You remember when you had to squeeze into a gondola with seven other disgusting strangers? No more! In fact; they’ll let you ride the gondola all by yourself. I’m not good at math but that’s something like eight times slower than usual to get everyone who wants up to the top.
Who would have guessed a deadly pandemic would give ailing snow sports the boost they so desperately needed and deserve? People are bored and want to get outside and guess what, snowboarding is a great way to do it. Shops in resort areas are busy and people come to buy, not to lurk. It’s actually been a huge boon for the snow industry.
Again, I can’t speak for everywhere, but Vermont has been as good as it gets this season. There’s so much snow that even with warm temps in the forecast, we’re feeling confident for a long season. The West is also buried; there’s almost too much snow in Oregon, but it’s hard to complain about bottomless powder, as long as you stay inbounds.
The Ski Diva covers this at length in her take on this topic (which, for the record, came out after I wrote this one but before the site was live, not that anyone else cares.) The basic concept is that affordable options such the Ikon and Epic pass have opened the areas up to people who used to be kept out due to the skyrocketing price of lift tickets. I have a hard time being that mad about cheap lift access, but it is definitely a factor. Wendy also offers some great suggestions for avoiding the lines in her article.
Vail Corp (MTN)
it’s not just about throwing shade at the evil corporation here, Vail’s outlandish ticket prices have driven many people to other nearby resorts. And at the Vail Resorts themselves, things aren’t that great either. Justin Williams, a Stevens Pass, WA local posted this warning in the Dig my Quiver facebook group.
“I just wanted to inform people thinking of traveling to Washington to possibly reconsider. With the acquisition of Stevens Pass Vail is having a very difficult time with operations. It’s not a standard Vail type mountain. Covid has been tough enough but for several different reasons Vail has been unable to retain local talent across the board to keep our mountain operating efficiently. They only have enough staff to run half of our lifts any given day resulting in never before seen lines at Stevens along with late openings. People are really upset with Vail’s management of the mountain and treatment towards employees. There are a lot of moving parts to this situation. You can see the sadness in peoples eyes when the lifts don’t open,” Williams wrote.