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Okemo Closing Early Due to Lack of Crowds

Who's fault is it Okemo is closing early?

  • Okemo

    Votes: 10 35.7%
  • Skiers/riders

    Votes: 18 64.3%

  • Total voters
    28

ss20

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LUDLOW — Okemo Mountain Resort will be closing Sunday after 158 days of skiing and snowboarding.

The announcement was made by Okemo Vice-President General Manager Bruce Schmidt on Thursday on the Okemo Mount Resort blog.

Okemo extended the ski and snowboard season until April 21 but pushed back their closing date a week earlier due to lower skier and snowboarder visits.

“The weather for the past 10 days has been good, but even that has not brought out very many guests. Between those who are buying a day ticket and seasons pass holders, it just doesn’t make sense for us to continue another week,” Schmidt wrote.

The 158-day ski and snowboard season is one of the longest in recent years. The longest on record is 172 days, which ended on April 26, 1992.

Deals on next year’s seasons passes are available until April 30, the blog said. For more information call 228.1600 or visit www.okemo.com.


Who do we blame, the mountain or the people?
One could say the mountain isn't committing enough to the sport, but that could also be said about the skiers/riders.
 

KevinF

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All businesses exist to make a profit for their owners / shareholders. If the money's going out faster then it's coming in, they're closing.

I can't blame an area for closing earlier than originally planned if it's not making financial sense for them.

If there were still hordes of people coming in, they'd probably find a way to operate on a skeleton staff for later than the original closing date.
 

bobbutts

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Okemo doesn't exactly attract the hardcore demographic and it's lack of steeps is more of an issue in the spring.
 

KevinF

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Okemo doesn't exactly attract the hardcore demographic and it's lack of steeps is more of an issue in the spring.

I will agree with you that Okemo has the pitch of a golf course, but I'm at a loss to explain what that has to do with spring skiing.

Mount Snow is even flatter than Okemo and they seem to be extending their season.
 

ScottySkis

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I will agree with you that Okemo has the pitch of a golf course, but I'm at a loss to explain what that has to do with spring skiing.

Mount Snow is even flatter than Okemo and they seem to be extending their season.
Northface has steeps, I like Mt snow better then Okemo or Stratton in my opinion.
 

thetrailboss

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This phenomenon is not new. They run out of skiers faster than snow.

What I do think is dumb was to announce that you are going to stay open until X date, and then renege on the deal. Major PR blunder there. It is bound to piss off passholders. You never want to overpromise and then overdeliver; but to do it so publicly is probably the dumbest PR move I've seen in a long time.

Maybe the marketing folks and management/accounting people did not talk before the announcement of the closing date. Either way, I feel bad for the manager for being the guy to publicly walk back the announcement. Not something I'd want to do.
 

deadheadskier

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My vote is Okemo. I don't fault them at all for closing this weekend. I think the better management decision would've been to close this past week Tues - Thurs, open this weekend, close all of next Monday - Friday and then open up for the 20-21st. That's the exact same amount of days being open, but you appease pass holders by being open one more weekend and probably have a better opportunity to make a bit more cash offering skiing next weekend than you would have this past Tuesday - Thursday.

I've been saying this for years. I'd rather see mountains start limiting mid-week operations in late March and extend the skiing product as far as they can go on weekends. There is literally ZERO profit to be made mid-week following President's week. Mountains can still turn a healthy profit on weekends though. I think most mountains owe it to their pass holders to offer 7 day a week skiing through March. After that, I'd rather see them go as long as they can on 2-4 day weekend schedule that makes financial sense. Sorry to the mid-week skiers, but that's the reality of our sport in the Spring in the Northeast.
 

bobbutts

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In Spring conditions the snow is soft and slow. Steeper terrain is better in these conditions, flats and especially runouts can be brutal. Steeper North facing runs hold snow better and tend to be more consistent too.
 

stealthyc

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We are passholders and were there last Sunday and Monday. Sunday was slower than any weekday we had ever seen. Monday was even quieter than that. It was great for us, but sad for the mountain because it really doesn't make sense to stay open given that. There was still a lot of terrain and the conditions on Monday were great! We were planning to hit it up again this Sunday and Monday. But we can't begrudge them for not staying open just for us-though it would be nice:)
 

riverc0il

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“The weather for the past 10 days has been good,
Is this accurate? My read on the weather (at least for Northern New England) is that it hasn't been good for the past 2+ weeks for spring skiing. Lots of nights going below freezing but days not warming following a time when the snow became wet. Last weekend was not good, Saturday worse than Sunday but neither was good. Really chilly today, not much better yesterday in central NH. Would think it would be colder at elevation. Two weekends ago was "okay" not great spring skiing weather. Overall, last week of March through present day have been rather pathetic for spring skiing, IMO.
 

Savemeasammy

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Agreed. There really haven't been as many good spring skiing days as you would think at this point. Now it's getting to the point where many people are hanging up their skis for the season... This weekend could be good, though. The question now is: one day or two?
 

abc

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The issue of lot of snow with no skiers isn't unique to Okemo.

That said, Okemo really didn't manage it too well. Announcing a late closing day and then had to move it up, NOT due to weather, is really lame.

Still, that's more of a PR issue, not the real "cause" of closing early. I love spring skiing and I would enjoy a couple hundred more like minded company! :)
 

TheBEast

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My vote is Okemo. I don't fault them at all for closing this weekend. I think the better management decision would've been to close this past week Tues - Thurs, open this weekend, close all of next Monday - Friday and then open up for the 20-21st. That's the exact same amount of days being open, but you appease pass holders by being open one more weekend and probably have a better opportunity to make a bit more cash offering skiing next weekend than you would have this past Tuesday - Thursday.

I've been saying this for years. I'd rather see mountains start limiting mid-week operations in late March and extend the skiing product as far as they can go on weekends. There is literally ZERO profit to be made mid-week following President's week. Mountains can still turn a healthy profit on weekends though. I think most mountains owe it to their pass holders to offer 7 day a week skiing through March. After that, I'd rather see them go as long as they can on 2-4 day weekend schedule that makes financial sense. Sorry to the mid-week skiers, but that's the reality of our sport in the Spring in the Northeast.

Well said....I'd agree with this for sure.
 

mlkrgr

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I think the thing is that there are many people who are economically shut out from skiing. Sure, the crowds show up on holiday weeks in droves but it is still nowhere like you used to see which plays a role in price increases we've seen in day tickets. Just the conflicting reports of how empty Loon was on St Pattys Day when they were charging $79 to the ridiculousness of Waterville crowds at $17 just goes to show you that people are still incredibly price sensitive. Plus, a lot of people were at Waterville that just went out for the single time b/c they can't afford to ski at full price.
 

abc

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I think the thing is that there are many people who are economically shut out from skiing. Sure, the crowds show up on holiday weeks in droves but it is still nowhere like you used to see which plays a role in price increases we've seen in day tickets. Just the conflicting reports of how empty Loon was on St Pattys Day when they were charging $79 to the ridiculousness of Waterville crowds at $17 just goes to show you that people are still incredibly price sensitive. Plus, a lot of people were at Waterville that just went out for the single time b/c they can't afford to ski at full price.
Well, just like the recommendation of mountains closing mid-week and re-opennig weekends, skiers can also choose to stay away during the high price holiday time. They money they saved could allow them to afford 4 days of weekend skiing in spring!

I'd say it's the skiers who're to blamed. We want Thanksgiving skiing. So the resort give it to us by spending massive amounts of money to make snow, which often melts away before Christmas anyway! Who pays for that bill? We do! Then, there's no money left to spend on skiing in spring even when it's nearly free ($15 at Plattekill)! And the mountain has no money to spin the lift when we're not buying lift tickets.
 

mlkrgr

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Well, just like the recommendation of mountains closing mid-week and re-opennig weekends, skiers can also choose to stay away during the high price holiday time. They money they saved could allow them to afford 4 days of weekend skiing in spring!

I'd say it's the skiers who're to blamed. We want Thanksgiving skiing. So the resort give it to us by spending massive amounts of money to make snow, which often melts away before Christmas anyway! Who pays for that bill? We do! Then, there's no money left to spend on skiing in spring even when it's nearly free ($15 at Plattekill)! And the mountain has no money to spin the lift when we're not buying lift tickets.

I think they blow snow as much as they can through Thanksgiving into much of December in preparation for when the crowds come during Christmas. Any resort blowing to open before Thanksgiving is just doing it for the marketing value. But I must admit I'm part of that crowd in which spring sports affects crowds. As a soccer ref, the spring season is the busiest time of the year, which mainly consists of April through Memorial Day.
 

mlkrgr

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My vote is Okemo. I don't fault them at all for closing this weekend. I think the better management decision would've been to close this past week Tues - Thurs, open this weekend, close all of next Monday - Friday and then open up for the 20-21st. That's the exact same amount of days being open, but you appease pass holders by being open one more weekend and probably have a better opportunity to make a bit more cash offering skiing next weekend than you would have this past Tuesday - Thursday.

I've been saying this for years. I'd rather see mountains start limiting mid-week operations in late March and extend the skiing product as far as they can go on weekends. There is literally ZERO profit to be made mid-week following President's week. Mountains can still turn a healthy profit on weekends though. I think most mountains owe it to their pass holders to offer 7 day a week skiing through March. After that, I'd rather see them go as long as they can on 2-4 day weekend schedule that makes financial sense. Sorry to the mid-week skiers, but that's the reality of our sport in the Spring in the Northeast.

Still, this year, there was a pretty reasonable crowd that showed on Good Friday considering that it was also late season. It ended up being about the same showing as Superbowl Sunday despite tickets being virtually the same price at Waterville.
 
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