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snow conditions 
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:11 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Ashland, NH
Post Re: snow conditions
mikemokr, good and strong comments there. I am not sure Magic is a good point of comparison. I am by no means an expert on their situation, but I think they are repairing an existing and severely compromised system and doing it on the dirt cheap. Whereas any plan to get a top to bottom route at MRG would be full investment from the ground up. More expensive perhaps but I think the results would be better. Magic's snow making system seems to still be struggling. They are also trying to cover all of their major grooming routes not just getting one or two trails going top to bottom. There are a lot of differences but I think we can both agree that having basic infrastructure (i.e. a running chairlift on a holiday week) is far more important than any amount of snow making.

Other issues to consider is that the top of Stark is often skiable when there is no route to the bottom. By having an "exit" from the upper mountain, we could open earlier and stay open later when conditions up top are stellar but there is no top to bottom route.

Maybe most folks would flock to major snow making meccas during bad times but I think being consistently open and not being shut down during thaws is an important factor to consider even if the mountain operates with very few guests. Also of note, our mid-week season pass holders (I am not one of them) are being shut out right now.

I merits more discussion but even if it ever happened, it would definitely need to wait until after the BAMP is completed.

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-Steve Rheaume

TheSnowWay.com
"Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs


Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:24 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:11 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Burlington vt
Post Re: snow conditions
it is good to see the discussion. I agree season pass holders are the big losers from the weather, and unfortunately, I think human nature will make even the most stalwart anti-snowmaking folks, and I used to be one, rethink this position. While I prefer real snow, a season's pass that can't e used ins't worth much. Skiing on machine made snow beats staying home and oping, or spending money on lift tickets after paying for a pass. Smuggs bash badge is a really good deal for local skiers, far more cost effective than a mad card, which Burlington clientele all know. Unfortunately after 2 bad seasons, one can't help but start questioning the decision to buy a pass when the mountain is closed while others are pumping out the blown snow, with top to bottom skiing. its not a good situation, and regardless of why it is happening, if you want to ski, the options at MRG, at least for now, are limited. Very. The co-op raised 2 million to keep the single running, I suggest that having something to ski down might be more important than having a nicer place to sit between runs. (and I hope the snow gods prove me wrong and dump all over us!)

shm


Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:41 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:11 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: snow conditions
Dont you think the BC at Bolton is as good as the tree skiing at MRG is ?
Thats why I moved over to Bolton. Bolton just seems like a better ski area in general.
The lifts are better, snow making, grooming and BC make Bolton superior to MRG. Yes, Bolton has a massive showing of children in school groups on some days but it tends to be vacation weeks and at night. I can always purchase a day ticket at MRG if and when they open. Its nice knowing my season pass is worth it over here on this side of the Mts.
Will come back to MRG when they start to show they care about the season pass holders and the mt they say is the best.

Ps. Revelstoke is the best ski area in the world.


Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:40 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:21 am
Posts: 26
Location: West Newbury, MA
Post Re: snow conditions
NHrocks, kind of an odd perspective if you've invested in an MRG share and pay the annual APR (my assumption given that this is the shareholders' forum), but more power to ya. I don't really see the point of comparing which areas are "better" in this forum though. I mean, I can't hop in my car and drive to Revelstoke. (I have skied Bolton once this season.) All places have their pluses and minuses. If there are relevant lessons to be considered at MRG from what others do, great, but terrain isn't going to change, natural snowfall will be what it will be, and the overall "culture" of different mountains tends to stay pretty stable over the long haul too.

Anyhoo, this year for the first time I bought a midweek pass - eliminating the blackouts was the decisive factor; and my workload, which tends to be cyclical, is lighter this season than some others - but I live 3 hrs from MRG so I'm probably an atypical passholder. I think SteveM makes good points about the pain and thought processes of local passholders, and I too find my anti-snowmaking stance softening, at least a little .... I knew from the get-go I'd be buying day passes to other places as circumstances dictated, but I figured it'd be pretty easy to reach breakeven at MRG, and I'm about 60% of the way there thanks to three awesome days in late Dec and early Jan. (I will say I noted this in the January board meeting minutes: "President Wimble indicated that mid-week skiers do not seem to be as price sensitive as they have in the past and this gives us a little room on the mid-week passes." I'd like to know the empirical basis for this observation. Personally, even at the current rate the midweek pass would be a year-by-year decision based on my workload but if it goes up much more the math starts not working as easily. And much as I love MRG, if I buy a pass - spending more than the APR in the process - I'm probably going to get there at least a couple or few days more in a decent season, and spend money on food/drink/etc, than if I'm on a Mad Card. One bit of anecdotal evidence to throw into the mix!)

SteveR (you can call me Mike!), you make a real good point about times when there's plenty of snow up high but gaps above the current snowmaking zone. This can especially be the case in spring storms that are (and over time may become even more so) elevation-dependent. Cost/benefit analysis aside - and I still think that's a huge issue - perhaps a bylaw change to allow snowmaking to 3100', i.e. top of Sunnyside and routes down below Midstation on the Single.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to finish prep for a blizzard and earn some local turns ...


Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:58 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:11 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: snow conditions
You have to be a shareholder to be on this forum?
If thats true, I will be glad to remove myself from the forum.
Im a 8 yr season pass holder up until this yr when I went to Bolton.
Its strange that MRG would only consider co op members to be included in a online forum.
If this is true maybe MRG should just set up the forum so no one else can voice an opinion of matters that have caused a 8 yr seasons pass holder to leave. Then the members of the forum can " make believe " there is nothing wrong with the ski area I used to enjoy skiing. Thats just my point.....I enjoy skiing and its hard to ski when the area is closed most of the time.


Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:49 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:11 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: snow conditions
Any ski area thats open is " better " . Its a fact that anyone can agree to. Thats why people like myself left the honey badger of ski areas.

Ever see the commercial of the honey badger ? "Honey badger dont give a s#!t "

MRG is so true of that commercial.
MRG dont give a s#!t
It cant give a s#!t because the CO OP is not WORKING !
Did Jay opt for a co op? NO !!!!
Jays new investment plan put Jay on the map!
Jays open over 100 days, Amazing Golf course, lodging, water park, SNOW MAKING, Apres ski............you wonder why people are skiing there.


Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:58 am
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:03 am
Posts: 41
Location: New Paltz, NY
Post Re: snow conditions
Hi Mike and NHrocks,

Just wanted to write in with my forum admin "hat" on to clarify that the On the Mountain forum, like most of the forums, is for everyone - you need not be a shareholder to post here, just a registered user. The point is to allow MRG's skiers to exchange ideas of all sorts about skiing in general or MRG in specific, including constructive criticism.

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Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:28 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:11 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Burlington vt
Post Re: snow conditions
I think the point is Mad River doesn't want to be Jay. Or Bolton. MRG has a flavour/culture that's not for everyone. For those who want the experience MRG offers, its here. I am, however, softening my stance on snowmaking, and I am very concerned about our pricing for local skiers. As I've said many times, the Smugglers Bash Badge is a far better value than a Mad Card, and far more Burlington folks ski there than MRG. Our pass prices are ok, as our day tickets, but the F&B and swag suffers from the loss of the "almost" local skiers in the greater burlington area. This is just my observation, and it would be very good to hear from marketing if we have any stats on who is skiing the mountain during weekends, valley folks, 2nd home owners up for the weekend, vacationers in hotels etc. I am all for preserving our experience, but reality checks are needed once in a while. I read the board minutes, and I cannot remember when there was a dissenting vote to a board action!


Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:37 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:11 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Ashland, NH
Post Re: snow conditions
You seem to have an ax to grind NHrocks. Grind away but your points will be read with more interest if they are not made in a hostile and ax grinding style. Otherwise, your points will likely fall on deaf ears.

I'd like to keep the dialog going here. I think management and shareholders both will appreciate being enlightened that the mountain being closed for extended periods could be a make or break on a season pass choice. Some might say that is the nature of the mountain, some might say there is no other solution either due to financials or tradition, others might be inclined to take a long term view.

Here is a question for NHrocks... what would have kept you as a MRG pass holder? MRG will never cover a significant portion of the mountain with snowmaking. But would snow making on two top to bottom runs (one from the single, one from the double) influence your pass decision back to MRG? Or are you just trolling?

As far as the forum, it is the descendant of a Coop listserv but I don't think you had to be a shareholder to get on the listserv either as that would require cross referencing email addresses against the shareholder database. Maybe it was done, but that would seem like an unwieldy task.

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-Steve Rheaume

TheSnowWay.com
"Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs


Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:33 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:27 pm
Posts: 9
Post Re: snow conditions
Hi all,

Good conversations on snow making. As far as the old list-serv went. There were two. One for everybody and one for just shareholders. The "on the mountain" replaces the one for everybody. and the "Co-op" one is just for registered shareholders.

As a founding shareholder, my take on snow making is we should not spend money on the base area plan, etc. and spend it on snow making so we can guarantee to be open and not lose our customer base and pass holders.

From the get go, people come to ski Mad River for the terrain, limited people on the slopes, the community spirit, and the good friends that they make along the way. Not to mention the great kid's programs that we have. These kids are our future.

The Co-Op has never had debt that we could not re-pay. I don't think the skiers come to see better buildings, etc. Two bad years might do us in if we had commercial loans etc. I think this snow making issue needs to be looked into and talked about now. When we have the money, then we should do the base area.

Bakergal


Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:34 pm
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