T-line lift tickets
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Kris
October 20, 2005
Member since 03/15/2005 🔗
248 posts
I see T-line raised its prices for this year.

Lift tickets are anywhere from 2 to 6 dollars higher depending on which day you go.

ex. last year regular season, weekend, day lift ticket (8-4:30) was 43$....this year its 49$...
ex. early season was 24$ and 27$ on weekends...
This year...26$ and 29$....

I know its not much of a raise, but its still a raise...
fred
October 20, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
49 bucks seems like a little to much for a mountain that's lifts are so slow, old, icy, and greasy. Yep, I had one jacket cashed last year. I couldn't move out of the way-wife and I got dripped on for fifteen minutes straight, then we got off at midstation; I would of taken another lift but that was the only one that went to the top-the other one was broken. what a bummer...but anyway to stay "ontopic" I say if I'm going to pay more money I better see some better product (terrain --more tree runs & terrain parks for my kids)ohterwise it's just price gouging....kinda like gas and oil but anyways...yeah 49 dollars seems a little much for t-line and how many lots do you have to sell to by a decent lift? not necassarily high speed but one that doesn't have chairs that freeze and hold water and can be run at a decent speed --less than fifteen minutes to the top maybe..but anyway. oh yeah the trees rock
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
October 20, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,100 posts
If true this represents a more than 10% increase in general.
I agree, Timberline needs to provide a better product if it wants to price itself with the "big boys". That said, obviously anything to do with snowmaking and running a lodge, equipment, and chairs will cost more now that the price of energy has skyrocketed.
Maybe ten percent is fair, but still...
The Colonel
Kris
October 20, 2005
Member since 03/15/2005 🔗
248 posts
2006 Prices

2005 Prices

See it for your own eyes. I just pointed out a few differences. There are a lot more. Rental rates went up too.

I havent compared CV's rates to last years, but from what i can remember, they are higher too.

EDIT:
Correction...i just reasearched it and CV did raise prices.
2005 Prices

Lift ticket prices for a day (9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.):

Value Season ticket (Opening through Dec. 25 and Mar. 7 through Closing) = $25 (adults and $19 (age 6-12).
Prime season mid-week prices (Jan. 3 - Mar. 4) are $32 (adults) and $24 (children).
Prime season and holiday weekend rates are $47 (adults) and $26 (children).
(taken fromhere ).

2006 Prices
DCSki Sponsor: Seven Springs Resort
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 21, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Quote:

I see T-line raised its prices for this year.

Lift tickets are anywhere from 2 to 6 dollars higher depending on which day you go.

ex. last year regular season, weekend, day lift ticket (8-4:30) was 43$....this year its 49$...
ex. early season was 24$ and 27$ on weekends...
This year...26$ and 29$....

I know its not much of a raise, but its still a raise...




Energy costs are way up this year. That means it costs much more for ski resorts to do just about everything: run lifts, make snow, heat buildings, etc. Given rising energy and labor costs, I don't think a 10% increase is unreasonable.
fred
October 21, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
yeah but the price of cheese is the same, and that must be what they fuel those mice with that generate power for those lifts...(those mice must need a lot of cheese to keep those lifts going-one of the many times last season when the main lift was broken down for a half hour or so, when my family was there, I asked one of the employees what was wrong and they said "they must have forgotten to feed the mice this morning and they probably stopped running)..because no lifts that run on fuel could be so slow...no but to stay "ontopic" it's unrealistic for t-line to charge lift ticket prices that are similar to wisps and other mountains that have such better infrastructure or forget infrastructure how about open terrain..over the past three seasons I've skiid at timberline they haven't been %100 percent open until midseason, last season it never even happened...are they going to be charging 49 dollars a day for just three trails from the top over christmas break and most of january..that's ridiculous....ohyeah I was up in the valley this past weekend to check out the leaves(pretty cool) and when we drove up to timberline to check out what was going on we noticed that they were building another building behind the parking lot-anybody know what that is..possible lodge improvements..maybe a ski-check station...maybe another bar???
myrto
October 21, 2005
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
Shock of all shocks!!!!! T-line finally makes some improvements.Increased snowmakein and a new glade tail last year and a whole new trail this year. Not to mention much better food, ( have you tried those ribs?), and then they have the nerve to increase their prices.
Go figure.
Wel atleast we have a steady flow of twenty something sacrificing their lives to help keep energy prices in check.

What? Fuel costs are increasing!

Oh well at least we rooted out those WMDs

See you on the slow lifts sooooon

yee haw
Roger Z
October 21, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Very nice. That means their lift ticket is just behind Solitude (at $50 this year), tied with Big Mountain ($49) and Stevens Pass on peak weekends (Christmas and MLK) but ahead of them elsewise ($46), and well ahead of Sugar Bowl ($46), Brighton ($44) and Alpine Meadows ($39).

Now, although their tickets are not as expensive as top-tier western resorts, Timberline isn't a top-tier Mid-Atlantic resort, so it would be more fair to look at Snowshoe's price versus places like Vail, Squaw, Whistler, etc.

I dunno, maybe energy prices aren't as high in the Rockies...
tgd
October 21, 2005
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
I guess if I could drive to Solitude, Big Mtn or Alta on half a tank of gas I might have reason to complain. But I can drive to Wisp, Snowshoe, Seven Springs, Canaan Valley, or even Blue Knob (in full protective gear). Eureka! (oh, how I've always wanted to use that word in a sentence) if I could ski somewhere I liked at least as much for less money I would just go there...right? So, following this very untopic-like cloud of reasoning (damned Rasta patrol) I arrive at a Socratic line of thought - is it more ridiculous for Timberline to raise its ticket prices 10% or for me to continuously complain about everything about Timberline (add lift ticket prices to that list - oh the humanities!) and continue to ski there??? Does Timberline have some quality that trumps all these bad thoughts and draws the faithful back year-after-agonizing-year or am I simply a lothesome masochist?? What are they putting in those boiled hamburgers anyway? Why is there air if everytime I try to get some I just end up face-planting? Has Jimmy mysteriously taken over my thought processes - or my screen name. Your sentences have too much structure, consider dropping every third word.
Roger Z
October 21, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Oh man I laughing my off (how's that)? Jimmy, I think you have a prodigy!

I know I'm not being entirely fair in the comparison, seeing how much money ski resorts need to spend to stay open around here, but most of the ski resorts I quoted have gone up less than 10% in a TWO year period. 10% in one year doesn't seem all that reasonable.
jimmy
October 22, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
this doesn't sense i understand it.

All day weekend tickets:Wisp 52, Winterplace is 53, Tline 54, WT 56, CV 60, SNOWSHOE 65. So pick a price and u decide. I think Tline and wisp offer a pretty good value.
Roger Z
October 22, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Whitetail is 56 dollars???

Pick a price, um.... I'm thinkin'.... it's time to move.
snowcone
October 22, 2005
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Whitetil is $56 day and night ticket .. with Advantage card it's $33 .. Advantage card is paid for after the 5th use plus the 6th lift ticket is free. Not really such a bad deal but you have to buy the Advantage card before November 1st. Plus the Advantage card is good at all the PA Snowtime resorts.
tromano
October 23, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
THis is probably because of the energy prices. T-Line is also adding a new trail this season and has increased Snowmaking capacity. So the price increase may have somethign to do with that as well. --Tim
kwillg6
October 24, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,023 posts
Although 10% seems a bit much, I can absorb it into my skiing budget. I think that the product we will have this year @ t-line will be much improved... All one has to do is think back when they had no reliable groomers and the first run of the day involved dodging groomer parts left by the relics they used. Once they finally do install a decent lift we will have nothing left to gritch about or will we?
gatkinso
October 24, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
All the reason more to hit Blue Knob.
SCWVA
October 25, 2005
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
If you buy one of those "Entertainment" books ($29 2005 price) that your kids or neighbor's kids are selling, the 2005 edition had a coupon for a Buy 1 get 1 free midweek lift ticket at both CV and Tline. $29 for two days of skiing isn't too bad, plus there are all sorts of discounts on restaurants, movies, rentacars, groceries, etc.

I of course bought one from my son because, I'm a good parent, not because there are discounted lift tickets in it.
fred
October 29, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
I have been critical of timberline's management in the past, I will be in the present, and the future. Not because I am mean spirited but because I know the industry. I worked in the industry for 10 years out west at a major resort before I moved to the east coast. I admit that I bought a place in the valley on a whim and should have researched the mountains better. But with my criticism I hope to let the mountain know that they are not up to par with other resorts in the area. Lifts, cutomer service, lack of terrain park, lodging facilities are all way below industry standards;and to increase the lift ticket prices is ridiculous. Many people on this site often sugarcoat timberline's lack of management and business planning. Timberline has huge potential. If they knew what they were doing the skiing experience would be ten times more enjoyable and they would being making twenty times more money. I'm not a hater but I am vary critical of what I see going on at that resort season after season..or atleast the last three seasons I've skied there...The lift chairs freeze with ice, drip grease on you, and take fifteen minutes to get to the top(on a good day)..ohyeah but the ribs are good???

In the recent posted Joe Stevens, Industry Icon, interview when commenting on this site one of his responses was..."Evrything is not always 100% at every resort and authors need to be more critical. With criticism comes improvement."

I agree with Joe and I think timberline deserves a good bit of criticism and needs a lot of basic improvement.
Ullr
October 29, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

Lifts, cutomer service, lack of terrain park, lodging facilities are all way below industry standards;




In another thread people were calling this soul.........

North Conway
October 29, 2005
Member since 11/18/2003 🔗
17 posts
Quote:

Quote:

...The lift chairs freeze with ice, drip grease on you, and take fifteen minutes to get to the top(on a good day)..;




reminds me to the Cat back in the day....just ski,drink,and ski.




johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 30, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Quote:

I have been critical of timberline's management in the past, I will be in the present, and the future. Not because I am mean spirited but because I know the industry. I worked in the industry for 10 years out west at a major resort before I moved to the east coast. I admit that I bought a place in the valley on a whim and should have researched the mountains better. But with my criticism I hope to let the mountain know that they are not up to par with other resorts in the area. Lifts, cutomer service, lack of terrain park, lodging facilities are all way below industry standards;and to increase the lift ticket prices is ridiculous. Many people on this site often sugarcoat timberline's lack of management and business planning. Timberline has huge potential. If they knew what they were doing the skiing experience would be ten times more enjoyable and they would being making twenty times more money. I'm not a hater but I am vary critical of what I see going on at that resort season after season..or atleast the last three seasons I've skied there...The lift chairs freeze with ice, drip grease on you, and take fifteen minutes to get to the top(on a good day)..ohyeah but the ribs are good???

In the recent posted Joe Stevens, Industry Icon, interview when commenting on this site one of his responses was..."Evrything is not always 100% at every resort and authors need to be more critical. With criticism comes improvement."

I agree with Joe and I think timberline deserves a good bit of criticism and needs a lot of basic improvement.




Fred:

I can understand your frustration to a point. In terms of lifts, terrain parks, and snowmaking, it does not come close to the standards set by many other resorts in the region (7 Springs, Snowshoe, the resorts of Snowtime, Wisp, etc.).

On the other hand, it often exceeds these other resorts in three critical areas: terrain, natural snow, and affordable housing. You probably would not have bought your property at T-line had it not been affordable? Chances are that a similar property would cost much more at Snowshoe, 7 Springs, or Wisp. Am I correct?

In short, your constant complaints about the resort are a tad specious. If you are really so upset with the place, sell your place and move elsewhere. It's that simple, but I suspect you won't because in terms of price and convenience to DC, you can't beat Timberline. Can you?

Furthermore, the resort is slowly improving. People like myself and KimW, who have been at the mountain for a while, have seen BIG changes in the last 5 years in terms of snowmaking, grooming, and new terrain. A lift upgrade is certainly needed, and management wants to make that happen in the next few years if it can build revenue a bit at the mountain. Management at Timberline is well-aware of the shortcomings of the mountain but the resort needs money to make further changes (to purchase a pipe groomer for an improved terrain park or a new high-speed chair). Timberline is privately owned, so it does not have much money. Much of the real estate being sold on the mountain is owned by third party speculators; so again, the resort does not profit much from the recent sales. It relies mainly on ticket sales and the sale utilities to homeowners (water and sewage) to make ends meet.

I therefore think we need to cut the management some slack. The fact that T-line is privately owned and not terribly commercial gives the place a lot of SOUL-something this group seems to admire. Personally, I'd rather have slow change over time than have a large company come in and build a "big box" ski resort at Timberline.
tommo
October 30, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
The Timberline Club! Be one of the very, very few to enjoy membership in the new, exclusive Timerline Club. Limited to just 1200 memberships, the Club will provide the most prestigious Snow Sports experience in the mid atlantic region. Imagine, NO lift lines. Ever. Superior snow conditions, all day long, even days after a storm. 1000' of vertical for the sole and exclusive enjoyment of members and their guests.

The new Timberline Club is will have 3 membership categories: Individual, Family and Investor. Each includes an equity stake in the Timberline Club, but provide different levels of use, based upon your individual needs.


Investor Membership (600 available) - $26,000 Initiation, $4,000 annual fee

Family Membership (400 available)- $18,000 Initiation, $2,000 annual fee

Individual Membership (200 available)- $12,000 Initiation, $1,200 annual fee


The Club will open in December 2006 at the former Timberline Ski area, in Canaan Valley, WV. New facilities, as part of the club, are expected to include a new, CTEC high speed quad chairlift, members locker room, and new members dining room in an all new base lodge. Upon opening of the club, ONLY members and their family or guests, as permitted by their class of membership will be allowed.

All Memberships are equity memberships in the club. Upon resignation of a membership, 60% of the initiation fee will be returned and the membership will be resold by the club. Private sale of memberships is not permitted. However, memberships may will passed intergenerationally upon death.

The Timberline Club. The Peak of mid atlantic snow enjoyment.

gatkinso
October 30, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Who cares about any of that stuff as long as the lifts work? TL's lifts do not work, and I am suprised they pass state and municipal inspections.

BK has some of the most ghetto lifts around - and they are so slow... but they work. They don;t break down nearly as often as TL, whgich shows that a bit of maintenance goes a long way even with old equipment.

TL needs to get their act together in that key area.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 30, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Quote:

Who cares about any of that stuff as long as the lifts work? TL's lifts do not work, and I am suprised they pass state and municipal inspections.




Timberline's lifts are inspected regularly by its insurance company and daily during the season by the Ski Patrol. Fixed grip lifts like those at Timberline stop a lot because skiers do not know how to get on and off of them properly, especially at the Thunderdraft mid-station. However, just because the lifts stop a lot does not mean they are unsafe.
gatkinso
October 30, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Yes, it just means they suck, and cost the average skiier about half an hour a day (as if they weren't slow enough)!
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 30, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Quote:

Yes, it just means they suck, and cost the average skiier about half an hour a day (as if they weren't slow enough)!




I can't argue with you there. But ain't that what "soul" is all about? Slow lifts keep traffic down on the trails, which means more untracked snow for regulars....

I guess my main point is, "be careful what you ask for." Let's say Doc and Fred Herz sold the mountain to a big corporation tomorrow and all sorts of improvements were implemented for the 2006-07 season (a high-speed 6-pack, state-of-the-art terrain park, new lodge, new hotel). We'd get twice as many people skiing down the same mountain and it would NEVER be the same mountain. Those late season powder days with just a handful of HAPPY, HAPPY skiers on the mountain would be a thing of the past.
fred
October 30, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
The problem with why the lifts stop and start so frequently on the weekend is not because people do not know how to get on and off the lifts. It is because the off ramps are not steep and tall enough to cary skiers away from the lift fast enough-that's why it stops so much at the top and midstation. The reason it stops so much at the bottom is that the entrance is a downhill ramp-beginners can't control themselves as it becomes there turn. Instead of skating or poling into the lift on a flat entrance they are having to wedge and control themselvesa as they enter the final place in lift line. Most folks that have trouble loading are falling for this reason. Have you ever been to a mountain where you ski down into the lift as you try to time yourself getting onto the chair. It's a basic simple correction and you would stop all the stopping of the lift chair;although it will still take 15 minutes to get 1000 feet of vertical. I worked on lifts , mechanics, for a year or two and I know that model lift they are using. It is archaic but believe it or not it can run faster and what is holding it back it the ramp design. As for the grease-don't use black mechanical grease;there are other products out there. As for the chairs get some padded one's that won't cradle water and hold ice. How about don't aim the guns at the chairs there is a novel idea. Have you ever noticed that those new chairs on that other lift, the one that doesn't quite go to the top, where put on backwards...oops. These are all simple things and it just blow my mind that no one there is catching them. It goes all across the board there lifts,customer service, everything. Simple stuff that just involves having someone there who knows the industry. It is obvious that no one does or atleast if they do have some folks they that know what is going on they are not listening to them.

John, so the owners of timberline don't own the property that is selling on winterhaven??? If they are rellying on sewer and water taps to make ends meet then that is another example of poor management. I'm sorry but you lost all my respect when you said OFf the Wall was to difficult for experts-give me a break, are you serious. My ten year old son was making turns down that trail last year. Sorry if I've been a tad bit anything for you..I was just expressing my opinion. As for the owners and management from wwhat I've observed it seems to me that they might have a better product, skiing, if they spent less time in the cafeteria lines or bussing tables and more time thinking about there product-that is skiing not ribs.

As for soul after a long week of work I'd rather be skiing more than standing in a lift line and riding a chair, or sitting in a chair that is broken down for a half an hour. You can have your soul I'm looking for most vertical in a day, good customer service, and a terrain park for my kids to play in.

I'm turning my one star I have left in, bring on almost heaven...gat I don't know what that means but it sounds like an alternative. I am done goodbye...yeah I know good ridins.
Ullr
October 30, 2005
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

It is because the off ramps are not steep and tall enough to cary skiers away from the lift fast enough-that's why it stops so much at the top and midstation.




What??? So that is the lifts problem??? Give me a break!!!

The hill is not steep enough for me to ski away from, so I will just stand here till someone comes and rescues me. That is the lamest excuse yet. I would have to agree with the other posts, T-Line is THE most affordable place around. Sell your house and move to another area that won't get your jacket dirty.............
Crush
October 30, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,000 posts
sorry guys I have been away and Ijust caught the end of this thread ... to put this ALL in perspective:

At The Canyons Last season the Short Cut lift threw a chair ... yup the "scary lift" had a chair drop off of it at the lower bullwheel of course no one was on it b/c it was on teh downlift-side but that was one of those things that that make you go "Hmmmmm". All new hardware now (shiny new locknuts!!!!) ... wherever you are lifts are all the same and The Management don't always take care of 'em .. at least T-Line has some modicum of oversighter .... exit ramps ..... no worries!!
tommo
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Quote:

Who cares about any of that stuff as long as the lifts work? TL's lifts do not work, and I am suprised they pass state and municipal inspections.







You ask "Who cares about that stuff, and then proceed to rant about the lifts. Others rant about the lodge, the snowmaking, and the trails. Then they rant about the price of a lift ticket.

TL is the PERFECT setup to be converted to a private club. I know if I owned it, I'd seriously consider doing so. Then you really wouldn't care, because you couldn't ski there anyway! The plan would raise serious capital for improvements, and get rid of all the whiners who complain endlessly about the facilities as they are and then whine when lift tickets are raised to pay for improvements.

What, exactly, do you expect the FOR PROFIT management to do? Again, the smart thing for TL would be to convert to a private club. It would make a significant amount of money for the current owners, provide the best snow experience for the members, and get rid of all the whiners. But, oh, I can hear the indignant outrage already about how unfair it is to close the resort to the public.

Beware - support the local operations or they WILL change. And you may not like the changes. Remember, they have NO obligation to remain public, daily fee facilities....
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 31, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Fred:

Timberline owns some lots but not the vast majority of the Winterhaven properties.

Jarrett Baker's interview last year with Kristin Messenger covered the issue:

Quote:

Criticisms of the resort abound on DCSki and elsewhere: the lifts are antiquated, snowmaking is inadequate, and management takes the profits from real estate sales and keeps it for personal use. Some of these concerns are valid: the resort possesses an antiquated infrastructure. However, the rumor that Timberline's owner, Fred Reichle, is stuffing his pockets with profits from the recent land boom is false.

During our 15 minute interview, Kristin informed me that most of the recent lot sales on the mountain were sold by third parties, and that Timberline has profited very little from those sales. Timberline owns the ski lodge, slopes and supporting infrastructure, but very few land lots. "Every home sold at Timberline is based on the fact that there is a ski resort here," Messenger said. "Timberline receives no money from most of those land sales." The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, recently granted permission for Fred Reichle, Timberline's owner, to sell the 12 lots he owns, but thus far, he has only sold two lots.






http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=803&mode=headlines

The land issue highlights the basic problem at the resort--lack of capital resources. I've suggested that the owners approach Tucker County for tax-incentive financing but thus far this approach has not worked and I am not sure why, although I have some suspicions.

In the meantime, we have to live with the current state of affairs, which is better than the situation at LM or BK. At least we know that the resort will open in December and eventually make snow on most of its trails. The lifts will run (albeit slowly), trails will get groomed, and snow will be made. The affordable property values at T-line reflect the fact the resort is not perfect and may not ever be perfect until the ownership changes. But some of us don't want "regime change." We like the resort the way it is--relatively uncrowded with a lot of untracked snow after big storms. We can put up with T-line's idiosyncracies in exchange for low crowds and SOUL.

As for OTW, I don't think it is extremely difficult, but I do think snow gun whales should be groomed once so that moguls can form naturally. If you want artificial terrain features, go to a terrain park but OTW is not a terrain park but an ungroomed, expert trail.
tromano
October 31, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
I have to agree that the entry and exit areas of the lifts neeed some work. IIRC, the entance is too steep and the exits not steep enough. That makes people fall down at the entrance and not get off quick enough at the exit creating trafic jams. It won't fix "EVERYTHING" but it seems like a simple easy place ot start.

And Can we please not start disrespecing people. We are all grown ups and don't need this sort of juvenile crap.

My $.02
gatkinso
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Quote:

Beware - support the local operations or they WILL change.




Let them! I refuse to step foot on TL's property ever again until they provide decent service. I quite honestly hope they go belly up and are picked up at bargain basement prices by a decent outfit even if that means they are closed for a season or three.... because their absence would not impact my season in the slightest.
jimmy
October 31, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Gatkinso, you and fred can keep each other company on the porch, waiting for almost heaven . The season hasn't even started yet and the timberline bashing begins. I've been critical of a lot of things timberline, fred i agree with you that them advertising two terrain parks and having none until january was wrong. Maybe you'll get what you want this year, maybe not . All i no is i'll be there December 8.
Roger Z
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Do you think a high speed detachable lift would work with that phenomenal wind they get on Herz Mountain, John?

I wonder... T-line has limited financial resources, and we all talk a good game about what we would do with the mountain but that assumes we have millions of dollars to blow. What's the highest and best return that T-line could make with it's financial resources today? If you, in other words, had $100,000 and wanted to maximize your return, what would you do?

The travails of T-line in comparison to Snowshoe also raises another disturbing question: can a family-owned ski hill make it anymore? Intrawest has put in over $250 million of investments, which is the equivalent of a brand new ski resort, over the last several years. Seven Springs and Wisp are doing alright but don't they have other business operations to support them? Can a single ski area make it if they don't get 300,000 visitors a year or more? What is the Mid-Atlantic ski market? Is it growing, flat, or shrinking in terms of skier visits? In terms of revenue per visit?

All these things matter, because T-line either has to poach business away from other, larger, more capitalized resorts or find a way to increase their share of additional skier traffic. They have to use what limited resources they have to do so. And they have about $25 million worth of problems as highlighted by this board year after year, and about 1/100th of that in cash to fix all that. How would you sell a resort like this to another owner? What's the pitch?

Let's face it: if the current owner doesn't solve the problem, it's likely that the next owner of T-line will be Mother Nature. Great for backcountry entusiasts- at least until the trees reclaim the slopes- terrible for everyone else.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 31, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
One last thing before I head out (it's my flex day today).

It's good to have some debate and disagreement on forum and I respect Fred and Gat's opinions even though I sometimes disagree with them on specifics. We could certainly use some improvement at Timberline and it's good (as Joe put it) to have more criticism on the site. I hope to see more posts by these two as the season progresses.
tommo
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
If you choose not to support a local business, that is fine. It's the nature of our system that competition brings choices and, at least in theory, people will make rational decisions that will benefit those enterprises which they believe best serve their interests. I don't understand, though, the anger and hostility that you guys show towards some of these operations. It's like you think they OWE YOU something and you didn't get it!?! Why? If you prefer Snowshoe or 7Spring or Wisp or bowling, that's fine. But it doesn't make any sense to keep up the vitrolic attacks on a business that, ideally, has interests very closely aligned with yours.

And yes, it may be true that TL's operations - good or bad in your view - will likely have no effect on your skiing plans THIS year. But it is very short sighted to assume that what happens at a local area (remember, there are very few local areas overall) will not affect your choices in the future. Areas open, areas close, and some areas WILL change their operating model. Heck, we already have one hybrid operation in our area, which suggests that more are likely to follow.

Yes, you can always move to another area of the country, where snow resorts don't face the same challenges that those in our area do. But as long has you live here, and if you are interested in lift served skiing/boarding, you are kidding yourself if you think the operations at one area don't affect operations at the others. We should want ALL the areas to thrive. That would give us the most choices and best value for our dollar, however we individually measure it.
tommo
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Quote:


I wonder... What's the highest and best return that T-line could make with it's financial resources today?





Timberline's owners could make a very significant amount of money by turning it into a private, members only club. Via 5 minute calculation, they could raise $25M in memberships, keep half, put 6M in to an ongoing operations fund, and 6M in capital improvements.

$6M would rip out the two summit lifts, and install one high speed quad. Also, build a small, upscale resturant and rehap the exisiting lodge. Oh yeah, and build a nice gate to keep out non-members. Annual dues would more than pay for on-going operations at a significantly improved level of service over what is available today. And, because of the limited membership base, the skiing experience would equal or surpass anything within a 6 hour drive.

Many ski areas could not convert completely to the membership model because of the slope layout, existing facilities (hotels, for example, ) and numerous other issues. TL, on the other hand, is a PERFECT fit. There is no public lodging at the base. There is a single entry road. One lift (two if you count the beginner lift) can completely serve the entire mountain. The land is all privately owned. And there is a captive second home ownership market that would almost have to join.

Net result would be an outstanding skiing operation, a significant profit for the owners who, by the way, would not even have to sell the place, and a strong financial model going forward. My question is, why haven't they done this?
gatkinso
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Don't get me wrong - the mountin itself is pretty good by our standards here in M.A.S.H. However the service at TL particularly in the lift quality is lacking and it cost them one paying customer in the form of me.

I know I am not alone.
warren
October 31, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
Jimmy,
I have to agree with you. There are many things there at TL that I wish were different. I was constantly bashing it and comparing it to Snowshoe (Especially in reference to snowmaking). I think it was JohnL that put it best when he said that the comparison was not fair. I was comparing apples to oranges as TL is family owned and operated vs the Mega-Corp Intrawest (akaa LOT more capital). He said to take the resort for what it is and on good snow days, it's great with it's charater or as Heather has said - Soul

-Warren-
Roger Z
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Let's face it: there's no such thing as a perfect ski mountain. Even if Almost Heaven was built, it would "almost immediately" fall short of what we want and expect from it (Moonshine wouldn't though- if anyone complained we'd force them to do 16 ounce jello shots until they stopped complaining or passed out. That goes for children, too). This stems from:

sporadic good skiing weather
undercapitalized local hills
overcrowded resort destination areas
lack of different models for resorts for different skiers
few skiing options (29 total resorts in five states- there's almost as many in the Catskills alone)
high priced tickets relative to terrain available
smaller ski resorts than desired

All of these things add up to low hanging fruit for complaining. Add a couple of customer service errors on top and you've got a recipe for bitter skiers.

I guarantee if Timberline put in a high speed quad tomorrow with proper customer service and good loading/unloading ramps plus significantly upgraded snowmaking, two or three other people would start complaining about how they've "gone big box," particularly when you consider it'd probably take a $55+ lift ticket to git 'r done.

Or, they could become a Deer Valley and turn the mountain into a private resort, which would make no one happy except the home owners.

I'm willing to bet that if T-line gave some basic customer service training to its employees and rejiggered the on-ramps so that the main lift ran more efficiently, that would be sufficient to cut the complaining in half about the mountain. It'd also be darn inexpensive to do. If that generated an extra 10-15 thousand skier visits a year it would probably give them the cash to continue working on improving their marketing to get more skiers, the snowmaking system to have more terrain open, and putting down reserve cash for an eventual lift upgrade to handle the larger crowds. I don't think T-line needs to do anything revolutionary, just incremental. They've got some of the best terrain in the Mid Atlantic and that's a good asset to build off of.
tommo
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Quote:

...particularly in the lift quality is lacking and it cost them one paying customer in the form of me.

I know I am not alone.




No, you are not alone. I agree completely that the lifts at TL are amoung the worst, if not the worst, that I have ever been on at any ski area, anywhere. Slow, unreliable, etc... So, as is my perogative, I choose not to go there and, instead, frequent Wisp, Snowshoe, CV, or - increasingly - the XC alternative when conditions are suitable. And I own property within sight of the TL slopes.

But I am not going to flame Timberline for what they DO provide, even if it's not -- for me -- the best value available. It's readily apparent that their financial situation is strained, and it's no secret that selling lift tickets can barely cover the cost of ongoing mountain operations. Would they sell more tickets with better lifts and better snowmaking? Probably. Would it be enough to cover the cost of those improvements and provide a fair ROI? I don't know. But certainly non constructive criticism won't improve things and is very discouraging to the many people that labor long and hard to make TL as good as it can be within their present financial reality.
Kris
October 31, 2005
Member since 03/15/2005 🔗
248 posts
No disrespect to anyone, Not naming names....but i rode the lift at T-line last year with an older gentleman that complained all the way to to the top...the lift stopped 3 times because ppl fell down and he wanted to ski....he was in a hurry....he paid 50$ for a ticket and he wanted to get his moneys worth skiing, not waitin on the lift...

It was only about an hour earlier, i saw the same guy sittin at the bar drinkin a beer and eatin dinner...He had to have been in there for over an hour...

I dont know about you guys...but I go the mountain to ski...i might take a few minutes to eat or get a beer...but then im back out there...Ive never sat down for a nice long meal at the lodge when there is plenty of turns left to be made...and if i did have an hour lunch one day, i wouldnt be complaining about slow lifts...

let me see....spend over and hour drinkin and eatin in the bar, or spend 2-3 extra minutes on the lift waitin on a inexperienced skiier get up from a simple fall???

Im sure nobody complaining on this board was ever a beginner....nobody ever fell the first time gettin on a lift...nobody ever fell getting off of a lift...nobody ever had expert skiiers waitin on the lifts, complaining because you fell and waiting an extra minute or two for you to get up...and im sure nobody has ever spent a few extra minutes drinkin that last beer or sayin one last word to that woman/man at the bar you just met...

All im sayin is, before you complain about a few extra minutes waitin on a lift, not skiing...look at all the other times that day that you were not skiing, because you were doing something that "YOU" wanted to do...

I guess thats my two cents as well...
gatkinso
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
If complaining and customers leaving won't get them to change what will?
tommo
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
They may not want to change! It's entirely possible that the current owners like TL substantially as it is. While some of us would like upgraded infrastructure and faster lifts, others like the "soul" that comes with a slower pace and fewer people on the slopes. Heck, Alta for years and years stuck with fixed double and, at most, triple chairs because they liked it that way. The stated position was that they'd rather people stand in line at the lifts to keep the slopes uncrowded than to move more people to the top and have crowds on the mountain. Go figure. I think the "sunk cost" argument ultimately won over Alta to put in upgrades, but principle is much the same. In the TL case, the owner may be essentially content to have a low key, low cost operation that allows him to cater to locals, property owners, and youth/church groups. That doesn't make him evil or stupid, even though it may not fit with the model that some of us think we would prefer.

Would you trade a high speed lift for houses up and down the whole mountain? How about for twice as many people on the same number of runs? What about for a $70 lift ticket?

As for me, I don't go there but maybe once a year to ski, and I happen to love the view, the slopes, and the overall zen of the place. The rest of the time I go elsewhere (primarily Wisp, in the mid-atlantic) where they have outstanding facilities, lifts and snowmaking. But that doesn't make me angry at Timberline. I just accept them for what they provide and, honestly, I'm really glad they're still in business! It's all good
Heather
October 31, 2005
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
Zen.....is that anything like SOUL?
tgd
October 31, 2005
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
Quote:


As for me, I don't go there but maybe once a year to ski, and I happen to love the view, the slopes, and the overall zen of the place. The rest of the time I go elsewhere ... But that doesn't make me angry at Timberline. I just accept them for what they provide and, honestly, I'm really glad they're still in business! It's all good




Tommo - you have the right attitude. All this bitchin' and whining about a ski resort??? Man, you'd think we were talking about something really important like the cost of health insurance or the war or the hurricanes. Skiing is not an entitlement, ski resorts are businesses, and like most businesses should be, they are ruled by the free market. Last time I checked, we are free to ski at just about any resort in the world given the time and money. If I don't like a place, I don't go back - period. I am not a masochist. I do not like complaining. I do not like complainers. I take Timberline for what it is. The skiing is very decent for the mid-Atlantic, crowds are minimal, the ski school has done a great job with my daughter so far, and I like the overall vibe it inherits from the Valley. The customer service has done fine by me. It's worth the cost of our season passes each year, and I always feel I get my money's worth by the end of the season. Right now, Timberline fits the needs of my family and I perfectly - even with all its imperfections.

There are plenty of ski resorts in the Mid-Atlantic. Wisp, CV, Snowshoe, 7S, Massanutten, for example are either closer or nearly as close as Timberline to DC. Like Tommo said - he doesn't like the ski experience at Timberline so he skis elsewhere - end of story. Timberline could make some significant improvements to its infrastructure that would inevitably change the experience there - for better or worse , probably a bit of both. I bought property within 2 minutes of the foot of its slopes. I bought not for what I thought it could be, should be, or might be - but for what it is. I'm happy.

Jimmy - December 8th sounds good to me.
gatkinso
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
I *love* the ski experiance at TLine.

What I do not love is wasting 30-60 minutes of my day waiting for a lift to be fixed or worse doing so while dangling in a chair.

But enough of this - we all know the lifts are not that great. Some like me refuse to go there until they are upgraded, further reducing the crowds. It is all a flux of give and take... but I am taking mine to BK with its old, decrepit, and slow (but working) lifts.
JohnL
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,514 posts
Quote:

sorry guys I have been away and Ijust caught the end of this thread




LOL. El Crusho, this thread will have no end and it will be repeated endlessly like Ground Hog Day ...

Number nine, *skip*, number nine, *skip*, number nine, *skip*, number nine ...

Folks, it's just a ski area. Owned by someone other than us. Ski it if you want, or ski somewhere else. Sounds like a good bumper sticker.

I'm a lot more understanding of the situation of T-Line's ownership since a developer recently tried to convince me that there were "more practical" uses for my home and those of my neighbors in NOVA than our current single family homes. Maybe so, but this is where I live and I own the title baybe!
Roger Z
October 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Hmmmm, I think I'll get in touch with that developer John. We'll work something out and get your arse movin'... I mean, without shady eminent domain deals, how can we ever capitalize T-line enough to fix it's problems? Get out of the way of progress already!!!
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