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Canaan Valley Resort
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Updated 8 years ago
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8 years ago
I heard a rumor about the lodge closing back on April 5; that wasn’t exactly true but they had a big RIF there. Read an article in the State Journal, tried to find a link online but could not. Gist of it was that Guest Services is asking the state for money back from the % of gross sales they pay. the article states

"Several factors led to the economic problems at Canaan, including lower skier numbers in recent years……"

Chris Stadelman, The Parsons Advocate



Well DUH what did they expect? They practically eliminate snow making to build a base, open late close early put people on the slopes on airboards and they cannot figure out why their skier numbers are declining???? The state should throw Guest Services out instead of renewing their contract. I miss skiing Canaan.
8 years ago
Amen Reverend!!
8 years ago
Jimmy,
As "Mayor of The Valley" I am surprised you can not do something to rectify the situation. How about directing that Intrawest must bid, must guarantee a first class ski experience and link the mountains from CVSA to TL. Then we will have a real ski experience like found in Europe (minus the vertical of course) and lots of high speed chairs, more snow making than needed on all trails, etc.
First we hear that multiple corporations are going to bid for the new upgraded ski and lodge contract to operate CV. Then we hear only the present operator Guest Services bid, but HEY! no big deal, the new specs look good…then Guest Services wants more $ without improving anything.
Where is Obama, where is Sen. Byrd, where is the stimulas money? More than a highway, we need something good when we get there!
The Colonel smile
8 years ago
Colonel I’ve said it before - Intrawest has no interest in Canaan Valley Resort unless there is a land swap as part of the deal. I’m willing to bet that was part of their initial RFI response back a year and a half ago. Intrawest is a real estate company - not a resort concessionaire a la Guest Services, Aramark, et al.

I’ll bet they were willing to double or triple the modest $20M investment the state is looking for - provided they get land to develop out of the deal. Remember, they put over $235M into Snowshoe.

Well, no land swap no bid. Now the state’s stuck with an increasingly pathetic Guest Services to run the joint. Timberline could run that place better than Guest Services - and that is saying something.

It is a shame, because CVSP is a really nice park, and there are many fine amenities aside from skiing there. My family regularly enjoys the buffet in the dining room, the ice skating rink, the heated pool in the summer - along with the Euro Bungee and rock climbing wall. The trail network there is one of my favorites for hiking and mountain biking. I’m too young to play golf grin - but I’ve heard they have a fine course too.

They used to have a lot of fun events there all summer long - Windfest, Celtic games, a Civil War encampment, and the 4th of July Concert. They still have the concert and Windfest - but now it seems everything is packed into the 4th of July holiday - and not much else happens there the rest of the summer.

It is sad because CVSP could really be the anchor for true family-friendly 4 season recreation in the Valley.

Tom
8 years ago
Originally Posted By: tgd
Colonel I’ve said it before - Intrawest has no interest in Canaan Valley Resort unless there is a land swap as part of the deal. I’m willing to bet that was part of their initial RFI response back a year and a half ago. Intrawest is a real estate company - not a resort concessionaire a la Guest Services, Aramark, et al.
I’ll bet they were willing to double or triple the modest $20M investment the state is looking for - provided they get land to develop out of the deal. Remember, they put over $235M into Snowshoe.
Well, no land swap no bid. Now the state’s stuck with an increasingly pathetic Guest Services to run the joint. Timberline could run that place better than Guest Services - and that is saying something.
Tom


Tom,
Sorry for the confusion, I mentioned Intrawest by name only because they are a slide related company with big bucks (at least usually); I could have mentioned any other similar company, heck, even the Snowtime folks that run Whitetail, etc.
Kudos about the rest of your post…is a real shame…maybe Buncher!!!??? Guess he is into real estate also. Maybe some short of land swap is the answer…never happen though! If Mayor Jimmy can not fix this mess, who can? Maybe someone with less authority than the Mayor, like the Gov of WV who just moved into the Valley.
The Colonel smile
8 years ago
No worries Colonel. I guess you can sense my frustration with the situation at the Canaan Valley State Park. The state I think set out to do the right thing - solicit some competition for Guest Services - unfortunately, I think it turned out far worse for them. GSI now sees there is no competition, and they are the only game in town. Any coincidence they actually managed to lower the bar on their poor performance even further this season after no one else showed up at the state’s bidders’ conference last September? And now they are emboldened to ask for concessions from the state. What a sad state of affairs.

The last weekend of the season, I took my family up to the lodge - expecting to enjoy the dinner buffet, only to find the dining room closed, the grill closed, and the only place open was the lounge. With only 4 entrees on the menu, and about 5-6 other parties eating dinner - it still took over an hour to be served. I am not to knocking the employees - I think they only had 2 waitresses working to bar and serving tables.

At least GSI could try to make money.

Tom
8 years ago
Hopefully they just closed many of the park’s facilities for the period between Snow Luau weekend and the openning of the golf course in early April. The park provides employment to many locals and closing some or all of the facilities will cause enormous hardship.
However, I hope the state does not let up on either finding a suitable management firm that will improve the facilities and the hotel, or forcing GSI to do things right. If this means a better lease deal,or whatever, JUST DO IT!!!
The Colonel smile
8 years ago
…yeah, Guest Services just did a big round of lay-offs to underpayed employees. THere was an article in Parsons advocate a week or two ago. IMO Guest Services took a diamond of a resort and turned it into a turd and now there crappin all over there employees and the local economy…
8 years ago
I cannot beleive that the State will just sit by & watch the ski area Vedge..They still have to spend the Min amount of Mullah that was to go with the new contract don’t they?…The Gov has had to have heard the Negitive vibe while visiting the Valley…can he do anything??…So much potential…so little time…no new Ski areas…West Virginia…Wild..Wonderful..& slow as molasses cry…Bring on "Almost Heaven" Dag Blam it!!!!…be lucky if we get some padding on the thunderdraft lift at TL…
8 years ago

Here is an article in the Elkins InterMountain newspaper about the cuts at Canaan Valley Resort.
http://theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/517231.html#

"Canaan furloughs employees
By ALEC RADER, Staff Writer POSTED: April 2, 2009
Citing declining business and a "pretty hefty rent," Guest Services has reduced the hours of its employees at Canaan Valley Resort. All full-time and part-time employees have had their hours cut the equivalent of one workday.
Marketing Director Allison Metzger said the decision came after Guest Services attempted to trim costs in all other ways. For the past few years, the resort has been reducing its utility consumption in order to avoid such a step. Metzger also said a previous application to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources asking for a lower rent was denied.
Guest Services hopes the furlough will not last any longer than absolutely necessary. Metzger said an increase in business or a large cut on the cost of rent could end hour reductions sooner rather than later.
According to Metzger, Canaan has been trying different, "creative" things at the resort to increase business to no success. She also said all of the layoffs that were announced at the same time as the furlough were seasonal.
The furlough will affect nearly all of the people currently employed at the resort and hours will be reduced by 20 percent. The number of employees was not available by press time.
Employees who have accrued paid time off (PTO) will be given the option of using those hours to supplement their income. However, at an average of six hours per pay period, full-time employees would only have enough PTO to continue at full-time for less than a month. PTO will continue to accrue at a lower rate. Metzger stressed that no employee would be penalized for seeking supplementary income during this time.
The marketing director explained that just because employees will be working fewer hours, services at the resort will not lessen.
"Please know that Guest Services truly appreciates and understands the sacrifices you are being required to make and we do not announce this policy without regret," said a letter to the employees from Barry G. Trice, vice president of hotel operations for Guest Services. "It is our hope that economic times will turn around and that we will be able to suspend this program as quickly as possible."
Guest Services plans to review the program before June 18 to determine if it is still needed. The letter explained that at that time the program could be discontinued, extended or expanded."
HOPEFULLY THIS IS NOT A CONTINUATION OF THE DEATH SPIRAL GIVEN THE WAY GSI HAS RUN THE SKI AREA THE PAST FEW YEARS.
The Colonel frown

8 years ago
I just followed up on my posting by sending a letter to both Senator Byrd and the WV Governor about the situation at Canaan Valley Resort. I believe that without a viable CVR the Valley will take a major economic hit, and that will also take a toll on all valley businesses such as White Grass and Timberline. If you agree then I would suggest you might want to follow my lead and try to get some of the stimulus funds designated for CVR and especially for the CVR ski area.
The Colonel smile
8 years ago
Actually, I think the summer/fall is their biggest season anyway at the park. It used to be winter but with the mismanagement of the ski area, skier visits have dropped dramatically. I haven’t talked to any locals, but the ladie who lives next to the Bonner Mountain Resort Hotel works at the park in the lodge and I’ll have to wait for another week to get the skinny from her. Folks in the valley have limited resources and employment opportunities anyway without issues created by "Guest Services" hurting them more.
8 years ago
Originally Posted By: The Colonel

Here is an article in the Elkins InterMountain newspaper about the cuts at Canaan Valley Resort.
http://theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/517231.html#

"Canaan furloughs employees
By ALEC RADER, Staff Writer POSTED: April 2, 2009
Citing declining business …….For the past few years, the resort has been reducing its utility consumption in order to avoid such a step. ……..Guest Services plans to review the program before June 18 to determine if it is still needed. The letter explained that at that time the program could be discontinued, extended or expanded."
HOPEFULLY THIS IS NOT A CONTINUATION OF THE DEATH SPIRAL GIVEN THE WAY GSI HAS RUN THE SKI AREA THE PAST FEW YEARS.
The Colonel frown



Less utility consumption = less snow making = Declining business (Less skier turn out)

I think the RIF is just a tactic being used by GSI to put more pressure on the DNR to renegotaite their current agreement. So if you write the WV Gov. or the DNR, make sure you request that GSI be thrown out at the end of their contract and not to renegotiate their current agreement.

Does anyone know if the DNR accepted GSI’s new proposal that was submitted back in Nov.08?

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