Mt. Bachelor attempts to win back skiers

| Print |  Email
Archives - February 2009
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

Healthcare pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president.


Read more...

The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014
pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


Read more...

Political Clout

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


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