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Skiing..helping or hurting

Mainer

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Stowe vs Bolton is a stupid comparison. Bolton is the steepest access road to the flattest skiing. Stowe has probably the best skiing in vt. In my case there used to be a mountain Washington valley local pass, that is not around this year. So I could pay $800 more for my family to ski either cranmore or Shawnee peak. Or for $800 less at attitash/wildcat. I thought it was a no brainer until I realized what a shitshow vail is. Weekend skiing sucks but with a family with kids there is no choice.
 

KustyTheKlown

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Mar 1, 2013
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just the idiocy on the internet around skiing is at new heights this year. not even this thread specifically. facebook and reddit are just constant sources of facepalms. i suppose it shouldn't bother me so much, since most of these complainers and whiners are epic pass people outraged that their vail resorts are crowded on saturdays yet they keep showing up, and aren't skiing where and when i chose to ski with much less crowding and bullshit.
 

jimmywilson69

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1,786
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Dillsburg, PA
I get it some of us epics don't have a choice though... Many do. Habits could change or being vocal could , but likely won't, help Vail to try and be better. I'm sure a lot of it is carry over from the last 9 months which has been like nothing our generation has ever experienced before.

I plan on getting both Ikon and Epic next year so that I can have more choices especially when traveling up north and out west. I'm fortunate in the fact that I can afford that option and can afford to travel.

Just got out for a few runs this morning as opposed to lunch time as my local hill has been very busy so far this season. The other 2 southern PA resorts don't have shit open so we are being mobbed with lots of VA and MD plates. Happy that I can ski and that others are getting out there too. I wish the lodge and bar were open because they'd be making a killing on all of that ancillary income this holiday period
 

dblskifanatic

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May 24, 2019
Messages
321
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18
Despite my grievances on here due to issues with Vail, the joy on my son's face as he continues to develop his skills makes the hassles worth it. I'll feel the same next season when my daughter starts.

My own personal desire to ski and the experience I want is a distant second to their experience and I assume that will be the case for many years

We have four boys and they are all grown up an all very good skiers and snowboarders. Skiing with them as adults is amazing - when we can. For the past 20 years we have skied a ton with them and they never said no to a ski day. While we all like to have killer ski days based on our own abilities, the most memorable will be the days where you take the time with your kids as they grow and continue to improve - make that experience count for them and yourself. Sounds like you are.

There come a day where they blow you away and it will put the biggest smile on you!
 

tnt1234

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Sep 12, 2014
Messages
1,319
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48
just the idiocy on the internet around skiing is at new heights this year. not even this thread specifically. facebook and reddit are just constant sources of facepalms. i suppose it shouldn't bother me so much, since most of these complainers and whiners are epic pass people outraged that their vail resorts are crowded on saturdays yet they keep showing up, and aren't skiing where and when i chose to ski with much less crowding and bullshit.
I don't think everyone has the luxury of buying tickets where ever they want after having invested in a season Epic pass, especially when we are talking about 4-5 member families.
 

KustyTheKlown

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yea, but getting the epic pass in the first place has been stupid for years now and the stupid is compounded this year due to world events.

play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
 

tnt1234

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yea, but getting the epic pass in the first place has been stupid for years now and the stupid is compounded this year due to world events.

play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Yeah, I don't about that. I've only had Epic one season when we were planning a stowe and Breck trip. But I don't have a house in the mountains (except the rental this year.)

My buddy with a house at stowe has been Epic since they bought the place and he seems to do well. 15-20 days a year at stowe, and a family trip out west to a vail resort for the price of 4 epic passes. Gets plenty of return on the investment and has no qualms chasing a storm to a different resort.

For me, living in NJ, typical year - makes zero sense. I ski about 15 days a year total, so I want to go where the snow is. But if you have a place near a mountain....I don't know. Everyone's situation is different.

But if you aren't enjoying Stowe and you have a condo there, I know one thing...you won't have any problem selling it right now! My dream location would be Waterbury or maybe Waitsfield. The next pass I buy, I want it to be a shareholder stake at MRG....but that's a pipe dream.

The whole Vail/Ikon thing is a fascinating conversation really. Many layers....very complex...
 

dblskifanatic

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May 24, 2019
Messages
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18
Besides all the covid related things..is skiing helping you deal with all this or hurting? Most season here in the East , the weather is the culprit for aggravation..this season we have a multitude of evils. Crowding, the reservation system, VAIL..etc. Skiing was a way to get away from stress but this season, well not so much. I'm hoping that when this is over, next season? things will get better..just seems like skiing is getting more difficult each year. Crowding has taken its toll for sure. My go to places in Utah are now over run..even Stowe becomes a shitshow when there is a hint of snow coming. Just not sure what to do about it. All my hobbies combined will never take the place of it. But they sure are easier to deal with.
Thoughts?

We were Epic pass holders for 5 years. Our home mountain was Breckenridge and the alternative Keystone. Both got overwhelmed around long weekends or holidays and powder days. That should be no surprise - that is Epic reality. In Vermont, Mount Snow, Okemo and Stowe have always had significant draws. Add the Epic Pass where the pass price is a lot lower then the respective pass price pre-Vail with multiple mountains in New England and NY - the three I mentioned are going to be even busier. Price wise Stowe is now more accessible!

Out of curiosity - it would be interesting to know how many Epic Pass holders today ski Stowe as their primary mountain and help Stowe pass pre-Vail. I bet there is a huge difference. Stowe's pass price before was restrictive for most where as the Epic Pass is not - especially Epic Local.

Beside weather, which should not be a surprise in New England, Crowding (Epic), reservations system (Epic) and Vail (Epic) are all the result of one thing Epic. My suggestion, buy a pass to a resort that is not Epic/Ikon and use that for days where you know things will get busy. Those very things that bug you about Vail are probably not going away soon.

Use the Epic Mix app as well - I am sure not all ski areas in New England have that system yet fully up and running but I see that some Stowe and Okemo lifts have approximate times.

If you look for the bad you will find it!
 

kingslug

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I haven't been to Stowe this year. We like it, we like the town, the people and are not planning on selling. We go to different mountains through the season. The crowding is here to stay and its just something to deal with. If you are standing in line then you are part of the crowd. We get it as everyone else here does. This year is a shitshow on every level of life but will get better. I feel sorry for the NH residents as they are getting shafted big time. When you work and want to get over 30 days a year in..well then weekends are a big part of it. Everyone is dealing with this in their own way. And I've been around long enough to know not to judge people how they deal with it.
Vail and Ikon..here to stay..for at least a while. We hit Jay, SB and once in a while Okemo. Smuggs will be an option. Hitting Gore this season, hear its busy but spread out.
 

cdskier

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Crowds existed on weekends (especially holiday ones) long before Epic and Ikon entered the picture. I remember 15-20+ minute lift lines quite a bit 20+ years ago when I first started skiing. I distinctly remember long lines at Hunter, Windham, Stowe, Killington, Okemo, and the place where I learned in the Poconos. Was I just unlucky on some of those trips? I doubt it. Maybe crowds are more consistent now, but I'm not really sure they're substantially worse than they were back then (can't speak to how the west has changed, only what I've experienced in the east). I think we had a number of years of lower skier visits leading to a bit less crowds for a while so people became spoiled. One thing that I think has changed a bit though is that some of the places that used to be good to escape crowds have now caught on. I'll use Belleayre as an example of this...I used to day trip there quite a bit about 15 years ago. It was great the first few years with low crowds. But every year it seemed more and more people started using it to escape the crowds at Hunter and Windham (and save on the prices from those 2) and then ultimately it became "crowded" as well. Maybe not to the Hunter/Windham level, but it was still more than I liked and more than I experienced when I first started skiing there. That's when I switched to Platty for day trips more on crowded weekends.

People often suggest "just go to an off the beaten path ski area to avoid crowds". Problem is, if enough people take that advice and do that, even those places will become crowded (typically those places have much less capacity than the big resorts, so it wouldn't take THAT many people switching to them to make them crowded and that volume switching also wouldn't substantially reduce crowds at the big name places either).

Another big change is how easy it is now to share about crowds and long lines on social media and forums. You didn't have that happening 20+ years ago... Crowds happened back then too, but people seem to have forgotten about it.
 

abc

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yea, but getting the epic pass in the first place has been stupid for years now and the stupid is compounded this year due to world events.

play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
It's far from stupid. I had Epic last year. 10 days at Whistler! 3 days at Crested Butte and countless days at Breckenridge, Wildcat and Attitash. Tell me that's stupid!!!

I've had Epic once before, I did a road trip all over the continent. I mean literally. Whistler, Tahoe, Colorado the whole shebang, for $700! Tell me that's stupid!

This year, I know I won't be going out west. So I downgraded to the Epic Northeast, with a 20% credit from last season. So it's less than $500. That remains to see if the gamble pays off. The season has only started. There's still another 3-4 months to go for me to rack up 10 or more days to pay for the pass. I have the luxury of working flexible hours remotely, which means I can camp up at VT for a month and ski midweek once the holiday crowds are gone and the snow starts falling.

I'll tell you at the end of the season what "stupid" turns out to be!
 

raisingarizona

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Nov 19, 2014
Messages
432
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28
No offense to anyone here but to be blunt.....

living in a big city/suburban area sucks. It’s a grind and everyone there has the same days off and leaves to get away from it all with millions of their best friends. I watch it here in northern Arizona, on the holidays and weekends we get invaded and I’m amazed at what lengths the urban dweller takes to do things with their free time. It’s like they all do it together and the crowded world they live in follows them every where they go. It seriously looks like a nightmare to me. Maybe some folks thrive on that sort of thing.....I don’t know. I can’t do it, that’s for sure.

we just got 7 inches on the hill, I opted out because I didn’t want to deal with the Christmas crowd on two trails.

There’s still a lot of off the radar places you can go to that have great skiing and aren’t stupid expensive. If you keep booking vacations to Breck, Snowbird, Vail or Stowe then you’re going to pay big dollars to stand in lines.
 

abc

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Crowds happened back then too, but people seem to have forgotten about it.
People often suggest "just go to an off the beaten path ski area to avoid crowds". Problem is, if enough people take that advice and do that, even those places will become crowded
I think that's exactly where the complains are coming from: people who had managed to "go to an off the beaten path ski area to avoid crowds" before, are now finding crowds following them there!

That's what the OP was musing. How to stay one step ahead of the herds.
 

tnt1234

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Sep 12, 2014
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I haven't been to Stowe this year. We like it, we like the town, the people and are not planning on selling. We go to different mountains through the season. The crowding is here to stay and its just something to deal with. If you are standing in line then you are part of the crowd. We get it as everyone else here does. This year is a shitshow on every level of life but will get better. I feel sorry for the NH residents as they are getting shafted big time. When you work and want to get over 30 days a year in..well then weekends are a big part of it. Everyone is dealing with this in their own way. And I've been around long enough to know not to judge people how they deal with it.
Vail and Ikon..here to stay..for at least a while. We hit Jay, SB and once in a while Okemo. Smuggs will be an option. Hitting Gore this season, hear its busy but spread out.
What's happening in NH?
 

tnt1234

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I think lines are shorter now than they were when I was a kid.

The four runner quad seems to gobble up the line even when it's thick. In the old days we'd be in line for 30 minutes waiting for a fixed grip 15 minute ride to the top....

But for lines, nothing is worse then or now than Blue Mountain in the Pokes. (technically not the pokes...)

Dear god can that place get crowded....
 

kingslug

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From reading all the posts here..nothing..as in Attitash and Wildcat are being ignored as far as snowmaking and lifts are concerned.
I didn't start skiing till 2000 and pretty much went to Hunter and Bell. Out West has definitely changed. Solitude used to be empty and the crowds at LCC where nowhere like now. Utah is booming. Where else do they build a whole new airport next to the old one to handle the crowds.
 

drjeff

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Jan 18, 2006
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Brooklyn, CT
Crowds existed on weekends (especially holiday ones) long before Epic and Ikon entered the picture. I remember 15-20+ minute lift lines quite a bit 20+ years ago when I first started skiing. I distinctly remember long lines at Hunter, Windham, Stowe, Killington, Okemo, and the place where I learned in the Poconos. Was I just unlucky on some of those trips? I doubt it. Maybe crowds are more consistent now, but I'm not really sure they're substantially worse than they were back then (can't speak to how the west has changed, only what I've experienced in the east). I think we had a number of years of lower skier visits leading to a bit less crowds for a while so people became spoiled. One thing that I think has changed a bit though is that some of the places that used to be good to escape crowds have now caught on. I'll use Belleayre as an example of this...I used to day trip there quite a bit about 15 years ago. It was great the first few years with low crowds. But every year it seemed more and more people started using it to escape the crowds at Hunter and Windham (and save on the prices from those 2) and then ultimately it became "crowded" as well. Maybe not to the Hunter/Windham level, but it was still more than I liked and more than I experienced when I first started skiing there. That's when I switched to Platty for day trips more on crowded weekends.

People often suggest "just go to an off the beaten path ski area to avoid crowds". Problem is, if enough people take that advice and do that, even those places will become crowded (typically those places have much less capacity than the big resorts, so it wouldn't take THAT many people switching to them to make them crowded and that volume switching also wouldn't substantially reduce crowds at the big name places either).

Another big change is how easy it is now to share about crowds and long lines on social media and forums. You didn't have that happening 20+ years ago... Crowds happened back then too, but people seem to have forgotten about it.


more and more I think that the old adage, "It's so crowded that nobody goes there anymore" rings true.

Bottom line is that the ski industry HAS changed plenty over the last 20 or so years, where there's more areas on more combined passes than ever, there's a very different work modality for many, where remote work and more flexibility in one's work schedule for many exists, and while the overall annual skier/rider visits haven't changed too dramatically, it sure seems to me that those who are going, are going more often annually. There will always be the 3-5 times a year, basically only Holiday times crowd, but it seems like there are less of those and more of the now 20 times a year pass holders, many of whom not that long ago were the less than 10 times a year crowd. And when you factor in things like the Indy pass, which includes so many resorts that used to be considered "lower traffic" resorts, all that combines to make many places feel more crowded, more often, especially right now.

Is this a good thing for the industry? A bad thing for the Industry? or just a thing that will fade away in the coming seasons? Only time and one's perspective will tell I suppose
 

ScottySkis

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Middletown NY
just the idiocy on the internet around skiing is at new heights this year. not even this thread specifically. facebook and reddit are just constant sources of facepalms. i suppose it shouldn't bother me so much, since most of these complainers and whiners are epic pass people outraged that their vail resorts are crowded on saturdays yet they keep showing up, and aren't skiing where and when i chose to ski with much less crowding and bullshit.
That why I post less on az
In my opinion NY ski forum by Harvey is much better than AZ
U should think about that forums is much more ski etcuuasty now
 

abc

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more of the now 20 times a year pass holders, many of whom not that long ago were the less than 10 times a year crowd
Guilty as charged. :)

I distinctly remember doing 1 week plus a couple weekends in the late 2000's. So in 10 years time, I went from 10 days a year to minimum of 20 a year. (this year maybe the exception, not too hopeful for the 20, aiming for minimum of 10 :( )

Part of the change driving this not mentioned by DrJeff: the graying of the skiing population. I'm at the tail end of the boomers. In the last 10 years, I've moved into the part of career (and life) where I have a lot more flexibility, period! So more time to ski. I'd say I would have skied UP TO 20 days a year even if there's no mega pass ever existed. The mega passes made it possible that I exceed that 20 a year "minimum". Some years as much as 40 days! :)

So yeah, if your favorite "off the beaten path" mountain is crowded even midweek? It's because I'm there (and other "late boomers" like me)! ;)
 
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