Kettler Brother's Logging
Our friends at Hidden Valley management must need some hard cash again. They started logging again behind the South Ridge condos. If you'll all remember, they informed us that they were doing us a favor the last time, getting rid of those bad old trees near our homes.
Taking from Peter to pay Paul.
Is it in the area of the soon to be built condos? Or somewhere else?
I believe Snowsmith is referring to an area on South Ridge Drive right before you enter Stonewood. It is nowhere near the new North Summit Condominium project. There is a rudimentary gravel road where this new logging is located so it could be a potential site for new single family homes (something along the lines of a Pines Phase IV), but with Hidden Valley, you never know. There is nothing new in terms of real estate offerings on their website, however.
This latest round of destructive logging is, more than likely, just another grab for cash. Timber prices are way up these days, especially for Cherry and Maple. And, should the logs be large enough to make fine veneer, you can really make a ton of money! While logging (at ski areas) can puts lots of easy cash into the pockets of the owners, it usually HARMS the resort's long-term prospects. I have never seem a ski area that engaged in extensive logging that was better off (in terms of skier visits and the quality of skiing). Furthermore, if logging (for profit only) was such a good idea, then nearly all ski areas around the country would be engaging in it. Hard-core industrial resource extraction (like logging) and skiing simply don't mix!
Not only does it harm the potential future for the resort what about the millions of dollars people have invested in real estate?
Lots of logging can really harm real estate values at a resort because people tend to look at a second home (in the mountains) as an escape....a place to enjoy the natural beauty. If the natural beauty at a resort is compromised by logging, the place looks far less inviting and people are more likely to buy a house or condo elsewhere, which, of course, sends prices down.....or, at the very least, keeps prices from going up.
Exactly, folks buy resort real estate for that woodsy, resort atmosphere. If you log the place you destroy that atmosphere. The lunkheads at HV management either don't get that or they don't care. I think it is the later.
The worst thing is that the money being made logging is not going back into the resort to improve it. It appears that none of the money being made at the resort is going back into improving it for the future. It obviously had enough people staying at the Inn to run up a hotel tax. The money was there to pay for the hotel tax but where did it go? Add on to that a management team that can't figure out the connection between good all around customer service and success. The web site for today still had the weather posted from three days ago. This place could be making some money if the simplest things were corrected. Pay the devil but not at the expense of collapsing the resort. This place is cutting its head off very fast. Please get someone in there that has some ideas and thoughts and passion about this place. It doesn't take money to accomplish great ideas, it takes the right people with the enthusiasm to get things done.
Fred - you saw Scotts 'soft toss' interview with Jim Kettler. What did you see?
Many people who contribute to the Hidden Valley pages have made similiar comments but I thought that it was a lot of smoke and fog. The weather isn't that limiting anymore for a four seasons resort. There are many activities in other seasons than winter that compliment the resorts success. Additionally, other activties are not taking kids away from the ski slopes. I think with snowboards, terrain parks and versatile skis that the participation in these age groups are up, just not at HV because of obvious reasons. It makes me angry because the problems going on at Hidden Valley are in the majority personality problems not just money problems.
[post edited by Scott -- please remember that the DCSKi forums cannot be used to launch personal attacks against private individuals, and profanity is not permitted. Those are about the only two rules, and this message failed on both counts.]
The mid-Atlantic ski resort industry has always been a very competitive business. However, I think that we've entered an even more challenging phase. The weather seems to be less dependable, making high-tech, state-of-the-art snowmaking systems a must; plus, a solid terrain park and tubing park are now a virtual necessity. Also, a few large ski areas are gobbling up a hefty percentage of the customers. So, it's not surprising that some of the smaller ski areas (like HV) are looking for "creative" ways to make money, including natural resource (standing timber) extraction, which, in many cases, doesn't have anything to do with skiing or recreation. It's my thinking that this approach could back-fire in the long run, of course time will tell.
Haven't contributed much lately (primarily because I've been overwhelmed at work)but I feel compelled to respond to this thread, and others, re: add'l logging at HV.
As a homeowner, I would greatly prefer that 'inappropriate'
logging does not occur. But as an 'objective' observer I have to ask: "have you taken a good look at 7Springs?' I considered buying at 7S but when I looked at the top of the mountain it reminded me of your typical suburban highrise & asphalt apartment complex-- they must have bulldozed the entire top of that mountain early in it's development. When I golf HV, the fairwys are mostly lined with (no longer quite as) thick woods. 7Springs fairways are mostly separated by a single, thin row of trees. Just some perspective here!
By the way, i did have the opportunity to take a few runs at HV yesterday and this morning. Although only rambler and the beginners area were opened I was surprised by how skiable they were given the weather conditions. I think they are at least trying thir best. Once the weather turns, as Scott said in another thread, I hope we will all turn out to support HV and ALL other midatlantic resorts!
I agree. HV has done a much better job of developing the resort real estate. That's what makes the place. They have preserved alot of vegetation around the developed areas giving that resort atmosphere. However, just because 7S does it, doesn't make it a good thing. I just think it is sad that they have to rely on logging to make money. If the resort were run as well as 7S, they wouldn't need to log.
Up until last year, I have always thought that the snow making and grooming at HV were well done. Last yeat I think their poor financial condition limited what they could do. I heard they made a commitment to operating the ski area this year. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has been completely uncooperative and the long range (next 15 days) doesn't look very promising. I am a season pass holder, thus I am somewhat depressed that I can't use it.This weather pattern sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree. When we were looking to buy about 15 years ago, we took 7 Springs off the list because they essentially leveled the top of the mountain and added condos. Also, at the time, the swimming pool seemed to emerge from their parking lot. I was impressed that HV did have a couple of slopes open this week, and we enjoyed ourselves skiing them. Unfortunately, due to the uncooperative weather, HV is "closed until the weather improves."
I'm dieing to go skiing. I also have a season pass. Unfortunately I could not wait and I have schedule a week long trip in Colorado for the last week of January. As soon as the weather allows HV to open some terrain, I'll be back for sure. I did ski there the weekend of 12/10 and they had snow making on the main runs in progress. I am sure that this hurts the business at the restuarants. And as someone said, the employees who staff the ski operation have no income. I just read a report about the Alps in Europe where they are experiencing a similar problem. This is not a good winter for skiers overall, I would say.
I have looked at the 7Springs condos and concluded that HV offers a better real estate product although the Springs is a better ski area. HV land planning was done by Clarence Kettler who is well respected in this field. He did an excellent job.
I agree that the logging is unfortunate and unnecessary for a profitable resort operation and it has only alienated their main customer base, the homeowners. It's just plain bad business in my opinion.