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powderfreak

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Everything posted by powderfreak

  1. The 540dm line coming soon. That's a pretty nice cold pool, could get some graupel showers out of that.
  2. Above normal, but cool and comfortable at the same time. Valley is faking the chill.
  3. I can't comment on it beyond that I worked with him on the zip pretty much since it’s beginning, he was an awesome guy and a veteran guide. I had talked to him right before his tour. Truly great guy and some boys lost a father… it’s been a very tough few days for the resort community.
  4. This 100%. It's a big thing in the ski industry too... everyone thinks they are the best. The adult skier learning, or anyone for that matter coming out to try skiing... it's awesome. Let them enjoy it, have a good time. There's no shame in trying a new activity. Every mountain, location, weather, terrain, it's different for everyone. I think there are a variety of circumstances that lead to people loving where they live. New England has plenty of character across different zones.
  5. There’s been a run on higher elevation NNE living over the past couple years. It’s been an attractive isolation method, located in a beautiful setting.
  6. Ha, isn't that the town he lives in? Wonder how she buries the bodies. She's got too much money to do it with a shovel, likely a backhoe.
  7. Some lift upgrades coming. Vermont & New Hampshire Stowe Mountain Resort, Mountain Lift: The replacement and extension of the existing fixed-grip triple to a high-speed 6-person lift will increase uphill capacity by 100%, eliminate the steep hike to the base of the lift, improve reliability on windy days and offer beginner and intermediate guests with better access to lower-level terrain choices. Mount Snow, Sundance/Tumbleweed Lift: The replacement of two fixed-grip triples with one high-speed 6-person lift will improve access to underutilized terrain and alleviate pressure on other lifts in the main base area, increasing uphill capacity by nearly 70%. Mount Snow, Sunbrook Lift: A new high-speed 4-person chair to replace the existing fixed-grip triple will significantly decrease the current 14-minute ride time by approximately 30% and result in better utilization of the Sunbrook terrain. Attitash Mountain Resort: The replacement of the East and West Double-Double chairs with one fixed-grip 4-person chair will improve reliability and enhance the overall guest experience at Attitash.
  8. Yeah to be honest no ski area should be judged by last winter, or maybe even this winter … but not opening that can of worms just yet.
  9. The “RFID Shuffle” ha. Yeah this is all interesting to hear because I truly feel the industry thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Even the small spots are putting them in.
  10. Today was one of those, but early in the season. Another 10-14 days is probably in the sweet spot? It's always hard to tell. Peak designation varies if you consider green or not in "peak color" status. The ceiling was 3,600ft so everything above that was in the clouds... the ridge was hiding above the moisture.
  11. Nada here. Maybe two or three rounds of mist showers at the mountain today that barely wet the ground. Nothing measurable.
  12. No matter what resorts use to assess validity of ticket, this is the ultimate no-no in mountain operations. You have a fixed uphill capacity, you need bodies in those spots no matter what when there’s a line up. They still need to monitor loss prevention practices and make sure guests are legitimate (even for liability as purchase acknowledges the legal release)… but filling uphill capacity on every carrier is key.
  13. Ha yeah good to know these opinions. Mine and many others in the industry love the gates. I understand the logic of Vail wanting to have a personal interaction face to face but once you got the hang of the RFID gates, I thought it was incredibly smooth. The first winter was real rough though. The main driver was to get something with a reloadable card/ticket that the guest can keep and just reload when they want to ski. Or hell you didn’t even have to reload, just attach a credit card to it and you just show up to the lift and get charged the first run of the day. It’s so much more flexible than having to get the day’s paper ticket each time out. Little known fact… Alta, Utah was one of if not the first ski area in the U.S. to use them. Jay Peak was first in Vermont. We went up there to talk to them about their experience before buying and I remember Jay Peak said their one mistake was they put it too close to the lift load point… you miss chairs when there is a problem at the gate. And no one wants to see empty chairs going up when there’s a line.
  14. This is why there's no one size fits all ski area and why "who is best" is often a mute point in the grand scheme of things. Because each mountain excels at something different and fits visitors differently. That's why when you find something that works and is enjoyable go with it... it can be fun to venture out but often the question is why mess with something good? I guess that carries over to everything in life, ha. Have a favorite restaurant that's perfect for your situation? Think hey maybe we will try this other place, then at the end you're like should've just gone to our usual spot. The big thing for families skiing, is that if you get separated for any reason you just want to go downhill and know your family will end up there. My mom was always ultra anal about staying together at Killington growing up... because literally a wrong turn could put a kid like 4 miles from where the rest of the family is. Sunday River is the same thing. Also ski areas with a lot of geographic width will eventually have you end up on a traverse or cat track with some skating involved... with kids that can be problematic as everyone wants a tow or a push. However, if you are older or don't have to worry about where a kid might end up, it's a lot of fun exploring a huge ski area and basically getting lost with friends trying all the different lifts and areas. And regarding the RFID gates... man, I love them. We put them in at Stowe years ago and it was a terrible first year. The guests didn't understand it, and to be honest the staff wasn't even sure. But once everyone figured it out and learned it, it was fast and people loved it. With kids though it's a pain because the "strike zone" is usually one height (aimed at adults) and kids are not all one height... so scanning their passes means they are jumping up at it, doing a shuffle/dance, then bar drops down and hits them in the face or something, its definitely not as kid friendly either. Kids also don't move as fast or easily as adults so the bar can be back in position before the kid even made it through. But it is wildly efficient otherwise. However after we had them for several winters, Vail bought us, and Vail Resorts likes the "personal" touch of having an employee scan you and greet you by name (in theory) and all that jazz. They wanted the face to face interaction instead of the "toll booth style." So we removed the RIFD gates but now need to find 30+ people a day to staff lines as ticket scanners, and in a tough labor market I know many wish it was just automated like it was for those few years. I think once you learn how to use them, it is incredibly efficient. Though the VR scanning method is fine too, as you don't have to take your card out of your jacket, it just scans it through your clothing. In the end the least efficient method is having to physically display a lift ticket... it's 2021. Put it in your pocket and forget about it for the day...get scanned without having to show it to anyone whether with a wand or an RFID gate.
  15. A couple full moon shots from the other evening in Stowe. The last three days have been phenomenal for viewing the huge full moon...tonight's stratus layer at 3,000ft, not so much.
  16. Real Estate. Later when watching the Sox game I’ll put some thoughts together on that. Just a quick look on news items past two years gives me a good idea on Waterville right now.
  17. I agree, Bretton Woods is looked at in the industry as the flagship up there. They do an Okemo level family friendly operation… good lift system and while the terrain is relatively mellow, they take great care of it through the snow surfaces department. I’ve never skied Attitash but it has a very outspoken loyal following which surprised me. Some of those infrastructure issues go all the way back to American Skiing Company. There’s no doubt those two mountains have sort of just been getting sold and moved together as a package deal. When Peak Resorts sold to VR, no doubt they were like if you want Mt Snow and Hunter you are taking these as well. Maybe I’m an eternal optimist but I think someone at VR may realize Attitash’s potential in a way like you wrote. I just know VR certainly prioritized certain integration steps to high visit spots like Mt Snow and Hunter. The more that gets dialed in the more likely I think they start looking to other areas. They like places that have potential growth so if Attitash does, they’ll find it. Im on the same page as you with Wildcat… fantastic core mountain but without knowing for sure, I can’t imagine a prospective buyer looking at their financials and getting excited .
  18. My buddy resigned as the GM up at Wildcat this summer. We had had neighboring offices at Stowe years back. Good guy but sounded like a very difficult task up there as they aren’t financially viable businesses on their own. So trying to make them into one is quite tricky. Sounds like Wildcat barely has reliable power, with the power company working in the remote woods up there many times a winter. I don’t think there’s anyway those two ski areas can financially operate independently… why they were with Peak Resorts and now Vail Resorts.
  19. That’s awesome. I think my family from Albany used to do about 30 a season growing up. I bet you can crush 40 days. But even more so, to me, my favorite family memories are almost all ski trips and ski days growing up. Can’t tell you how much your kids will appreciate that later on in life. There’s something about getting up early, excited, Mom’s got lunch made, everyone making their bagels for the car ride to the hill… then getting to explore and have adventure with siblings and parents all day. Then 10 minutes in the car at 4:30pm and all kids are passed out. I don’t know, I give all of you parents big props for it because I know it shaped my life and many of my best family memories are those fun days on the hill together. I’m the oldest in my family and I remember it was like the first time I was looking out for my sisters… going through glades and stuff, everyone looking out for each other and helping them in tricky spots. Then get home and wanting nothing to do with my sisters lol. Some cool family dynamics take place on the hill as kids that you don’t get at home.
  20. Summer tourism has been incredible. People want to travel. I think the demand for vacationing and travel is through the roof personally.
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