NEWS ABOUT HIDDEN VALLEY!!?
November 8, 2006
Give Scott a thumbs-up for the interview he just posted on the home page...headlines.
He talked with Kettler about Hidden Valley and asked several gently probing questions. I am sure the answers will not satisfy most of the HV concerns voiced on DCSki, but there is a bit more info and we all owe Scott a "thank you" for getting the interview.
I concur with your post COL. Props to Mr. Kettler for submitting to it. It adds to the stature of DCSki to land direct input from industry sources like this. Hope interview will be greeted with civility.
Thank you to Scott and Mr. Kettler for opening a dialog. The Kettler's have done an amazing job in developing the resort most would agree. The development of the resort housing has been done very sensitively - preserving the wooded resort environment such that even townhouse owners have their residence surrounded by woods. The ponds, the walking trails, the architecture, etc are outstanding amenities. My wife and I are considering retiring at HV for these reasons. Most of us have a strong connection to the resort, thus the passonate feelings expressed on this website by the folks who work, ski, golf and own real estate at Hidden Valley. That said, the tough questions that were expressed in more than 50 pages of Forum comments that have since been removed, were not asked by Scott. The main concerns expressed by these folks are:
1) Why are the Resort facilities not being maintained? As expressed by more than a few poster and the vast majority of HV residents, a paint job on the ski lodge, chair lifts, lift shacks is not a high cost item. Why is maintenance of these facilities being deferred?
2) During the past few months, I have attended a wine festival and a crafts festival at 7Springs. These 'promotional' type activities attract customers to the resort. Hidden Valley used to have these promotional activities. Additionally, Mr. Kettler mentions the Laurel Highlands Visitor's Bureau in the interview. Yet, Hidden Valley is not even mentioned on their website or not one add is included in the guide book that they publish. Other ski areas have more dynamic websites, webcams, etc to create interest, not so at HV. Why is there such a lack of creativity in promoting the resort?
3) The manager of the resort told members of the community at a community meeting, that it is none of our business how the Resort is run. His condescending attitude at community meetings has angered and alienated many Resort residents. Why not address residents concerns in an honest and respectful way. Given the failure of the inn, conference business, restuarants, etc, why hasn't the Resort manager been held accountable?
4) The Resort owed millions in back taxes, had a large lien filed against the Resort by Penelec for non-payment of the electric bill. Additionally, despite the success of conference centers, hotels and restuarants at adjacent resorts, Seven Springs, Wisp and Nemacolon Woods, Hidden Valley has been unable to be financially successful at these activities. The conference center has not been renovated in many years and looks shabby at best, thus discouraging conference and catering business. In short, what happened to the finances of the resort? Have you turned the corner? Why is it that these other resorts are successful at these same activities and HV is not?
5) The Boston Culinary Group has been running the restuarants at the Resort for several years. Despite the prime location on Route 31 and the continued success of the nearby Laurel Mountain Inn, they have not had a full time succesful restuarant operation.My initial experiences with Dundees were positive (had 2 excellent New Years' dinners, liked the wine bar, friendly bar), however, the restuarant service was poor and no one resembling a manager was ever present at the restuarant. The only eating place that residents have during non-ski times is a snack bar at the golf course. If the Boston Culinary Group can't get the job done, why not replace them?
6) The Buncher Group is propssing a high end resort on the land abutting HV. This will create new customers for HV, Have you been in contact with the Buncher Group to develop a cooperative and beneficial relationship to help take advantage of these opportunities?
These are some of the tough questions that I would have asked. We all love HV and don't understand why HV management is not recognizing that HV is a 'diamond in the rough' with untapped potential and not creatively pursuing profitable business oppurtunities. I am excited that we may have some new ski trails in the 'Outback' area in the not too distant future. I believe that the terrain here will fully utilize all of the verical and may also be the steepest terrain on the mountain, thus providing the additional challenge that we all crave. Hopefully this will create new opportunities on Route 31 for retail and restuarant activities.
We all want HV to be successful and look forward to an outstanding ski season.
Props to everyone! Snowsmith you are right on again.