, hotel, car...) than I was saving (a single pass day), especially given there's no resort you sound excited about. Winter is still young--is there any way you can get away in March or April to someplace you would be excited to ski?
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
If it were me I'd be leery of spending more money (plane fare, hotel, car...) than I was saving (a single pass day), especially given there's no resort you sound excited about. Winter is still young--is there any way you can get away in March or April to someplace you would be excited to ski?
That's exactly my thought. Spending $400 to use $50 worth of ski pass makes no sense. I'm thinking of adding an extra day or two on my Reno/Tahoe trip in early March w my daughter. I'd like to take her to Heavenly bc that gondola ride is spectacular.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
The Epic Lift Lines IG may have gotten to them...Rob said they didn't even bother scanning passes on this busy Sunday, they just waved people through to keep things moving. (For some reason they got rid of the gates and went back to hand scanning).
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
The Epic Lift Lines IG may have gotten to them...Rob said they didn't even bother scanning passes on this busy Sunday, they just waved people through to keep things moving. (For some reason they got rid of the gates and went back to hand scanning).
Have you read the blog posts by the interim GM? Quite a different tone than the usual VR communication. More like an old school place.

Not as obvious whether addressing the issue at Stevens will have any impact on how other VR locations will be managed going forward.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
Yes, I see them on FB. They are doing damage control for sure and I'm glad there have been actual changes (more lifts open).

Last I heard there were 300 complaints filed with our AG. I gotta hand it to the guy that started it all, with the petition. That really got the ball rolling.
 

snoWYmonkey

Angel Diva
They (the resorts and their management) despise having their dirty laundry aired out in the public sphere. This holds true for privately and more secretive resorts as well. The one up side to social media shaming.
 

snoWYmonkey

Angel Diva
The first year (or second?) that Ikon existed was a good snow year for LCC/BCC and Jackson Hole. Few of the unhappy locals wanted to hear that the number of visits by season passholders was up substantially while the percentage of people using Ikon wasn't that big.

Haven't heard much about numbers or percentages for Alta or Snowbird or JH using Ikon lately. But with the pandemic, not sure recent numbers would mean much.
Sorry for the late reply to your post. I know that since JH requires advance reservations for IKON pass holders and only the main pass option includes Jackson, I suspect that the numbers are way down. Generally speaking, the resort has not seemed busy at all, be it regular days, holidays or weekends.

I still think that many of our destination guests do not ski all day bell to bell, so even if we are close to peak capacity it never feels as busy as it has in the past. I am not in any way complaining about this.
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
could you tack on a few inexpensive days at nearby mountains in Vermont? Magic mountain, Bromley, and suicide six are all close by.

Otherwise yeah that makes sense. Is Jack Frost any good this season?
In a happy change of circumstances, I was able to get an extra day off so I'll have next Thurs & Friday (and Saturday morning) to ski in VT! Was able to finesse a decent airfare nonstop to Albany.

Now I have to decide if I'll try to use that last day of my Epic pass or not on Thursday at Okemo or go elsewhere...I'm not keen to pay to park at Mt Snow. Oh, Vail Resorts...your pass is a double-edged sword!

I'll be staying in Manchester, VT. My sister might meet me Wed night to ski w me Thursday (she's driving from Philly burbs.) Will bring my Wisconsin ski gear for COLD weather!!)

Any/all suggestions welcome. Thanks for the suggestions that kept me on this trip plan idea, @ilovepugs !!

Yay!!!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
The new GM for Attitash, Brandon Swarz, is from the northeast. I think that's a good sign. He wants his kids to grow up in NH.


The former GM of Attitash has become the GM of Mt. Rose.
 

echo_NY

Angel Diva

another article. There was one in The NY Times posted as well: a winter of discontent!

 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
It looks like Wall Street is sending a message to Vail, too.

From Outside:

As Share Prices Tumble, Wall Street Says Vail Needs to Clean Up Operations​

Share price went from $372 in November to $276 in February, following national criticism over its management and sales strategies.​

FEBRUARY 18, 2022 FREDERICK DREIER


Wall Street analysts have a clear—if somewhat harsh—message for Vail Resorts amid reports of overcrowding, staff shortages, and poor management at its 40 ski areas.

“Digest what you have,” wrote Patrick Scholes of Truist Securities, one of 13 investment banks with employees assigned to analyze the company’s stock.

“Before [Vail Resorts] starts acquiring any more resorts, we would like to see it get the operational issues straightened out, especially at its more recently acquired resorts,” Scholes wrote in a February opinion. “We hope [Vail Resorts] addresses these issues at its upcoming investor day on March 22 and provides an action plan on what they intend to do on staffing issues and employee housing.”

Vail Resorts is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker MTN, and in recent years it has acquired multiple ski areas across the country. In 2021 it purchased three ski areas in Pennsylvania, and in 2019 it purchased Peak Resorts, a company that owned 17 different ski areas.

Over the past few months, the company has seen its share price tumble, from $372 in November to $276 in February, following national criticism over its management and sales strategies.

The Vail Daily published comments from multiple analysts on Wednesday about the company’s troubles. In 2021, Vail cut prices for season passes, selling a record 2.1 million of them, as well as advance tickets, for the 2021–22 season, which translated into an uptick in revenue. But mounting criticism from skiers across the country—as well as labor strife at several mountain properties—led the company’s share price to fall.
Outside recently published a feature story examining the problems at Vail Resorts, speaking with current and former employees. Sources attributed staffing shortages in part to the company’s inability to offer competitive salaries.

They also said that Vail’s policy of centralizing marketing, human resources, and other corporate positions in its Colorado headquarters—instead of allowing them to exist at its resorts—has caused disruptions in a variety of operations, from opening terrain to making artificial snow.
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I hope I'm not offending anyone who works for any of the ski resorts I may mention, but I think it's time to really look at what the major ski conglomerates have done to our country's ski resorts. And what the future of skiing looks like for those of us who are not millionaires.

My local Washington mountain, Crystal, got bought out by Alterra in 2018 because the owner felt he couldn't compete with the low prices he was seeing for the IKON and Vail passes. After buying Crystal, Alterra put Crystal under the IKON pass, and then we immediately starting experiencing nightmare traffic and parking issues. This was because they sold too many IKON passes and also started running Crystal advertising in Seattle. But since the IKON pass was only $700, we all overlooked it and even humored Crystal as they complained about the capacity issues they themselves had caused.

Well, this week Crystal hiked their season pass up to $1700! A 41% increase in one year, plus announcing paid parking for pass holders. We're all in shock, and completely disgusted because at the same time they announced an expansion plan that includes a new 100 room hotel with conference and meeting rooms, and a commons at the base with retail and "exceptional dining options." They are also tearing down our beloved high end lodge at the top of the mountain and putting in a 14,000 square foot retail and dining building. So basically they are pricing out the locals and catering to millionaires. All the while talking about "roots" and "community" in a video that was incredibly fake and out of touch. Even the look of the buildings they're putting in don't vibe with a ski resort, and they aren't upgrading anything skiing related. They are putting in more parking but now they are offering it to people who will $500 pay for it and are busing everyone else in. Basically, they are getting rid of their local skiers. I was going to move closer to Crystal so my baby girl could learn to ski there, but it's no longer a mountain I want to live next to because I think they are completely ruining the mountain's ski culture. Good development makes a profit and benefits the community, and this does neither of those things.

Stevens Pass, also near me, is not doing any better under Vail. 41K people signed a petition against Vail this season.

What are everyone's thoughts on the overcrowding, price hikes, and mismanagement at our most beloved resorts under Alterra and Vail? Is there a way forward where we can keep the ski culture we love and not pay astronomical prices?
 

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