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

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 11.17.21 AMMore than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.


Read more...

Water World

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

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
22 twosidesBY JASON NORRIS

Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


Read more...

Healthcare Perspective

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

A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


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