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Skivt2

The 2018-2019 Ski Season Thread

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12 hours ago, Professional Lurker said:

Have fun guys.  Be living (skiing) vicariously through you all this year.  Post tons of pics!

I’ll post a ton of pics from Stratton. I did 30 days last winter and I’m shooting for 40 this year!!!

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1 hour ago, CoastalWx said:

Does Killington make out when the snow they make is gone in a week?

No not really. At least from a pure short term operating cost standpoint. It's more of a bone they throw season pass holders...it may help retain the pass holders though and give them a better reputation amongst those seeking to get a season pass. So in the end, it's probably a positive long term return if you view it from that perspective. 

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7 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

No not really. At least from a pure short term operating cost standpoint. It's more of a bone they throw season pass holders...it may help retain the pass holders though and give them a better reputation amongst those seeking to get a season pass. So in the end, it's probably a positive long term return if you view it from that perspective. 

They get so much press for it too.  It's in the news, every single skier connected to social media also knows Killington opened today.  This time of year is when you need to capitalize on that stuff.  People are itching to ski, the weather is turning, and they have people talking about it.  

I think business wise, going the extra mile in the fall even if you lose money on the operating costs, still nets you a positive return despite it being nearly impossible to measure.  The stuff I don't think matters is the staying open late in the season, from a business standpoint.  Right now you capitalize on anticipation.  In the spring time, the ROI (in my opinion) is mostly to satisfy a few passholders.  The early season skiing stuff is pure publicity and has about as far a reach as any ski news will get.

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1 hour ago, powderfreak said:

They get so much press for it too.  It's in the news, every single skier connected to social media also knows Killington opened today.  This time of year is when you need to capitalize on that stuff.  People are itching to ski, the weather is turning, and they have people talking about it.  

I think business wise, going the extra mile in the fall even if you lose money on the operating costs, still nets you a positive return despite it being nearly impossible to measure.  The stuff I don't think matters is the staying open late in the season, from a business standpoint.  Right now you capitalize on anticipation.  In the spring time, the ROI (in my opinion) is mostly to satisfy a few passholders.  The early season skiing stuff is pure publicity and has about as far a reach as any ski news will get.

So you think it helps basically during the real season? I just don’t see how getting a handful of hard core skiers a week helps them in any way at this moment. 

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36 minutes ago, redbanknjandbigbasslakepa said:

Hidden gem in skiing, Magic Mtn

I really want to get there. It's one of the few real mid sized mountains with a good rep I haven't been to yet. Everyone raves about it once the snowpack gets deep and the glades are open season. 

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I really doubt that Killington will close anytime going forward. The Glades are high elevation and snowmaking looks possible late this weekend and next week as well.

Killington opened on 10/25/16 and stayed opened from that point on.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, CoastalWx said:

So you think it helps basically during the real season? I just don’t see how getting a handful of hard core skiers a week helps them in any way at this moment. 

They do alot more than a handful of skiers. This weekend will be packed.

 

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21 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

I really want to get there. It's one of the few real mid sized mountains with a good rep I haven't been to yet. Everyone raves about it once the snowpack gets deep and the glades are open season. 

It definitely a great mountain when the snow is flying. Also never have to worry about wind holds like many other mountains. My suggestion is to get there on a mid week powder day. Smaller crowds which preserves the powder!  That is if your into that type of thing.  No frills laid back vibe. 

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1 hour ago, ORH_wxman said:

I really want to get there. It's one of the few real mid sized mountains with a good rep I haven't been to yet. Everyone raves about it once the snowpack gets deep and the glades are open season. 

Beats the hell out of Stratton. Mount snow is a very good mountain too. Skip Stratton. 

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11 hours ago, Sugarloaf1989 said:

They do alot more than a handful of skiers. This weekend will be packed.

 

Isn’t it basically just one chair and a couple of Trails?  Those will see a long line and a crowded trail but it is a tiny fraction of what they usually see.

 

edit 4 trails...3 lifts.    Still a tiny amount, but nice they could do this

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Killington will remain open for the season. The forecast this week will provide plenty more Snowmaking opportunities and the snow that is made can survive the above freezing temps much better than an early season Natural Snowfall.

15 hours ago, CoastalWx said:

Does Killington make out when the snow they make is gone in a week?

 

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3 hours ago, LaxSki said:

Killington will remain open for the season. The forecast this week will provide plenty more Snowmaking opportunities and the snow that is made can survive the above freezing temps much better than an early season Natural Snowfall.

 

I think it's dumb, but good luck to them.

 

 

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2 hours ago, CoastalWx said:

I think it's dumb, but good luck to them.

 

 

I would not be shocked if the net gain in income from early openings and late finishes  results in an overall boost in a resort’s yearly income.  People will flock mid season if their appetite has been whetted by news of the place being open.

Not sure how one could compute that...

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4 hours ago, CoastalWx said:

I think it's dumb, but good luck to them.

 

 

How is it dumb? Killington has been opening early since the mid 1960's, this isn't anything new.

They are currently one of only 5 ski areas opened in the United States.

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19 minutes ago, Sugarloaf1989 said:

How is it dumb? Killington has been opening early since the mid 1960's, this isn't anything new.

They are currently one of only 5 ski areas opened in the United States.

Because we are in a mild climo period and all that snow is going to off and on torch into glacial crap until later in November. I don’t have a hard on for skiing early so that’s just me. 

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I wouldn’t be surprised if Mt Snow is open by next Friday and the Skiing will be good as it was last year on opening day. I’ll be there and spend some money on food and a beer or 2. It is well worth it for these areas to open early because the money starts to come in.

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23 hours ago, CoastalWx said:

So you think it helps basically during the real season? I just don’t see how getting a handful of hard core skiers a week helps them in any way at this moment. 

Yes I do think it helps for the real season in driving business.  It gets Killington's name in the news, skiers are reminded to book their vacations, people buy their seasons passes after procrastinating for a while, etc.  There's no doubt in my mind that Killington saw a jump in vacation reservations this weekend.  My position is a bit different now, but we used to see an increase in reservations following the first snows of the season on the mountain.  I mean can you really prove that there is a strong ROI on early snowmaking and opening?  No, but you can make a case that its almost like a strong fall advertising campaign.  Casual skiers also will make the correlation that if Killington can open in October, then I feel confident making my vacation reservation with them this winter because they have to have a lot of skiable terrain no matter what (if they can open this early!).  A lot of the eastern ski industry is about reducing consumer angst and anything you can do to prove to them that mountain X will have what they want when they visit.  The resorts can also start peppering people with email blasts and deals with photos from actual skiing this season.  It does get the ski crowd going pretty good.

Now on the flip side, I think staying open late has very little effect on the bottom line and it may even hurt the bottom line.  There's no added value that will lead to increased visits from staying open late except it does add value to seasons passes, as consumers have more potential days to use their pass. 

I do think mountains like Sunday River realize this...and it's why Sunday River will bust a nut to open as early as possible but doesn't seem to care about staying open as late as possible.  They know there is a definite benefit to getting your name out there as early as possible in the Fall.  If I had full control of a ski resort, that's how I would operate.  Try as hard as possible to open as soon as possible, but close down in April like most ski areas.

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14 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Yes I do think it helps for the real season in driving business.  It gets Killington's name in the news, skiers are reminded to book their vacations, people buy their seasons passes after procrastinating for a while, etc.  There's no doubt in my mind that Killington saw a jump in vacation reservations this weekend.  My position is a bit different now, but we used to see an increase in reservations following the first snows of the season on the mountain.  I mean can you really prove that there is a strong ROI on early snowmaking and opening?  No, but you can make a case that its almost like a strong fall advertising campaign.  Casual skiers also will make the correlation that if Killington can open in October, then I feel confident making my vacation reservation with them this winter because they have to have a lot of skiable terrain no matter what (if they can open this early!).  A lot of the eastern ski industry is about reducing consumer angst and anything you can do to prove to them that mountain X will have what they want when they visit.  The resorts can also start peppering people with email blasts and deals with photos from actual skiing this season.  It does get the ski crowd going pretty good.

Now on the flip side, I think staying open late has very little effect on the bottom line and it may even hurt the bottom line.  There's no added value that will lead to increased visits from staying open late except it does add value to seasons passes, as consumers have more potential days to use their pass. 

I do think mountains like Sunday River realize this...and it's why Sunday River will bust a nut to open as early as possible but doesn't seem to care about staying open as late as possible.  They know there is a definite benefit to getting your name out there as early as possible in the Fall.  If I had full control of a ski resort, that's how I would operate.  Try as hard as possible to open as soon as possible, but close down in April like most ski areas.

So it seems Stowe doesn’t do that. Is there a reason? I understand the hope of generating  more of a buzz during mid season. I get it’s a PR issue. I just sort of role my eyes about it, but that’s me. I’m not a ski operator. 

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34 minutes ago, CoastalWx said:

So it seems Stowe doesn’t do that. Is there a reason? I understand the hope of generating  more of a buzz during mid season. I get it’s a PR issue. I just sort of role my eyes about it, but that’s me. I’m not a ski operator. 

Stowe's just never been set-up for it, even the desire was there.  The lift system is top-to-bottom, no mid-stations or upper mountain lift.  For the mountain to open, the snowmakers need to lay down 2,000+ vertical feet and maybe a couple miles worth of base depths...which just doesn't make sense or is feasible too often this time of year.  The 1,500-2,500ft elevation band is the problem at Stowe, early season or late season when big melts happen...usually that 1,500-2,000ft zone because for whatever reason the atmosphere always seems well mixed there and they just can't radiate.  So even in times when the valley is cold and the summit is cold, there can be a belt of less than favorable snowmaking temps this time of year located mid-slope.

Killington really is set-up nicely for early and late season skiing with it's high (over 2,000ft) base elevation at the KBL, and a Gondola that accesses a high mountain lift.  It makes downloading really easy when you can utilize a gondola.  Ride up, go skiing on a smaller high-elevation zone, and then ride the Gondola down.  It's a perfect set-up when you only have to make snow from like 3,000ft+ this time of year.

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Ahh ok. Thanks for the explanation. That’s interesting. What you say would make sense at Killington if they have access to a small strip above 3k where you only have to worry about the snow making. The nice thing about Stowe is that you can fall back on the best snow in the east. Not a bad thing to brag about.

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1 hour ago, CoastalWx said:

Ahh ok. Thanks for the explanation. That’s interesting. What you say would make sense at Killington if they have access to a small strip above 3k where you only have to worry about the snow making. The nice thing about Stowe is that you can fall back on the best snow in the east. Not a bad thing to brag about.

Killington's high elevation def helps them early on (and late too). I mean, the base of Superstar chair and the main Killington peak gondola is like 2500 feet elevation. That's a huge advantage for retention. And yeah, that glades lift that basically sits entirely above 3500 feet is in its own world. 

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9 hours ago, ORH_wxman said:

Killington's high elevation def helps them early on (and late too). I mean, the base of Superstar chair and the main Killington peak gondola is like 2500 feet elevation. That's a huge advantage for retention. And yeah, that glades lift that basically sits entirely above 3500 feet is in its own world. 

Well good news is that they'll have some nice Spring skiing in the 11-15 day. Hopefully the snow holds.

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I don't think it will all melt away. A foot of man made snow has the liquid equivalent of maybe 5 feet of natural and if you look at their live webcams, they are just absolutely pounding Superstar. Like others have said, elevation helps a lot, not to mention late October sun angle is same as early February. Also, Killington is hosting (once again) Thanksgiving weekend FIS race which also gets it plenty more publicity and gives them another reason to keep the guns firing. 

Being able to drive to 2500' is pretty rare for a New England mountain. Bolton Valley is the only other one I can think of. As for other elevated lifts, the others that come to mind are the fixed grip quad at Cannon, the summit chair on Mt. Ellen (Sugarbush) and that summit chair on Sugarloaf. I think the bottom of all those lifts are over 3000'. The double chair at WV probably had the highest base elevation at about 3500', but it's gone this year, being replaced with a tee bar. FWIW, those chairs are for sale for $400 (I got one on hold). If anyone wants one, send me a pm.

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