Sponsored by Lane Powell
Home Archives February 2009 Mt. Bachelor attempts to win back skiers

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

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Downtime

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.


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