Mt. Bachelor attempts to win back skiers

| Print |  Email
Sunday, February 01, 2009

MtBachelorSki.jpg Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort has been criticized for poor maintenance and high prices.

BEND It was one of the most important days of the season for Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, midway between Christmas and New Year’s, and the conditions were not pretty. The wind was howling, the snow resembled cement, visibility was virtually non-existent and the ski bums were getting edgy. As the Pine Marten chair lift shut down once again for repairs, a chant rose up in the lift line: “Re-FUND, re-FUND, re-FUND!”


A mountain employee stepped forward to explain that the conditions were unavoidable given the ferocity of the storm, and workers were scrambling to get things running again. His style was direct and laid-back, helping to deflate the tension immediately. After he had left a skier identified the employee as Dave Rathbun, who was hired as Bachelor’s president and general manager last July as part of a management shakeup that sent four executives packing after a sub-par 2007-2008 season.

“He’s got a heck of a job ahead of him,” said the skier.

“He’s trying to run the place better, I’ll give him that,” said another skier. “It couldn’t get much worse.”

Mt. Bachelor is Central Oregon’s most powerful tourist attraction and the fifth-largest ski resort in North America, charging $69 per skier per day on peak days and weekends. It is also one of eight resorts operated by POWDR Corp of Park City, Utah. Local skiers criticize POWDR for not investing in upgrades and maintenance for lifts and grooming while raising prices ambitiously. The dissatisfaction spilled over a year ago with a barrage of complaints and a 7% drop in sales.

Rathbun and his team have sought to thaw customer relations by improving the accuracy of weather and conditions reports, tackling deferred maintenance and offering special discounts. They also have hinted at major upgrades to lifts and lodges and even the eventual possibility of slope-side lodging, an important amenity that Mt. Bachelor lacks because of Forest Service regulations.

It may or may not pay off, given the bleak economic forecast for Central Oregon. But things were certainly looking brighter the following day, when the sun reappeared to display a gorgeous mountain blanketed with fresh powder. By mid-morning the parking lots were full and visitors were being turned away. For the skiers and snowboarders who made it up early, it was a pleasant reminder of why some 2 million visitors a year pay big money to ski Oregon.

BEN JACKLET



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Comments   

 
Douglas
-1 #1 RE: Mt. Bachelor attempts to win back skiersDouglas 2012-04-05 10:34:14
The issue of VERY POOR grooming DEFINITELY needs to be addressed. It's a SEA of moguls, as far your eyes can see. For snowboarders- it's a back edge day, if it's not deep powder. WORK! The treatment of the clientele, has been terrible for a while, so I really hope new management cleans that up, as well as substandard run maintenance. Over the last 5 years, I've had A LOT of time there. I've been very disappointed. It's sad, because it's a long drive to get there, too.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Store Bought

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened its third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; another outpost in Bend broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.


Read more...

5 stats about Oregon fireworks

The Latest
Thursday, June 18, 2015
fireworksthumb001BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Apartment Mania

Guest Blog
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4805983977 11466ce1d6 zBY BRAD HOULE | CFA

While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.

0315 input01 620px

 

Reader comments:

"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."

"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

Greenpeace prevents Shell oil ship from leaving Portland

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
hangersBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Activists have suspended themselves from the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, slowing an icebreaker's departure for the Arctic.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS