Vail Resorts - PA Resorts - How are they doing?
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snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

Well, it is now June 1, 5 months are Vail Resorts (VR) took ownership of 7S, HV and LM. What have they accomplished to integrate these resorts into the Vail family?. I would like to present some kind of positive news and reserve judgement. But after 5 months, you would think they could get their IT guy off his keister to change the websites! After 5 months they're still using Nutting's websites and advertising Nutting's golf course and real estate company. You can still get the HV video conditions report from last winter! On top of that, the Hidden Valley community, a community of 1,100 home owners, wrote Vail a welcome letter and an invitation to communicate with the community. The response.....nothing. This what you could call corporate neglect. The same stupidity that got them into hot water last year with several of their resorts.

Come on VR, get your act together and make us Laurels skiers proud.

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
326 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Well, it is now June 1, 5 months are Vail Resorts (VR) took ownership of 7S, HV and LM. What have they accomplished to integrate these resorts into the Vail family?. I would like to present some kind of positive news and reserve judgement. But after 5 months, you would think they could get their IT guy off his keister to change the websites! After 5 months they're still using Nutting's websites and advertising Nutting's golf course and real estate company. You can still get the HV video conditions report from last winter! On top of that, the Hidden Valley community, a community of 1,100 home owners, wrote Vail a welcome letter and an invitation to communicate with the community. The response.....nothing. This what you could call corporate neglect. The same stupidity that got them into hot water last year with several of their resorts.

Come on VR, get your act together and make us Laurels skiers proud.

 5 months isn't unreasonable for a web migration IMO, particularly if they have to do 3 at once. Now, if it's September, that would be another story.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts
I want to know if the lease for Laurel transferred yet.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts


 Can you check with your State Park buddies?

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I want to know if the lease for Laurel transferred yet.
DCSki Sponsor: Massanutten Resort
Leo
8 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts

This is as trivial as my LM complaint which turned out to be the DNRC and not Vail.  But I went to HV to take my sons fishing today -- something we've done for years there as homeowners, and all of the parking near Lake George is now either blocked off or has signage indicating it's a "Fire Lane/Tow Away Zone."

None of the areas in question would ever be used by a firetruck, not that there's any activity to speak of at any of the buildings.  If the Kettlers and Nutting could go 40 years without someone from Somerset County (LOL) breathing down their necks about fire lanes, I'm pretty sure Vail can too. 

Again, trivial complaint?  Yes.  Comes across as cold, unwelcoming, corporate bureaucracy?  Yes.  Very much so.   

ZARDOG
8 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

It tool vail a while to migrate web changeover.  

Most companies have plans but are still in shock mode because of labor prices, and material prices.  

IT people move around for $$$. 

Does anybody see any activity building lifts at  JFBB? the large capital projects are the most important.

HVdad
7 months ago (edited 7 months ago)
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
78 posts
Early indicators are not good at all. 7S hotel, convention and hospitality (part of Vail Resorts, Inc., not Nutting Enterprises), completely botched the ACBA Bench and Bar Convention this weekend., i.e., reservation system down for over a month, couldn't make bookings, employees very unhappy with the relative chaos at 7S. There has been zero communication between Vail Resorts, Inc and the 1100+ property owners at Hidden Valley, with similar radio silence with the homeowners at 7S. No communications regarding the upcoming season; no communiucation regarding changes or investments in the future; no communications regarding strategies re. how Vail will work in partnership with local communities and businesses. As my young son would say, "it looks like the start of a full-blown s#@t show. Apart from that, the Vail staff in Denver seem to be right on top of things. :-)
dclivejazz
7 months ago
Member since 03/5/2017 🔗
44 posts

HVdad wrote:

Early indicators are not good at all. 7S hotel, convention and hospitality (part of Vail Resorts, Inc., not Nutting Enterprises), completely botched the ACBA Bench and Bar Convention this weekend., i.e., reservation system down for over a month, couldn't make bookings, employees very unhappy with the relative chaos at 7S. There has been zero communication between Vail Resorts, Inc and the 1100+ property owners at Hidden Valley, with similar radio silence with the homeowners at 7S. No communications regarding the upcoming season; no communiucation regarding changes or investments in the future; no communications regarding strategies re. how Vail will work in partnership with local communities and businesses. As my young son would say, "it looks like the start of a full-blown s#@t show. Apart from that, the Vail staff in Denver seem to be right on top of things. :-)

 This why “little things” like the complete disarray of the men’s room at Liberty towards the end of last season matter. They reflect a corporate breakdown on more important issues. I hope Epic will get it together in these regards. I’m renewing my Epic Local pass one more year, mostly because I like to go to the local places and considered access to 7S and Hidden Valley a plus. But I won’t keep renewing if they operate them incorrectly. 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
7 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
In response to my enquiry, an employee told me that the websites are down at all 3 resorts. They indicated that they have been working on the websites but have had some technical issues to overcome. I suggested that more PR and communication would help get their local customers more comfortable with the new ownership.
Laurel Highlands
7 months ago (edited 7 months ago)
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
47 posts

It amazes me that a company could spend $118M+ and go through all the related steps of an acquisition like this, and then do so little afterwards.  The strategy sees simply to buy up whatever they can with the assumption that everything has been running well and throw an Epic pass on it and hope for the best.  Meanwhile. there is lots of work and investment that needs to be done to bring these resorts up to thier potential, but no sign thus far that they are up for that.   

Honestly don't know how this is going to work in the end without some bold vision;  These are 4 season resorts, where the driving revenue factors have been, skiing, real estate, and other summer/off season activities which would all cross benefit each other and marketed together.  Vail seems only interested in skiing and Epic pass sales specifically, with other activities still under separate ownership with dffering agenda.  

 

snowsmith wrote:

In response to my enquiry, an employee told me that the websites are down at all 3 resorts. They indicated that they have been working on the websites but have had some technical issues to overcome. I suggested that more PR and communication would help get their local customers more comfortable with the new ownership. 
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
7 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

snowsmith wrote:

In response to my enquiry, an employee told me that the websites are down at all 3 resorts. They indicated that they have been working on the websites but have had some technical issues to overcome. I suggested that more PR and communication would help get their local customers more comfortable with the new ownership.

 All three website homepages looked fine when I looked today.  What struck me is that they actually look different.  Meaning 7Springs, HV, Laurel homepages are actually somewhat unique.  They don't look like the template that was used for Whitetail, Liberty, Roundtop.

Leo
7 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts


 I might be misunderstanding the question and your response...but the HV website looks the same as it always has.  In other words:  Vail hasn't done anything to it.

marzNC wrote:

snowsmith wrote:

In response to my enquiry, an employee told me that the websites are down at all 3 resorts. They indicated that they have been working on the websites but have had some technical issues to overcome. I suggested that more PR and communication would help get their local customers more comfortable with the new ownership.

 All three website homepages looked fine when I looked today.  What struck me is that they actually look different.  Meaning 7Springs, HV, Laurel homepages are actually somewhat unique.  They don't look like the template that was used for Whitetail, Liberty, Roundtop.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
7 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

The reason the website look different is because they are the old Nutting websites. Notice the webcam images have not changed in weeks. Wouldn't Vail Resorts have a template to use for these websites since all of their resorts follow a similar template? It seems like it should not be that difficult to make the 7S/HV/LM websites look like Vail websites. Of course, maybe they're dealing with the lack of investment from the Beancounter Mauch era in hardware and the old Commodore 64 file server can't handle the new websites. I want to be positive, but I have yet seem anything positive to cheer about. From a resort standpoint, the could change the name of Hidden Valley to Death Valley given how little is happening there. Thank the great spirit for the HV community which has all kind of social events scheduled.

 

Leo wrote:


 I might be misunderstanding the question and your response...but the HV website looks the same as it always has.  In other words:  Vail hasn't done anything to it.

marzNC wrote:

snowsmith wrote:

In response to my enquiry, an employee told me that the websites are down at all 3 resorts. They indicated that they have been working on the websites but have had some technical issues to overcome. I suggested that more PR and communication would help get their local customers more comfortable with the new ownership.

 All three website homepages looked fine when I looked today.  What struck me is that they actually look different.  Meaning 7Springs, HV, Laurel homepages are actually somewhat unique.  They don't look like the template that was used for Whitetail, Liberty, Roundtop.

Scott - DCSki Editor
7 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,205 posts
I don't have any inside info on the web sites, but I suspect corporate is working on an updated web infrastructure for all of their resorts, and when they roll that out (later this summer?), any newly purchased properties will be included.  You'll notice that all of their older ski areas (Vail, Beaver Creek, Whitetail, etc.) have nearly identical web sites.  They're clearly all running on the same platform with minor variations, and economy of scale means they don't have separate web developers working at each ski area coming up with different designs and backends.  I think we'll see all of the resort web sites update at the same time, and that's when HVR/SS/LM will be refreshed.  Again, no inside info here, but as a web developer I would bet that's what's going on -- resources are being applied towards a future rollout instead of trying to jerry rig older web sites.
dclivejazz
7 months ago
Member since 03/5/2017 🔗
44 posts

Scott wrote:

I don't have any inside info on the web sites, but I suspect corporate is working on an updated web infrastructure for all of their resorts, and when they roll that out (later this summer?), any newly purchased properties will be included.  You'll notice that all of their older ski areas (Vail, Beaver Creek, Whitetail, etc.) have nearly identical web sites.  They're clearly all running on the same platform with minor variations, and economy of scale means they don't have separate web developers working at each ski area coming up with different designs and backends.  I think we'll see all of the resort web sites update at the same time, and that's when HVR/SS/LM will be refreshed.  Again, no inside info here, but as a web developer I would bet that's what's going on -- resources are being applied towards a future rollout instead of trying to jerry rig older web sites.

That makes sense but also broaches the issue of how poorly generic their sites are now. Not to mention unreliable when it comes to conditions and trail updates. Maybe they will address this. We’ll see.

Thefirewarde
7 months ago
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
106 posts
If 7S loses their award winning local snow reporting, that'll be a good canary in the coal mine.
superguy
6 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

And Jan Dupre was on FB singing the praises of the Vail acquisition. :rolleyes:

 

HVdad wrote:

Early indicators are not good at all. 7S hotel, convention and hospitality (part of Vail Resorts, Inc., not Nutting Enterprises), completely botched the ACBA Bench and Bar Convention this weekend., i.e., reservation system down for over a month, couldn't make bookings, employees very unhappy with the relative chaos at 7S. There has been zero communication between Vail Resorts, Inc and the 1100+ property owners at Hidden Valley, with similar radio silence with the homeowners at 7S. No communications regarding the upcoming season; no communiucation regarding changes or investments in the future; no communications regarding strategies re. how Vail will work in partnership with local communities and businesses. As my young son would say, "it looks like the start of a full-blown s#@t show. Apart from that, the Vail staff in Denver seem to be right on top of things. :-)
superguy
6 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

I miss the good old days of calling the 800 number (which still worked as of last season) and hearing Lars give updates a few times a day.

Thefirewarde wrote:

If 7S loses their award winning local snow reporting, that'll be a good canary in the coal mine.
rbrtlav
6 months ago
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
556 posts

From Facebook…. Looks like they are cutting some summer events. Kinda surprising seeing that snowshoe seems to be getting a nice ROI for their summer efforts.

Here at Seven Springs, it is our goal to provide you with the best festivals and events that you have come to know and love. 

Unfortunately, our adventure race series Mud on the Mountain, Kids Mud on the Mountain, and Mutts on the Mountain won’t be possible this year.  Just like you, we are super bummed about it, but are hopeful for the future.

We are still excited for our fan favorites Rib and Wing, Wine Fest and Autumnfest to return this year!

Be sure to check out the details for our upcoming events using the link below!

https://www.7springs.com/resort/events-entertainment/

🐷 Rib and Wing Festival: July 29-31

🍷  Wine Festival: August 26-28

🍁 Autumnfest: October 8-9, October 15-16, October 22 - 23

ZARDOG
6 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

I love events and really missed them the last few seasons. 

I had a  whole calendar of events each winter and every weekend had something going on. Gave it a nice vibe.

...then came Covid.

Covid adds complexity and additional red tape. Many sponsors did not want to risk lawsuits. (USA that is).

 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
6 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

Well, then you wouldn't like Death Valley, which is what Hidden Valley has turned into. We still have Beancounter Mauch running the golf course and I am told it's in good condition. Luckily the HV community is very active. It is a great resort community. Web sites are frozen it time. Same webcam image since April. No rumors, no hint of anything going on. Maybe they're holding back some big news? They must be really well prepared after silence and no activity for months. It should be exciting :<)). 

 

ZARDOG wrote:

I love events and really missed them the last few seasons. 

I had a  whole calendar of events each winter and every weekend had something going on. Gave it a nice vibe.

...then came Covid.

Covid adds complexity and additional red tape. Many sponsors did not want to risk lawsuits. (USA that is).

 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
6 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

 No rumors, no hint of anything going on. Maybe they're holding back some big news? They must be really well prepared after silence and no activity for months. It should be exciting :<)). 

 


I think that we will see only maintenance spending this year, perhaps some minor "improvements." Vail announced their capital budget earlier this year, and nothing is listed for our Laurel Highlands resort. https://www.skimag.com/news/vail-resorts-lift-upgrades-2023-24/  

Leo
6 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts

I can promise you there are no capital expenditures happening at Hidden Valley.  LOL.  

Other than the $47 they spent on No Parking/Tow Away Zone signs.

ZARDOG
6 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

I hear ya all,  Vail should do a better job communicating. 

maybe the stats show no one cares in the summer only us die-hards. 

I read the  QTR Financials and that is a good bit of info but it would be nice to have 5 min vid cut down to regions with what is going on and how planning is going.   

The QTR last report showed:

NSAA- last season set all time attendance record for USA. and 2020/21 was 5th. 

60% on pass products / 40% window/online rate. 

Planned to upgrade lifts: The ones aged out, broken, and additional capacity.

Planned to build staff housing.

Raised base pay.

-----------------

ISSUES/RISKS: 

Covid (?) 

Weather  (right now La Nina like last winter)

Staffing      --- go to this link and you will see the decline in population available for labor. 

    https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/12/us-population-grew-in-2021-slowest-rate-since-founding-of-the-nation.html

Zardog  

DCSki Sponsor: Massanutten Resort
Laurel Highlands
6 months ago
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
47 posts

From looking at the press releases of the various Vail acquisitions, most of them also note some $ planned for improvements as part of the acquisition plan and roll out, but in the case of the 7S/HV/LM acquisition, there was no such mention. There have in fact been comments in thier communication that the resorts were recently renovated and in good condition.   Sounds like the Nutting team did a good job of selling Vail on all thier supposed improvements and that it is a well maintained turnkey operation.    Meanwhile, lines at HV this past year were the longest I have ever experienced with the dated fixed grip triple chairs, out-of-service rope tow, and nothing other than bad/ overpriced cafateria food.

Beyond the basics of maintaining what it there, if they really want these resorts to be a regional draw to go up against their competitor Alterra at SnowShoe, they need to be thinking beyond the limited vision of the past, with things like shuttle buses between resorts, a good restaurant at Hidden Valley, better marketing, etc etc.  

SwissMountain
6 months ago
Member since 05/18/2007 🔗
68 posts
Unfortunately Vail doesn’t care. I know it’s a strong statement but in NH, Vail is similar to Walmart - no one wants to work for them. Local loyal skiers go because they feel it will get better or out of staters have the epic pass. Western PA has not many options for winter enthusiasts and I am sure they know that. So keep investment/expanse low and income high. I am sure they will ride it out for the next 4-5 years before you will see any significant investment. 
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
6 months ago (edited 6 months ago)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

While the conditions of the 7S facilities may be OK, the conditions of HV facilities are not so good. Beancounter Mauch chose not to invest operating profits at HV. He left parts of HV facilities in poor condition. While this is not Vail's fault, it's going to be their responsibility to fix these conditions  some of which pose danger to the public. The photos below document the poor condition of the ski lodge including failing support beams that support the ski lodge deck, rotting wood and peeling paint (sorry for the rotation) . Nutting should be ashamed of these photos. This is what he sold to Vail:1659392556_umoxeknikllc.jpg

1659392608_hloxsdpjdglr.jpg

1659392640_vtfsgfdxeagv.jpg The following photo is of the snow tubing "Outback" lodge on Route 31. Yes, there are holes in the walls of the building and the deck attached to the building is near collapse. Only a cheap sign is there to prevent someone from getting hurt. This is Mauch's legacy.

1659392831_gdqkuxbkbzrp.jpg

1659392855_tkelqryyelyx.jpg 

superguy
6 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

SwissMountain wrote:

Unfortunately Vail doesn’t care. I know it’s a strong statement but in NH, Vail is similar to Walmart - no one wants to work for them. Local loyal skiers go because they feel it will get better or out of staters have the epic pass. Western PA has not many options for winter enthusiasts and I am sure they know that. So keep investment/expanse low and income high. I am sure they will ride it out for the next 4-5 years before you will see any significant investment. 

Vail has nearly all the decent ones in western PA. The only indy (or at least not Vail affiliated) are Wisp, Blue Knob, and Tussey. I don't know that Tussey is work the trip to most people. BK is heavily dependent on natural snow. Wisp is the only one that really has a solid operation.

I don't see those folks regularly going down to the WV resorts consistently. Maybe for a weekend and not without at least the option of night skiing.

Vail has a virtual monopoly in that region. They at least have to compete in the Poconos. But for our crowd, but that many viable options, especially if you're looking to head up after work and get some runs in.

superguy
6 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

SwissMountain wrote:

Unfortunately Vail doesn’t care. I know it’s a strong statement but in NH, Vail is similar to Walmart - no one wants to work for them. Local loyal skiers go because they feel it will get better or out of staters have the epic pass. Western PA has not many options for winter enthusiasts and I am sure they know that. So keep investment/expanse low and income high. I am sure they will ride it out for the next 4-5 years before you will see any significant investment. 

I agree with what you're saying. They cornered the market.

That said, with the pics that snowsmith posted, I can't believe they won't at least bandaid some of those things. Those are a huge liability and if someone gets hurt, that's going to millions in lawsuits.Those will be much more expensive, even if they're settled, than the repairs. Or at least stabilizing those structures.

I don't think a simple do not enter sign is going to be an adequate defense. This isn't like getting hurt by a natural hazard out of the mountain. This is pure neglect.

Being dated in one thing. Being dangerous is unacceptable.

superguy
6 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Laurel Highlands wrote:

Meanwhile, lines at HV this past year were the longest I have ever experienced with the dated fixed grip triple chairs, out-of-service rope tow, and nothing other than bad/ overpriced cafateria food.

Beyond the basics of maintaining what it there, if they really want these resorts to be a regional draw to go up against their competitor Alterra at SnowShoe, they need to be thinking beyond the limited vision of the past, with things like shuttle buses between resorts, a good restaurant at Hidden Valley, better marketing, etc etc.  

When are going that the lifts are so long at HV? I've usually gone on Saturdays after lunch and do twilight sessions and never had to wait 5 minutes at the most. Even with the triples. I can see the back side getting busy as there's only the one quad.

Which rope are your talking about? Tracker? I thought that was just replaced for this season. I saw it down once this past season. Patrol told me the big change there was the ability to adjust the height. They can raise the rope level if they get a lot of snow.

The triples are a bit long in the tooth, but they still seem to work relatively well. Compare those to the lifts at BK and you'll know what I mean. 7S is still running 3 triples that are as old as or older than HV's. Tyrol and Blitzen are both from the 70s and are still regularly used. Giant Steps went in in 83 though.

Not really sure what they could do though. Maybe replace them with 2 FG quads. Detachables make absolutely no sense anywhere on that mountain, so that rules a 6 pack out.

I think they need to cut a couple trails to make travel between Valley and NS easier. If Tracker tow goes down, you have to hike back, and that sucks. Orbs not steep but is relatively long. Either that or run a shuttle between the two base areas. A shuttle would be nice for parking at NS but not forcing you to leave early when they shut it down.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
6 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
The sad part is Nutting/Mauch shoved $125 million in their pockets and sold these facilities to Vail in this unsafe, deplorable condition. My concern is summer construction season is coming to an end and these facilities are still sitting there with no repairs happening. The delaminating steel beams supporting the deck could fail. The cost of the lawyers would far exceed the repair cost. I am not holding Vail accountable for this currently. However, it is now August,  7 months after closing and we still have Nutting's website with the April webcam image and the March snow report. I am running out a patience. It's time to light a fire under someone's butt. 
Leo
6 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts


 No doubt Nutting sucks at being a long term business owner.  If it's a competitive industry he is a good short term business owner insomuch as he lines his own pockets.  In the case of the Pirates he can hack it long term because he exploits revenue sharing in a way that's absolutely advantageous to him personally, at the expense of the brand and region.

That said, plenty of blame is on Vail too for not doing their due diligence.  IDK if they really wanted 7S and HV was just the mistreated stepchild that came along with it.  But I find it hard to believe they didn't know exactly what they were getting.

It's a shame too because the HV community is as vibrant as ever.

snowsmith wrote:

The sad part is Nutting/Mauch shoved $125 million in their pockets and sold these facilities to Vail in this unsafe, deplorable condition. My concern is summer construction season is coming to an end and these facilities are still sitting there with no repairs happening. The delaminating steel beams supporting the deck could fail. The cost of the lawyers would far exceed the repair cost. I am not holding Vail accountable for this currently. However, it is now August,  7 months after closing and we still have Nutting's website with the April webcam image and the March snow report. I am running out a patience. It's time to light a fire under someone's butt. 
superguy
6 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Leo wrote:


 No doubt Nutting sucks at being a long term business owner.  If it's a competitive industry he is a good short term business owner insomuch as he lines his own pockets.  In the case of the Pirates he can hack it long term because he exploits revenue sharing in a way that's absolutely advantageous to him personally, at the expense of the brand and region.

That said, plenty of blame is on Vail too for not doing their due diligence.  IDK if they really wanted 7S and HV was just the mistreated stepchild that came along with it.  But I find it hard to believe they didn't know exactly what they were getting.

It's a shame too because the HV community is as vibrant as ever.

snowsmith wrote:

The sad part is Nutting/Mauch shoved $125 million in their pockets and sold these facilities to Vail in this unsafe, deplorable condition. My concern is summer construction season is coming to an end and these facilities are still sitting there with no repairs happening. The delaminating steel beams supporting the deck could fail. The cost of the lawyers would far exceed the repair cost. I am not holding Vail accountable for this currently. However, it is now August,  7 months after closing and we still have Nutting's website with the April webcam image and the March snow report. I am running out a patience. It's time to light a fire under someone's butt. 

Agreed. I think that the due diligence thing is what will put Vail in a lot of hot water. They may not have had an idea of everything that was going in, but I'd at least think they would have had engineers come out and inspect the buildings at some point during the process. Especially as they should be easy for an engineer to find if a layman can find them with no trouble.

Snowsmith, I'd take some pics and send them into Vail, if you haven't already. If you do that, there's no way that they can claim they didn't know. I think that would help bolster a claim of negligence if people get hurt because then, they'll have known about it and chose to do nothing.

Be sure to cc: yourself and use delivered and read receipts if possible. And if you can do a digital signature, even better.

Vail may have their big $370 million outlay for lifts and improvements, but I have a hard time believing they don't have a budget for emergency repairs. There's no reason in my mind that these can't at least be repaired enough to be made safe until they can renovate or build something new.

ZARDOG
6 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

My 2 Cents - I sent a  few photos to a  buddy (commercial and residential inspector).

#1 Insurance will have made it inspected.

#2 It is a normal end of life. Shore up Remove beam replace new beam add new anchors to the deck.  Or Replace deck also.  Not a long-term project. 

Many resorts sold out because they did not have the capital to replace lifts and items 50 years old. 

There is plenty of time before Mid November.  

The company building the 5 lifts at JFBB- Ad for construction and will provide training.  

Including housing, per diem, and work 7 days a week 6 am to 6pm with OT after 40 hours. Starting to pay $20 hour and willing to negotiate with lifts or construction background/ experience. Training provided on the job. Willing to reimburse mileage or pay for airfare to job site. Immediate openings.  

zardog

ZARDOG
6 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

Relax Yall,

Scheduled to be replaced in Fall before season start. It is the End of life. Vail mgmt knows and it is on the schedule and planned.  I can assure many,  insurance companies require inspections. 

I asked a buddy who is a commercial inspector first. He said EOL, replace.

I then asked my Vail mgmt contact and the answer is above. On plan on schedule.

I bet getting paperwork, permits, and inspections take longer than the actual demo and replacement. 

Zardog 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
6 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
I'll believe it, when I see it. Sorry if I'm a skeptic. 
rbrtlav
6 months ago
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
556 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I'll believe it, when I see it. Sorry if I'm a skeptic. 

 I agree... there is still radio silence on the triple that Liberty announced before the Vail purchase. (I assume it has been resold or used elsewhere at this point) The hiring for the SkyTrac openings looks quite desperate, almost sounds like they are expecting people to work 70 hour weeks to get the project done. Hopefully they can, but I get a feeling either Vail or SkyTrac bit off more than they could chew.

It also looks like the Keystone and Park City projects will not be completed on schedule, which IMO were 2 of the higher profile projects on the Epic Update program. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
6 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

But after 5 months, you would think they could get their IT guy off his keister to change the websites! 

I will be a little sad when they finally drop their new website. When you navigate off the front page, the picture at the top of all the other pages features a boarder and a skier starting down Lower Wildcat. That skier is me. 

1659991719_ljkeynnfyysi.jpg

Snowsmith, It appears the Laurel lease did transfer to Vail. The new state park manager references the concession agreement with Vail in this article from WJAC TV:

https://wjactv.com/news/local/what-you-need-to-know-laurel-mountain-state-park-restrictions?fbclid=IwAR2NrbXqwduK90P6VqFL1eP9h2VYFPb3iuctyyEN1Fnk7pR-YQbS2BNgPZ0

I guess WJAC can't afford an editor.

ZARDOG
5 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

Triple added at liberty is DOA from what I was told last year. 

As for a 70 hr work week kids today nope. 

18 years ago I worked 70 hours a week and still got out to ski 3 days a week. go figure.

My bet is all will be fine and we all will live another day, hopefully.

 

Zardog 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
5 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
It’s now mid -August. I’m still looking at the April webcam, the March ‘22 ski report and the previous owner’s website. The deck attached to the ski lodge has been roped off. So maybe they are reading these posts? The chairs have been re-installed on the ski lift cable(hooray…progress) as part of the yearly lift maintenance. I am told that a meeting has been schedule between the Hidden Valley Foundation Board and Vail management (more progress?). I question the competence of the Vail IT staff since they can’t seem to get a website up and running. 
When I see the deck repairs happening, and a new website, I’ll start to feel some optimism.
superguy
5 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

ZARDOG wrote:

Triple added at liberty is DOA from what I was told last year. 

As for a 70 hr work week kids today nope. 

18 years ago I worked 70 hours a week and still got out to ski 3 days a week. go figure.

My bet is all will be fine and we all will live another day, hopefully.

 

Zardog 

Sounds like the expansion at RT to skiers' left of Powderhorn is probably canned too.  They had gotten the permits to start cutting trails over there - Sam announced it before he left. 

It'd be nice if they developed that side.  They could get a quad all the near the top of Minuteman down that NW side - it could add another 100-200' of vertical and give a few nice, longer runs.

superguy
5 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I guess WJAC can't afford an editor.

It IS Johnstown after all :D

*My hometown, I can make fun of it. :D

Thefirewarde
5 months ago
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
106 posts

superguy wrote:

Sounds like the expansion at RT to skiers' left of Powderhorn is probably canned too.  They had gotten the permits to start cutting trails over there - Sam announced it before he left. 

It'd be nice if they developed that side.  They could get a quad all the near the top of Minuteman down that NW side - it could add another 100-200' of vertical and give a few nice, longer runs.

Roundtop is water limited. Vail needs to get permission to draw and pump more water or build some substantial off-stream storage before they can add more terrain and cover it. Getting more HKD Klik auto towers or some new fans couldn't hurt, but Roundtop's big constraint is pumping capacity. They already struggle to keep what they have covered.

Leo
5 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts


 Hey Dave, hope you are well! 

I hate to grouse, but I'd love to know who pays for the maintenance of the road.  Genuinely curious if it is us (the taxpayers) or the lessee (Vail). 

I bike up there a lot (I was there yesterday evening) and it does feel a bit dystopian when you are passing signs every three feet that say "stay on trail" while riding through a state forest.  I'm sure the Mellon's didn't get any tax break when they donated the land so taxpayers should just understand that it isn't their resource to use, LOL.

 

hockeydave wrote:

https://www.dailyamerican.com/story/news/local/2022/08/17/laurel-mountain-state-park-trails-still-open-to-public-dcnr-to-examine-other-options/65405829007/

Thefirewarde
5 months ago
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
106 posts
Copied from a JFBB Facebook post:

"Will there be any skiable terrain be added this winter? 

Yes! Our Epic Lift Upgrade project has helped us create four new trails at Big Boulder which will be open this winter. Two of the trails will be skiways to the left and right of the new lift, one will be a new groomed intermediate trail and then another that will run under the old Merry Widow lift line."

No word on what snowmaking will be present on those trails, but any terrain expansion is better than none.

msprings
5 months ago
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
147 posts

Saw on the 7 Springs instagram page:

New snowmaking on giant steps and new snow making pipes on Phillips and upper Wagner 

ZARDOG
5 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

JFBB Gave an Update on FaceBook.   The only issue again this season is.....

Labor Shortage 

and

COVID

and

VISITATIONS - Another Record or Not.

La Nina 3rd the year in a row.

COST input GAS will be under 4$ a Gal.

The 4$ I mentioned is from the max price I have paid in 25 years of skiing local.

It did not deter visits.

 Zardog

superguy
5 months ago (edited 5 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Here's the 7S vid:

fb.watch

The GS lance guns don't look like the newer HKDs.

Wonder if they're old guns that are bought used.

liketoskidad
5 months ago
Member since 10/19/2007 🔗
29 posts

Vail Resorts announces season openings

  • Nov. 11: Mt. Snow (VT)
  • Nov. 18: Afton Alps (MN), Hunter (NY), Stowe (VT), Wildcat (NH)
  • Nov19: Okemo (VT)
  • Nov. 23: Mt. Sunapee (NH)
  • Nov. 25: Seven Springs (PA)
  • Dec. 2: Attitash (NH), Crotched (NH), Jack Frost (PA)
  • Dec. 3: Mt. Brighton (MI), Wilmot (WI) 
  • Dec. 16: Big Boulder (PA), Liberty (PA), Roundtop (PA), Whitetail (PA)
  • Dec. 17: Alpine Valley (OH), Boston Mills and Brandywine (OH), Hidden Valley (MO), Mad River (OH), Paoli Peaks (IN), Snow Creek (MO)
  • Dec. 23: Hidden Valley (PA), Laurel Mountain (PA)
HVdad
5 months ago
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
78 posts
More sad news for HV. Opening a month later than 7S? Very clear telegraphing of Vail's ultimate interest/care and concern for HV or LM. My guess is both will be shuttered within the next 5 years.
rbrtlav
5 months ago
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
556 posts
I’m really hoping that Vail adds a few more hours to the ski days at the former snowTime resorts, seems like 7 springs actually has more open hours than last year.

It is nice to see Abby is still working at 7 springs. Hopefully vail does a better job with the social media at liberty/whitetail/roundtop this year. 
liketoskidad
5 months ago
Member since 10/19/2007 🔗
29 posts

Seven Springs, Hidden Valley announce changes ahead of the winter season

By Lawrence Walsh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Additional on-snow time at Seven Springs; a delayed season start — but extended evening hours — at Hidden Valley; and limited lift ticket sales to encourage snowsports enthusiasts to buy multiday and all-season passes.

Those are some of the plans Vail Resorts announced Monday for Seven Springs and Hidden Valley, the Somerset County resorts it bought Dec. 31, and Laurel Mountain, the state-owned ski area in Westmoreland County it will operate as a concessionaire.

It plans to open Seven Springs on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving — if the weather cooperates with enough natural snow by then or at least a week of below-freezing temperatures so it can make snow to cover at least some of its 33 slopes and trails.

Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain will open Dec. 23. That date may not sit well with Hidden Valley winter sports fans who recall skiing and snowboarding there in late November or early December. Laurel Mountain has had a just-before-Christmas opening day in recent years.

Unfortunately, the weather has not cooperated in recent seasons with enough natural snow or snowmaking temperatures to provide quality conditions in the Laurel Highlands. The resorts have opened a few slopes and trails on weekends, closed during the week and continued that open-then-close schedule for several weeks. Seven Springs used to receive an average of 125 inches of natural snow between mid-November and mid-April. It has received less than 100 inches during that time in recent years.

Brett Cook, general manager of the three areas, said the Dec. 23 opening for Hidden Valley will give its snowmakers more time to create more snow — weather conditions permitting — and open more slopes and trails to get the season off to a good start.

“Once Hidden Valley opens for the season, we want it to stay open,” he said.

Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Resort decided years ago to delay the opening of its seven slopes and trails until Christmas. Boyce Park, the Allegheny County-owned ski and snowboard area in Plum, also has delayed opening until the holidays in snow-short seasons.

needawax
5 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
18 posts


 

liketoskidad wrote:


Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain will open Dec. 23. That date may not sit well with Hidden Valley winter sports fans who recall skiing and snowboarding there in late November or early December. Laurel Mountain has had a just-before-Christmas opening day in recent years.


Really?  What if temps go low and the snow starts to fly prior to that?  Isn't this really just an operational/staffing/organizational issue?  And if so, say it. 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
5 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts


 Looks like we're at the bottom of the list. Even the mole hills in Ohio have higher priority. They did report they purchased 7 new portable HKD snow guns for HV. So there is some positive news.  They think they can open banana belt Roundtop before HV? It is almost September and we still have the previous owner's website, the mountain cam image from April and the snow report from March. The deck on the ski lodge is starting to slump and collapse, the snow tubing lodge looks like a total dump and the deck on that lodge is near collapse, not to mention rotting wood and peeling paint on the main ski lodge and the snow tubing lodge. Vail did inherit these poor conditions from the Nutting/Mauch duo. But get a freaking crew out there and start executing repairs. The snow tubing lodge is located near the main entrance. They should be embarrassed to have that timber frame structure in such poor condition. As that redneck commedian once said, "Get er done."

1661465046_nzwlnnklmvuy.jpg

needawax wrote:


 

liketoskidad wrote:


Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain will open Dec. 23. That date may not sit well with Hidden Valley winter sports fans who recall skiing and snowboarding there in late November or early December. Laurel Mountain has had a just-before-Christmas opening day in recent years.


Really?  What if temps go low and the snow starts to fly prior to that?  Isn't this really just an operational/staffing/organizational issue?  And if so, say it. 

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
5 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
326 posts
IIRC, Big Boulder used to compete for first open in the Poconos if not all of Pennsylvania
rbrtlav
5 months ago
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
556 posts

wfyurasko wrote:

IIRC, Big Boulder used to compete for first open in the Poconos if not all of Pennsylvania

 I know under the Peak days I skied at Big Boulder in early November. Just like Bryce they are small and have good snowmaking, they would go all out for a night or two and get a trail and park open. It was a really short run, but being on snow in early November was always fun. 

Boulder would also try and save snow and open a park for a "May Day" event. 

HVdad
5 months ago (edited 5 months ago)
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
78 posts

The real joke is Hidden Valley, MO opening before HV, PA! I really don't think they have an acutal winter season in Missouri, do they? Clearly there are some newly-minted, Harvard-bound, critical-thinkers who were delegated this "plan the opening" project. What's even more sad: (appropriate use of the colon) they had to actually create a special date, late in December, as an "oh shit, we have two other ski slopes we have to worry about" placeholder.

How very sad.

Does anyone have the name and email address of the new "manager" at Hidden Valley, PA?

Leo
5 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts


 I mean, the whole thing comes off as a bit of theoretical exercise.  We could have a November where us poor HV pee-ons are crying that they're not open for Thanksgiving.  Or we could have a November/December where everyone is scrambling to have anything open for Christmas.  So "announcing" an opening schedule in August is interesting.  But I'm sure it justifies someone's title and salary.    

HVdad wrote:

 Clearly there are some newly-minted, Harvard-bound, critical-thinkers who were delegated this "plan the opening" project. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
5 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts
I think the last management team got it right by not announcing opening dates because the weather is fickle. We all know that Seven Springs tries to open the Monday after Thanksgiving, but there was always the possibility that there would be enough sustained cold to open earlier, and they have in the past. Now, it will not surprise me at all if they just stick to those opening dates regardless of cold temperatures or even the amount of snowfall on the ground. Maybe Seven Springs will be the exception, but I could see Laurel and Hidden Valley languishing because there will be no staff in place and no plans to staff until the opening dates.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
5 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
I would think having an opening date would relate to operations and staffing. If you have a set date, you have a good idea when to get the staff on-board. You would also have a better idea for budgeting for staff. They then probably have an idea when they want to close also. And I am sure that LM and HV will get the short end that stick also. I think their philosiphy is....you have alot of other places to ski on your pass. So why complain that your home mountain is closed.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
5 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

Leo wrote:


 I mean, the whole thing comes off as a bit of theoretical exercise.  We could have a November where us poor HV pee-ons are crying that they're not open for Thanksgiving.  Or we could have a November/December where everyone is scrambling to have anything open for Christmas.  So "announcing" an opening schedule in August is interesting.  But I'm sure it justifies someone's title and salary.    

 VR started announcing opening dates for all the destination resorts a while back.  There is always the caveat of "weather permitting". Sometimes it works and other times the actual opening date is delayed as needed for a specific resort.  Of course, if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate that means other resorts near Epic locations that don't open as planned aren't likely to open that week either.

ZARDOG
5 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

I have the earliest open and the latest close and in between.

Nov 24 is a good date and has worked for 7springs. Liberty Dec 16 is a safe bet.  Early as Dec1 as late as the end of the first week in Jan. 30-day variable. End dates MAr 1 - MAr 30 for Lib.  By Mar 30 most will not go skiing spring sports take over. 30-day variable at the end.  A great season is Nov 25 - Mar 30.


 

Grumpy dad
4 months ago (edited 4 months ago)
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

Pre nutting - New snow guns, improvements all over, restaurants good - festive experience at HV w/ families enjoying HV for what it offered...I left smiling everytime.  Snow was better, and they opened before 7s which I loved. (maybe just a day, maybe even a week or more)

Nutting - Sending their overflow of out of control fat drunks, no improvements, the parking lots some how got muddier.  Minimal snowmaking, grooming, parks poorly cared for or even existing. 

Vail buy out announcement: literally everyone: "it can't get worse than it is!"

Reality today: we are reducing your ski time from 4 months to 3.  You're welcome, oh and um yeaaa we are going to need you to go ahead and move into the basement, um yea ...and while you are at it here's a can of bug spray, if you could just take care of some of those bugs while you are down there that would be great, mkay?  Thanks!

If I were a home owner of HV, I would stop saying 'it cant get worse' because y'all are just jinxing yourselves.   OH I cant wait to see what the lift lines look like at 7S.  

And the BS that moron is spouting about 'the weather'.  Pfft.  First off the annual snowfall was never 120 inches.  Most of that is hype anyway, and likely embellished during the nutting period. Second, somehow they managed to open and stay open but ONE time that I can recall in 20 years.  That's when we had that warm December w/ alot of rain.  

Leo
4 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts

1663119650_puacwryuejgb.jpg

Grumpy dad
4 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

1663170927_iudbxghxkbgg.jpg

superguy
4 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

I'm hoping these dates aren't etched in stone, with openings being sooner if the conditions permit.

HV and 7S have similar weather, but HV has the better system. I can understand the focus being on 7S as it's the destination resort in the region, but I can't really see a reason to hold off snowmaking and opening if the weather permits.  Unless they plan on just dumping everyone at 7S and have bigger opening. If that's the case, the HV had better have the max amount of runs possible on that date.

LM was always the red-headed stepchild. The leased compressor didn't usually show up until Dec 1 or so anyway, so a Christmas opening isn't a shock there.  Still would like to see more open sooner though.

Moe Gull
4 months ago
Member since 09/5/2022 🔗
25 posts
I have not heard anything about lifts yet. Corporate website development is slow and they are probably rebuilding everything fit onto their standard template that they used for others resorts. Just planning, approving is a month's long process. Their websites are relatively simple and they will probably use the same underlying stuff that has already been built multiple times for others resorts, so coding and development is probably not even the part taking the longest for them. It's just the process that they need to go through that drags it out.
liketoskidad
4 months ago
Member since 10/19/2007 🔗
29 posts

I find it very concerning that Vail has not done any updates to the 7Springs or HV WEB sites. I have been responsible for leading over 20 acquisitions over the past 20 years and after the actual closing documents the most important document is the Integration Plan.  This plan is always completed before the deal closes and addresses in detail what is to be done on the day the deal closes and usually 30, 100 and on year after closing.  

I have never been involved in an acquisition as the buyer or seller where the website did not have some updates on the day of closing or very shortly after.  This is to let both employees and most importantly customer know what's coming in the future.  More deals fail to provide value in the future due to bad integration plans than any other item which is why significant resources from the buyer and seller are involved in the plan.

So Vail's total inaction to provide any updates on the 7S a& HV sites is telling me that have NO plans for doing anything to better serve their customers or improve the skiing experience at these facilities.  Hopefully I'm wrong but sure seems management at Vail just doesn't care.

ZARDOG
4 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

Delivery seems slow everywhere. I do see jobs open at vail in communications and media. 

I looked at Liberty and still has 2021-22.   

Laurel Highlands
4 months ago
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
47 posts

It boggles the mind to pay a reported $118M for these resorts, and then to have no plan.  Says they have more $ for acquisition than they have  talent and staff to execute.   Either that or caught up in big company bureaucracy awaiting next year capital program.   One way or the other result is the same.  

 

liketoskidad wrote:

I find it very concerning that Vail has not done any updates to the 7Springs or HV WEB sites. I have been responsible for leading over 20 acquisitions over the past 20 years and after the actual closing documents the most important document is the Integration Plan.  This plan is always completed before the deal closes and addresses in detail what is to be done on the day the deal closes and usually 30, 100 and on year after closing.  

I have never been involved in an acquisition as the buyer or seller where the website did not have some updates on the day of closing or very shortly after.  This is to let both employees and most importantly customer know what's coming in the future.  More deals fail to provide value in the future due to bad integration plans than any other item which is why significant resources from the buyer and seller are involved in the plan.

So Vail's total inaction to provide any updates on the 7S a& HV sites is telling me that have NO plans for doing anything to better serve their customers or improve the skiing experience at these facilities.  Hopefully I'm wrong but sure seems management at Vail just doesn't care.

superguy
4 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts
A lot of resorts still do. Many don't have day ticket prices up either.
superguy
4 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Laurel Highlands wrote:

It boggles the mind to pay a reported $118M for these resorts, and then to have no plan.  Says they have more $ for acquisition than they have  talent and staff to execute.   Either that or caught up in big company bureaucracy awaiting next year capital program.   One way or the other result is the same. 

I can't help but wonder if Alterra or Boyne was going to try to grab them and Vail either beat them to the punch or outbid them.

The Highlands hills would have filled in a huge gap for Ikon.  Now they'd either have to grab something in the Poconos or an indy like Blue Knob, all of which are surrounded by at least 9 Vail resorts.

Were that the case, I'm kinda surprised it passed government muster as that just seems pretty anticompetitive.

JackC
4 months ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

Expect to hear more tomorrow about Vail's capital program for next year. Vail's year-end earnings call is tomorrow at 5:00 PM here. Last year at this time they announced 19 new lifts. Wouldn't expect any new lifts for 7S/HV yet though. Vail typically focuses on safety and integration during the first year after acquisitions, then we might see other things in the next few years. For example, 2 years ago, Roundtop/Liberty/Whitetail got the new RFID tickets, then last year, there were some branding updates, and at Roundtop they created a new glades run. So don't expect too much too soon. I suspect their approach is to make it "business as usual" as much as possible. And the websites, I would assume they'll flip the switch once all the fall activities are over. And webcams probably won't be active until there's snow on the ground. That seems to be Vail's way of operating, unfortunately.

The real problem is Vail Resorts only communicates when they're legally required to (earnings calls, for example).

Laurel Highlands wrote:

It boggles the mind to pay a reported $118M for these resorts, and then to have no plan.  Says they have more $ for acquisition than they have  talent and staff to execute.   Either that or caught up in big company bureaucracy awaiting next year capital program.   One way or the other result is the same.  

 

liketoskidad wrote:

I find it very concerning that Vail has not done any updates to the 7Springs or HV WEB sites. I have been responsible for leading over 20 acquisitions over the past 20 years and after the actual closing documents the most important document is the Integration Plan.  This plan is always completed before the deal closes and addresses in detail what is to be done on the day the deal closes and usually 30, 100 and on year after closing.  

I have never been involved in an acquisition as the buyer or seller where the website did not have some updates on the day of closing or very shortly after.  This is to let both employees and most importantly customer know what's coming in the future.  More deals fail to provide value in the future due to bad integration plans than any other item which is why significant resources from the buyer and seller are involved in the plan.

So Vail's total inaction to provide any updates on the 7S a& HV sites is telling me that have NO plans for doing anything to better serve their customers or improve the skiing experience at these facilities.  Hopefully I'm wrong but sure seems management at Vail just doesn't care.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

Vail Resorts Reports Fiscal 2022 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results, Provides Fiscal 2023 Outlook and Announces 2023 Capital Plan | Vail Resorts, Inc.

No mention of any investments in what they call the "Seven Springs Resorts. Quite frankly I would be happy if they fixed the collapsing decks and holes in the lodge walls at Hidden Valley. Or maybe even some communication about fixing these issues.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts


 FINALLY, some progress. I have been informed that the collapsing ski lodge deck has been demolished and that a new deck is being constructed. Let's see what happens next.

snowsmith wrote:

While the conditions of the 7S facilities may be OK, the conditions of HV facilities are not so good. Beancounter Mauch chose not to invest operating profits at HV. He left parts of HV facilities in poor condition. While this is not Vail's fault, it's going to be their responsibility to fix these conditions  some of which pose danger to the public. The photos below document the poor condition of the ski lodge including failing support beams that support the ski lodge deck, rotting wood and peeling paint (sorry for the rotation) . Nutting should be ashamed of these photos. This is what he sold to Vail:1659392556_umoxeknikllc.jpg

1659392608_hloxsdpjdglr.jpg

1659392640_vtfsgfdxeagv.jpg The following photo is of the snow tubing "Outback" lodge on Route 31. Yes, there are holes in the walls of the building and the deck attached to the building is near collapse. Only a cheap sign is there to prevent someone from getting hurt. This is Mauch's legacy.

1659392831_gdqkuxbkbzrp.jpg

1659392855_tkelqryyelyx.jpg 

Grumpy dad
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

7Springs summer/fall experience so far.

New clothing line is, for me, absolutely amazing designs.  Very 70's looking.  I wasn't old enough to ski in the 70s, but I love the vibe.  You have to checkout their new designs.  It's not all 70s, there's also a very western vibe to some of their stuff.  Maybe they are all rip offs of what Vail uses for every resort and all they do is swap the names.   Either way, Im loving it.  Honestly.  

The food. :) Well.  Sporting clays no longer part of 7S, is about the same.  They have weekend specials that hit the spot occasionally but lately it feels like they are try to go on easy mode.  Last weekends special was a ham sandwich.  Now the sandwiches are usually interesting, and have ingredients you likely never had put together, but a sandwich none the less for upwards of $20.    Cheese curds are great, but small quantity for $12.   But, it's ok and nice atmosphere.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is where you can eat at  7S.  Nothing else to see here move along.  Wait...there's more than that you say...what about the other places at 7S.  

Timbers is closed.  No plans to reopen although rumor has it they are going to make it some sort of sports bar.  This place was actually serving some decent burgers and fish tacos before the pandemic.  People kept complaining the food was so bad under nutting and it felt like they were really trying something different before the pandemic.  

Slopeside is $29/ adult for buffet.  Menu has shrunk a good bit.  Autumnfest is $39/ adult, menu just about the same.   This food is gross. Leather ham slices, 'turkey and stuffing', it's all garbage.   The ONLY thing I would consider worth getting here is the wedding soup.  They significantly reduced their desserts, and there is NO pasta bar with the guy serving up pan fried pasta/sauce/ingredients of your choice.  (which at one time they had the option of adding a protein like shrimp or sausage and there was always a 15 min line for this as no one wanted the buffet stuff really).   Breads were stale, hard as a brick.   

The bavarian, has expanded their seating by a few tables toward the windows.   They have burgers, a chicken sandwich, and flatbreads on the menu.  We were desperate and ate there after autumnfest, and the flatbread was not bad honestly.  Large, puffy and not stale flatbread with a decent amount of ingredients for I want to say $15 or maybe $18?  Kids PB/J was $10! Fries were terrible, and had something red on them.  Hmm.  Wings are gone from the menu, as are many other items.  Keep it simple stupid.

The goggle - no idea.  Have kids and have no plans to sit there with people that will annoy me.

The axe house looks interesting.  I swear they added on to that side of the building.  I can see this really adding to the atmosphere of the goggle, and by adding I mean negatively.  This may have seemed like a really cool idea, but there will be too many drunks here and zero opportunity for a family to experience this positively.  This would be great to visit mid week or early in the day before your average joe takes his 3 runs, then calls it a day in place of $7, 8oz cups of beer. 

Autumnfest is a joke and a shell of what it used to be.    1million insurance required for each vendor.  This wasnt prior as my neighbor used to vendor their crafts, and wont because of this requirement.  It's not expensive, to get that insurance, but everything adds up.   I believe it's $150 a weekend for a tent to be a vendor.  There were about 15 tents outside if Im recalling properly. It looks more sparse every year.  And the tents are only along the walk way. I swear 1/3 of the vendors were just selling candles.   Whereas before they had it throughout the beginner area and the place was bustling with a large variety.    Inside, I was shocked to see that there were only about 5 vendors, and that's on the second floor.  NO signs telling you they are there.  I only found out waiting for daughter to get face painted and had to use the bathroom.    They did have a big tent setup with some vendors on the drop off area in front near the pass office, and a haybail maze again.    This was pretty sparse inside compared to other years. 
The adventure pass to ride the alpine slide and do the rock wall , jumpy thing is insanely priced now.  As is just a single ride on the alpine slide. 

The workers overall, are still quite interesting and eclectic.  Ive never met a worker here that looked miserable to me or acted odd or rude.  I miss talking to my favorite omelet station / pasta station guy.  He took his job VERY seriously. Loved his passion.

Mini golf....please put this place out of its misery.  Please, I will honestly fund this demo work.  

Game room - EVERYTHING costs a dollar to play, and there are very few games.  MOST are just things you spin that produce tickets that you turn in for some cheap trinket.  Very VERY sad that they did this.  Teaching kids to gamble, cool!

Pool - no lifeguard on duty, probably no chlorine either.   Can't pay per day to go anymore.  No one monitors this at all.  This is going to be a SH show when they are busy.  

Valet/premier parking area, the security booth is gone. I dont recall if they move this every year or if they plan to remove this perma.   It was nice to roll in and park pretty darn close when 'my other area' was too busy or I arrived too late.  

Ive hiked, biked, and motorcycled the area fairly extensively over the summer, and didnt really see any work happening on the slopes other than maybe a line dug up here or a tree that was down, removed.  I could be oblivious.  I was pissed they close neals run road all year now with big cement blocks and a gate.  I thought this was a public road?  They have it closed on both sides.  Apparently neals leads to a road that to get out of is actually on 7s property.  I was running low on gas on my dual sport, road all the way to 7s property only to find it closed.  Luckily I was able to get gas in melcroft then backtrack another way back up the mountain back to home. 

And that's about it.  Everything else seems just about the same.  Didnt try Helens lately, as I was never a big fan of Helens.  I never had a good meal there in 20 years of trying. Maybe I should stop trying to order steak here then?

We have our passes purchased, and it will be 'epic' to see how they handle scanning everyone every time.  At least that is the rumor.  Line control was always hit or miss at the bottom of the polar express. I do avoid this line as much as possible.   I would love to see an expansion of terrain some day, and for the north face lift to become a 4 person speed lift.  I also hope 7S plans to run more lifts and monitor passes on all lifts as it was fairly easy to dodge the black jackets.  

I have a massive fear this place is going to be a ZOO this year.  Day passes if you buy and commit to a certain number of days, super super cheap.  Like $24 per day for a kid and $48 for adults. 

Either way, I'm excited and pumped for the season to come.  All of it.  Rain, snow, crowds, crappy food - or positive surprises like great snowfall, low crowds, good groomers, good food/drink - should that occur.  Maybe by March I'll be looking forward to things warming up, growing, putting in a garden, fishing etc - but for now ....THINK SNOW.

EDIT:  Supposedly prices were to go up as of Oct for passes.  They dont mention what passes.  However, when I looked at the northeast pass and the day passes, those did not go up.  Maybe they are planning to increase those prices this week or the weeks following, but as of today when prices were to increase, they didnt.  

superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Polar Bear's always been chaotic. I use the a Cortina whenever it's open.

I'll probably be hiring a lot of Friday nights at 7S. Sat/Sun will be probably be the LM/HV combo I usually do. May get outvoted by friends though. Some got the 7 day pack, other's probably going to bill my buddy passes.


Glad the HV deck's finally getting fixed. Hope the fix the lodge too.

I never buy food at the Highlands resorts. I'll usually either get a sub from Em's in Somerset or Richland, maybe Sheetz and take some drinks. Cheaper and the food's better. Often convenient it you can park in the north lot.

danimals
3 months ago
Member since 03/19/2019 🔗
8 posts

Man, Im sorry you western PA guys got vailed.

I rode primarily in the eastern part of the state on my peak pass. I considered my home mountain hunter (I dont mind long drives) But went to whitetail a few times as I really liked the place. When hunter and and JFBB got vailed, I couldn't believe the changes. Whether you love terrain parks or not, Big Boulder was known worldwide for their parks. People came from out west to ski and ride there. Vail completely removed most of the parks, and what remains are really watered down. The lift lines are out of control even on non peak weekdays. The resorts under peak were known as some of the first to open and last to close, now that title is being handed over to the few remaining independents. Laurel and seven springs were on my list to visit, But i just cant justify giving vail any of my money. I also fear whats happening at stowe will make its way vail-wide (a 450 dollar season parking pass that DOES NOT even guarantee you a parking spot).

The fact that vail owns jack frost, big boulder, Hunter, Liberty, roundtop, whitetail, laurel, hidden valley, and seven springs should be investigated (just my opinion).

superguy
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Yeah, not much choice for us that doesn't involve Vail. That's close anyway.  I grew up in the Highlands area, learning at 7S. Family's still there. The only other choices that are easily accessible to me are Wisp and Blue Knob.

If there's a good snow day, try Blue Knob. It has a similar old(er) school vibe and great, if not arguably better terrain.  It's pretty basic and it's run down - it needs some serious investment.  But you'll be hard pressed to find better terrain in the region. Extrovert compares well with Lower Wildcat.

It's on Indy Pass too.  Go midweek and it's pretty inexpensive. If you have a season pass from anywhere else, they'll give you a discount on a midweek lift ticket.

At a minimum though, I wouldn't go until they at least had Stembogen open, and perhaps Lower High Hopes.  If Extrovert's open - go.

dclivejazz
3 months ago
Member since 03/5/2017 🔗
44 posts

I’m not getting the love for Peak over Vail ownership of the PA ski places. Peak only operated them 2 or 3 seasons. There wasn’t much difference between them except that Vail has had to operate under the pandemic conditions. Not that I think Vail has done an outstanding job of it in our area so far. In my limited experience of them, I preferred the Snowtime ownership. I also didn’t notice any difference at the terrain parks at the places I go to, like Liberty.

danimals wrote:

Man, Im sorry you western PA guys got vailed.

I rode primarily in the eastern part of the state on my peak pass. I considered my home mountain hunter (I dont mind long drives) But went to whitetail a few times as I really liked the place. When hunter and and JFBB got vailed, I couldn't believe the changes. Whether you love terrain parks or not, Big Boulder was known worldwide for their parks. People came from out west to ski and ride there. Vail completely removed most of the parks, and what remains are really watered down. The lift lines are out of control even on non peak weekdays. The resorts under peak were known as some of the first to open and last to close, now that title is being handed over to the few remaining independents. Laurel and seven springs were on my list to visit, But i just cant justify giving vail any of my money. I also fear whats happening at stowe will make its way vail-wide (a 450 dollar season parking pass that DOES NOT even guarantee you a parking spot).

The fact that vail owns jack frost, big boulder, Hunter, Liberty, roundtop, whitetail, laurel, hidden valley, and seven springs should be investigated (just my opinion).

 

Thefirewarde
3 months ago
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
106 posts

Peaks had JFBB for a good long while, the Snowtime trio were only Peaks briefly. By most accounts JFBB had excellent parks - Blue Mountain has really stepped up with Dreamweaver since Big Boulder stopped competing for parks, but it's still just one trail - and Boulder was also almost guaranteed to win first opening and last closed.

The trouble with antitrust hitting Vail is they're gonna drop Laurel Mountain and Roundtop, and keep their best properties while ditching a liability and the lowest performing of the Snowtime hills. JFBB are basically an integrated unit and shouldn't really be split.

I suspect Vail's slow rolling the openings at HV because they're stealing Ops crew to run the more labor intensive 7S snowmaking. If you're lucky HV will still have a skeleton crew to take advantage of early season snowmaking opportunities. Laurel is likely S.O.L. until mid-December at least when they'll get what the other two resorts can spare. It's a shame PA won't do like ORDA and actually run their own resort.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
Antitrust? Vail owns 8 ski resorts in PA and there are 22 ski resorts in PA. Nationally, Vail owns 37 resorts and there are more than 400 ski resorts. Thus they are not close to any kind of anti-trust action.
superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

I don't know what 7S/HV were paying snow crews before, but you'd think they'd be able to attract more people at the higher wages. Might have more rookies, but maybe more bodies out there too.

And isn't HV's system more automated as well, pretty much since they're running an all TechnoAlpin system? And if it is automated, wouldn't they be able to get by with less people?

If 7S's is more manual, I could see how it'd be more labor intensive.  But they can put out a lot more snow than HV and LM, so it's conceivable if it stays cold that they could pretty much be completely open by the time HV and LM are just waking up.

LM's always been behind the 8 ball.  They don't own their own compressor so it's leased every year. It doesn't show up until Dec 1 usually. So even if they get it installed fairly quickly, a Christmas opening is typical for them if they have good snowmaking weather.  Anything earlier likely won't come until they either lease the compressor earlier (higher cost gamble) or buy their own (don't see that happening with the lease).  I think this is something the state really needs to step in and buy. They may be able to get an extra month out of their season.

liketoskidad
3 months ago
Member since 10/19/2007 🔗
29 posts

Snowsmith - Like your analysis of  Vail owning 37 resorts vs more than 400 ski resorts so Vail has less that 10% of the resorts. I believe antitrust analysis would look at the % of the total skier market they have.  How many total ski days does Vail resorts capture at their 37 resorts verse what is the total number of ski days in the US every year.  I would think since the average size of a Vail resort is quite a bit larger than the average for the 400 resorts their % of the total skier market is significantly more than 10%.  This is what antitrust would look at, that being % of total market.

superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

I think pushing Vail on antitrust would be a tough sell. The only place where they're stronger than average may be PA and the Midwest, but there's still plenty of competition. It's hard to argue that Vail's abusing their position when they've arguably made skiing cheaper in the region. There are options like the NE Value Pass which gives access to more resorts for less than I paid for my Highlands Pass last season ($520 this year vs $680 last), and the Day Pass which can make days cost as little as $38 each if you limit the resorts and holidays. The average day ticket in our region is around $90-100, give or take.

One can certainly complain about how Vail has been running its resorts and those are legitimate gripes, but those aren't ones that are going to be fought in the court room. It's going to be about people voting with their feet and wallets if they think Vail doesn't deliver.

But even then, you still have several choices that aren't Vail within about a 3 hour's drive from Baltimore or DC.

We'll have to see whether they learned anything or not from least year, and go from there. I'm not totally convinced that limiting lift ticket sales will help much, when probably the vast majority of us will be on passes.

liketoskidad wrote:

Snowsmith - Like your analysis of  Vail owning 37 resorts vs more than 400 ski resorts so Vail has less that 10% of the resorts. I believe antitrust analysis would look at the % of the total skier market they have.  How many total ski days does Vail resorts capture at their 37 resorts verse what is the total number of ski days in the US every year.  I would think since the average size of a Vail resort is quite a bit larger than the average for the 400 resorts their % of the total skier market is significantly more than 10%.  This is what antitrust would look at, that being % of total market.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

Recent news:

- The local Vail management team finally met with the Hidden Valley Foundation Board (governing body for the HV community), 

- HV is currently not a priority. 7S is their main priority currently. I assume that means that LM is also not a priority. I believe this relates to improvements. They want to get an operating year under their belt before prioritizing anything at HV or LM.

- HV snow tubing will not operate this year due to the poor condition of the 'Outback' snow tubing lodge (see my photos in this thread}.

- Vail committed to opening HV skiing earlier than 12/23 if the weather cooperates. 

-Vail indicated that they have the staff to open the HV restaurants, The Clocktower and Glaciers Pub. They indicated that a family friendly menu would be offered.

- The deck replacement for the ski lodge is behind schedule due to a building permit issues. During the 5 days I was there last week I saw no construction activity for the deck area.

- Vail was not aware that the Buncher Company had plans to expand the ski trails along Rte 31.

- Highlands has sold all of the new condos they constructed. Highlands will be presenting at the HV annual meeting in November. So will Vail.

- Apparently, Vail has the right of first refusal for any changes or sale of the old spa building and conference center,

danimals
3 months ago
Member since 03/19/2019 🔗
8 posts

Vail was unaware of cut ski trails that exists on a property they bought? I can see them from any maps app.

Leo
3 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts


 Snowsmith, thank you for the thorough update.  

The brewpub in the old conf center, I assume you mean at Hidden Valley?  That would be fantastic even if it will be overpriced only decent food -- at least it will be an option.

As to not knowing about the expansion plan and already cut slopes, I think that confirms HV is an afterthought and that Vail's main purpose in any of these acquisitions is to feed the Epic/Vail resort system, and that's it, period the end.

snowsmith wrote:

Recent news:

- The local Vail management team finally met with the Hidden Valley Foundation Board (governing body for the HV community), 

- HV is currently not a priority. 7S is their main priority currently. I assume that means that LM is also not a priority. I believe this relates to improvements. They want to get an operating year under their belt before prioritizing anything at HV or LM.

- HV snow tubing will not operate this year due to the poor condition of the 'Outback' snow tubing lodge (see my photos in this thread}.

- Vail committed to opening HV skiing earlier than 12/23 if the weather cooperates. 

-Vail indicated that they have the staff to open the HV restaurants, The Clocktower and Glaciers Pub. They indicated that a family friendly menu would be offered.

- The deck replacement for the ski lodge is behind schedule due to a building permit issues. During the 5 days I was there last week I saw no construction activity for the deck area.

- Vail was not aware that the Buncher Company had plans to expand the ski trails along Rte 31.

- Highlands (Nutting's new company) is currently constructing a brew pub in the old conference center, so I have been told.

- Highlands has sold all of the new condos they constructed. Highlands will be presenting at the HV annual meeting in November. So will Vail.

- Apparently, Vail has the right of first refusal for any changes or sale of the old spa building and conference center,

superguy
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

No.  I don't think that's what he was talking about.  HV had plans to cut several runs and install a new lift to skiers' right of Charger.  The area was put on the maps about 10 years ago but has since disappeared when Bobby bought the mountain.  Hence why he talked about Bunchers' expansion and not Bobby's.

Here's the first proposed area addition that was shown up in 2002:

1387253032.jpg

Then by 2007 it changed somewhat:
1387252839.jpg

And in 2013, Bobby bought the resort and it disappeared completely. Apparently, he had no intention of expanding the terrain (shocker).

Not surprised HV and LM aren't getting love this year. 7S is obviously the big money maker so it's no surprise the other 2 fall by the wayside. Glad to see they'll open earlier if conditions permit.

If Vail even did one thing at HV, it'd be nice if they expanded the Tracker pony tow so you didn't have to schlep uphill to Imperial. Similarly, regrading Tracker a little bit so people didn't get stuck going to the North Summit and have to XC it.

danimals wrote:

Vail was unaware of cut ski trails that exists on a property they bought? I can see them from any maps app.

danimals
3 months ago
Member since 03/19/2019 🔗
8 posts

1666106900_eddbfysljjbw.jpgThose trails were cut. Was the planned expansion further out than those?

I do like the the look of this old narrow winding trail 

1666107131_rlvuwdhryfxq.jpg

superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

On Google Maps, it kinda looks like the forest reclaimed a lot of the trails as nothing ever happened with them. They're much clearer on the map you showed. 

The other pic shows the old Mile Long trail, a pretty easy green.  Part of it became Voyager, and you can sorta do the rest if you do Mustang and Blazer.

Looking at past trail maps, that area in particular has undergone several reconfigs with trails appearing and disappearing over time.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
I hiked the new trails soon after they were cleared in 2007. The 2008 recession killed the expansion since it was tied to an expanded North Summit real estate development. The trails are now completely overgrown except for the uphill extension of the Outback and Charger trails which you can hike and ski down if there is enough snow. Soon after Nutting purchased HV, I asked Eric Mauch if he would be pursuing the trail expansion. He answered with one word....an incredulous "No."  Like "why would I want to do that, it cost money". If you look at the property transfer plats, Highlands still owns the land between Kooser State Park and the land area needed for the expansion. So we can kiss that expansion goodbye. On top of that, I think Vail really only wanted 7S but HV and LM came along with the deal because, alone, they were of no value to Nutting. Nutting kept all of the developable land, so Vail would get little benefit from the expansion. And Vail business model is all about "subscription services" (i.e. Epic passes). Thus no real reason to expand the trail network. That said, from what I understand, Vail gave no indication of any future plans for HV during their meeting with the HVF Board. Looking to the future, the lifts at HV are old. They will need to be replaced. I would say that should be the focus in the future. It's a nice family ski area and I doubt it will ever be more than that.
superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Disappointing really, for those of us who aren't into the terrain parks or raucous vibe of 7S.

Now if they packaged up HV and LM, and could somehow get BK in with a deal, maybe it'd be enough for someone like Alterra or Boyne to come in and grab them. Or maybe give some families like the Perfects or Fiores (local car dealer fam that wanted BK last time) could snap them up.

Boyne could be a good owner for LM and BK. They're used to dealing with the G on skiing issues, with Brighton and Loon sitting on National Forest land. They've also leased and operated resorts too, though before buying them back again.

Yeah, it's a pipe dream, but it would be nice for someone or some group to shepherd these resorts to better times.

snowsmith wrote:

I hiked the new trails soon after they were cleared in 2007. The 2008 recession killed the expansion since it was tied to an expanded North Summit real estate development. The trails are now completely overgrown except for the uphill extension of the Outback and Charger trails which you can hike and ski down if there is enough snow. Soon after Nutting purchased HV, I asked Eric Mauch if he would be pursuing the trail expansion. He answered with one word....an incredulous "No."  Like "why would I want to do that, it cost money". If you look at the property transfer plats, Highlands still owns the land between Kooser State Park and the land area needed for the expansion. So we can kiss that expansion goodbye. On top of that, I think Vail really only wanted 7S but HV and LM came along with the deal because, alone, they were of no value to Nutting. Nutting kept all of the developable land, so Vail would get little benefit from the expansion. And Vail business model is all about "subscription services" (i.e. Epic passes). Thus no real reason to expand the trail network. That said, from what I understand, Vail gave no indication of any future plans for HV during their meeting with the HVF Board. Looking to the future, the lifts at HV are old. They will need to be replaced. I would say that should be the focus in the future. It's a nice family ski area and I doubt it will ever be more than that.
Laurel Highlands
3 months ago
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
47 posts

- Highlands (Nutting's new company) is currently constructing a brew pub in the old conference center, so I have been told.

Although I would welcome that, would give it a pretty low chance of success.   Without some serious propmtion, itwouldnt get much notice being tucked back there with no frontage on RT31.  However if they are trying to breath some life where there is none to help promote real estate sales , that might be a motive. 

Fyi if anyone wants to buy a pub in the area, the former Laurel Mtn Inn just down the road is up for sale, with plenty of frontage and parking.  It has gone downhill and needs work,  but lots of potential. On other area real estate news in the area, I noticed that earlier this year Buncher sold the game preserve property that backs to HV where they once had big plans for a development which lead them to buy HV.   No signs of any activity there and does not appear to be a developer. 

 

abeski
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 12/8/2021 🔗
26 posts

Vail owns all of the ski areas in a south/western half of PA except Blue Knob and 8/13 of the major ski areas in the state.  I think you can make an anti trust claim but I don't think there is any chance our current government would do anything about it.  At the very least though I think the old commonwealth of PA should justify not renewing the Laurel Mountain lease with such an anticompetitive and anti consumer company.  20 years ago the American Ski Club was forced to sell off some of their Vermont holdings with much less of a dominance.

To recap, Vail has: Roundtop/Liberty/Whitetail, JF/BB, 7S/HV/LM (8)

KSL has probably the only two places with similar skier visits to any of those groups, Camelback and Blue Mountain.  Then Elk, Montage, and Shawnee, are really the only independent operations that come close.

Blue Knob doesn't have it together and rarely skis to a competitive size.  Bear Creek, Tussey, Sawmill, and Mt. Pleasant have small hills although BC does do the business.  Spring Mt and Boyce park are tiny.  Big Bear and Mystic are small and semi private.  Denton is mothballed and everywhere else is private or long gone.

So Vail easily now controls over half of the skier visits in Pennsylvania.

Vail, who jacks up day ticket and lesson and rental rates, cuts night skiing and parks, cuts weekly programs, cuts the school ski club buses, and neutered the 4/5 grade pass.  All things which increase the barrier of entry to new skiers despite Vail marketing the opposite schtick. They are shooting these areas in the foot for about 10 or 20 years down the line, as is the commonwealth jeopardizing their winter tourist economy in these regions by allowing these buyouts.

superguy
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

abeski wrote:

Vail owns all of the ski areas in a south/western half of PA except Blue Knob and 8/13 of the major ski areas in the state.  I think you can make an anti trust claim but I don't think there is any chance our current government would do anything about it.  At the very least though I think the old commonwealth of PA should justify not renewing the Laurel Mountain lease with such an anticompetitive and anti consumer company.  20 years ago the American Ski Club was forced to sell off some of their Vermont holdings with much less of a dominance.

To recap, Vail has: Roundtop/Liberty/Whitetail, JF/BB, 7S/HV/LM (8)

KSL has probably the only two places with similar skier visits to any of those groups, Camelback and Blue Mountain.  Then Elk, Montage, and Shawnee, are really the only independent operations that come close.

Blue Knob doesn't have it together and rarely skis to a competitive size.  Bear Creek, Tussey, Sawmill, and Mt. Pleasant have small hills although BC does do the business.  Spring Mt and Boyce park are tiny.  Big Bear and Mystic are small and semi private.  Denton is mothballed and everywhere else is private or long gone.

So Vail easily now controls over half of the skier visits in Pennsylvania.

Vail, who jacks up day ticket and lesson and rental rates, cuts night skiing and parks, cuts weekly programs, cuts the school ski club buses, and neutered the 4/5 grade pass.  All things which increase the barrier of entry to new skiers despite Vail marketing the opposite schtick. They are shooting these areas in the foot for about 10 or 20 years down the line, as is the commonwealth jeopardizing their winter tourist economy in these regions by allowing these buyouts.

I think it gets sticky as many of those visits, especially from the SnowTime 3, are out of state visitors. I doubt PA cares about soaking them.

There are still enough options in the area of you drive past the border or go another way.

The prices see the resorts haven't changed that much. And with inflation, it's not hard to justify any increases. Plus there are ways to get the prices down.

Season pass prices have dropped overall as there are more options than before. And 7S was already insanely expensive at rack rate before Vail came in. Even then, with the Epic day passes, you could ski 7S and other places for rates that haven't been seen since the 90s.

Passholders get 20% off of rentals, which were already expensive before Vail. That's not your only option for renting though, as there are many ski shops to rent from off hill and even locally. There are several places on 31 near 7S and HV where you can get rent skis for half price.

PA doesn't operate in a vacuum. There are plenty of places around that people can go to our they don't want to go Epic. You got Wisp, a few places in WV and VA, and even places in NY and NJ. We tend to focus on the border region as it affects us, but zoom out and the big picture isn't so dark.

I'm much more concerned about how Vail manages the resorts and crowds vs what they're charging.

The PA ski industry isn't going anywhere. People are still going to ski

I plan on focusing on the smaller resorts during the busy days, and larger either midweek or night.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
Note that I investigated the supposed brew pub planned by Highlands at the HV conference center and found no evidence that this project is real.
Thefirewarde
3 months ago
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
106 posts

RE: Blue Knob.

Is Boyne interested in a single skiable pod plus bunny hill? Let's say you go while hog and get a new six pack to replace the doubles, and a realigned quad to replace the Expressway triple (so, the same magnitude as Timberline's rebuild). What does that get you? You have less ability to move people off the summit and fewer true top to bottom routes than Timberline. If the new buyer wants to do Big Business TM then they probably need to be planning a new trail pod, possibly one that makes the overnight lodge complex into slopeside or walk-to-snow lodging, along with a new lift.

Is that reasonable? If you can buy out the golf course and lodging, clear the environmental hurdles, get an extra 200 feet of vertical out of the deal? Maybe! It'd definitely be a counter to Epic's stranglehold on Western PA. But I suspect most buyers would be closer to a Magic Mountain style redevelopment with "only" several hundred thousand dollars of critical upgrades and repairs per year, plus a lift replacement.

I'd love to see a better long term solution for Laurel Mountain that results in more snowmaking, incremental improvements, and better skier experiences.

superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Thing is there's no real incentive to buy Ikon around here unless you go to SS or travel a lot. Getting some resorts in the area would make it more attractive.

BK has a ton of private land, supposed to be about 1200 acres total, work only a fraction of that in use. There's the current clubhouse area that could have some trails cut, some of which could feed into Stembogan and others could take a more relaxed way down.

That would give them another "base" area mid-mountain.

They could could also go uphill from the bottom of Bunnyhop/JR and Expressway and get some runs in.

I'd love to see the land they actually have to figure out what could go on.

BK at 1100' isn't that much shorter than Sunday River's true vert rating, and some of their "shorter" peaks. It could probably be extended some too.

I don't know Boyne's interest. I sent them an email last year about taking a look at it. Never heard back, but nor did I expect to. I figured if there was, we wouldn't know for a couple seasons when announced a purchase.

The place it's a diamond in the rough. Who is willing to polish it?

Laurel Highlands
3 months ago
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
47 posts

Well here you have it folks; With the exceptional management by Vail 7S is now listed as among the top 22 resorts in the US: https://travel.usnews.com/features/the-best-ski-resorts-in-the-us#northeast

..although not without controversey :https://unofficialnetworks.com/2022/10/07/us-top-ski-resorts-terrible/

superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Yeah, I can see why the list would cause consternation. I was surprised by some of the choices.

Even if you put aside the likelihood of Vail money, lists like these are highly subjective as authors and audiences in different magazines have different views.  A lot of these seemed to cater to the "something for everyone" crowd. Still, you had some Boyne and Ikon resorts in there too

I was surprised Alta or Snowbird weren't in there.

7S would have belonged in a Mid-Atlantic section, which I think a list would need since they don't fit into Midwest, New England, or South. It's a distinct region. Outside of Vail money, the main reason I think 7S would be in there is their 22' superpipe, as Killington has the only other one of that size in the east.  But in a bigger list compared with NE? No way.

Laurel Highlands wrote:

Well here you have it folks; With the exceptional management by Vail 7S is now listed as among the top 22 resorts in the US: https://travel.usnews.com/features/the-best-ski-resorts-in-the-us#northeast

..although not without controversey :https://unofficialnetworks.com/2022/10/07/us-top-ski-resorts-terrible/

liketoskidad
3 months ago
Member since 10/19/2007 🔗
29 posts

New look for the 7 Springs web site 7springs.com.  No webcam's up yet or trail maps.  Same for hidden valley

superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts
Yep. They've been Vailed. I guess updates to the EpicMix app will be coming soon.
Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,541 posts
I like the uniformity of the new websites for all 3 W PA Vail resorts.

That Epic Day Pass seems very reasonable to me.  The 22 resort, 7 day non holiday pass is only $278.  I might try to pull off a trip to NH and try out some places I've never been. 

The worst case is I have 7 days at HV, 7S or LM which are all 2 to 2.5 hrs away.  

 
msprings
3 months ago
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
147 posts
Will the Vail properties in the Laurel Highlands be receiving the epic mix system? I’ve seen the epic mix scanners at lifts out west, but didn’t notice them at 7 Springs this past weekend. 
JackC
3 months ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

There's a good chance the EpicMix app will be updated for this season to include 7S, HV & LM, but the scanners likely won't be installed anytime soon, if at all. It took Vail 2 seasons to get the scanners installed at Hunter and Mount Snow, and they are the only former Peak Resorts mountains to get the scanners so far. I think Vail's idea is to get people at the local resorts hooked on their new GPS tracking feature in the app (so they can avoid the expensive capital investment), but I used it last season and it was very buggy (stops tracking randomly, double-counting vertical, kills your battery, etc.), not to mention your phone might not even turn on if it's below 20 degrees outside. Anyway, I'm hopeful the EpixMix gantries make their way to PA at some point, and the odds are Seven Springs will get them first, because it's really the only "Destination" resort that Vail currently owns in PA. All the "local" hills are probably out of luck unless Vail decides it's worthwhile to install the scanners at the ~20 resorts that don't have them yet.

msprings wrote:

Will the Vail properties in the Laurel Highlands be receiving the epic mix system? I’ve seen the epic mix scanners at lifts out west, but didn’t notice them at 7 Springs this past weekend.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

 After taking 10 months to 'update' the websites, which still have a lot of holes and have the webcam inoperable since May, I can't imagine any technological break throughs for the PA resorts. I have been told they'll have staff with scanners at the lift lines to track pass holders. Paying someone $20/hr to scan passes would seem rather expensive. It would seem that at some point, having automated equipment to scan passes would be less costly?

 

JackC wrote:

There's a good chance the EpicMix app will be updated for this season to include 7S, HV & LM, but the scanners likely won't be installed anytime soon, if at all. It took Vail 2 seasons to get the scanners installed at Hunter and Mount Snow, and they are the only former Peak Resorts mountains to get the scanners so far. I think Vail's idea is to get people at the local resorts hooked on their new GPS tracking feature in the app (so they can avoid the expensive capital investment), but I used it last season and it was very buggy (stops tracking randomly, double-counting vertical, kills your battery, etc.), not to mention your phone might not even turn on if it's below 20 degrees outside. Anyway, I'm hopeful the EpixMix gantries make their way to PA at some point, and the odds are Seven Springs will get them first, because it's really the only "Destination" resort that Vail currently owns in PA. All the "local" hills are probably out of luck unless Vail decides it's worthwhile to install the scanners at the ~20 resorts that don't have them yet.

msprings wrote:

Will the Vail properties in the Laurel Highlands be receiving the epic mix system? I’ve seen the epic mix scanners at lifts out west, but didn’t notice them at 7 Springs this past weekend.
JackC
3 months ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

Yep. Vails original intent was to use hand scanners rather than RFID gates (like Ikon pass resorts do) to create a "more personal / premium experience" - I think I read that in a Rob Katz email once. But it for sure doesn't scale well, especially in an expensive and tight labor market. Vail pretty much had no choice but to raise wages because of their bad publicity last season. They will still skimp on everything else, guaranteed. 

Another side note: the EpicMix scanners won't actually stop people from using lifts without a pass, so that's why they still have people hand scanning also. Also Vail's UHF RFID cards use an entirely different technology than the ones that Ikon and other resorts use. They'd have to replace ALL of their ticketing systems and give everyone a new pass if they wanted to swap to the more conventional RFID gates now.

snowsmith wrote:

 After taking 10 months to 'update' the websites, which still have a lot of holes and have the webcam inoperable since May, I can't imagine any technological break throughs for the PA resorts. I have been told they'll have staff with scanners at the lift lines to track pass holders. Paying someone $20/hr to scan passes would seem rather expensive. It would seem that at some point, having automated equipment to scan passes would be less costly?

 

JackC wrote:

There's a good chance the EpicMix app will be updated for this season to include 7S, HV & LM, but the scanners likely won't be installed anytime soon, if at all. It took Vail 2 seasons to get the scanners installed at Hunter and Mount Snow, and they are the only former Peak Resorts mountains to get the scanners so far. I think Vail's idea is to get people at the local resorts hooked on their new GPS tracking feature in the app (so they can avoid the expensive capital investment), but I used it last season and it was very buggy (stops tracking randomly, double-counting vertical, kills your battery, etc.), not to mention your phone might not even turn on if it's below 20 degrees outside. Anyway, I'm hopeful the EpixMix gantries make their way to PA at some point, and the odds are Seven Springs will get them first, because it's really the only "Destination" resort that Vail currently owns in PA. All the "local" hills are probably out of luck unless Vail decides it's worthwhile to install the scanners at the ~20 resorts that don't have them yet.

msprings wrote:

Will the Vail properties in the Laurel Highlands be receiving the epic mix system? I’ve seen the epic mix scanners at lifts out west, but didn’t notice them at 7 Springs this past weekend.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

JackC wrote:

Yep. Vails original intent was to use hand scanners rather than RFID gates (like Ikon pass resorts do) to create a "more personal / premium experience" - I think I read that in a Rob Katz email once. But it for sure doesn't scale well, especially in an expensive and tight labor market. Vail pretty much had no choice but to raise wages because of their bad publicity last season. They will still skimp on everything else, guaranteed. 

Another side note: the EpicMix scanners won't actually stop people from using lifts without a pass, so that's why they still have people hand scanning also. Also Vail's UHF RFID cards use an entirely different technology than the ones that Ikon and other resorts use. They'd have to replace ALL of their ticketing systems and give everyone a new pass if they wanted to swap to the more conventional RFID gates now.

VR's RFID system and gates are not standard at all.  There isn't really a "standard" since there is more than one company that provides RFID for lift access, each with it's own hardware and software.  Epic passes were custom from the start when other systems were not based on UHF.  Alta and Solitude has RFID gates from Axess years before VR decided to develop their own system, which included the early versions of EpicMix.  Boyne Resorts recently completed development of a joint development project for the first dual-frequency RFID cards for lift access and other uses at their resorts.

The latest enhancement for VR gates to scan Epic passes for lift access is that they can detect a pass on someone's smartphone.  That was installed and tested in Australia in a few places during the June-September 2022 season down under.  Not for customer use, but in preparation for use in 2023.

Colorado's Vail Resorts launches new mobile phone lift tickets - October 15, 2022

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

Someone obviously forgot to update the Epic pass website to include the new mid-Atlantic locations when it comes to buddy tickets.  Here's what the table looks like as of Oct. 31, 2022.  I didn't know that the discount amount varies by location.  A friend is considering whether to use a buddy ticket for a short trip to Park City in March or to get a few days on a non-Peak Epic Day pass.  The Epic Day pass turns out to be a much better deal.

1667222284_whhzhflzgoqy.jpg

JackC
3 months ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

Should be able to see the prices by logging into your account. Buddy ticket prices are: 7S: $62, HV: $48, LM: $39. SWAF not published yet.

marzNC wrote:

Someone obviously forgot to update the Epic pass website to include the new mid-Atlantic locations when it comes to buddy tickets.  Here's what the table looks like as of Oct. 31, 2022.  I didn't know that the discount amount varies by location.  A friend is considering whether to use a buddy ticket for a short trip to Park City in March or to get a few days on a non-Peak Epic Day pass.  The Epic Day pass turns out to be a much better deal.

1667222284_whhzhflzgoqy.jpg

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

JackC wrote:

Should be able to see the prices by logging into your account. Buddy ticket prices are: 7S: $62, HV: $48, LM: $39. SWAF not published yet.

 Thanks but I don't look at info about Epic passes for myself.  I live in NC and use Ikon, MCP, and Indy passes because they cover the places I'm interested in skiing.  I've skied at Whitetail and Roundtop with friends who live in the DC area or Philadelphia.  Did that when I had other reasons to be driving north during ski season.  Also went to Whitetail from my home mountain, Massanutten, when they had a demo day.  That was worth a little extra driving.

superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts
Do the Buddy Passes/SWAF have blackouts?
JackC
3 months ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

No. But both the pass holder and the buddy have to go to the ticket window to pick it up, so if you're intending to use them on weekends or holidays, be prepared to wait. The RFID tickets take much longer to print than paper tickets and have caused lines over 2 hours long at other PA resorts in recent seasons.

superguy wrote:

Do the Buddy Passes/SWAF have blackouts?
superguy
3 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts
Thanks. Not terribly worried about that at the Highlands resorts. I think they'll still be on paper.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

I noticed that Vail purchased 5 new HKD 'Volt' skid mounted stick guns for HV. This is a self contained unit with built in compressor. Interesting that they deviated from the current system which is almost exclusively Techno Alpin with exception of a few Pole Cat portable fan guns. The volt is pictured below.1667666817_druflidgvjah.jpg

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I noticed that Vail purchased 5 new HKD 'Volt' skid mounted stick guns for HV. This is a self contained unit with built in compressor. Interesting that they deviated from the current system which is almost exclusively Techno Alpin with exception of a few Pole Cat portable fan guns. The volt is pictured below.

 What do brand of snow guns are at Whitetail and Liberty?

My understanding is that VR wants all their equipment to be standardized sooner or later.  Then can take advantage of volume discounts from the vendors of the equipment.

Thefirewarde
3 months ago
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
106 posts

My understanding is Vail doesn't want to be entirely committed to one manufacturer - they'd like not to be stuck with the duopoly currently present with detach lifts on the snowmaking equipment side. They have the scale to go with one manufacturer per mountain if they wanted to, though.

I've seen a pretty good mix of HKD, SMI, and TechnoAlpin from various Vail resorts. Roundtop and Liberty already had a mix of vendors, though Liberty was almost purely TA for automation (Borax is the only common air-water automated tower gun in the US). Roundtop had some HKD towers but mostly semi auto Areco fans, newer TA and (late Peaks) Sufag auto fans, some old SMI Highlands, and a mixed bag of older air water manual equipment. They've recently started moving Techno gear out and HKD gear in.

Why HKD for this purchase? TechnoAlpin doesn't make a good portable low E tower with an onboard compressor, where HKD has it available off-the-shelf. I know TA has made portable low E towers - Tussey has some - but those aren't equipped with compressors and they're frankly not a well thought out design (and might not even be for sale now). These HKD sleds can potentially fit onto electrical circuits that can't handle an entire additional fan gun - there's just a compressor rather than a compressor, fan, and heating system - and can be used all around the mountain. And they're possible to move around with just a snowmobile or a small cat, instead of needing to be picked by a snowcat blade like a TA portable fan.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

Thefirewarde wrote:

My understanding is Vail doesn't want to be entirely committed to one manufacturer - they'd like not to be stuck with the duopoly currently present with detach lifts on the snowmaking equipment side. They have the scale to go with one manufacturer per mountain if they wanted to, though.

I've seen a pretty good mix of HKD, SMI, and TechnoAlpin from various Vail resorts. Roundtop and Liberty already had a mix of vendors, though Liberty was almost purely TA for automation (Borax is the only common air-water automated tower gun in the US). Roundtop had some HKD towers but mostly semi auto Areco fans, newer TA and (late Peaks) Sufag auto fans, some old SMI Highlands, and a mixed bag of older air water manual equipment. They've recently started moving Techno gear out and HKD gear in.

Why HKD for this purchase? TechnoAlpin doesn't make a good portable low E tower with an onboard compressor, where HKD has it available off-the-shelf. I know TA has made portable low E towers - Tussey has some - but those aren't equipped with compressors and they're frankly not a well thought out design (and might not even be for sale now). These HKD sleds can potentially fit onto electrical circuits that can't handle an entire additional fan gun - there's just a compressor rather than a compressor, fan, and heating system - and can be used all around the mountain. And they're possible to move around with just a snowmobile or a small cat, instead of needing to be picked by a snowcat blade like a TA portable fan.

 Thanks for the reasoning behind the HKD purchase.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

When did Roundtop open under SnowTime?  I seem to remember it would open first, well before Liberty and Whitetail.

The homepages for all the Epic locations in PA have been updated with an opening date.  Only 7Springs opens before December and opens Nov. 25.  JF/BB opens Dec. 2.  Roundtop, Liberty, Whitetail all say Dec. 16.  

Hunter is opening on Nov. 18.

JackC
3 months ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

Yes, typically Roundtop opens first because it is further north and is primarily north-facing. This will be true (on average) regardless of Vail's arbitrary opening dates. And if they do all open on or around the same day, Roundtop will have much more terrain available, and get more open faster. The earliest Roundtop opening under SnowTime, that I can remember, was the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, though they were closed again for the first half of December. The latest opening I think was the second week of January. All dependent on the weather, of course. But for Roundtop, I'd say the days of November openings are over, with Vail now in charge. If you listen to the Rob Katz episode on Storm Ski Journal, you'll note he basically says "whats the point of making snow for 100 skiers, having it melt, and doing it all over again", which is usually the case when Roundtop (or JFBB) would historically open in November. It's a shame, but they are running a business. For the same reason, Vail gives Liberty more operating hours because they have a hotel, and because the addressable market (with both Baltimore and DC both within 75 minutes) is larger.

marzNC wrote:

When did Roundtop open under SnowTime?  I seem to remember it would open first, well before Liberty and Whitetail.

The homepages for all the Epic locations in PA have been updated with an opening date.  Only 7Springs opens before December and opens Nov. 25.  JF/BB opens Dec. 2.  Roundtop, Liberty, Whitetail all say Dec. 16.  

Hunter is opening on Nov. 18.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

Certainly makes sense from a business standpoint to not push Roundtop as much as Whitetail, Liberty, 7Springs, or Hunter during early season.

With the situation completely different after the sale of SnowTime and Timberline, I get the sense that Timberline and Massanutten are poised to surprise folks in the DC/NoVA area if they make a drive to check out those slopes.  Both are very different from 5-10 years ago, although for different reasons.   Massanutten is adding trails on the upper mountain and will have a high-speed lift there for 2023-24.  Also has added a lot more snowmaking power in the last five years.  With Massanutten, Bryce, and Canaan Valley all on the Indy Pass, I would guess some people will use that to check out the options in VA and WV within a few hours drive of DC.

JackC wrote:

Yes, typically Roundtop opens first because it is further north and is primarily north-facing. This will be true (on average) regardless of Vail's arbitrary opening dates. And if they do all open on or around the same day, Roundtop will have much more terrain available, and get more open faster. The earliest Roundtop opening under SnowTime, that I can remember, was the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, though they were closed again for the first half of December. The latest opening I think was the second week of January. All dependent on the weather, of course. But for Roundtop, I'd say the days of November openings are over, with Vail now in charge. If you listen to the Rob Katz episode on Storm Ski Journal, you'll note he basically says "whats the point of making snow for 100 skiers, having it melt, and doing it all over again", which is usually the case when Roundtop (or JFBB) would historically open in November. It's a shame, but they are running a business. For the same reason, Vail gives Liberty more operating hours because they have a hotel, and because the addressable market (with both Baltimore and DC both within 75 minutes) is larger.

marzNC wrote:

When did Roundtop open under SnowTime?  I seem to remember it would open first, well before Liberty and Whitetail.

The homepages for all the Epic locations in PA have been updated with an opening date.  Only 7Springs opens before December and opens Nov. 25.  JF/BB opens Dec. 2.  Roundtop, Liberty, Whitetail all say Dec. 16.  

Hunter is opening on Nov. 18.

 

superguy
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

It also makes sense if it's an entirely self-contained system.  Doesn't matter if it "matches" the others.

As far as detachable lifts go, there's really only two players in the market - Doppelmayr, which sucked up Garaventa after it merged with CTEC, and Leitner Poma.  Bartholet makes detachables in Europe but doesn't have a single deployment in North America. SkyTrac enters for fixed grip, but seems like the market has consolidated a lot of the makers.

Thefirewarde wrote:

My understanding is Vail doesn't want to be entirely committed to one manufacturer - they'd like not to be stuck with the duopoly currently present with detach lifts on the snowmaking equipment side. They have the scale to go with one manufacturer per mountain if they wanted to, though.

I've seen a pretty good mix of HKD, SMI, and TechnoAlpin from various Vail resorts. Roundtop and Liberty already had a mix of vendors, though Liberty was almost purely TA for automation (Borax is the only common air-water automated tower gun in the US). Roundtop had some HKD towers but mostly semi auto Areco fans, newer TA and (late Peaks) Sufag auto fans, some old SMI Highlands, and a mixed bag of older air water manual equipment. They've recently started moving Techno gear out and HKD gear in.

Why HKD for this purchase? TechnoAlpin doesn't make a good portable low E tower with an onboard compressor, where HKD has it available off-the-shelf. I know TA has made portable low E towers - Tussey has some - but those aren't equipped with compressors and they're frankly not a well thought out design (and might not even be for sale now). These HKD sleds can potentially fit onto electrical circuits that can't handle an entire additional fan gun - there's just a compressor rather than a compressor, fan, and heating system - and can be used all around the mountain. And they're possible to move around with just a snowmobile or a small cat, instead of needing to be picked by a snowcat blade like a TA portable fan.

superguy
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Snowsmith mentioned that Vail would be willing to open HV early if conditions permitted. The way that the weather looks right now, it looks like Thanksgiving for 7S may be asking a lot.

Weather I'm seeing has snowmaking temps at night, but highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.  That may be a little too warm for Vail to consider making snow. We'll have to see I guess.

Realistically, I'm not looking to going until December.  Seems like everyone's hurting - even New England. Look at the webcams out west and all it does it tick me off with jealousy lol, especially as my Christmas trip got canned.

Nut's a hard sell for the Baltimore folks - with 4 hours you can be at many arguably better places in the Poconos, or go an hour further and be at Hunter.  Timberline could be an interesting wildcard.  My issue is their lack of night skiing, as I'm more of the twilight type.  I could see it being a viable option for others though.

One annoying thing - Vail has put out 2 EpicMix app updates in the last week or so and NEITHER of them included the Highlands resorts.

marzNC wrote:

Certainly makes sense from a business standpoint to not push Roundtop as much as Whitetail, Liberty, 7Springs, or Hunter during early season.

With the situation completely different after the sale of SnowTime and Timberline, I get the sense that Timberline and Massanutten are poised to surprise folks in the DC/NoVA area if they make a drive to check out those slopes.  Both are very different from 5-10 years ago, although for different reasons.   Massanutten is adding trails on the upper mountain and will have a high-speed lift there for 2023-24.  Also has added a lot more snowmaking power in the last five years.  With Massanutten, Bryce, and Canaan Valley all on the Indy Pass, I would guess some people will use that to check out the options in VA and WV within a few hours drive of DC.

JackC wrote:

Yes, typically Roundtop opens first because it is further north and is primarily north-facing. This will be true (on average) regardless of Vail's arbitrary opening dates. And if they do all open on or around the same day, Roundtop will have much more terrain available, and get more open faster. The earliest Roundtop opening under SnowTime, that I can remember, was the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, though they were closed again for the first half of December. The latest opening I think was the second week of January. All dependent on the weather, of course. But for Roundtop, I'd say the days of November openings are over, with Vail now in charge. If you listen to the Rob Katz episode on Storm Ski Journal, you'll note he basically says "whats the point of making snow for 100 skiers, having it melt, and doing it all over again", which is usually the case when Roundtop (or JFBB) would historically open in November. It's a shame, but they are running a business. For the same reason, Vail gives Liberty more operating hours because they have a hotel, and because the addressable market (with both Baltimore and DC both within 75 minutes) is larger.

marzNC wrote:

When did Roundtop open under SnowTime?  I seem to remember it would open first, well before Liberty and Whitetail.

The homepages for all the Epic locations in PA have been updated with an opening date.  Only 7Springs opens before December and opens Nov. 25.  JF/BB opens Dec. 2.  Roundtop, Liberty, Whitetail all say Dec. 16.  

Hunter is opening on Nov. 18.

 

Patf1engineer
3 months ago
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
39 posts


FYI - Timberline is re-starting night skiing this season but they have not announced a schedule yet, it may only be weekends.  They are also only doing from mid-mountain down from what I have read. 

superguy wrote:

Snowsmith mentioned that Vail would be willing to open HV early if conditions permitted. The way that the weather looks right now, it looks like Thanksgiving for 7S may be asking a lot.

Weather I'm seeing has snowmaking temps at night, but highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.  That may be a little too warm for Vail to consider making snow. We'll have to see I guess.

Realistically, I'm not looking to going until December.  Seems like everyone's hurting - even New England. Look at the webcams out west and all it does it tick me off with jealousy lol, especially as my Christmas trip got canned.

Nut's a hard sell for the Baltimore folks - with 4 hours you can be at many arguably better places in the Poconos, or go an hour further and be at Hunter.  Timberline could be an interesting wildcard.  My issue is their lack of night skiing, as I'm more of the twilight type.  I could see it being a viable option for others though.

One annoying thing - Vail has put out 2 EpicMix app updates in the last week or so and NEITHER of them included the Highlands resorts.

marzNC wrote:

Certainly makes sense from a business standpoint to not push Roundtop as much as Whitetail, Liberty, 7Springs, or Hunter during early season.

With the situation completely different after the sale of SnowTime and Timberline, I get the sense that Timberline and Massanutten are poised to surprise folks in the DC/NoVA area if they make a drive to check out those slopes.  Both are very different from 5-10 years ago, although for different reasons.   Massanutten is adding trails on the upper mountain and will have a high-speed lift there for 2023-24.  Also has added a lot more snowmaking power in the last five years.  With Massanutten, Bryce, and Canaan Valley all on the Indy Pass, I would guess some people will use that to check out the options in VA and WV within a few hours drive of DC.

JackC wrote:

Yes, typically Roundtop opens first because it is further north and is primarily north-facing. This will be true (on average) regardless of Vail's arbitrary opening dates. And if they do all open on or around the same day, Roundtop will have much more terrain available, and get more open faster. The earliest Roundtop opening under SnowTime, that I can remember, was the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, though they were closed again for the first half of December. The latest opening I think was the second week of January. All dependent on the weather, of course. But for Roundtop, I'd say the days of November openings are over, with Vail now in charge. If you listen to the Rob Katz episode on Storm Ski Journal, you'll note he basically says "whats the point of making snow for 100 skiers, having it melt, and doing it all over again", which is usually the case when Roundtop (or JFBB) would historically open in November. It's a shame, but they are running a business. For the same reason, Vail gives Liberty more operating hours because they have a hotel, and because the addressable market (with both Baltimore and DC both within 75 minutes) is larger.

marzNC wrote:

When did Roundtop open under SnowTime?  I seem to remember it would open first, well before Liberty and Whitetail.

The homepages for all the Epic locations in PA have been updated with an opening date.  Only 7Springs opens before December and opens Nov. 25.  JF/BB opens Dec. 2.  Roundtop, Liberty, Whitetail all say Dec. 16.  

Hunter is opening on Nov. 18.

 

superguy
2 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Patf1engineer wrote:


FYI - Timberline is re-starting night skiing this season but they have not announced a schedule yet, it may only be weekends.  They are also only doing from mid-mountain down from what I have read.

Good to know, but I need more to make it worth the trip. Maybe when they expand it it'll give it a shot.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

It is now a little over 2 weeks to opening day at 7S. Based on a recent visit, here are my observations:

- The web cams for all 3 resorts have been offline for 7 months! You get the feeling that Vail Resorts is either short staffed or their IT department is either incompetent or overwhelmed. The web sites for all three Laurel's resorts are still a work in progress. 

- HV was a beehive of activity; the triples lifts were being worked on, snow guns were receiving maintenance, the ski shop was busy and the front side quad was undergoing testing.

-A contractor was working on building the new deck along the HV ski lodge. A large tank was discovered in the excavations for the deck construction. Not sure what the tank contained but I am sure it was a surprise. This project seems to be moving slowly. If they hired a Somerset County contractor, that is pretty typical. I watched these guys for about 15 minutes and they spent more time talking than working.

- 5 new HKD Volt portable stick guns were delivered to HV.

Not sure about LM activity. A friend was hiking in the area and said some kind of event was going on at the ski lodge (ski patrol meeting??). Has anybody snooped around LM to see if anything is happening? 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

Not sure about LM activity. A friend was hiking in the area and said some kind of event was going on at the ski lodge (ski patrol meeting??). Has anybody snooped around LM to see if anything is happening? 

I was there for a hike 2 weeks ago (Don't tell the park manager). The trails have been mowed except for under the chair, and that's about it.


Scott - DCSki Editor
2 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,205 posts
On the web cam front, is there really much demand to see live web cam views of Mid-Atlantic resorts in the off-season?  (I mean, beyond us die-hard skiers who are actually looking at ski resort web sites in the off-season.  ;-))  I used to maintain a directory of webcams for all 30 or so Mid-Atlantic resorts DCSki covers (DCSki had a Webcam page that showed all of them in one place), and it was not at all unusual for a majority of those webcams images to go dormant/off-line in the summer -- so much so that I ended up getting rid of the feature.  So that's really not anything new, and many resorts who don't have vibrant summer schedules intentionally turn them off for security purposes and to save on bandwidth.  In some cases where the webcams didn't go dormant (but had bird poop on the image and were aimed at the ground), I assumed that was because they didn't have any IT staff on hand with the knowledge of how to turn them off!
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
Scott - if you own property near the resort, you can check the weather, what’s going on, status of fall foliage, etc. if you don’t own property you would not understand.
superguy
2 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

It doesn't take much to keep a webcam on. It's just a little bit of electricity and bandwidth.

I'm not sure what's going on with with their IT department. There have been 3 updates of the EpicMix app in the last 10 days and the Highlands resorts STILL aren't in there.

There will be a long and consistent cold snap starting Sunday where the lows will be in snowmaking temp ranges, and the highs will be I the 30s to low 40s. Wouldn't allow for 24/7 snowmaking, not probably good 12 hour blocks. I'll be curious whether they'll turn the guns on next week, and if it'll just be 7S or both if they do.

I expect nothing of LM at this point. My guess is they don't even have the compressor yet.

imp - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
279 posts
ski patrol meet the vail meeting, not much substance but they are working on things at the area now. more mowing to b done and the handle tow will operate all hours the area is open.
hickster - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/20/2021 🔗
7 posts


I'd love it if you brought back the webcam page.  I know it's a pain to maintain, but would be cool to access all in one place.  Perhaps crowdsource links?

Scott wrote:

On the web cam front, is there really much demand to see live web cam views of Mid-Atlantic resorts in the off-season?  (I mean, beyond us die-hard skiers who are actually looking at ski resort web sites in the off-season.  ;-))  I used to maintain a directory of webcams for all 30 or so Mid-Atlantic resorts DCSki covers (DCSki had a Webcam page that showed all of them in one place), and it was not at all unusual for a majority of those webcams images to go dormant/off-line in the summer -- so much so that I ended up getting rid of the feature.  So that's really not anything new, and many resorts who don't have vibrant summer schedules intentionally turn them off for security purposes and to save on bandwidth.  In some cases where the webcams didn't go dormant (but had bird poop on the image and were aimed at the ground), I assumed that was because they didn't have any IT staff on hand with the knowledge of how to turn them off!
Thefirewarde
2 months ago
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
106 posts

I wouldn't expect it of Laurel, Blue Knob, Tussey, or anyplace that lacks the firepower to really lay it down fast. They're looking at, what, maybe six hour windows of marginal? If they can't get serious stockpiling done then they can't keep enough post-warmup to make it worth the cost. As a systems test, maybe. 

Places with serious automation or raw firepower might decide to play for keeps, especially if they have one small trail/area they can focus on.

Also, Laurel probably doesn't have their compressor yet.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
Scott - last night I was able to look at the webcams for Snowshoe, Timberline, Wisp and yes, even Canaan was making snow. Since there are no webcams for 7s, HV or LM, how would I know if they are making snow? A billion dollar ski resort company with 30 ski resorts should be able to ge tht webcams on-line after they have been off line for 7 months. I'll also note that the websites for the 3 resorts do not have trail maps or restaurant menus and the Epic App does not work for these resorts. Their IT department is either understaffed or inept. 
superguy
2 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Social media's the only way to know at this point.

7S posted a video this morning saying they started making snow last night, but conditions changed and they had to stop. They're expecting to start again tonight.

Scott - DCSki Editor
2 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,205 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Scott - last night I was able to look at the webcams for Snowshoe, Timberline, Wisp and yes, even Canaan was making snow. Since there are no webcams for 7s, HV or LM, how would I know if they are making snow? A billion dollar ski resort company with 30 ski resorts should be able to ge tht webcams on-line after they have been off line for 7 months. I'll also note that the websites for the 3 resorts do not have trail maps or restaurant menus and the Epic App does not work for these resorts. Their IT department is either understaffed or inept. 

To be clear, I wasn't defending anything.  I was just pointing out that in my experience covering Mid-A resorts, it's not unusual for webcams to go dormant in the off-season, as most customers aren't actively looking at them.  With snowmaking now underway, there's a much bigger need to have working webcams.

This is the first full winter season that Hidden Valley, Laurel Mountain, and Seven Springs are under Vail's ownership.  Vail has been moving all resort web sites to a common system (which is why they all look pretty much identical), and I would imagine they're trying to achieve economy of scale by centralizing IT functions as well.  I don't know the inside scoop on the webcams, but I expect we'll see them coming on-line soon.  The new web site framework has the placeholder for them (so it's clearly their intent to have them), but each resort's web cam infrastructure varies and needs to be wired in, which can't be done by centralized IT.  (For example, Whitetail's webcams are currently working if you know their old address, but haven't been incorporated into the new web site yet.)

As superguy points out, they have been posting regular updates to social media such as Instagram.  But that's not the same as live webcams, so hopefully they're back up and running soon.

superguy
2 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts
Hmmm, I wonder if that's true with 7S and the others?  Unfortunately, I don't have the laptops that had those links.
Scott - DCSki Editor
2 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,205 posts

superguy wrote:

Hmmm, I wonder if that's true with 7S and the others?  Unfortunately, I don't have the laptops that had those links.

Just Whitetail and Liberty (and only one working one at Liberty).  The most recent links are still listed on the DCSki Resort Profile pages for each resort.  I haven't had time yet to go through all the profiles and update them, although I guess I should be doing that soon!

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
I'm sorry. I am not impressed so far with Vail management. They had a lot of issues last year at Wildcat, Attitash and many other resorts. They apologized for the mismanagement. We all thought these guys would be an improvement over Nutting's group. These websites are boiler plate from their other resorts. How can they not have a trail map on the web site 10 days before the start of the ski season and 11 months after they officially purchased these resorts? They need to light a fire under someone's butt or perhaps hire adequate staff if they want to go around gobbling up ski resorts. Get the job done!! 
JackC
2 months ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

Yep. This is what you get when local leadership gets replaced by corporate MBAs who cut corners and gut operations. They make mistakes that make it seem like the people in charge don't even ski. At Roundtop last season the cams didn't come online until mid-January, and the map for this season has at least five mistakes on it that would be obvious to any regular.

snowsmith wrote:

I'm sorry. I am not impressed so far with Vail management. They had a lot of issues last year at Wildcat, Attitash and many other resorts. They apologized for the mismanagement. We all thought these guys would be an improvement over Nutting's group. These websites are boiler plate from their other resorts. How can they not have a trail map on the web site 10 days before the start of the ski season and 11 months after they officially purchased these resorts? They need to light a fire under someone's butt or perhaps hire adequate staff if they want to go around gobbling up ski resorts. Get the job done!! 
westpaskiguy
2 months ago
Member since 11/15/2022 🔗
1 posts
I am not going to be a Vail apologist by any means, but people really do not realize the extent of the needs of these facilities or the condition they were left in by previous management.  As bad as you think it was, the reality is much worse.  Correcting that much neglect that went on for that amount of time is no small task.
superguy
2 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Maybe so.  However, some of these issues were present even with Peak and the previous owners. Lifts shouldn't be broken for multiple years.

If broke places like Blue Knob can keep their lifts running with what little they have, surely a multi-billion dollar corporation can get those fixed in a reasonable amount of time. Not everything has to be an expensive detachable 6 pack.

HVdad
2 months ago
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
78 posts

Vail Resorts = offline.

I suspect many of us will be longing for the days of Bob Nutting. It's very difficult to maintain the service, tradition and hometown feel of a local resort, especially when it's operated from a business park off an interstate outside of Denver.

Good luck 7S, HV and LM... you'll need it.

Laurel Highlands
2 months ago
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
47 posts

Quite a bit of powder snow fell on the Laurel Highlands Resorts yesterday.  Roads were a mess and turnpike was closed for a while between Bedford and Somerset.  Some more expected this week. ...I mention this since due to a lack of working webcams at the Vail Resorts nobody would know. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts
I've heard from two different people that Brett Cook, overall GM of the 7 Springs group, that his family will be spending a lot of time at Laurel. I hope that means Laurel will see some lovin'. Maybe some HKD Volts to make snow on Lincoln Highway? LH runs between Innsbruck and Broadway, so water hydrants are somewhat nearby. Lincoln Highway is the chairlift line for the quad that was removed when Nutting took over. I'm not going to hold my breath.
Grumpy dad
2 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

Vail is attempting to integrate and standardize the equipment being used. It's quite possible the actual hardware on the webcams will change, or the switching equipment or both.  The POS systems, switches, routers, servers etc - they are likely attempting to standardize.  Hosting providers, DNS providers etc.   There are equipment shortages.  So this may contribute to the webcam issues.

Trail map - doesnt make sense to me what so ever.  

What Im surprised to see, is the lack of anger in social media regarding HV's lack of attempt to open before Xmas.  Anyone that knows HV knows they have great snow making.  They historically could open in line with 7S if not sooner.  The snow quality somehow is better too.  People hanging onto 'we will open sooner if we can' must be naïve.  Homeowners should be pushing very hard on this.  The very fact that they originally planned to open xmas and may open a bit sooner, should be a big red flag to homeowners that HV will be an after thought, run in a minimal fashion.  

Im actually a bit frightened for what will become of 7S.  With HV and LM being void of snow, all that traffic will be at 7S.  Not to mention, there is a general vibe of excitement for the new ownership and more affordable prices for pre planned day passes.  There are people talking about it that really havent skied in awhile (but every year they say they are going to).  Some have gone out and purchased outfits, or even planned trips.  It's going to be a ZOOOOOOOOOOO at 7S this year.  

^this frightens me for one reason - the drunks.  People suggested that Vail will crack down on safety.  Such as people flying through the beginner areas, checking to see if people are skiing or riding drunk etc.  Not likely.  Just go to the 7S shop and look at the tshirts along the wall/window area.  There is a shirt there that says "Skiing and Beer that's why I'm here"

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,541 posts

I have a question for those who frequent 7S.  How are crowds on non holiday Fridays from opening to 2 PM ish?   

I grabbed a Limited Epic 7 day pass to "force" myself into some day trips this year.

I've been to HV and LM several times on Fridays and crowds were never an issue but it's been a few years since I hit 7S.  

Leo
2 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts

@Grumpy dad -- objectively, from a mile away, that was already the Nutting model.  Early and late season focus was on 7S and they let HV and LM passholders ski there if their "home" resort wasn't open.  Vail probably takes that a step further.  But it's nothing new and it's not surprising.  And with the weather we have here in November and December it truthfully mostly is a logical business approach.  Even if we don't like it.

@ Blue Don 1982 -- I don't ski at 7S a ton, but I would say that used to be a more valid option until COVID.  The last few years Fridays got busy reasonably early in the day.  Whether that was people traveling more, "working from home," etc, I have no idea.  But it definitely was way busier than it was say 4 years ago on a Friday.  IME.  I guess we'll see what this season brings.

SKI-PSU
2 months ago
Member since 11/25/2019 🔗
14 posts
Whitetail's webcams are working... looks like they forgot to mow the grass
BergafSchaatsen
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 11/16/2022 🔗
3 posts


 

JackC wrote:

Yep. This is what you get when local leadership gets replaced by corporate MBAs who cut corners and gut operations. They make mistakes that make it seem like the people in charge don't even ski. At Roundtop last season the cams didn't come online until mid-January, and the map for this season has at least five mistakes on it that would be obvious to any regular.

From discussion elsewhere online, I'm wondering how many are mistakes and how many are actual changes:

Exhibition lift being a double is obviously a mistake.

Susquehanna being a double black is probably a mistake? I suspect it was marked as one when it was the park and they haven't changed it, but some people are speculating about moguls...

Patriot disappearing is probably real- wasn't it a natural snow trail?

The park moving from Susquehanna to Recruit and Fife and Drum is real (or at least they've announced it). I'm pleased by that one.

Can't spot mistake 5 immediately...

Grumpy dad
2 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts


Friday mornings to afternoon are a great time to go.  You get some crowd/people to interact with, but you can generally ski right onto the lifts.  They generally in the past, would take care of the slopes and features prior to Friday's, however it is NOT uncommon when needed, for them to be blowing snow during a Friday day (or even night) to avoid blowing during the day on a Sat/Sun.

You should also have very little problem getting a seat at a table or the bar for lunch.  The weekend traffic does not usually arrive until after noon.

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

I have a question for those who frequent 7S.  How are crowds on non holiday Fridays from opening to 2 PM ish?   

I grabbed a Limited Epic 7 day pass to "force" myself into some day trips this year.

I've been to HV and LM several times on Fridays and crowds were never an issue but it's been a few years since I hit 7S.  

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

LHC - if they don't start mowing under the quad chairlift soon, that trail will soon be unskiable. We need to push Vail and DCNR to get that trail mowed at least once preferably twice a year. It would be a shame to see that option get ruined with tree growth.

 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I've heard from two different people that Brett Cook, overall GM of the 7 Springs group, that his family will be spending a lot of time at Laurel. I hope that means Laurel will see some lovin'. Maybe some HKD Volts to make snow on Lincoln Highway? LH runs between Innsbruck and Broadway, so water hydrants are somewhat nearby. Lincoln Highway is the chairlift line for the quad that was removed when Nutting took over. I'm not going to hold my breath.
JackC
2 months ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

5th mistake was the "half pipe j bar"

Emailed Roundtop about the issues. This was their response:

For parks, Susquehanna  will be back to a normal trail.  We will have park features on both Fife and Recruit, but there will also be more room to ski through on both compared to previous parks.  Fife will be smaller, beginner/intermediate friendly features.   Recruit is planned to have larger features on the skiers left, with the right open for skiing/riding without features. 

BergafSchaatsen wrote:


 

JackC wrote:

Yep. This is what you get when local leadership gets replaced by corporate MBAs who cut corners and gut operations. They make mistakes that make it seem like the people in charge don't even ski. At Roundtop last season the cams didn't come online until mid-January, and the map for this season has at least five mistakes on it that would be obvious to any regular.

From discussion elsewhere online, I'm wondering how many are mistakes and how many are actual changes:

Exhibition lift being a double is obviously a mistake.

Susquehanna being a double black is probably a mistake? I suspect it was marked as one when it was the park and they haven't changed it, but some people are speculating about moguls...

Patriot disappearing is probably real- wasn't it a natural snow trail?

The park moving from Susquehanna to Recruit and Fife and Drum is real (or at least they've announced it). I'm pleased by that one.

Can't spot mistake 5 immediately...

Grumpy dad
2 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts


 Weather is fine.  It's perfect actually to get the season kicked off.  Everything up to this point in time is inconsequential.  I have a place near 7S, and I see around 530p about 4-5 inches of snow and a frozen pond.  Of course it all melted :) But it's a good primer for serious snow making. I have no doubts 7S will be able to open up wagner and the beginner trails. 

Leo wrote:

@Grumpy dad -- objectively, from a mile away, that was already the Nutting model.  Early and late season focus was on 7S and they let HV and LM passholders ski there if their "home" resort wasn't open.  Vail probably takes that a step further.  But it's nothing new and it's not surprising.  And with the weather we have here in November and December it truthfully mostly is a logical business approach.  Even if we don't like it.

@ Blue Don 1982 -- I don't ski at 7S a ton, but I would say that used to be a more valid option until COVID.  The last few years Fridays got busy reasonably early in the day.  Whether that was people traveling more, "working from home," etc, I have no idea.  But it definitely was way busier than it was say 4 years ago on a Friday.  IME.  I guess we'll see what this season brings.

superguy
2 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Patriot at RT had snowmaking hydrants but relied on portable guns. It was a short rib so it didn't require much.

As far a standardization on IT goes, that's understandable. However, you don't go ripping out the stuff that's functional until you have the replacements and are ready to install them. Any IT person worth their salt knows this. Especially since some equipment can have longer lead times due to supply chain issues.

Patf1engineer
2 months ago
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
39 posts

Now maybe you people can calm down......

https://www.7springs.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/mountain-cams.aspx

Grumpy dad
2 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

I did like the old system that had separate cams for each area.  This confirms they were waiting for hardware/installation though.

Interesting they made the choice to point toward the spot.  This is generally an area they create for one purpose only, to say they have it (when in reality 90% of the ski season they dont)

Patf1engineer wrote:

Now maybe you people can calm down......

https://www.7springs.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/mountain-cams.aspx

zag33
2 months ago
Member since 01/28/2019 🔗
20 posts

Patf1engineer wrote:

Now maybe you people can calm down......

7springs.com

Don't get too attached, the fear of webcam abuse by Vail is real, at the Snowtime resorts, they regularly took all the cameras offline whenever they felt the message of the cameras might not be "premium". Including on very busy days when you could see the rental lines, also removed the ones with good views of the lift lines. 

Vail uses webcams as a method of controlling the message. 

Patf1engineer
2 months ago
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
39 posts

Posted at about 2 PM today

1668798597_wiznzqwcxjzy.jpg

superguy
2 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

I saw. Even looks like they're blasting at least one of the front blacks too, which would be unheard of this early in the game.

Wonder if Vail's going to try to open all of the valley side before heading to the back?

I guess it's possible they could open next weekend too, or physically delay a week not to stream 7S's thunder.

camp
2 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
637 posts

Patf1engineer wrote:

Now maybe you people can calm down......

https://www.7springs.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/mountain-cams.aspx

 It's gonna take a lot more than that, lol

Scott - DCSki Editor
2 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,205 posts

Guns are firing at Whitetail this morning.  Definitely looks like more than just a test.  Wonder if they'll open in November?  I can't remember the last time that happened.

1668870670_wmoapyszntla.jpg

dclivejazz
2 months ago
Member since 03/5/2017 🔗
44 posts

Scott wrote:

Guns are firing at Whitetail this morning.  Definitely looks like more than just a test.  Wonder if they'll open in November?  I can't remember the last time that happened.

1668870670_wmoapyszntla.jpg

 I think 6-7 years ago, about when I first bought a season pass, Whitetail opened the Friday before Thanksgiving. A golden-hued day in my memory.

padjaski68
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
84 posts

I agree! They were blowing on Sidewinder, Snowpark, Angel Drop, Limelight, Homerun and all of the beginner terrain by rentals. Very visible from I-81 area.

It seems many of the VR Eastern areas have gotten permission to be aggressive with snowmaking to meet their start dates and expand terrain quickly. 7S is a good example, the Webcam  shows them working on lost Boy Trail down ridgeline to the backside.

superguy
2 months ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

7S has been blowing back there earlier for a few years at least now. I can think of a few reasons why.

1. It's a long green cruiser anyone can ski.

2. It helps them get North Face open, providing an easy way down while giving them their first black run.

3. It helps get them to the point where they can do terrain parks off both sides, and the Alpine Meadows run.

4. And one of the biggest, IMO, is allows easy and direct access to the mountain from the north parking lot which not only gives them extra parking, but is also a big party and tailgating spot.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts
7S early season last year, Lost Boy was open only to the Alley terrain park. When I skied it, I didn't think any features had been built yet, and it must have been early December.
padjaski68
2 months ago
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
84 posts
Speaking of North parking lot, is that part of the paid parking under VR? I agree about the tailgating and easy access. 
superguy
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Doesn't look like it. Only paid parking is by the Blitzen lift it says. I think that's always been true though since they had that security booth there. I've gotten to park free there as I have a placard, if there's availability.

padjaski68
2 months ago
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
84 posts

 Great to hear. 

superguy wrote:

Doesn't look like it. Only paid parking is by the Blitzen lift it says. I think that's always been true though since they had that security booth there. I've gotten to park free there as I have a placard, if there's availability.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts

I was going to start a new thread but decided to keep the information here. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published Larry Walsh's annual round-up of improvements to local ski resorts. Here's a link, but it might be behind a paywall. https://www.post-gazette.com/life/outdoors/2022/11/18/changes-snowsports-resorts-pa/stories/202211180007. Here are some highlights from the article.

Blue Knob:

The Bedford County resort this summer conducted an on-site engineering study to assess its snowmaking system and make it more efficient. Meanwhile, supplemental water and air lines were installed for additional snow guns and increased snowmaking at its snowtubing park and the top of the mountain.

Hidden Valley:

Hidden Valley has added seven new portable snow guns to its already impressive snowmaking system. 

Seven Springs:

Seven Springs has installed 28 new HKD snowmaking towers on Giant Steps, a popular slope on the North Face of the resort. It also replaced snowmaking pipe that serves Phillip's Run on the front side.

Laurel Mountain:

In addition to internet upgrades, Laurel Mountain plans to make more frequent use of the handle tow that serves Tame Cat, the broad, gentle beginner slope below the base lodge that looks out on the Ligonier Valley.






imp - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
279 posts
wow what an inversment,state paying??
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts
You know, the only reason I go to Laurel is because of their fantastic internet service.
GGNagy
2 months ago
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
479 posts


 It is laughable on the face, but I have to wonder if it is an improvement for operations or for the customers. 

Does it improve connectivity to the bottom of the lift? Might it be in preparation for RFID down the road? 

Do the Vail IT overlords require a specific minimum service level for various corporate applications?

Should Charlie Watts, Bob Weir, and Steve Howe tried to have toured with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend in order to have created "Who, Watts, Weir and Howe"?

...but I digress... 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

You know, the only reason I go to Laurel is because of their fantastic internet service.
imp - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
279 posts
they intend to scan tickets at all 3 areas. and all will be cashless so more capibility neded
Grumpy dad
2 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

Has anyone noticed the unbelievable amount of snow that 7S is blowing?  They have been non stop going for what..five days now 24/7?  That's ALOT of snow.  Where you see whales, there is snow all around and further out that blows.  Probably a foot deep around the whales and further out, with 5 -6 foot whales.  Id love to go there and inspect.  The beginner area has TONS of snow there.  Seems like at least.

They are blowing on the trail to the left of wagner, the slope next to wagner (I always get tyrol and stowe confused...), all the trails to the right of wagner (from base view), the lost boy trail and I hear the alley as well.  I wonder what they are doing at the top.  

I also see they are blowing snow leading to the avalanche area. 

It still blows my mind that they had the opportunity to likely open north face, avalanche, wagner and those associated trails...but arent.

HOWEVER - Nutting's group would have stopped by now.  They were content with just wagner and the trails to the right..and as of late they started doing lost boy soon after but if memory serves never to get thanksgiving weekend open.   

Sure weather is playing into their hand of their strategy, but again - Nutting's group did not do this even when we had some really cold weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  

For me it's a positive sign in one way.  In another, just checking lodging and listening to people I know that ski occasionally - the hype is up and it's going to be BUSY.  With HV not opening for what is likely at least another couple of weeks, 7S are likely going to need all of those slopes/trails open to avoid overcrowding. 

I see HV started to make snow.  Guess their 'well er um weather history er um and uh, well, we uh cant open until xmas' lame excuse didnt fly with the locals.  People likely pressured them knowing they were missing out on great snow making opportunities.  They likely are blowing minimal snow just to shut people up,...but it's hard to tell as their webcam is down.  

superguy
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

7S is following the pattern they typically have, though they appear a little more aggressive.  They usually had Stowe, Wagner, Santa's Beard, Stowe Trail, Cortina Trail, Phillip's and Fawn Lane on opening day. Looks like they may have Lost Boy and maybe North Face open. We can't see what's going on back there.

They've tried over the last few years to have a decent base on what they do have open. I remember when they opened last Black Friday in 2018 or 2019, they had a 2-3 foot base on what was open, so rock skis probably won't be needed. I'd still bring them just in case.

Doesn't look like Avalanche has snow made on it yet, and Tyrol is usually the last on the front side to get snow made.  My guess is they made snow to the Avalanche lift to have the quad available for the weekend for those that want to ski Stowe. In theory, they could run both the Avalanche and Tyrol lifts to reduce lift lines if necessary. It's a little farther of a traverse, but it's a higher capacity lift so ...

I'll be up there Friday, Sat and Monday so I can report back.

As for improvements, it's good to see some meaningful things happening. Unless they changed from the video announcement for Giant Steps, the guns they had up did not look new.  They look like recycled HKDs from a resort up north. Still an improvement over the stationary guns, but I think they may be overselling it.

I'm glad BK's finally starting to take snowmaking a little more seriously, though any serious improvements will likely be down the road. However, with what they did implement this year, they're focusing in the wrong areas.  Tubing may help bring in revenue, but how bad was the snowmaking over there really?  I think a carpet would make more sense as I think they have to tow the tubes back up the hill.

Snowmaking efficiency may be improved at the top, but realistically, the top of the mountain hasn't been a significant issue compared to the rest of the mountain. They can get the crap trails and Mambo to Expressway lift open fairly quickly. It's everything else that struggles, especially the lower half of the mountain. It's a real issue when you can't get the black runs open, as no one but locals will really pay attention to until that point. Stembogen should be a priority, and getting all HH open would be a nice, long run. Extrovert's still a pipe dream without natural snowfall at this point.

Laurel - really? Improved Internet?  GMAFB. That takes a call to Verizon or the cable company and a little labor to change things over. It's nice that the beginner tow will be more available for learners. This is just a nice way of saying "we didn't do a darn thing here to improve things." 

Anyone hear about improvements about the former ST 3?

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts

Here's a link to a Trib Live article by Jeff Himler with an interview with Mid-Atlantic Region senior communications manager for Vail Resorts, Anna Weltz. The good news concerning Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain is opening date could be moved ahead, weather permitting.

https://triblive.com/local/regional/white-friday-target-for-skiers-to-hit-slopes-at-seven-springs/

Grumpy dad
2 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

7S plans on remaining open 7 days a week.  (Kaboom).  Mind blowing.  So much smarter than the Nutting model of "when we fill up that theater then we can run another show in one of the other 11 theaters here"

SuperGuy, I think they used to only open Wagner then started getting crapped on for charging near full price, and thats when they would open a bit more, and then maybe in the last 3-4 years they tried to get lost boy open super early as well.  Ive honestly never seen this much snow made.  It seemed big on camera, but after their social media posts...I have no idea how they are going to push all of that around in time.  It's already Tuesday!  Man I would love to take a day off and drive around in one of those things.  That would be awesome.    What I dont understand is why make that much in those areas instead of trying to open maybe Avalanche with some of that capability?  I guess, the logic is if you open Avalanche you also have to have the trail open as well so families / riding groups can split up based on skill level over there.  

I love that idea of skiing from stowe trail, down wagner, then that long run out to avalanche and doing that loop.  That's a great way to reduce traffic on the greens to the right of wagner for sure.  

For sure let us know how it goes.  Wife has been having some post surgery major medical issues, so instead of cross ski tips Im crossing fingers - and hoping I will even get out this year although Im excited at a minimum for you all.  

Grumpy dad
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts


 The weather already permitted!!!  These people have taken a page from the book of the recent brainwashing we all went through, just repeat the same thing over and over and people will soon drone on the same crap.  

 HV has VASTLY superior snowmaking over 7S and has had ample time to blow it to open, even if they wanted to...a couple of weeks later than 7S.  They pissed away their opportunity - INTENTIONALLY.  Im sure Nutting didnt keep those up to the level required to make it as light touch as it could be, but I highly doubt they need to drive snow mobiles up to every station to turn them on / off like is required at  7S.  

Again I repeat, I am SO glad I didnt buy a place at HV when I was seriously considering it.  I did many walk throughs and even had a bid for 1 day on a house between the two sides.  Dont get me wrong the area is great, but there's no way I wouldnt be just stewing in my juices right now if I owned a place there.  Heck, even from an occasional rental to bring in some money when your place is vacant and you cant use it.   Something nagged me about HV though so I walked away from the area and focused more on the 7S area thankfully.

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Here's a link to a Trib Live article by Jeff Himler with an interview with Mid-Atlantic Region senior communications manager for Vail Resorts, Anna Weltz. The good news concerning Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain is opening date could be moved ahead, weather permitting.

https://triblive.com/local/regional/white-friday-target-for-skiers-to-hit-slopes-at-seven-springs/

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

Grump - the difference between owning at 7s and HV is that HV is a REAL mountain community and 7S is just a bunch of renters. People actually live at HV and we have a close knit, family oriented community. That does not happen at 7s. I'll agree that 7S has better skiing opportunities, better terrain and more resort sponsored activities. But 7S residential communities are SOULESS. And I can drive from HV to 7S (week days only to avoid the crazies) to ski.

Vail General Manager Brett Cook, spoke at our yearly community wide meeting last weekend. He indicated that once they open, they will stay open. He indicated that this was needed for staffing continuity and it wasn't fair to employees to not know when they would be working. So once 7S (or HV or LM) open, they will stay open. So that is why they want to make sure they can make enough snow to keep the places open.


Grumpy dad wrote:

Again I repeat, I am SO glad I didnt buy a place at HV when I was seriously considering it.  I did many walk throughs and even had a bid for 1 day on a house between the two sides.  Dont get me wrong the area is great, but there's no way I wouldnt be just stewing in my juices right now if I owned a place there.  Heck, even from an occasional rental to bring in some money when your place is vacant and you cant use it.   Something nagged me about HV though so I walked away from the area and focused more on the 7S area thankfully.

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Here's a link to a Trib Live article by Jeff Himler with an interview with Mid-Atlantic Region senior communications manager for Vail Resorts, Anna Weltz. The good news concerning Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain is opening date could be moved ahead, weather permitting.

https://triblive.com/local/regional/white-friday-target-for-skiers-to-hit-slopes-at-seven-springs/

Grumpy dad
2 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

Snowsmith I totally agree with you about HV vs 7S properties. 7S isnt completely soulless. I know some families up there that have their little clicks.  But it definitely isnt a community.  One could make a good living just servicing unused hot tubs at the properties up there.  I made the decision that 1. I couldnt afford a place at 7S that would be big enough for us and 2. I wanted to live off resort close by....so I did.   HV had some REALLY cheap townhouses for sell there for awhile 7 or so years ago.  There was one that was a real fixer upper.  It looked like a 80s frat house. I believe it was going for something like $49k! 

I get that they want to keep people on the books fulltime throughout the week vs forcing them to work part time through the weekend only until crowds cause them to need to remain open all week, but HV was never really busy enough to remain open all week even through peak season.  Sure there are some snow days and weeks before/after holidays that it gets a small crowd.  But heck they operated weekends only until a point in time for a very long time, and paid people far far less.  Same can be said for 7S.  It takes alot of money to operate 7S.  Those buildings are expensive to heat/cool, and to groom all of those slopes...even if they only operate a few lifts (gunnar, polar, avalanche), the costs are super high in comparison to the crowds.  OH and I'll betcha most of those people at HV working are part time anyway, even when they do open all week.

No I think it's more excuse making honestly.  But whatever it is just my opinion. The chances of me riding at HV this year are likely very slim anyway.  I just think that HV has more character and it WAS a great place to take younger people to learn to ski, and to avoid the 7S drunks. When I went two years ago though, it was a madhouse - busier than 7S was. People were literally smacking into each other non stop on riviera (or whatever its called). Maybe this will change and HV will return to a safer more enjoyable place to ride with the kiddos.  I'll keep an eye on the webcams (if they ever get it back up)

superguy
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Back in the day when Wagner had a double (yes, I'm dating myself :D), 7S would often open with just Wagner and Fawn lane open. Rates were slightly reduced, but tickets weren't nearly expensive as what they were.

When I did 7S a few years ago on Black Friday, they had a similar amount open. Upper Lost Boy wasn't, but all of Stowe was. $69 for a lift ticket. My pass was for SnowTime that year so I paid it. B-day present for my wife.

I'll be going this weekend except Sunday, so Fri-Sat, and Monday.  Gotta go home and feed my kitties. :D Monday should be a pretty crowd free day as it's Monday AND the first day of deer in PA.

HV has a pretty good TechnoAlpin system. I rode up a lift with an HV snowmaker last season and as he put it, 7S can put out a lot of snow quickly, but theirs was a much higher quality snow. 

Call me weird, but I actually like HV a lot. It doesn't have the most challenging terrain, but the crowds are less and I appreciate the chill vibe. I like 7S too and have always had a good time there, but I don't feel as relaxed there as I do at HV. Like HV is actually more a relaxing and refreshing experience.

I'll often ski all 3 in a weekend.  My folks live in Johnstown and in-laws in Hollsopple, so I'll often start at LM first since it's the closets, ski there 2-3 hours, and then head out to either 7S or HV. It's nice that they're close enough that it's easy to do. And I'm glad there's no shuttle so everyone's stuck at 7S. :D

padjaski68
2 months ago
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
84 posts
Anyone heading to 7S this weekend? 
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
Depends on the weather. If it doesn’t rain too much I may go on Monday.
bousquet19 - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 02/23/2006 🔗
738 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

You know, the only reason I go to Laurel is because of their fantastic internet service.

 Don’t forget the handle tow LHC.  That’s why I try to make the 5 hour RT to Laurel as often as I can.

That list of improvements is really a reach in some cases.  Before I ever went to Blue Knob maybe 15 years ago I read a similar article.  BK’s most significant improvement appeared to be painting some of the accommodations.  Skiers flocked there in droves after reading that, I’m sure.

Regardless of all that hooey, my first day at BK was great, even though I never did get around to admiring the new paint jobs.

Here’s to a great season! Hope to see you, Mrs. LHC, and the gang soon.

Woody

Patf1engineer
2 months ago
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
39 posts
The fiber optic work was necessary due to the installation of the scanning system and to facilitate the new computer systems and communications on the mountain. 

There were constant complaints about the rope tow not operating and it resulted in almost no lessons being sold. It is a critical need to support the ski school. 
bousquet19 - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 02/23/2006 🔗
738 posts

Patf1engineer wrote:

The fiber optic work was necessary due to the installation of the scanning system and to facilitate the new computer systems and communications on the mountain. 

There were constant complaints about the rope tow not operating and it resulted in almost no lessons being sold. It is a critical need to support the ski school. 

👍 👍 

Both are good points, Patf! Thanks for the additional information.

Woody

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts

Patf1, no doubt a full time handle tow is a much needed improvement, and I do understand the need for the internet upgrade. It's just that Laurel has been run on a very tight budget so normal things like mowing all the skiable terrain are not done. To list internet upgrades as improvements is, well, underwhelming. 

needawax
2 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
18 posts

Went with my son to 7springs today just to ski whatever they slopes they opened with.  Typical stowe / wagner / fawn lane / the alley were open and decent coverage, felt like spring skiing.  Saw 3 lifts open - quad and 6 on the front and north face lift.  It was not packed although I would say it was a healthy opening day. Lift lines were fast.  They are scanning Epic passes through the coat with RFID. Had scanning going on everywhere and it didn't seem to cause delays. Only held out for about 7-8 runs and headed back to HV.   

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Okay, it's settled. Laurel Highlands resort trip reports and general question post here. So who made it to 7S. Mrs. Crazie and I are target next week.

Patf1, no doubt a full time handle tow is a much needed improvement and I do understand the need for the internet upgrade. It's just that Laurel has been run on a very tight budget so normal things like mowing all the skiable terrain is not done. To list internet upgrades as improvements is, well, underwhelming. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts


 Nuts, I posted the part you quoted in the wrong thread. I meant to post that here: 

https://www.dcski.com/forum/105545

needawax wrote:

Went with my son to 7springs today just to ski whatever they slopes they opened with.  Typical stowe / wagner / fawn lane / the alley were open and decent coverage, felt like spring skiing.  Saw 3 lifts open - quad and 6 on the front and north face lift.  It was not packed although I would say it was a healthy opening day. Lift lines were fast.  They are scanning Epic passes through the coat with RFID. Had scanning going on everywhere and it didn't seem to cause delays. Only held out for about 7-8 runs and headed back to HV.   

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Okay, it's settled. Laurel Highlands resort trip reports and general question post here. So who made it to 7S. Mrs. Crazie and I are target next week.

Patf1, no doubt a full time handle tow is a much needed improvement and I do understand the need for the internet upgrade. It's just that Laurel has been run on a very tight budget so normal things like mowing all the skiable terrain is not done. To list internet upgrades as improvements is, well, underwhelming. 


snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

Vail/ HV Update:

-Deck is finally nearing completion

- They made quite a bit of snow but not quite enough to open

- Parking lots have new crushed stone1669483051_mhccpnkkwhuf.jpg

1669483109_ooksesfkjwbx.jpg

1669483306_mrqxzuqdgdbz.jpg

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts

Vail finally posted new trail maps for Laurel Mountain and HV. I am curious as to why the trail under the LM quad lift still remains unnamed?

20221122_LM_winter-trail_map_001.pdf (laurelmountainski.com)

20221122_HP_winter-trail_map_001.pdf (hiddenvalleyresort.com)

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

Vail finally posted new trail maps for Laurel Mountain and HV. I am curious as to why the trail under the LM quad lift still remains unnamed?

20221122_LM_winter-trail_map_001.pdf (laurelmountainski.com)

20221122_HP_winter-trail_map_001.pdf (hiddenvalleyresort.com)

Also omitted from LM's map is Doc's Forest Glade, named after Ralph "Doc" DesRoches. In addition to DesRoches' role as the GM and ski school director under the Mellon years, Doc is a US Hall of Fame inductee for his career spanning ski area management, US Olympic fundraising, and his contribution to the trade association Ski Industries of America.

The trail under the chair has been known and listed as Snow Bowl until Seven Spring printed new makes in 2017. We can only speculate why it was dropped.


Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

Vail finally posted new trail maps for Laurel Mountain and HV. I am curious as to why the trail under the LM quad lift still remains unnamed?

20221122_LM_winter-trail_map_001.pdf (laurelmountainski.com)

20221122_HP_winter-trail_map_001.pdf (hiddenvalleyresort.com)

Also omitted from LM's map is Doc's Forest Glade, named after Ralph "Doc" DesRoches. In addition to DesRoches' role as the GM and ski school director under the Mellon years, Doc is a US Hall of Fame inductee for his career spanning ski area management, US Olympic fundraising, and his contribution to the trade association Ski Industries of America.

The trail under the chair has been known and listed as Snow Bowl until Seven Spring printed new makes in 2017. We can only speculate why it was dropped.


snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
songfta
one month ago
Member since 05/10/2004 🔗
49 posts
For those who haven't heard: Liberty is officially going to miss their planned opening date of this coming weekend. Not shocking but...
Scott - DCSki Editor
one month ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,205 posts

Things not looking great for Whitetail either.  But temperatures are looking much better for snowmaking on the back half of December, so I expect they'll be opening pretty soon.

1670855329_pxyfntlpnkdi.jpg

ZARDOG
one month ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

 #1 Staffing is back. Yeah. 

Yes, expect opening past the avg date Vail posted. 

Weather does what it wants. it will be colder. happens every year.

7Springs and JF are open. 

songfta
one month ago
Member since 05/10/2004 🔗
49 posts

ZARDOG wrote:

7Springs and JF are open.

Yes, although for the racing teams at the former SnowTime resorts we are scrambling to figure out training and holiday camp contingencies. We can't simply decamp to 7S or JFBB without making proper arrangements with said mountains. Even though we share the same passes there's a process to it all, and with limited terrain available it is catch as catch can.

superguy
one month ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Looks like everyone was making snow this morning.  Hopefully the ST resorts won't be delayed much.  LM and HV should hit their target opening dates, assuming the weather holds.

Looking at the HV map, everything to skier's left of the Avalanche lift on the backside isn't shown to be available for night skiing. Of course, Barracuda always has been, and even the narrow woods trails over there have been open (or at least not closed).  No ropes and even if they were technically closed, patrol never enforced anything.

IMO, all of these resorts are small enough (even 7S) that there's no reason that these mountains can't be 100% lit, with glades, and perhaps natural snow areas excepted.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
Saturday, 12/17 - looking at 7S webcam, I don't see any snowmaking happening? The temp is 24? What is going on? Are they making snow on the north face where there is no webcam?
jrstaley
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
9 posts


 I don't understand either.

snowsmith wrote:

Saturday, 12/17 - looking at 7S webcam, I don't see any snowmaking happening? The temp is 24? What is going on? Are they making snow on the north face where there is no webcam?
msprings
one month ago
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
147 posts
I skied 7 Springs this morning (12/17). Snowmaking was occurring on North Face Slope, Lost Boy Trail, and the “Easy Rider” learning carpet area between Stowe and Tyrol. Concerning that they aren’t making more. They badly need more terrain and lifts open to spread out the crowds. People were everywhere today.
padjaski68
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
84 posts

It sound like they are now making snow on Village trail, Boomerang and Avalanche. 

msprings wrote:

I skied 7 Springs this morning (12/17). Snowmaking was occurring on North Face Slope, Lost Boy Trail, and the “Easy Rider” learning carpet area between Stowe and Tyrol. Concerning that they aren’t making more. They badly need more terrain and lifts open to spread out the crowds. People were everywhere today.

padjaski68
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
84 posts

Whitetail, Liberty and Roundtop are making snow ago.

Whitetail is very aggressive,  making snow on all beginning terrain except Ledgewood. All terrain off of HSQ, except lower section of Limelight to Home run. Hopefully they don't drain the pond too quickly. 


1671455134_dukeuedmcvyi.jpg

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts

This was posted on the Support Laurel Mountain FB Group from Friday:

1671455132_fptbwcivcpbl.jpg

superguy
one month ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Looking like there's a possibility everything could be open this weekend to some degree.  Looking really cold over the holidays, down to sub 0 temps.

I'm thinking 7S will get most of the front side plus at least North Face open this weekend, with starting on the back.  Alpine and Tyrol will be the last to get love, as usual.

Leo
one month ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts

I needed to go to the HV ski shop Saturday and was pleasantly surprised by the amount they had made and overnight the groomers were out in force and a good 3-4 inches of natural fell.

They will be open for Fri with I would assume a reasonable amount of the mountain open.

The ski shop was busy and the vibe from long time, pre-vail employees and Mike was mostly positive.

Grumpy dad
one month ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts

Those results only take them to October.  But I suspect they are leaving a ton of money on the table.
There are so many people that missed the deadline to buy passes at 7S/HV areas.  I literally just had a conversation with someone on Saturday that they believed they may pickup a Super7 pass this year.  It went something like this. 

Friend: We havent really thought alot about skiing this year, it's been so warm and it feels like we just had halloween.  My boys really want to get more into skiing.  We went a few times last year.  My youngest had a blast but my oldest hurt himself one day when some fat drunk landed on him on the bunny hill.  We may get the Super 7 and try to go Sundays when it is less busy, maybe even a few weekdays.

Me: You cant.

Friend: You can't what?

Me:  You can't buy the Super 7 pass, it's called Epic Day Pass.

Friend:  Yea, whatever it's called now I heard about that.  That's what we will probably do.

Me: They stopped selling it.

Friend: Huh?  What do you mean they stopped selling it, like never again ?

Me:  No, they stopped selling passes Dec 5, you have no other option other than to buy a day pass for the day you intend on going.  So instead of paying $25 for a lift ticket for your kids, you'll pay $82 for each kid plus $104 for yourself next week.

Friend: Well screw that, I guess we are going to Boyce this year!

This first thing I would do if I were magically in charge of Vail resorts, would be to fire anyone and everyone associated with putting a deadline on passes being Dec 5.  Make passes able to be purchased until the end of Feb when it would kick over to the way 7S handled it.  Discount for next year or ski the rest of this season and next season if you buy in the month of March.

Then I would sit back and do absolutely nothing but ski/ride, and watch as the revenue pours in. 

 

snowsmith wrote:

Vail Resorts' 1st Qtr 2023 Results | Made $137 Million Loss, Total Epic Pass Sales Down 12% on Last Season - SnowBrains

Latest financials for Vail Resorts

Grumpy dad
one month ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
79 posts


HV has always been able to make a large amount/great quality snow since the Buncher upgrades were done.  I used to get a season pass there because I just like it better there, and because they did better at opening sooner and trying to keep quality snow.  Less crowds, short walk from parking.  It was a great place to learn to board.

Leo wrote:

I needed to go to the HV ski shop Saturday and was pleasantly surprised by the amount they had made and overnight the groomers were out in force and a good 3-4 inches of natural fell.

They will be open for Fri with I would assume a reasonable amount of the mountain open.

The ski shop was busy and the vibe from long time, pre-vail employees and Mike was mostly positive.

superguy
one month ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Yeah, I go there for the same reasons. I got a Highlands Pass last year as it let me bounce around as I felt like it.  I'd start at Laurel early in the afternoon and head to HV or 7S for the rest of the day.  I like the chill vibe there, and probably skied there more than the other 3.

Your friends could always go to BK, HV, or LM - all are cheaper options than 7S.

Last year I was still modifying my Epic day pass up until Christmas Eve so I could ski restricted days.  Vail had no problem working with me on it.  They may have better luck calling in. 

Grumpy dad wrote:


HV has always been able to make a large amount/great quality snow since the Buncher upgrades were done.  I used to get a season pass there because I just like it better there, and because they did better at opening sooner and trying to keep quality snow.  Less crowds, short walk from parking.  It was a great place to learn to board.

Leo wrote:

I needed to go to the HV ski shop Saturday and was pleasantly surprised by the amount they had made and overnight the groomers were out in force and a good 3-4 inches of natural fell.

They will be open for Fri with I would assume a reasonable amount of the mountain open.

The ski shop was busy and the vibe from long time, pre-vail employees and Mike was mostly positive.

superguy
one month ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts

Did it look like they were making snow on the back side as well? 

Leo wrote:

I needed to go to the HV ski shop Saturday and was pleasantly surprised by the amount they had made and overnight the groomers were out in force and a good 3-4 inches of natural fell.

They will be open for Fri with I would assume a reasonable amount of the mountain open.

The ski shop was busy and the vibe from long time, pre-vail employees and Mike was mostly positive.

Leo
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts


 I didn't venture anywhere I could see the North Summit so this is literally just a guess but I would guess that they are.  The sole basis for that guess being that it seemed to be full steam ahead there.

superguy wrote:

Did it look like they were making snow on the back side as well? 

Leo wrote:

I needed to go to the HV ski shop Saturday and was pleasantly surprised by the amount they had made and overnight the groomers were out in force and a good 3-4 inches of natural fell.

They will be open for Fri with I would assume a reasonable amount of the mountain open.

The ski shop was busy and the vibe from long time, pre-vail employees and Mike was mostly positive.

Cycleski
one month ago
Member since 01/10/2021 🔗
23 posts
I spent the day at 7 Springs today with my family.  The snow machines were blowing full force on the north face.  The fog was so thick, it made skiing on the north face a bit hazardous until you made it halfway down.  Lost Boy was supposed to be open, according to the terrain status, but got down there and it was closed.  Ended up going down the Alley and it was in good shape as far as snow.  The ice was minimal. 

The front face was in better shape than I was expecting.  Cortina and polar express were going and the terrain that was open was good.  Going back tomorrow as soon as it opens.


superguy
one month ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts
Word from the 7 Springs Friends FB page is HV and LM are opening on Wed. Take it with a grain of salt until the official annoucement's made.
jrstaley
one month ago
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
9 posts


 Thank you for updating us.  When you say 'blowing on the north face', do you mean just North Face slope, or other ones too?  Interested in whether or not they are blowing lookers right, from the North Face lift.  

Cycleski wrote:

I spent the day at 7 Springs today with my family.  The snow machines were blowing full force on the north face.  The fog was so thick, it made skiing on the north face a bit hazardous until you made it halfway down.  Lost Boy was supposed to be open, according to the terrain status, but got down there and it was closed.  Ended up going down the Alley and it was in good shape as far as snow.  The ice was minimal. 

The front face was in better shape than I was expecting.  Cortina and polar express were going and the terrain that was open was good.  Going back tomorrow as soon as it opens.


Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
one month ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,986 posts


Laurel announced they will open Friday at 10 am

superguy wrote:

Word from the 7 Springs Friends FB page is HV and LM are opening on Wed. Take it with a grain of salt until the official annoucement's made.
padjaski68
one month ago
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
84 posts
padjaski68
one month ago
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
84 posts
Cycleski
one month ago
Member since 01/10/2021 🔗
23 posts

I would say that 7S had snow blowing at capacity today from what I saw.  I say this based on north face and front face runs on what was open with visibility at times where you couldn’t see 20 feet in front of you on the top third of the mountain due to fog.

I’ll post again tomorrow with pics.

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
25 days ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
241 posts

I'm interested in what Vail is doing at 7S-

MLK weekend is just about here - I'm surprised Gunnar isn't spinning today (thursday).

That whole section of the hill (Gunnar, Yodeler, Giant) is currently closed-

Will it open this weekend?  Is it close?  Guns can fire up Friday night...  

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
25 days ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,495 posts
I find fault with alot of things Vail is doing but they can't control the weather. I will give them some break on snowmaking and terrain openings. Since the Christmas cold blast, there have been limited windows for snow making. We need a week of below freezing temps to get more terrain open or a big dump. This crazy weather pattern is pummeling California with floods and copious amounts of Seirra cement while back east, all of these storms are moving up the Ohio valley of even further west. This puts us on the warm side of the storm. Based on current weather models looking out a week or so, there is no end in sight for this depressing weather pattern. When you stop seeing rain in California, look for the weather patter to change in the east. Until then, we'll have bare bones terrain to ski on locally. 
RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
25 days ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
241 posts

I don’t think weather is an excuse. Dealing with primarily the same weather, Snowshoe has 11 of 12 lifts open, now, today. Timberline is 95% open.

7S is lagging. Is it an operational issue? Pump, water, other?  Or is it a $ issue?

Leo
25 days ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts

I see both sides of this issue.  They have really been dealt a crappy weather hand, but when they had their chances they didn't do the most with them, at least at HV.  For example: making zero snow on Cobra, Firebird and Barracuda when conditions allowed snowmaking.

HV is already compact enough.  On the front side you basically have Thunderbird, Firebird (zero snowmaking), Imperial and Cobra (zero snowmaking).  The race camp crew, run mostly by old friends of mine and I love what they do to bring along the next generation, almost always has half of Imperial closed.  So the frontside this year has been Thunderbird and half of Imperial.  Unless you want to ski slopes like Continental and Rambler, which I do not.  On the North Summit they made snow on Comet and opened it, and made snow on Angel's Elbow and never groomed it out or opened it.  So even when the lift did not feel busy over there, the one single run open (Comet) was way too busy to ski down unless you like to straight line with the 50% of the HV crowd who only does that. 

I think we're all reaching a dangerous level of weather induced grumpiness but in looking at the 10-day forecast I am starting to have real fears that the entire season could be marred by a lack of terrain and decent conditions.

(Disclaimer, I did not ski last weekend and if they made snow on (or heaven forefend opened) any of the slopes mentioned above, I apologize.

imp - DCSki Supporter 
25 days ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
279 posts
could be the altitude, as well as attitude
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
24 days ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

RodneyBD wrote:

I don’t think weather is an excuse. Dealing with primarily the same weather, Snowshoe has 11 of 12 lifts open, now, today. Timberline is 95% open.

7S is lagging. Is it an operational issue? Pump, water, other?  Or is it a $ issue?

 Are you saying that the weather is the same at 7S as at Snowshoe or Timberline?  I was just at Timberline on Monday and Tuesday.  Skied Massanutten Wednesday and Thursday.  Both have maximized their snowmaking opportunities.  But there is no way that Massanutten has had the same number of potential hours for snowmaking in the last few weeks after the high temps melted almost all the snow that was around for Christmas.

rbrtlav
24 days ago
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
556 posts
Before snowshoe upgraded their snowmaking system a few years ago it seemed like the amount of terrain snowshoe and 7 springs had open was significantly closer. I know snowshoe usually gets slightly more favorable weather, but the differences between the snowmaking systems has been evident the last few seasons. 

I think the extra hours snowshoe gets from the full automation and the upgraded fan guns have really been showing off. I also think the openness of the trails at 7 springs makes it a bit harder to manage where the snow goes in the wind. Especially when opening new trails having large contained piles is the most efficient way to hold the snow.

I find it hard to believe that 7 springs hasn’t been taking advantage of every snowmaking opportunity they have had, but some of the system likely needs upgrades. I suspect they will get a few more lifts open for the long weekend with the cold coming in, even if they have to close them again next week. 

I know Whitetail had the pump issues, but the fact that they have the terrain they do have open right now is impressive, and the automation on the marginal nights there likely gives them an extra 1-2 hours of production. 
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
24 days ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,988 posts

Ah, that helped me understand the comparison.  Haven't made it to 7Springs yet.

Wintergreen, Massanutten, and Bryce are relatively close together in terms of distance but have different weather profiles and snowmaking infrastructure.  Bryce actually has the best weather and was founded in the 1960s for that reason.  Wintergreen used to have fewer water supply issues than Massanutten but that is no longer the case.  Wintergreen was ahead on automation when I started skiing in the southeast 15 years ago.  My understanding is that Wintergreen runs out of water if daytime snowmaking is possible for more than two days in a row.  Now Massanutten is probably ahead for pumping power and number of big fan guns after the upgrades and additions for snowmaking in the last few years.

rbrtlav wrote:

Before snowshoe upgraded their snowmaking system a few years ago it seemed like the amount of terrain snowshoe and 7 springs had open was significantly closer. I know snowshoe usually gets slightly more favorable weather, but the differences between the snowmaking systems has been evident the last few seasons. 

I think the extra hours snowshoe gets from the full automation and the upgraded fan guns have really been showing off. I also think the openness of the trails at 7 springs makes it a bit harder to manage where the snow goes in the wind. Especially when opening new trails having large contained piles is the most efficient way to hold the snow.

I find it hard to believe that 7 springs hasn’t been taking advantage of every snowmaking opportunity they have had, but some of the system likely needs upgrades. I suspect they will get a few more lifts open for the long weekend with the cold coming in, even if they have to close them again next week. 

I know Whitetail had the pump issues, but the fact that they have the terrain they do have open right now is impressive, and the automation on the marginal nights there likely gives them an extra 1-2 hours of production. 

 

chuck_wow
22 days ago
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
25 posts
Quick observations at 7 Springs. Now that Vail runs the show seems like staffing is thinner at the lodge and in the bars. Whole place is now cashless (credit cards only). And the breakfast buffet appears to have been scaled back from its former grandeur.
ShredDMV
15 days ago
Member since 09/23/2022 🔗
13 posts

Conditions yesterday over at Roundtop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC3rjTRHfXY 

Had a great time overall, and they even had Upper Ramrod open.  I recommend headed there this season if they're able to make snow coming up.

Also, its a testament to how well Timberline has been able to deal with the rainfall this season and maintain a great time out there regardless!

chuck_wow
14 days ago
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
25 posts

1674430491_gdpcxmfljfvr.jpgToday Round top at 3pm. Heavy rain.

Leo
14 days ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts

Many of you thought this day would never come.

HV web cam is up.

superguy
14 days ago
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
503 posts
Hope they eventually show more of the hill a la 7S.
chuck_wow
10 days ago
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
25 posts
A question about Vail's credit card only policy. Can I refuse to pay with a car and offer to pay in cash...and point to the part of the US paper money that says "legal tender for all debts public and private"? Been hitting some Vail spots and the card only thing bugs me from a privacy perspective
Patf1engineer
10 days ago
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
39 posts


 The person running the register is not the one making the policy.  I dislike it also but giving them a hard time accomplishes nothing.

chuck_wow wrote:

A question about Vail's credit card only policy. Can I refuse to pay with a car and offer to pay in cash...and point to the part of the US paper money that says "legal tender for all debts public and private"? Been hitting some Vail spots and the card only thing bugs me from a privacy perspective
rbrtlav
10 days ago
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
556 posts

There is no federal law that says businesses must accept cash, just because it’s legal tender. Philly has a law on the books saying cash must be accepted, but that is specifically for the city.

PA does have the cash consumer protection act stating that a business can’t discriminate against someone for not having a card, but it doesn’t say they have to take cash. You could potentially file a claim that they are in violation of that, but not sure how that would go. However if vail has any alternatives it wouldn’t go far.

chuck_wow wrote:

A question about Vail's credit card only policy. Can I refuse to pay with a car and offer to pay in cash...and point to the part of the US paper money that says "legal tender for all debts public and private"? Been hitting some Vail spots and the card only thing bugs me from a privacy perspective

 

Leo
10 days ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
323 posts


 It doesn't say "legal tender for all debts public and private and required by law to be accepted everywhere."  They can make you pay with popcorn if they want to.  

A lot of places that require cards have machines that convert cash to a visa gift card.  I can't honestly say if Vail resorts all do or don't have these machines because I would rather pay with a card anyways so I've never looked.

Also, FWIW, you can link a card to your pass and use that if that's preferable for some reason.

chuck_wow wrote:

A question about Vail's credit card only policy. Can I refuse to pay with a car and offer to pay in cash...and point to the part of the US paper money that says "legal tender for all debts public and private"? Been hitting some Vail spots and the card only thing bugs me from a privacy perspective
chuck_wow
9 days ago (edited 9 days ago)
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
25 posts

A visa gift card bought with cash would alleviate my privacy concerns at least to some degree. I don't need Vail knowing about and tracking every nickel I spend with them. Same goes for my credit card company. I aim to leave the smallest data footprint I possibly can. 

Now that I think about it Vail's insistence on plastic money is merely a term of an offer to sell. Buyer can accept / reject / negotiate (at least in theory).

JackC
9 days ago
Member since 05/12/2022 🔗
9 posts

I respect cash preferences, but Vail can get the data it wants just from you using your pass or lift ticket. From lift scans they can tell approximately when you ski, if you buy rentals or lessons, any other activities where you use your account (or even just name/birthdate), it's all linked to you. If you want to use the pass holder 20% discount on food, they're also going to know where and when you eat at resort.

chuck_wow wrote:

A visa gift card bought with cash would alleviate my privacy concerns at least to some degree. I don't need Vail knowing about and tracking every nickel I spend with them. Same goes for my credit card company. I aim to leave the smallest data footprint I possibly can. 

Now that I think about it Vail's insistence on plastic money is merely a term of an offer to sell. Buyer can accept / reject / negotiate (at least in theory).

chuck_wow
9 days ago
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
25 posts
I'll forfeit 20% discount to not be tracked via my credit card. Unless there's something weird and I need emergency goggles or something the only thing I'm buying on the mountain is beer and maybe a hotdog. Also in my own experience most of the bars don't honor Epic Pass discount in my experience. They are third party vendors. 
BaltoBill
9 days ago
Member since 02/24/2014 🔗
23 posts
Tomorrow morning I can ski for two or three hours at either Roundtop or Liberty. Which has better conditions right now?
chuck_wow
8 days ago
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
25 posts
Six of one half dozen of the other. If drive time was equal I'd pick either one.
BaltoBill
8 days ago
Member since 02/24/2014 🔗
23 posts
Thanks!  Looks like Roundtop may have more open 
ZARDOG
8 days ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

conditions or line waits is the question?  Like Sat. Seemed most headed west to WV West MD West PA and resorts were busier.  My usual is 4 hrs on snow drive no more than 1 hr 15 mins. Ride what is given and be a master of all. 

Weather knowledge climate and 30 days forward look help hone in the days to play.

 

 

ZARDOG
8 days ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
142 posts

:o)  I have to laugh, even if you use cash only "we - all-inclusive" still know your data. Don't worry it is used in a way we don't care about you, just what you do. If you are on this site you are tracked in many ways.  one of my gigs was fraud detection at census.  cool stuff actually.  - Like humans go to the main lift right after lunch. I can observe or look at metadata.  

Zardog

chuck_wow
8 days ago
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
25 posts


 You wouldnt believe the lengths I go to not having any Google / Meta / Apple accounts and working about 8 emails...burner phones bought with cash...making daily purchases using bearer bonds or gold Krugerrands, etc. It's like a full time job being this private.

ZARDOG wrote:

:o)  I have to laugh, even if you use cash only "we - all-inclusive" still know your data. Don't worry it is used in a way we don't care about you, just what you do. If you are on this site you are tracked in many ways.  one of my gigs was fraud detection at census.  cool stuff actually.  - Like humans go to the main lift right after lunch. I can observe or look at metadata.  

Zardog

ShredDMV
7 days ago
Member since 09/23/2022 🔗
13 posts

My first time skiing in the Pocono Mountains, had a great experience at Jack Frost, Big Boulder & Blue Mountain.  I felt the runs at Jack Frost were a lot of fun.  Crowds were limited in the AM at Jack Frost, had a nice ski day.  Hope everyone enjoys the video, conditions clearly seen within!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLZRT0uTJQo

ShredDMV
5 days ago
Member since 09/23/2022 🔗
13 posts

Skiing at Big Boulder Ski Area in PA.  Had a great weekend in the Poconos, I hope everyone enjoys the video!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6TCW8U3T9Q

Moe Gull
5 days ago
Member since 09/5/2022 🔗
25 posts

ShredDMV wrote:

Skiing at Big Boulder Ski Area in PA.  Had a great weekend in the Poconos, I hope everyone enjoys the video!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6TCW8U3T9Q

 Cool editing I liked this

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