I wish we could add more Family packages -- it is so expensive to ski with 2+ kids...
1) family paks which could bundle tickets, rentals, lunch, lessons, and/or discounts on future visits. Kids' ski rentals should include helmets, always, btw -- it's amazing how many areas don't do this...
2) Seasons' pass which would allow either parent and up to 2 or 3 of your kids to ski at once -- there are so many weekends where one parent has to take one kid to a birthday party, Sunday School, or whatever, and the other parent is free to take the other kids skiing -- but which parent/kid should have the seasons' pass? I believe Wachusett does something similar to an either parent pass.
Cranmore already does #1, except without lunch (lift ticket, rental and lesson combo). We did try out a "super slider" ticket last year one weekend which we may bring back - basically lets you try everything on the mountain for one flat price (skiing, tubing, snow toys, snowboard rental, ski rental and lunch - I think it was $59). Does that sort of product sound appealing to anyone in this group?
- AM half day lift tickets. These used to be the best thing at resorts (Alta, UT, still has them), and they're great for those who simply want to ski the good snow in the morning.
- Earlier opening (where feasible). Open at 7:30 if the natural light it sufficient. Do it like Okemo, where the first 30 minutes are "on the house" to entice you to buy a ticket.
- EZ-Pass style tickets. Solitude, UT, has a system like this, where you are charged per run. A bit pricey, but perhaps there could be a discount over, say, 20 runs.
- Wi-Fi in the base lodges. This could be a free service (let's face it: it's not difficult to set up and costs are covered in myriad other services at most resorts).
- kleenex and trail map dispensers at lift corrals.
- "hill ambassadors" for all ability levels - the more posh ski areas could afford this, and it could be fun having a local expert show the funky places at some areas (more applicable to the west than the east, given terrain limitations in the east).
There are a few things I'd recommend.
1) Clean lodges, not fancy, not expensive just roomy and clean
2) Clean bathrooms, again not fancy or expensive but clean. They shouldn't look like a hazardous waste dump.
3) Accurate ski reports.
4) Friendly customer service
5) Snow and more snow. Snow is the most important item. Without the white stuff there can be no green stuff for the resorts. Invest in the snow first then the other stuff.
6) Incentives to get more families on the slopes. Without skier growth (visits), the industry will continue to suffer.
Give me this stuff and I'll come irregardless of the lifts, miles etc.
1.) Larger Trail signs - Having larger trail signs and having more of them I think makes it a little less confusing and a little easier to see further away.
2.) More ski boot warmers in the Lodges
3.) Definitely an earlier opening on some days to make it so that the early birds get some good conditions.
4.) More beginner glades offered at different areas - I think that this would promote people getting into the sport of avoiding trees and obstacles that challenge the skier/rider a little more. I wouldn't go too overbard with this because I know that there are those of us who would like to keep our woods for ourselves. But I think it would be good just to give others a chance.
__________ Fall Linen. Imaginary line following the most direct path down a slope that skiers continuously traverse on a run, often stopping at other invisible slope features along the way like the Tumble Lane, the Stagger Path and the Topple Zone.
trail signs being lit up, showing which trails and lifts are open and also showing the number of people (line) at each lift, this would sure help you to have a better day, no running into closed trails you planned on going on and always know where to avoid the crowds
Posted: May 27, 2004 - 1:08 PM GMT
Edited: May 27, 2004 - 1:09 PM GMT
I like the "pay by the run" idea. It's something I would definately do. I live within an hour of 5 ski areas, and an hour and half of a half dozen more, and would love it if I could decide last minute to get a couple hours of skiing in, whether it be first thing in the morning or at 2:30pm. Obviously a season's pass would allow this luxury, but I would not go enough to make the $450+ price tag be worth it for me. A great idea that a couple ski areas up here do...sunday afternoon 1/2 day tickets....MRG offers one for $25, and Burke offered one for either $10 or $20. Wildcat does as well I believe.
Frankly, the low cost season pass was designed to cater to people who just want to ski a few hours in the morning ...
Kat...true..very true. Unfortunately, my local areas don't have that kind of pass, with the exception of Bolton, who offered a $199 pass if you bought early (which of course I didnt)! You snooze you lose If they offer it this year, I just may bite. Mad River, Midd, and Mt. Ellen are also in consideration....
A great idea that a couple ski areas up here do...sunday afternoon 1/2 day tickets....MRG offers one for $25, and Burke offered one for either $10 or $20. Wildcat does as well I believe.
There are still quite a few places that offer PM half-day tickets (increasingly these areas tend to be west of the Mississippi). But I miss the days of the AM half-day (e.g. 8:30-12:30) ticket. I used to take advantage of the AM half-day at Alta when I was growing up - Sunday morning skiing before the church services unleashed the hoards, a great time to hit powder stashes and let the long boards run a bit. Also very nice in the spring, when the snow is better in the morning than in the afternoon. Why would I want to pay full-day ticket prices when I won't want to ski past mid-day?
There are some resorts that do a "timed ticket" of 4 or 8 hours (Powder Ridge, CT, is one of these places), and that's a good alternative. Granted, it also requires an attentive lift staff to mind the expiry on the ticket.
The EZ-Pass/pay-as-you-go system is really great, and isn't overly difficult to implement. But it works best for areas that get a lot of local traffic: perhaps at the smaller, southern New England and Mid-Atlantic resorts, where there are a great number of people who only have time for a handful of runs and for whom a season pass isn't necessarily the most economical option.
Your points are well taken - we're concentrating on snowmaking and bathroom cleanliness as major initiatives for next season at the resorts I work at. Not that either is bad now, but if snow conditions aren't good and the bathrooms aren't spotless, customers aren't going to remember anything else good about their experience.