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K management communication

skiur

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Posted on K-Zone, its great to have management talk to the customer

I see several questions out here that I will try to answer in one post:

Closing early – this post was about if we were closing areas early.

I know you all know this – the fact is that people stop coming this time of year even if there is good skiing. As I have said before, we need to balance our costs with our revenue and begin to close areas as volume decreases. I skied yesterday and we have a lot of lifts running with almost no one on them. With that said, we are planning to keep open several areas later than our normal dates (weather permitting) since the conditions have been so great.
See details of the plan here http://www.killington.com/winter/beast/ ... tricks-for

Here are some of the highlights that may interest you:
Pico – added on extra Saturday of skiing – April 5th.
Skye base – will close this weekend – 3/30.
Bear –this area is historically closes after the mogul challenge weekend – With the great weather, we decided to keep it open one week later through the 13thof April.
Ramshead – scheduled to close this weekend. We will close the lodge this weekend (except keep daycare open) but run the lift for the following weekend, April 5th and April 6th.
K- 1 gondola & Peak Lodge– is scheduled to close April 13th. We will keep this area open an extra week depending on weather.
Superstar – will stay open as long as possible. To me this means, if we can still charge guests for skiing, then we will stay open. If you have to walk through three water bars and the experience is not something we can charge for, it is time to close. We followed this plan last year (and gave free skiing the last day since walking was required).
Later hours – start times will not change (9am on weekdays, 8am on weekends) – just adding an hour at the end of the day for the time periods mentioned in the blog.

Snowmaking & Superstar build:
I know there was a lot of debate in this forum if we made enough snow for spring and were we going back on our word when we said "we would focus on to have the longest season in the east."

My answer is that we made approximately 25% more snow than the normal year and costs were through the roof as well (which Jeff explained in a previous post). This resulted in us spending substantially more than plan.

Even with the huge amount of snow we made, we had to skip snowmaking on several areas such as a Superpipe, devil’s fiddle, Boardercross, etc.
Our focus was spending money on snowmaking that helped recovery from the many rain events we encountered this year.

Did this result in us having less snow on superstar than we may want? Probably, but choices have to be made to ensure overall ski conditions in the core part of the season and that trumped a bigger spring build – I will take the blame if you don’t agree with that decision.

Capital improvements:
I have seen several threads about capital for next year and the future. The reality is we spent $10M last year on capital and have invested substantially in the past 7 years of Powdr’s ownership. We will always have a list of big projects that we want to do and it will always be bigger than the available resources. We spend several million dollars a year on what we call “maintenance capital”. The first priority every year is lift maintenance items that help keep the lifts running reliably. Typically next in line is snowmaking, groomer purchases, and other mountain improvements. The problem is these are not really things that our customers see so there is a belief that “we are not investing in the resort”.
This year was planned to be a lighter capital year than normal due to the massive amount we have spent in the past few years. This was the plan before any issues arose at Park City. It is just basic business, if you spend a lot in one year; you need to reduce it in another.
As a result, this year will be focused on mainly maintenance capital items.

Thanks Mike
 

Brad J

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I plead to peak resorts to post a frank blog such as this, I would go along way in my season ticket purchase.
 

drjeff

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I plead to peak resorts to post a frank blog such as this, I would go along way in my season ticket purchase.

I think that depends on which Peak property you're referring too?

I had the pleasure yesterday at the Mount Snow Ski Club's annual meeting of listening to a very informative Q&A session with Kelly Pawlak, Mount Snow's GM. She touched on a number of things, and a good chunk of it sounded exactly like what Mike Solimano said above for Killington.

Mount Snow had a solid year. Mount Snow for the most part stops making money on a day to day basis after roughly March 15th. Mount Snow submitted an off season capital improvements "wish list" to Peak Resorts to the tune of about 7 million - they expect to get 1-1.5 million much of which will go to snowmaking upgrades. Mount Snow right now is likely 2 years away from putting a shovel in the ground for Phase I of their master plan. Phase I is about a 50 million dollar project over multiple years funded by EB-5 investors. It includes their West Lake 120 million gallon snowmaking pond, expansion of snowmaking to 100%, a reconfiguration and upgrades to the entire snowmaking system, upgrading the sunbrook quad to a high-speed with the installation of an umbrella bar at the sunbrook/beartrap base, a totally new day lodge at Carinthia and some residential and retail development as well as an ice rink in that area too.

If things go smoothly then in about 5 years, phase II would start and focus on the main base and Sundance base area redevelopment, more residential and retail development, a new mountain ops base and some more lift upgrades.

Many of Peak's GM's are at a meeting now with the "big" boss, hopefully some concrete plans for off season upgrades will be coming shortly...
 

steamboat1

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I think that depends on which Peak property you're referring too?

I had the pleasure yesterday at the Mount Snow Ski Club's annual meeting of listening to a very informative Q&A session with Kelly Pawlak, Mount Snow's GM. She touched on a number of things, and a good chunk of it sounded exactly like what Mike Solimano said above for Killington.

Mount Snow had a solid year. Mount Snow for the most part stops making money on a day to day basis after roughly March 15th. Mount Snow submitted an off season capital improvements "wish list" to Peak Resorts to the tune of about 7 million - they expect to get 1-1.5 million much of which will go to snowmaking upgrades. Mount Snow right now is likely 2 years away from putting a shovel in the ground for Phase I of their master plan. Phase I is about a 50 million dollar project over multiple years funded by EB-5 investors. It includes their West Lake 120 million gallon snowmaking pond, expansion of snowmaking to 100%, a reconfiguration and upgrades to the entire snowmaking system, upgrading the sunbrook quad to a high-speed with the installation of an umbrella bar at the sunbrook/beartrap base, a totally new day lodge at Carinthia and some residential and retail development as well as an ice rink in that area too.

If things go smoothly then in about 5 years, phase II would start and focus on the main base and Sundance base area redevelopment, more residential and retail development, a new mountain ops base and some more lift upgrades.

Many of Peak's GM's are at a meeting now with the "big" boss, hopefully some concrete plans for off season upgrades will be coming shortly...

Not for nothing but this thread is not about Mountain Snow.
 

drjeff

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That's what I heard 2 years ago :evil:

Apparently the CFO of Peak Resorts and a few other Peak representatives are currently over in China now (where Peak has chosen to "target" potential EB-5 investors) and a few Chinese have been over to sight visit at Mount Snow in the last few weeks.

Plus a few years ago, the whole Act 250 process was still in permitting limbo (been solved now) for the West Lake snowmaking project and the entire base area master development plan - that's why the spent the roughly 10 million on the Bluebird then. The $$ was available then and they wanted to jump start their plan in a major way. Now with all the permitting issues essentially solved, its just a question of getting the $$ in place before the shovel hits the dirt
 

Nick

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I'm planning on running the AZ Challenge again. I'd like to see if we could get Mike here as well. His candid responses are obviously extremely refreshing to the entire K faithful.

I've said it before but despite knocks it gets K is the mountain I grew up on and spent most of my time at.
 

dlague

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I'm planning on running the AZ Challenge again. I'd like to see if we could get Mike here as well. His candid responses are obviously extremely refreshing to the entire K faithful.

I've said it before but despite knocks it gets K is the mountain I grew up on and spent most of my time at.

For a second I thought the AZ Challenge was a challenge to see how long a thread could go before converting to a topic other then the threads title (this one for example). I guess that could be a whole other concept! :razz:
 

bzrperfspec77

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I'm planning on running the AZ Challenge again. I'd like to see if we could get Mike here as well. His candid responses are obviously extremely refreshing to the entire K faithful.

I've said it before but despite knocks it gets K is the mountain I grew up on and spent most of my time at.

I think it's refreshing for everyone, not just the K faithful (not arguing with you Nick). I love seeing this response and how active Mike is. I would love to meet the guy someday and take a chairlift ride up with him and then take a run.
 

Glenn

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It is now. I can't wait to hear the update on the meeting with the "big" boss the Chinese trip and the EB-5 investors.

I think the issue there is the layers of management involved. Hopefully, they'll be open with what the overall plan is.
 

WWF-VT

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I think the issue there is the layers of management involved. Hopefully, they'll be open with what the overall plan is.

I think you missed my sarcasm in my post. The thread started as "K management communication" and quicky detoured into a Mountain Snow update
 
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otisshirley

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Not having been to Killington in April before: When they say Superstar will be open as long as possible, do they mean (1) Superstar and some other trails served by the Superstar Quad, or (2) literally just the Superstar trail? If it's (2) and there's no way to take a break from the bumps on Superstar, I don't know how long I'll be able to stay.
 

steamboat1

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Not having been to Killington in April before: When they say Superstar will be open as long as possible, do they mean (1) Superstar and some other trails served by the Superstar Quad, or (2) literally just the Superstar trail? If it's (2) and there's no way to take a break from the bumps on Superstar, I don't know how long I'll be able to stay.

Don't know how late in April you plan on going but they hope to keep K-1 going till April 20th in addition to the Superstar lift (weather permitting). In years past upper/lower Skye Lark & lower Bittersweet hang in there almost to the end with the Supoerstar trail when only that chair is running. Two years ago all those trails were still open on closing day. Oh & they groomed Superstar trail up until two days before closing (top to bottom) that year.

edit: Of course I have no idea how things will work out this season.
 
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otisshirley

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Don't know how late in April you plan on going but they hope to keep K-1 going till April 20th in addition to the Superstar lift (weather permitting). In years past upper/lower Skye Lark & lower Bittersweet hang in there almost to the end with the Supoerstar trail when only that chair is running. Two years ago all those trails were still open on closing day. Oh & they groomed Superstar trail up until two days before closing (top to bottom) that year.

edit: Of course I have no idea how things will work out this season.

Thanks. That's just the information I was looking for. I was just worried about a situation in which the only thing to ski was a top-to-bottom bump run, with no way to take a break.
 

4aprice

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Thanks. That's just the information I was looking for. I was just worried about a situation in which the only thing to ski was a top-to-bottom bump run, with no way to take a break.

That might a problem. Steamboat might be right and they groomed at some point but when I was there on Cinco De Mayo, SS and Skylark were both open but it was a total sea of moguls t2b. Being like 65-70 the snow was really heavy and wiped me out in 5 runs. It was worth it though.

Alex

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steamboat1

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That might a problem. Steamboat might be right and they groomed at some point but when I was there on Cinco De Mayo, SS and Skylark were both open but it was a total sea of moguls t2b. Being like 65-70 the snow was really heavy and wiped me out in 5 runs. It was worth it though.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ

Even though they groomed Supe on a Fri. it was a sea of moguls by Sat. However it did hold up pretty well on Fri. because of very little traffic. Lower Skye Lark was bumped up but upper Skye & lower Bitter were relatively smooth (even without being groomed) so there was an easier way down. I think Skye Hawk will also hang in there this year because they blew snow on it for the first time I can remember. Both Fri. & Sat. were bluebird days with temps near 70.Sun. (the last day) it rained with temps in the 40's (didn't ski that day) This is two years ago I'm talking about. I missed the second half of the season last year due to injury so I have no idea.

Always loved this picture of the bottom of Supe taken closing day 2012.

fullsize 1.jpg

edit: When they closed that year Supe still had plenty of snow on it except for the headwall which got washed out on top. Everything was well covered side to side below that point. I think they could have opened it for another weekend. I've skied it with much less snow & more walking involved. Skye Lark & lower Bittersweet were pretty much toast though.
 
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skifree

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Nice pix. Nothing like a cold frosty at the umbrella bar after a few runs
 
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