Snowshoe Logistics
14 posts
8 users
1k+ views
(Anonymous)
January 27, 2004
I just wanted to report on our trip this past weekend and alert folks to some of the frustrations we found at Snowshoe.

In short, the place is rather disorganized with ill-informed and less-than-completely helpful people at every turn.

Our first mistake was staying at the bottom of the mountain hotel--the Snowshoe Inn. While economical, this hotel offers no access to the upper mountain, forcing you to drive. That would be fine, except for the parking situation at the top of the mountain.

All (general) parking is at the Top of the Mountain area, as is general resort registration. That sounds helpful, but if you don't own equipment, you have to go to another location (in our case Spruce Lodge) to pick up your equipment. But there's no place to park there. Furthermore, while Spruce Lodge is at the heart of all the lifts, the lift that serves the Top of the Mountain is far removed from most other trails.

I learned from other folks on the lifts that there are at least 2 or 3 other rental places, and that people were frequently given mis-information on where to find their equipment.

Shuttle buses? Yes, I guess they were running. I saw a couple of them. They sure didn't seem very frequent or commonplace.

Staff members did little if anything to explain the complex logistics of checking in, getting lift tickets, getting rentals, parking, and shuffling around to the various locations we were forced to visit. Actually, most of them provided vague answers and acted a little annoyed that we didn't know where to go and what to do.

Then there was the odd phenomenon of the "superfluous staff member". At each desk we visited (the resort registration desk, the equipment rental, an information counter at Silver Creek, and our hotel registration desk) there sat at least one person who did nothing, just sitting, ignoring the customers backing up in line. If these people were on break, they should take their breaks out of view of the annoyed customers. If they were somehow on duty, then they shouldn't be there.

In our ignorance and frustration, we actually ended up at Silver Creek the first day, which was a place where we could park and get changed without going to our hotel first (we arrived around mid-day).

Having suffered through all of this, I think Snowshoe should do the following:

1. Provide a shuttle from Snowshoe Inn (even if infrequent) or don't purport to include that facility as part of the resort.

2. Increase the number of shuttles.

3. Increase customer service training for staff.

4. Print detailed instructions in the registration package on where to go and what to do when you get there. The e-mail updates were not exactly informative.

5. Coordinate equipment rental locations with lodging locations.

JR
January 27, 2004
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
I feel for you. It is a big resort and you don't get a whole heck of a lot of information when you check in to let you know whats where. The Top of the World check in had a big snowboard and ski rental area at the beginning of the year that i would guess is still there but then again, there probably wasn't much in the way of signs that would let you know if you didn't already.

As for the Inn, yeah, its a joke. Its like staying 15 minutes from the resort in another town. Everyone has either been burned by that place or learned from someone elses burn, its worth the extra bucks to stay up top.

The shuttle buses, well I've used them a couple times and they do seem a little disorganized. Nothing is posted to let you know where the bus is going to unless you ask the driver. It usually makes it to where your going but the trip from Shavers center to top of the world back to shavers and then to Silver creek is 45 probably. Get on the wrong bus and your in for a long ride.

Basically they need to give overnighters a page or 2 pamphlet that lets them know where everything is, the best way to get there, and who to contact if you are totally lost.

Write them a letter and let them know just how frustrating everything was. Make it short and to the point.

It seems to me that over the past 3 years that i've been going that they have made big strides in correcting some of the little problems like this that can add up and make a trip there really annoying. I think constructive comments will really help them to improve ones stay there. Don't give up, its really can be a fun place, i promise.

ski_guy_59
January 27, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001
221 posts
Nova, I'm sorry your trip didn't go as smoothly as you had hoped.

The shuttle busses run every fifteen minutes or so - given the conditions, they might run slower at times.

Top of the World was expanded for this season. For skiiers staying at the Inn, this is the place to park. It is considered the day skiier parking lot. After exiting your vehicle, head towards the shaver's center. You will notice Top of the World at the edge of the parking lot. Go down the stairs, through a hallway, and you will see the rental shop. It is clearly marked.

All staff members I have come in contact with at Snowshoe have been very helpful and friendly. I'm sorry you didn't have the best experience.

gatkinso
January 28, 2004
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
It is always a good idea to never rent from the resort itself. Crappy equipment, long lines, expensive.

If you don't own, then I have found the best bet is to rent from a shop preferably not near the resort. Keep in mind that if you ski twice a season, your equipment purchase will pay for itself quickly in quality, time not spent in line, and pride.

Also, some resorts sell tickets thru local ski shops - that is the place to buy them even if they are a few bucks more (and often times they are discounted). Also, packing a cooler with subs, beer, soda, and munchies is a good idea: while you will still eat out it saves a lot of time and money to have something on hand.

To summarize: the resort is useful for three things - a lift, a ride from the parking lot, and a room. The rest of the services they provide are more of a PITA than anything else.

VTSkibum
January 28, 2004
Member since 01/18/2004
11 posts
Easy on the busses there man. I drove a transit bus for a few years and I've seen this on all levels.. READ the front of the bus. We put signs up there for where we are going, or our purpose. I do realize that the shuttle service needs some reworking.. everyone on this mountain is aware of that but they have made great improvements over the past few years.

Sorry your experience was not as pleasant as it should have been.

-Think Snow

kennedy
January 28, 2004
Member since 12/8/2001
792 posts
I'm heading to snowshoe next week with a group of 18 people, thats right 18. This my third year organizing a big trip and it runs like silk. The key is to know how the resort works and to be honest it will take a trip or two to get this.

Snowshoe has high volume to avoid this mess it is critical to take as much of the responsibility away from the resort as you can. This year I'm advising everyone to get rentals here before they leave, it costs the same anyway but you don't wait in line for an hour.

Get your lift tickets before you leave, you still have to go to a ticket window to cash them in but at last they are bought and paid for so no screwing around on the first day.

I agree with staying on top of the mountain. I've stayed there before and it's okay if it's just one or two. The big downside is when you want to go party it up at the village and you have to have designated drivers. On the hill you can always shuttle or walk.

I love the Shoe but you have to know how to work it.

(Anonymous)
January 28, 2004
Thanks for all of your responses and encouragement. I had definitely decided on renting pre-trip next time -- makes a lot of sense (owning equipment with small kids doesn't seem to make sense).
ski_guy_59
January 28, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001
221 posts
Unless you get your kids' gear at ski swaps for real cheap, you'll shell out a good chunk of change every year or two. Rent for now, consider buying gear for yourself though if you're serious about the sport
JR
January 28, 2004
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
Actually, i asked a worker at one of our local shops here in Morgantown WV why people would buy equipment for kids and they said they had a swap program where every year you trade your kids equipment in on a different set. I think there was a small fee each year you traded. You didn't get brand new equipment but you basically got a set that was only used a couple times each season so they were still in great shape. I don't know how many places actually do this but it'd be a great deal if you can find it.
JR
January 28, 2004
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
For any history nerds out there, if you go to skinc.com they have a 30th anniversary video on snowshoe with interviews from Dr. Brigham and another guy that was there in the beginning. They have some old pics and some neat stories.
gatkinso
January 29, 2004
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
that is true about the little ones - my 8 month old outgrows outfits seemingly once a week!
TOMF
January 29, 2004
Member since 11/17/2003
60 posts
Hey CJP, check out the Ski Chalet's trade-up program for kids 12 and under. It let's you get "new" (previously used by some other kid in the program) equipment at a reasonable price as a child grows. My three kids were in that program. My son went through 4 or 5 sets of equipment and it didn't cost us a fortune.
dmh
January 29, 2004
Member since 12/11/2003
127 posts
What, precisely, do "reasonable price" and "not a fortune" mean?
TOMF
January 29, 2004
Member since 11/17/2003
60 posts
DMH, you are asking me to recall detalis from 4 or 5 years ago. I can't really do it. I do know that my feeling at the time was that we could provide a kid with larger skis, boots, and bindings through the trade-up program for much less than it would have cost us to buy that equipment new. Maybe it was $200 to equip a 10 year-old intermediate skier. But don't quote me on that.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.14 seconds