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Discussion in 'United States' started by CarveMan, Jan 16, 2020.
would be a more drastic step here. there it looks like 1 1/2 hrs from seattle so if someone gets there and can't get a ticket it's bad but not a disaster. someone travelling from melb or sydney to persiher, thredbo, hotham or falls is going to have sunk money into accom and maybe other expense (and a fair few at buller and minors).
committing to day tickets ahead of time here is also pretty fraught given our dodgy weather.
will be interesting to watch who follows suit. does it encourage people to lock in or piss them off enough to send them elsewhere
The explanation is concise and well explained. Seems like a sensible decision.
I can't see Buller forgoing the ticket sales, they'll just jam and pack everyone in and let them suffer the consequences. Gondola (mass transit) from Mirimbah anyone?
It's a pity Stirling can't accommodate more recreational day trippers, tobogganing and sight seeing.
I've long considered that the future of ski resorts will be members only
Pretty remarkable letter nonetheless
Actually formulating a response and plan rather than doing a Scrooge McDuck dive into the punters' dollar bills then burying your head in the snow
I don't know Crystal and haven't skied there but I do wonder sometimes why these resorts need Ikon, MC ,Epic etc
Buller has actually shut the gate on many Saturdays over the last few winters but it seemed to be managed better last year. Issue wasn’t paying skiers though, in fact it probably led to lower skier numbers.
True. I was hyperbolic, but the mountain and state need to recognise that our growing population want and need to enjoy the great outdoors and in particular the snow.
There's got to be ways to spread the load so recreational visitors can be directed away from congested areas. It'll take resources and time but it can be done.
Go tell the VNPA we need another resort!!
(we do - but for snowplay)
But a lot of snowplayers want the bling of a big resort as they've seen in the pics.
Time for my annual line: tar the road from Buller through to Sterling and run it as a loop - now surely the VNPA would get behind that...
Yes I keep hearing this.
It raises a lot of questions at a place like Buller when all the big $$$ that has been invested to make the place bling, was largely invested to service skiers/boarders and if the snowplay crowd is detracting from the skiers/boarder experience then you've got a tail wagging the dog situation.
Just to add to it, looks like Stevens Pass road is closed indefinitely too, creating a 3.5 hour drive to get to the resort. Getting to the mountains around Seattle will be a pain in the arse this weekend.
Yeah I'm a member of the VNPA so well aware of the politics. I also recognise we need more recreational access to the snow and lake mountain and Donna ain't gonna cut it.
Happy Feet area neads to be expanded with snowplay, food and bev etc.
The issue is actually parking. The resort can't accommodate extra numbers.
Gondola from Mirimbah is the short and long term answer. Straight into the village (near where the port was/is for the 'never' proposed gondola to Striling)
Complete with Indian and Chinese food outlets.
Shit, am I allowed to suggest that?
Tis public land dude, we're all allowed to visit. With or without our garlic nann or dumplings.
Just pointing out what's missing.
But yeah, it's the point I'm trying to make. The new immigrants to our country from the sub continent and China seem to have taken a liking to the mountains. We should encourage it, but we're not managing it properly.
I'd agree with you to an extent. Hotham are producing downloadable brochures in Hindi and Mandarin. They have made more snowplay areas available around the Village, Davenport and towards Wire Plain.
It's there, but Hotham is hardly a day trip from Melbourne. And sadly, no Indian or Chinese food outlets.
Buller has a Chinese place that was marketed as 'the flower drum of the high country'*
* it isn't.
** i've never been there.
The problem is two-fold. Lots of Ikon pass sales and the ever-growing population of Seattle due to tech boom. I have an Ikon pass but never had a Crystal season pass. I only ski there early or late season though because of the crowds.
Last two weekends some people have taken 4 hours to get to Crystal from Seattle. And ones after that were turned away because of no parking.
The conditions have been pretty amazing around here too. pent up demand after a slow start to the season. The perfect storm in multiple dimensions
I think it's a good decision. Stevens pass will follow soon, I suspect. I may be there Monday - Mission Ridge this weekend. No crowds
Some resorts have had caps forever. Deer Valley had a cap back in 1986. It probably still does. I think Alta too.
How do caps work at Deer/Alta in the Ikon era? Sounds a lot trickier
You have to pre-reserve at Deer Valley if you are on Ikon. It's free, I'm not sure if there are repercussions for a no-show.
DV restrictions only kicked in between Xmas and NY and Presidents weekend when I worked there but may happen more in the new Ikon era.
Casual racism I'm afraid
These days it's just food outlets I think
Deer Valley still has a cap. It also only allows 5/7 days for Ikon holders, which is the only Alterra-owned resort on Ikon to be set up that way. From what I learned from a long time DV employee when I was there for the first time last April, they only reached the cap during a few days in holiday periods last season. The cap was raised several years ago, a bit before the Alterra sale.
I remember hearing about a cap for Alta, but not for quite a while. The issue for Alta and Snowbird has been the road and parking. Haven't heard talk of a cap for day tickets.
Powder Mountain limits the number of season passes and day tickets. With 7000 acres (more than Alta and Snowbird combined) and the cap, it's really never crowded at PowMow. They did reach the cap on a few powder days last season. The mountain access road is steep and narrow. When it's snow covered, much better to have bought a ticket in advance online. PowMow is also a bit different in that they are not making big investments in increasing snowmaking infrastructure. PowMow is never open for U.S. Thanksgiving. Very different goals for the current ownership than a typical U.S. ski resort.
The DV webpage for making a reservation is quite clear that if you don't show up then you still lose a day off your Ikon pass. You are not required to reserve in advance. Of course, on a potentially busy day, not having a reservation means running the risk of not getting on the slopes.
The other thing about Deer Valley’s cap, at least when I worked there, is it was related to how many people they could feed as opposed to the mountain capacity. On sold out days it felt busy but not ridiculous.
The reason John Kircher decided to sell Crystal to Alterra after only recently taking sole ownership from Boyne Resorts is that he realized he didn't have enough financial resources to deal with the improvements still needed in the current ski industry environment. John brought Big Sky and Crystal into Boyne while his brother ran the midwest and eastern Boyne resorts. He felt the competitive pressure after Vail Resorts bought Stevens Pass. Just as the Mueller family felt the pressure to sell Okemo and Sunapee after VR bought Stowe. They simply couldn't raise enough money to deal with what Crested Butte needed. Slightly different issues but same result with VR buying Peak Resorts, which only recently expanded into the mid-Atlantic (Pennsylvania) and northeast (NY Catskills, Mt. Snow in VT, Wildcat/Attitash in NH).
What the money from Epic and Ikon does is provide money in the bank that's not as dependent on weather. People have to commit before it's clear how much snow will be around at Christmas and well before mid-season. I get the sense that before 2008 when Epic was created, there were people who waited to buy a season pass. No snow in early January, then no season pass purchase.
Boyne and Powdr are partners in Ikon. They seem to have enough financial resources to do the capital projects needed for the next 5-10 years for all their resorts to become full-featured 4-season resorts.
What Mountain Collective did was help independents like Jackson Hole or Alta do national marketing. Believe it or not, there are people outside the Rockies who hadn't heard much about the destination resorts in the west 10-15 years ago. They skied their local region and thought that was what skiing was about. Flying from the northeast U.S. to ski was not typically an annual vacation.
Its a bit like the business model in general eg supermarkets, telcos,tech companies, health and pathology services.
Borrow money,buy out the opposition,get so big that you can hire your own lawyers and lobbyists to fight anyone including the tax office,pay no taxes so the locals who do pay taxes cant compete ,give the consumer poor sevice but make it sound like you care and leave them no other viable choices, start cheap ,draw in the sheep then jack up prices if you get too popular.
What are they doing with Buffalo these days? Another under rated place in Vic is Mt St Gwenier