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POWDR/Snowbird's Latest Unnecessary PR Debacle

thetrailboss

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First, some background. For over 20 years, Snowbird has leased space to a private individual to operate the Tram Club bar in the Snowbird Center. This local hired other locals to work at the Bar. Prices on food and drink were reasonable. Apparently, the lease was set to expire on August 1st.

Last week I was getting some new ski boots fit and the bootfitter asked me if I had heard about "the Tram Club"? I shook my head.

At about 3pm on July 15th, Snowbird Security came in, told patrons to "drink up and get the hell out" because they were closing the Club. While there was a rumor that the DABC was the one who ordered it closed, it has since come out that Snowbird decided to end the lease so that it could do something of its own in that space. Needless to say, a lot of locals are not happy with the decision and how it was handled.

Snowbird, or more specifically John Cumming, are well within their right to not renew a lease. That said, there is a right and wrong way to do it and sending in security officers to harass patrons and abruptly terminate business more than two weeks before the lease was set to end is petty and downright unprofessional. The better and wiser way would have been to give the Tram Club adequate notice to throw "one last hooray" and let them ride off into the sunset. But then we would not see Mr. Cumming as a "tough guy" apparently.

Killington skiers and riders are well aware of Mr. Cumming and his "tough guy" approach to things. It did not take long after assuming control in 2007 to thoroughly anger Killington's loyal following on many fronts. Whether it was ending lifetime passes, greatly reducing the ski season, or pushing management to engage in online public debacles with customers, many would prefer forget about those times at Killington. After a few years of conflict, he gave up the reigns to a qualified general manager and moved on to something else. That GM has gone on to right the ship and, similar to the Trump Organization, POWDR declared victory in how it solved the very issues its owner created.

It's said that one can inherit wealth but not business sense. This certainly is the case here. Ian Cumming and Dick Bass had no issues at all with the Tram Club. If anything, Ian went to great lengths to remind people that Snowbird was separate and apart from POWDR and his son. Ian's death ended that distinction and John has once again shown that he lacks business acumen. While he has done a great job buying new shiny things he has driven a lot of customers and his own employees out. And, unlike his time at Killington, he seems to be determined to "prove" himself to everyone by being Mr. Tough Guy.

"Why?" Might you ask? Well, because history has demonstrated that he has a real problem dealing with leases. Being "Mr. Tough Guy" will not erase the colossal mistake of failing to renew the lease for POWDR's Golden Goose, Park City Mountain Resort. That case will forever land him in business school text books.

Sending in "jack booted thugs" to kick out patrons and assault a business tenant does nothing to compensate for a bruised ego and once again only demonstrates a lack of sound business judgment.

As history has demonstrated at KIllington, it is time for him to declare victory and move on to another project.

 
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snoseek

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That place deserved better and honestly that place was a fucking dive but the world needs tram clubs.
 

asnowmobiler

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That place deserved better and honestly that place was a fucking dive but the world needs tram clubs.
It wasn't that bad.
They had some great drink specials and had a Locals kind of feel to it.
You used to be able to out the side door, under the tram and hang out with the employees while drinking and smoking, that ended a few years ago and so did my smoking.
 

thetrailboss

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To vax or not to vax?
Yeah, that too. Snowbird is a notoriously bad employer at baseline. Add that to the mix and things may be interesting this season. I feel so badly for the frontline employees who have to deal with all the crap POWDR creates.
 

ss20

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Yeah, that too. Snowbird is a notoriously bad employer at baseline. Add that to the mix and things may be interesting this season. I feel so badly for the frontline employees who have to deal with all the crap POWDR creates.

I couldn't believe the minimal experience I had with them just trying to secure an interview.
 
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