Change at Snowshoe.... for the better?
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lbotta - DCSki Supporter
October 30, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,528 posts
Pocohontas Times, the local paper, carried this news (link at http://www.pocahontastimes.com/localnew.html ) You have to scroll to the 4th or 5th story....

Last time I went up there (two weekends ago) the news was the talk of the county. My take is that some, if not most of the attrition was corporate in nature, outside the authority of the present management. For example, the retail buyer, who had been there almost since the resort opened, was let go as Intrawest is consolidating their buying in Vermont. I have mixed feelings as FINALLY they had got it right and their clothing selection for this year almost approximates the upscale nature of their clientele. They finaly had dumped Columbia and started carrying the latest Spyder and Obermier.

Hard to see good people go. But still, Snowshoe has a way to go in customer support. The Snowshoe-owned retail and restaurants STILL are way below service and customer satisfaction compared with the non-Intrawest. The only really good breakfast on the mountain is still six miles away at the base. There is no brunch on Sunday. If you want to get eggs and ham after 1100 on Sunday you have to make a scene and call the manager.

I am hopeful that Snowshoe will get its act together finally under Mr. Rock. It is an awesome mountain. But it is in a period of transition. We'll see how they play the game of risk.

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

Resort attempts to cut costs ahead of season

Drew Tanner
Staff Writer
Snowshoe Mountain Resort announced the layoff of seven management-level employees October 16, little more than a month before skiers are due to hit the slopes.
The announcement came one day before stockholders of Canadian parent company Intrawest voted to approve a $2.76 billion buyout by U.S. private equity fund Fortress Investment Group.
That sale was not a direct cause of the cost-cutting measures, said Snowshoe General Manager Bill Rock, but it did prompt Intrawest executives to take a hard look how the company does business.
"A question we get a lot is 'did Fortress make you do this?' And they didn't," said Rock. "They don't own us right now, but as they looked at our business and as we went through the due diligence process with all the various suitors of the company, we found that we didn't stack up as well as we could, necessarily, from a cost-side perspective."
Those who were laid off were offered competitive severance packages given the option of coming back to the company in other roles, said the general manager.
Rock, who is starting his second season at Snowshoe, said that despite the corporate mandate from Intrawest to cut costs due to forecasts of a down season and a slow summer at Snowshoe Mountain, the resort is preparing for a strong winter.
"There's no hiring freeze; it's not like we're scaling down for the season," said Rock. "Actually, we're scaling up for the season."
Currently, Snowshoe Mountain employs approximately 380 people, according to Andrea Smith, the resort's communication's coordinator. As the season peaks, Smith said, the resort's payroll will swell to 1,200 employees.
Despite the layoffs and cost-cutting measures, the resort also announced that many employees would get raises in the near future.
"Over a three-year period most people are going to get about a 75-cent-per-hour raise," Rock said. "Some people will get 50 cents this year. It's basically a recognition that we need to offer a competitive wage."
"One thing we've recognized for some time is that our compensation plan needed to be changed," Rock added. "We had planned for it, we budgeted for it, and we expected that we would implement it this week.
While Intrawest has said that advance bookings for lodging and season ski passes are down company wide, Snowshoe's own numbers appears to be up.
"For us, our winter actually looks pretty encouraging right now," Rock said.
If those numbers hold up, it may end a slump that, according to Rock, has seen the resort miss its targets for the last three or four years.
Last year, the resort logged just under 500,000 skier visits. On its busiest days, as many as 9,000 to 10,000 people converge on the resort, effectively doubling the population of Pocahontas County.
The resort plans to open for its 2006-2007 winter season November 22.
schlittenfahrten
October 30, 2006
Member since 07/26/2005 🔗
24 posts
Been to Snowshoe several times now. Agree with the lack of quality in the people amenities. For the price, I didn't think I got my money's worth. I'm optimistic about Snowshoe's future if the GM has a good plan AND the corporation lets him run the show.

Having said that, there is no better place to ski in the mid atlantic.
wolverine
October 30, 2006
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
"there is no better place to ski in the mid atlantic" ???

1- West Virginia is not in the Mid-Atlantic
2- Ski Magazine rates 7S over SS every time!
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
October 30, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,528 posts
Hate to burst your bubble Mr wolverine but I have to come to Schlitten's defense. The US Geological Survey, the ultimate governmental authority on the geographical divisions of this great country of ours, considers the Mid Atlantic as the following: States of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, and its website has links to each State. To top it off, , many other Government agency apart from USGS, such as EPA, FEMA, etc., has WV within their mid Atlantic area. http://geology.er.usgs.gov/states/

As far as SS vs 7S, I respect your opinion as well as the snow sleddin dude. It's a matter of personal judgement. The Ski Magazine ratings do count many factors in its evaluations, but they are as authoritarian as anyone writing here. I agree with you in that Seven Springs is a wonderful resort but with only 750 vertical and 31 trails, they lack the staying power of Snowshoe's 1500 vertical and 57 trails. Again, I have enjoyed 7S tremendously but to dismiss someone else's claim goes on the "Ad Vericundiam" logical category.

Just my two cents.
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Tucker
October 30, 2006
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
I kindly disagree... Timberline has a huuuuge sign on the side of their lodge above the ticket window that says "Timberline Ski Capital of the Mid-Atlantic"...therefore WV must be in the Mid-Atlantic...and also therefore timberline must be the number one place to ski...since it is the capital...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
October 30, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,528 posts
Yeah Tucker! Move over Washington! The Capital is now Timberline!
jimmy
October 30, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Quote:

The Capital is now Timberline!




Ya Lou but in 39 dayz tline will be The Center of the Universe ........mine anyways.

From a skiers perspective i don't think 7S comes that close to SS, maybe familiarity breeds contempt, but if i had a couple of days to ski i'd rather go to Snowshoe as far as the skiing goes. We day ski 7 Springs quite a bit,



1-3/4 hours one way,


makes for a nice ski day .



anyways I just think Snowshoe could learn a lot about running a resort form 7 Springs. Change at Snowshoe.... for the better? depends on if they change?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
October 31, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,528 posts
Quote:


anyways I just think Snowshoe could learn a lot about running a resort form 7 Springs. Change at Snowshoe.... for the better? depends on if they change?





Now we're talking...

I would hope that the GM (Rock) would seek to emulate different success models in the Mid Atlantic, chief among which is 7S. While I absolutely prefer SS over 7S in the skiing amount, snowfall and quality of snow, that is only one of the factors that make for a memorable vacation. And while the operations end of SS mountain is above par, the customer service part leaves much to be desired.
fishnski
October 31, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
I wish I could say it as Clear as Ibotta & crew..I Admire Wolverines defense of 7S But Growing up Skiing in PA with all those Leafless Sticks Just didn't match up to the real Mtn Feel & look you get With the Wild & wonderfull Red Spruce up in the West Va Alps!! Skiing down a run at Silvercreek You could imagine that you were up in a back bowl in vail!!
Ullr
October 31, 2006
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

Skiing down a run at Silvercreek You could imagine that you were up in a back bowl in vail!!




Funny, I never got that feeling when I was there.
kwillg6
October 31, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,040 posts
Everybody knows me as a t-line affectiono, however, some of my best skiing experiences as a paying customer have been at the shoe. The pure size, elevation, snow quality, and lift capacity give it the nod over any other mid atlantic ski area, including those in the pocono area. The rap of poor customer service against the shoe in this thread has always been the major problem there. Fifteen years ago when a busy day skied 5000 (1500 at the creek) they had a hard time keeping up with the crowds. The place hasn't grown it's customer service enough to accomodate double the amount of skiers. And a major part of the problem at the shoe is finding and retaining quality help as you would expect in a destination resort. Another problem which will never go away is the "no easy way to get there" issue. Most skiers will put up with the winding roads if they can expect a quality experience while at a resort. Maybe the new management team can correct the inherent deficencies, maybe not. Regardless, the shoe has potential. They just need to work through this latest upheavel.
fishnski
October 31, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Take off the shades..Lighten up on the tint of those Goggles..You are not a blind skier..If so I apologize..If not, then if all else fails...Inhale!!Just say YES it just might work...In moderation My Good fellow Norskey friend!
Ullr
October 31, 2006
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
October 31, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,528 posts
Well... for me not as much, but let's put it this way, being one of the only ten or fifteen skiers in the western runs at Silver Creek is an exilarating experience. Silver Creek is a little hidden treasure.
snowcone
October 31, 2006
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Lou has it right. Silver Creek is the way to go. Its amazing how empty the runs can be there. The Basin or Cupp during prime time are an exercise in broken field running on skis and the lift lines are horror stories. The only run on the SS side of the mountain that was half way decent was Widowmaker and now I imagine that will be Cupp redux with the new hispeed quad ... ewwww!

Best program is do a quick run of the Basin when the ropes drop, head over to Cupp for 1st runs right when it opens and then spend the rest of the day at practically deserted Silver Creek.

Can't wait!
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
November 1, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
I just noticed that the Snowshoe website has packages that are Silver Creek lift tickets only...interesting?
The Colonel
Roy
November 1, 2006
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I skied Silver Creek for the first time last year. We did a couples trip up and the other couple had a 2 1/2 year old child (who we got skiing, turning, and riding the lifts for about an hour).

They would take turns babysitting and when the women watched the kid, me and my buddy went to Silver Creek for night skiing. Unfortunately, the blacks were closed at night but the blues where great cruiser runs and nobody was on them. It was great to go to the shoe and ski something different.
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