local ski club support of ski train/bus
38 posts
14 users
15k+ views
oldensign - DCSki Columnist
April 8, 2008
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
The post on the need for ski trains and/or ski buses got me thinking. One of the reasons these efforts have failed is the lack of local support which got me thinking about ski clubs.

I have always been disappointed in local ski clubs. They have always seems more interested in promoting and selling trips to Europe,Utah and the local mixer than to the local resorts.

If these types of efforts (ski trains/bus) the locals have to step up to support it. The burden can not be just the marketing departments of the local resorts or the transport companies that are willing to sponsor this effort.

Maybe it is time for a new ski club model more focused on local skiing (discounts) and less on "singles" events.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 9, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
You have a great idea. A Ski train or a bus to a local or mid-range location would be an optimum way to keep the crowd together, minimize road mishaps, cooperate in fuel conservation and best of all... it is fun.
JohnL
April 9, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
The post on the need for ski trains and/or ski buses got me thinking. One of the reasons these efforts have failed is the lack of local support which got me thinking about ski clubs...
If these types of efforts (ski trains/bus) the locals have to step up to support it. The burden can not be just the marketing departments of the local resorts or the transport companies that are willing to sponsor this effort.


Did you support the bus service yourself? If not, why are you blaming others for not supporting it? (I actually used it one time because it made sense that weekend - but pretty much only that weekend.) Sorry for being harsh, but it is too easy to criticize without doing anything yourself.

I think the main reason the most recent effort failed (buses to Whitetail) was that there was not sufficient demand for the service. It is not up to ski clubs to create the demand.

With the convenience of four hour flex tickets at the SnoTime areas (Whitetail, Liberty, Roundtop), bus trips are not that practical unless you are taking a once a year trip with a group. I often stay only four hours and I get to choose when I want to head up based on my plans for that weekend. Buses are locked into a fixed schedule (we are talking a long haul route with a relatively limited amount of customers so a circulator route doesn't make sense.) Plus, if I want to save some gas $$, I'll carpool with friends.

I do think there may be a market for weekend bus trips to places like Snowshoe, Timberline/Canaan Valley, Wisp, 7 Springs. The drive to those places is a lot longer and more tiring. A major success factor would be whether or not enough bus customers could get by without a car during the weekend at a targeted resort.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 9, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
 Quote:
The post on the need for ski trains and/or ski buses got me thinking. One of the reasons these efforts have failed is the lack of local support which got me thinking about ski clubs...
If these types of efforts (ski trains/bus) the locals have to step up to support it. The burden can not be just the marketing departments of the local resorts or the transport companies that are willing to sponsor this effort.


Did you support the bus service yourself? If not, why are you blaming others for not supporting it? (I actually used it one time because it made sense that weekend - but pretty much only that weekend.) Sorry for being harsh, but it is too easy to criticize without doing anything yourself.

I think the main reason the most recent effort failed (buses to Whitetail) was that there was not sufficient demand for the service. It is not up to ski clubs to create the demand.

With the convenience of four hour flex tickets at the SnoTime areas (Whitetail, Liberty, Roundtop), bus trips are not that practical unless you are taking a once a year trip with a group. I often stay only four hours and I get to choose when I want to head up based on my plans for that weekend. Buses are locked into a fixed schedule (we are talking a long haul route with a relatively limited amount of customers so a circulator route doesn't make sense.) Plus, if I want to save some gas $$, I'll carpool with friends.

I do think there may be a market for weekend bus trips to places like Snowshoe, Timberline/Canaan Valley, Wisp, 7 Springs. The drive to those places is a lot longer and more tiring. A major success factor would be whether or not enough bus customers could get by without a car during the weekend at a targeted resort.



You have a point, but let's realize that there are much different economic and social pressures that may impact on the way we see things today.

For starters. Most of these noble ideas about ski bus service were around the turn of the last decade. If I remember right, there was a commercial concern in Norfolk that actually did it for a year. That was in 2000 and 2001 with gas at $1.00 to $1.20 a gallon. Today it nears $4.00 and it may be $5.00 soon. That alone may cause people to take a second look at leisure buses and other means to share the expenses.

The market is a marvelous creature. If there is a demand, it will answer with a supply. I can anticipate (theoretically) the supply may mean varied schedules and means.

As far as getting by without a car during the weekend, I have little experience in the Tline/Canaan area, but at Snowshoe you can park the beast and forget about it until you leave. As a matter of fact, and as an additional reply to some of the folks who were so adamantly against the Intrawest model, this feature may mean the expansion of the Intrawest model, however Disneyfied, only because with gas at $5 a gallon, it will definitely make economic sense for a family.

I am not wealthy, but live comfortably. Still, I have to think twice now about traveling to Snowshoe, and traveling smartly. Each trip to the Shoe from DC is now at least $60.00 in gas alone, so $120 round trip. Water and a roast chicken breast for the dog, a cappuccino or two at Aromas, a Ruben sandwich and a couple of granola bars and it is now $150 per round trip. That's compared to $40 several years ago.

That's in the context that in the last 8 years, the real income for middle class families has remained stagnant or has decreased. This means that for families, they need to find constructive means to make money stretch out to get the same leisure time and quality they had before.

I don't think the writer of the previous post, with which you disagreed, had intended for the buses to be THE one draconian measure to travel. But with gas prices and gloomy economic news on the horizon, shared leisure transport may - and will likely - experience a vigorous resurgence.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
jimmy
April 9, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Trouble with you is
The trouble with me
Got two good eyes
but we still don't see
Come round the bend
You know it's the end
The fireman screams and
The engine just gleams
JohnL
April 9, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
Most of these noble ideas about ski bus service were around the turn of the last decade. If I remember right, there was a commercial concern in Norfolk that actually did it for a year. That was in 2000 and 2001 with gas at $1.00 to $1.20 a gallon.


The Attiva shuttle to Whitetail was Winter 05-06. (Corrected earlier post - off by one year.) IIRC, this was the first time gas prices had hit $2 per gallon. There was a lot of shock at the time at how high the gas prices had gotten and how would that affect leisure travel.

Previous demand for bus operations to local ski areas has been weak. Whether $5 per gallon gas changes the demand remains to be seen. But if the demand turns out to not there, don't blame the ski clubs.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 9, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Jimmy, I just went and put 5 stars to your name... You're the new Poet Laureate of DCSki... Robert Jimmy Frost? Allen Jimmy Ginsburg? Vachel Jimmy Lindsay?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 9, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
Previous demand for bus operations to local ski areas has been weak. Whether $5 per gallon gas changes the demand remains to be seen. But if the demand turns out to not there, don't blame the ski clubs.


If that's your point, I don't think anyone intended to blame the ski clubs. Ski Clubs are a major player in the industry, however, and their support could make a difference as we become used to permanently high gas prices.
jimmy
April 9, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Thanks Lou i always wanted a pair of five stars.

"Robert Jimmy Frost? Allen Jimmy Ginsburg? Vachel Jimmy Lindsay? "

Robert Hunter \:D
JohnL
April 9, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:

If that's your point, I don't think anyone intended to blame the ski clubs.


Re-read the passage I quoted in my original post.
stoweskiingdude
April 9, 2008
Member since 09/14/2006 🔗
2 posts
You're both right. Clubs could sponsor both long and short trips of one day or several day (long weekend) duration. If not now, it will soon make sense. Recently visited family in Burlington and the price of gas made me choke. That alone will make everyone think again. Result: more buses and trains.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 9, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
Thanks Lou i always wanted a pair of five stars.

"Robert Jimmy Frost? Allen Jimmy Ginsburg? Vachel Jimmy Lindsay? "

Robert Hunter \:D


Hehehe.... You're a Rocker! http://youtube.com/watch?v=waBWGJ1kfD0

Went to see you with Jerry Garcia back in 1990 courtesy of the Pentagon...
JohnL
April 9, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Well Lou,

Hope Casey Jones doesn't pilot any of the local ski trains. But I heard the on-route refreshments don't suck too badly.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 9, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
Well Lou,

Hope Casey Jones doesn't pilot any of the local ski trains. But I heard the on-route refreshments don't suck too badly.


Casey Jones better watch his speed... There is trouble ahead and trouble behind... And a bunch of skiers in the bar car with Jimmy (aka Robert Hunter) singing "Ripple"...

Obviously the train is headed past Amherst into Vermont with its destination as MRG...

That notion did cross my mind.
Crush
April 9, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
hey i just remembered - ummm wow that's different - whatever happened to ski trips unlimited that would go to 7-springs? that was fun riding on the bus and stuff.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 9, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
jiminie, it jimmy frost of DCSki
He's a poet
His feet show it
They are longfellers (er skis)
The Colonel
Edgar3
April 10, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Would agree that the ski clubs are good way to pull together some ridership, but I still believe thay it is the resorts who should take the lead in coordinating. This way they could include multiple ski clubs as well as other methods of promotion. The key is getting the word out and filling the bus.

Let's say for example that 7S and HV actually worked together to provide some kind of bus service that ran every weekend during the season, with stops at either resort. They could work with the ski clubs to make discount bus tickets available, as well as with all the ski shops, and tie it in with their lodging reservations. They could promote on their web sites and fliers. They could even reach out to the various church and youth groups who could use such a service. I really don't think it would take much to fill the bus.

The key would also be to provide a way around the resorts while you are there without a car, but 7S is pretty self contained anyway and HV is headed there.

It would be a different situation now with higher fuel costs, than with the prior failed attempts by some transport companies, especially if it were properly promoted by the resorts and the price would be reasonable. Considering that the resorts would be bringing a bunch of "captive customers" who would ski, eat, and sleep at their facilities, even if they just broke even on the bus service they would make out in other ways.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 10, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Can you imagine the screaming if PA opened a new train station that served a couple of resorts, but failed to open others that might be close to other resorts. Same for any other states.
The Colonel
David
April 10, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Just saw this link on WG's website. Thought it was pretty relevant to this thread.

Ski Train
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 11, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Nice and thanks for posting. A Xcountry ski train. Looks like a lot of fun. A bit of a stretch to get to the departure point however.
The Colonel
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: David
Just saw this link on WG's website. Thought it was pretty relevant to this thread.

Ski Train


EXACTLY what I'm talking about. In my opinion, much of the downward spiral in civility has to do to our cloistering ourselves as nuclear family units in sulfuric acid-producing SUVs. Besides being loads of fun, a ski train brings the best in people. Good food, good friends, lots and lots of beer. And skiing at the end.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
You have a point, but Amtrak goes to Rutland to serve Killington, and also serves Stowe and the environ ski areas. Bypasses quite a few nice areas in Mass. As long as they had a central point from which the ski areas could feed customers to their villages, that would be great.

After reading the posts here, I think most of the marketing should be the effort of the resorts, but clubs and towns can help too. It would be a wonderful experience.

And again, allow pets on trains like Europe.
comprex
April 11, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

Ski bus to Whitegrass. Yes, please.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Imagine there's a ski train
Headed for Snowshoo
Canaan'n the middle
And Whitegrass area too

Imagine all the people
having all that fun

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And ride on the beer train

Imagine there's a minstrel
Up in the bar car
And a piano man
in the rest'rant car

Imagine there's no driving
Kids fighting in the back...


You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And ride on the beer train
schlittenfahrten
April 12, 2008
Member since 07/26/2005 🔗
24 posts
OH wow, John Lennon was a skier!
JimK - DCSki Columnist
April 12, 2008
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts
 Originally Posted By: schlittenfahrten
OH wow, John Lennon was a skier!


http://www.amadebreaks.com/obertauern.htm
SCWVA
April 12, 2008
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
Thanks Lou i always wanted a pair of five stars.

"Robert Jimmy Frost? Allen Jimmy Ginsburg? Vachel Jimmy Lindsay? "

Robert Hunter \:D


Hehehe.... You're a Rocker! http://youtube.com/watch?v=waBWGJ1kfD0

Went to see you with Jerry Garcia back in 1990 courtesy of the Pentagon...




"Let there be songs to fill the air"

A must for any ski trip......
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
You're making me feel like I'm back in Vermont... I think there's more dead-heads here than I thought possible with the Southern location of this forum....
David
April 12, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
You're making me feel like I'm back in Vermont... I think there's more dead-heads here than I thought possible with the Southern location of this forum....


I've got two Chemistry professors that are HUGE Dead-heads. I'm talkin tye-dye lab coats and all. They sure make for some interesting classes though...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 12, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Ah.... A fifth column of zen-searching progressives... Time is on our side....
jimmy
April 13, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
The problem with railroads is....... no competition govt subsidizes them so they can lose money. Why should there only be one bar car i wondered??? so i wandered around and found the Country Bar Car

 Quote:
I'm tired of this dirty old city.
Entirely too much work and never enough play.
And I'm tired of these dirty old sidewalks.
Think I'll walk off my steady job today.

Turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in the mountains of Montanna.
And gimme all I got comin' to me,
And keep your retirement and your so called social security.
Big City turn me loose and let me ski.



What other amenities would a sucessful ski train require, couple more bar cars, cars for sleeping dining, flat bed to carry ground transportation and something to pull it all around...instead of a motor home you could just buy u self a private car for the ski train, drop it off where ever ur going.

Edgar3
April 13, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
The amazing thing is that Amtrak already stops in Rockwood PA, just 10 min from Seven Springs & Hidden Valley. It stops for a crew change; No passengers are allowed on/off- If you want to do that you need to go to Cumberland, more than 40 mi away. So we are not talking about any significant delay in schedule.The community had even offered to pay for the station costs. And in terms of staffing, just an automated ticket machine would be more helpful than your typical Amtrak station employee.

Any commercial company transport company would be all over this and at least *try* service during the season and maybe talk to the resorts to see how they could *partner*. Words like try and partner are unknown in government circles. They are looking for "justification" as if everyone would be lined up to buy tickets for some service that they currently do not offer.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 13, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
The problem with railroads is....... no competition govt subsidizes them so they can lose money. Why should there only be one bar car i wondered??? so i wandered around and found the Country Bar Car

 Quote:
I'm tired of this dirty old city.
Entirely too much work and never enough play.
And I'm tired of these dirty old sidewalks.
Think I'll walk off my steady job today.

Turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in the mountains of Montanna.
And gimme all I got comin' to me,
And keep your retirement and your so called social security.
Big City turn me loose and let me ski.



What other amenities would a sucessful ski train require, couple more bar cars, cars for sleeping dining, flat bed to carry ground transportation and something to pull it all around...instead of a motor home you could just buy u self a private car for the ski train, drop it off where ever ur going.



On the other hand, the problem with roads is... no competition, govt subsidizes them and we build highways where there shouldn't be any... and use the program as pork, such as half billion dollar bridges for 50 people... If we treated roads the same as we treat railroads, the interstate highway system should be 100 percent toll roads. Roads should pay for themselves just like railroads should... or get the same subsidy... shouldn't they?

But back on the ski train... Yes, more bar cars, and a restaurant car. Yes, they need sleepers because I'd get one. And you know, they did used to have private train cars back then...
jimmy
April 14, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Edgar says the Train stops no one gets on/off except crew?? can't the crew make it to Cumberland to get on/off? Why is that??? because the people are in rockwood. Railroad would be looking to create new demand if it wasn't subsidized to lose money. I agree with you lou on the highway subsidies, we can't afford to maintain the interstate we have now, why build more but right now we're talking about trains. Maybe a casino car, also need a ski shop car, get a quick edge tune/wax in between resorts, next stop, SnoMountain, wooowoooo.
Roger Z
April 16, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Greetings from San Salvador... the answer to the bus problem is simple. Microbuses. These drivers are insane and they could probably turn a profit for .50 cents each way to Canaan Valley and back, assuming we don't (as we're won't to do) regulate them to death. Assuming you don't die on the ride, riding on a microbus is one of the most exhilirating experiences you can have not skiing. Picture a roller coaster with no safety features or engineering design specifications, add loud Latin music and a guy hanging off the side screaming where you're going ("Canaan! Canaan! We're going to Canaan!!!").

Yes, I'm now of the opinion that the United States should scrap the entire public transportation system and just allow microbuses to run everywhere. In a little over a week, I've only been in two near-accidents and one breakdown on three rides, so it's not that bad!
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 16, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
LOL... Roger you took me back to my assignments in Caracas and Bogotá. Micros are the rage. in Bogotá, the Regional Security Office terminantely forbade us from even looking at the micros. Which of course that action immediately got the Embassy staff wondering that it must be a fun way of traveling. My office employees traveled by micro, or buseta; my home staff traveled by micro, and I often escaped the Big Brother eye of our bodyguards and did it myself.

The amazing thing about it is the organized state of chaos in which the microbus system seems to run. These systems do work.

The most amazing urban transportation makeover I ever saw happened in Latin America too. Bogotá, a city of over 10 million at roughly 9 thousand feet altitude, (airport is at 8400) was choking with smoke and fumes. Then an old hippie college professor, Antanas Mockus, became the mayor. Within five years, they adopted a totally new transportation policy that actually reduced the space for cars in the city. http://www.rideforclimate.com/journals/wp-gallery2.php?g2_itemId=2119 The result was lowering of the crime rate by 50 percent and a massive increase in civic pride. The city also started closing down main avenues (now up to 150 miles of city roads) and turning them into bikeways either part time or full time. And the city government launched a major campaign for people, rich and poor, to bike to work. If anyone has been to Bogotá lately, chime in, but the city has become an open air garden and a pleasure to visit. Yes, there are large segments of poor neighborhoods, but the central part of Bogota now resembles more a European city on the Mediterranean than the paradigm of a city in Latin America.

Quito, Ecuador, also took it upon themselves to do major infrastructure changes. As the city is roughly a narrow, long, rectangular plateau at 9,500 feet, with north/south avenues running the extent of the city, they decided to close one of the two main avenues and put trolleys. It worked like a champ.

In both cities the change has also resulted in major improvements in health. In Bogotá, for example, you can spend a week and in that time frame, you can count the number of obese people in one hand.

And... Disfruta de tu visita al país de tu señora - Centro América es un lugar muy acogedor.
Roger Z
April 22, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Well it looks like we're back to agreeing for the time being, Lou. \:\) My take on Central (and probably, by extension, South) America is that it is today what the American west was 100 years ago: the land of opportunity. I was absolutely rocked by what I saw down there, and all the possibilities that the region holds. I've never seen anything like it my life. It's sad, it's happy, it's friendly, it's incredible.

Right now I'm not sure about Bogota (in part because planners are starting to jump on it as aggressively as they did Portland, OR, which got mentioned so much in planning school I grew to hate it, just because it got mentioned so much- great, OR has growth boundaries. No other state in the U.S. does. So how exactly will hearing about OR's boundaries twice a day for two straight years help planners elsewhere???), but you've got me thinking a lot about how to develop the tourism infrastructure or, at the very least, less pollution, in downtown San Salvador. And it struck me today: ethanol. El Salvador's largest crop is sugar cane, about half of it is used for export. Why not divert a portion of that to a public bus transportation system that is E85, E90, or E100 even? Sure, the cars aren't ready for it, but heck the U.S. could donate the buses if we wanted, and it would go a long way not only to lowering the cost of bus service in San Salvador (according to a couple websites I saw, producing ethanol from sugar cane is less expensive than producing gasoline from oil right now), but help reduce pollution as well.

Just one of about 10,000 opportunities there are down there, in my opinion...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 23, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Mark it in the calendar. We agree twice on the same thread...

The issues of urbanization and gas usage are global. As well as tourism infrastructure that affects us as skiers/boarders. IF we devoted a small part of the foreign assistance pot to ensure fuel efficient infrastructure and self-sustaining tourism, it would come back to us in the form of better oil supply and less pollution worldwide.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.15 seconds