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

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Tuesday, August 04, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA WESTON

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


Read more...

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


Read more...

The Private 150: From Strength to Strength

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound.


Read more...

Unshakable

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Ben Kaiser holds his ground.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...

Downtime with Jill Nelson

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play wit the CEO of Ruby Receptionists.


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