Home Back Issues February 2010 Snow season starts strong, then rain hits the slopes

Snow season starts strong, then rain hits the slopes

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
mtb_groomer
Mt. Bachelor's snow pack was at 55 inches in early January; 100-150 inches is normal.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MT. BACHELOR

Money fell early from the sky for many of the state’s winter sport hot spots, but rain and warm weather have melted what may have been a promising season for robust sales.

Many of the state’s ski resorts opened at least one month early to take advantage of the early snowfall. Dave Tragethon, marketing director for Mount Hood Meadows, says that gave Mount Hood Meadows a jump on sales that had suffered from the recession.

Alex Kaufman, director of marketing at Mt. Bachelor near Bend, says the snow pack on the mountain has “receded a bit” as a result, but “weather hiccups” are something that ski resorts always plan for and expect. The few days of rain from mid-January also do not make opening a month early a bad financial decision. Mt. Bachelor’s snowpack was at 55 inches on Jan. 11; normally it would be between 100 and 150 inches.

“Being open early is different than a couple of days of rain,” he says. “That provides a lot of momentum and gets the phone ringing.”

John Tullis of Timberline Lodge says the rain — unusual for this time of year — compacted the snow pack, making for better skiing. “You just never know what happens in the ski season,” Tullis says. Timberline’s snowpack was at 70 inches on Jan. 11, “a little behind average,” according to Tullis.

Tullis says that he still expects to finish the season with better lodging numbers than last year despite the recent warm weather. Over the Christmas holidays, Timberline Lodge was at 100% occupancy. Currently, he estimates it is at 80% occupancy, which is a normal slump during the time period immediately after the holidays.

Rick Saul, marketing director for Mt. Ashland, said the early snowstorms did not affect Mt. Ashland because they were coming from the north. A storm around New Year’s added 17 inches to the snowpack, which almost immediately melted after two days of rain. Mt. Ashland’s snowpack, at 90 inches, is well below the average of 280 cumulative inches.

Sales for Mt. Ashland’s after-school ski programs are “down a little bit from last year,” although Saul blames that on district budgeting and changes in school hours.

Karen Siegle, executive director of Ski Oregon, predicts the winter tourism season likely will continue to have momentum because of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. “That is a boon to our industry,” Tullis says.

WILLIAM E. CRAWFORD AND AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

Comments   

 
Dave Tragethon
0 #1 Snow changes everythingDave Tragethon 2010-01-26 14:17:46
15 inches of new snow with Cascade Express and Heather Canyon open changes everything. It has been a return to normal business this last week thanks to the freshies! Thanks to everyone who has decided to put the recession behind them and come up for some turns. It's good for you - mentally and physically. See you on the mountain!
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Fast Food Slows Down

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

The ubiquitous fast-food restaurant may be on the decline.


Read more...

The 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon 2014

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
14BY KIM MOORE

Proud, diverse and underpaid.

Pride in their organizations’ mission, fairness in the treatment of women and ethnic minorities, flexible work schedules — these are just a handful of workplace characteristics that employees of this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits appreciate about their organizations.


Read more...

The Diaspora

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

Former newspaper reporters move into brand journalism.


Read more...

Books Rule

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JON BELL

Powell's stays relevant in the digital age.


Read more...

Powerlist: Law Firms

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.


Read more...

Report Card

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Strong public schools shore up the economy, survey respondents say. But local schools demonstrate lackluster performance.


Read more...

College Conundrum

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

University and college tuition fees have been rising for more than a decade, while state funds for higher education have steadily declined.


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