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

Shipping News

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

In 2012 The Dalles, a city of some 14,400 located 75 miles east of Portland and often seen as the poor cousin to adjacent Hood River, completed a massive project to revitalize its dock.


Read more...

Knight Vision

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?


Read more...

Constant Contact

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

To prevent burnout, companies are banning email and after-hours communications. But is the 24-hour workday here to stay?


Read more...

The Rail Baron

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Oil is gushing out of the U.S. and Canada, and much of it is coming from places that don’t have pipeline infrastructure. So it’s being shipped by rail.


Read more...

The Backstory

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

In our cover story this month, Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, discuss their rapidly growing businesses and Portland’s red hot food scene. The conversation provides an interesting lens through which to explore trends in the grocery store and restaurant sectors.


Read more...

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


Read more...

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


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