Saddleback Meeting - Page 7

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  1. #61
    Newpylong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    I discussed SB with Boynes Director of marketing at an AZ summit a few years back and he had said their main concern was profitability. Same thing with all the other major players. SB probably needs several hundred more housing units to be able to make it like Sugarloaf as a resort type model in a remote area. You need that critical mass of season pass holders there every weekend.



    Now operating bare bones with a limited schedule like Magic? That might be possible.

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    A mountain of that size and infrastructure really by default rules out the "bare bones" model. This was why I was skeptical that the Friends of Saddleback really had a chance of success (if they acquired it). You COULD try to operate it bare bones ie 1 lift, limited schedule, minimal snowmaking to keep costs down, but you would then likely lose what draw the place has.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Newpylong View Post
    A mountain of that size and infrastructure really by default rules out the "bare bones" model. This was why I was skeptical that the Friends of Saddleback really had a chance of success (if they acquired it). You COULD try to operate it bare bones ie 1 lift, limited schedule, minimal snowmaking to keep costs down, but you would then likely lose what draw the place has.
    Well, perhaps a better comparison is Pico. However, now that Magic has three chairs, the infrastructure at SB is pretty similar, just a bit more trail acreage.

    Looking at a Pico comparison, SB has less infrastructure than Pico in terms of lifts. SB receives the same amount of snow as Pico, but holds what they get far better, so the snowmaking need is less. I just think short of a massive increase in accommodations like Sugarloaf has, running a 4-5 day a week schedule except for holidays, making a minimal amount of snow and having a mid-December to April 1st season length makes sense operationally considering their location. Running 7 days a week and into late April if not May like the Berry's did doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

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  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    Well, perhaps a better comparison is Pico. However, now that Magic has three chairs, the infrastructure at SB is pretty similar, just a bit more trail acreage.

    Looking at a Pico comparison, SB has less infrastructure than Pico in terms of lifts. SB receives the same amount of snow as Pico, but holds what they get far better, so the snowmaking need is less. I just think short of a massive increase in accommodations like Sugarloaf has, running a 4-5 day a week schedule except for holidays, making a minimal amount of snow and having a mid-December to April 1st season length makes sense operationally considering their location. Running 7 days a week and into late April if not May like the Berry's did doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

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    Agreed. The tough part about comping SB to other areas is its remoteness. I'd (sadly) add the Balsams and Big Squaw to the list of places that are most similar to SB.
    Ski season is always too short

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by VTKilarney View Post
    I'm not saying that the Berrys have made all of the right decisions - but it is definitely possible that that the problem with the last two deals really was the buyers - and that the Berrys have to live with a crappy pool of potential buyers.
    I've probably mentioned this before, but I think the most likely explanation is that the Berry's are suffering from a severe case of what behavioral economists call the Endowment Effect. I tried linking a Wikipedia article to this but was having trouble on my phone.
    Ski season is always too short

  5. #65
    Newpylong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    Well, perhaps a better comparison is Pico. However, now that Magic has three chairs, the infrastructure at SB is pretty similar, just a bit more trail acreage.

    Looking at a Pico comparison, SB has less infrastructure than Pico in terms of lifts. SB receives the same amount of snow as Pico, but holds what they get far better, so the snowmaking need is less. I just think short of a massive increase in accommodations like Sugarloaf has, running a 4-5 day a week schedule except for holidays, making a minimal amount of snow and having a mid-December to April 1st season length makes sense operationally considering their location. Running 7 days a week and into late April if not May like the Berry's did doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

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    Magic is still not a good comparison because all of Magic can be skied with one lift - everything funnels to one location. They can reduce to 1 lift on slow days, and only make snow on core routes if need be.

    Pico is a better comparison physically - but organizationally and regionally (location) are far different.

    Saddleback is really a unique situation and unfortunately I think that is why things went the way they have.

  6. #66
    Just to be clear, I'm merely suggesting SB runs with a similar schedule and snowmaking philosophy as places like Magic /PICO. That's what I mean by bare bones. As compared to trying to run it like Sugarloaf.

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  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    Just to be clear, I'm merely suggesting SB runs with a similar schedule and snowmaking philosophy as places like Magic /PICO. That's what I mean by bare bones. As compared to trying to run it like Sugarloaf.

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    I agree with you on the operating schedule and think that your comp set is totally reasonable. There's no such thing as two perfectly comparable companies.

    I wouldn't even be surprised if Vail finds an excuse to not run both Attitash and Wildcat on quiet midweek periods.
    Ski season is always too short

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastern powder baby View Post

    I wouldn't even be surprised if Vail finds an excuse to not run both Attitash and Wildcat on quiet midweek periods.
    I don't think that fits Vail in anyway. I do not believe they run an area they own only on certain days. They are all 7 days/week operations. I could perhaps see them runni g only the HSQ at Cat on slow days in the future, but I don't see them splitting days between Cat and Attitash.

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  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by machski View Post
    I don't think that fits Vail in anyway. I do not believe they run an area they own only on certain days. They are all 7 days/week operations. I could perhaps see them runni g only the HSQ at Cat on slow days in the future, but I don't see them splitting days between Cat and Attitash.

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    I've heard they frequently come up with excuses to shut down Kirkwood midweek - a friend of mine based in SF is leery of going there midweek for that reason. I'm sure they advertise being open seven days a week though.

    Granted, this is hearsay, but I could see them becoming even quicker to pull the trigger on Wildcat than even Peak was.
    Ski season is always too short

  10. #70
    Newpylong's Avatar
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    They are not going to do that.

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