• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

The 2006 AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge: MAD RIVER GLEN (Ask them questions if ya' can!)

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
29,051
Points
63
Location
NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
The 2006 AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge: MAD RIVER GLEN (Ask them questions if ya' can!)

Eric Friedman, Marketing Director at Mad River Glen has agreed to take the 2006 Alpine Zone Challenge!!! This is your opportunity to ask questions, offer suggestions, or say some praise to the men and women behind the scenes of the Northeast’s Ski Areas. Please post some suggested questions in this thread and we'll select ten to present for official responses.

Also please don't be offended if we edit/change your question for grammar, tone, or some other minor thing. In order to get in all of the questions we MAY merge some questions but we'll do our best to keep the substance of your question. If we don't get your question in, feel free to post a follow up after we get the results...we are encouraging the representatives follow the threads. :wink:

As always, please be respectful of Eric and keep it civil. Also, please refrain from asking specifics about skier visit numbers, financials, demographic information, etc. Mad River needs to be discrete about certain information.

We are honored to have Eric participate in his third challenge, so please take advantage of this opportunity.

Ask away!

Mad River’s 2004 Challenge Responses
Mad River’s 2005 Challenge Responses
Mad River’s Profile
 

Zand

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
3,714
Points
63
Location
Spencer, MA
This isn't intended to be something sent or anything, but the title reminds me of the wall of the midstation jut that says "Load here if you can."
 

Tin Woodsman

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
999
Points
18
Eric -

Thanks for your time and candor with these questions in the past and I'm sure again this year. The basin through which the 19th/20th Holes thread is one of the real gems of the MRG experience, and some of the finest skiing terrain the Northeast has to offer. To my knowledge, most of the basin still belongs to Betsy Pratt and was not part of the original sale of the mountain to the Co-op. Interestingly, this property seems to include some of the only undeveloped flat land fronting Rt. 17. I've heard rumors of a plan/idea/concept/whatever to acquire this parcel and to pay for it (presumably with the aid of a bridge loan of some sort) by selling off a series of smaller parcels along/near Rt. 17 for the construction of cabins/houses similar to those that exist near the base of MRG. As you can imagine, a number of questions derive from this potential scenario:

1) Fully understanding the significant short term financial burden the Co-op is now undertaking to rebuild the Single, is the acquisition of Betsy's holdings in that basin a concept that would be seriously considered if available at a reasonable price?

2) If so, would the sale of real estate along Rt. 17, potentially replete with deed restrictions ensuring tasteful construction consistent with the cottages near MRG, be an avenue that the Co-op would consider to finance such a purchase? In short, can MRG stomach getting into the real-estate business, if only tangentially, if the ultimate goal is the permament protection/control of a significant piece of its buffer and ski terrain?

3) Assuming the answer to either of those questions above is "Yes" (to the extent that you can do so in a public forum), would it be inconceivable to install lift service in the bottom of the basin to take skiers up and over to the shoulder of Lower Antelope at around the 1940' elevation? Or maybe run shuttles up to the Base or employ the use of a Mad Bus stop ala Slidebrook? Both options would provide the benefit of dramatically increasing the room to roam at MRG while remaining consistent with the guiding philosophy of limiting uphill capacity to preserve and enhance the skiing experience.
 

smootharc

New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
543
Points
0
Location
CNY & MRV
Tree question....

There's so much tree terrain at MRG, and there's the nice program to regrow/fill in with new trees areas that have thinned too much or which, I understand, were damaged in various storms.

But there's other areas that look like GREAT glades that have filled in with scrufty little undergrowth and saplings. What's going on with those areas ?

Also, what is MRG's policy on folks doing a little modest pruning, without adult supervision ?
 
Last edited:

Greg

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 1, 2001
Messages
31,154
Points
0
In general, what are your thoughts on the new online community specifically for skiers of the Mad River Valley at SkiMRV.com? Do you feel forums like these are a good resource for feedback and have you ever seriously considered a suggestion that was posted on Web forums like SkiMRV or AlpineZone? In the 2004 challenge, you said, "No I really don't follow them". Has this changed at all since then? Do you feel other ski areas are missing out by not tapping into online resources like these? I look forward to your continued participation on SkiMRV and AlpineZone.

What's the status on the refurbished Single Chair? Why was the project delayed?
 

kcyanks1

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Messages
1,555
Points
0
Location
New York, NY
Greg said:
In general, what are your thoughts on the new online community specifically for skiers of the Mad River Valley at SkiMRV.com? Do you feel forums like these are a good resource for feedback and have you ever seriously considered a suggestion that was posted on Web forums like SkiMRV or AlpineZone? In the 2004 challenge, you said, "No I really don't follow them". Has this changed at all since then? Do you feel other ski areas are missing out by not tapping into online resources like these? I look forward to your continued participation on SkiMRV and AlpineZone.

What's the status on the refurbished Single Chair? Why was the project delayed?

To follow-up on Greg's question:

I think the ski conditions form on the MRG website was a fantastic idea, and a great addition to an honest report. Unfortunately, it seems to be underutilized. Do you think that having a more open forum on MRG's site (like what SkiMRV has become) would be beneficial? Are you not doing that because of the existance of sites such as SkiMRV, or do you believe that even without SkiMRV, giving people free reign on MRG-sponsored site wouldn't be a good idea? Would you read a MRG-site forum more than you read third-party forums?
 

kcyanks1

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Messages
1,555
Points
0
Location
New York, NY
I haven't paid enough attention to opening and closing details in the past, so sorry if this should be obvious to me. When MRG closed this winter, the report said it was due to the inability to offer top-to-bottom skiing. In my view MRG, with the midstation on the single, has a near-perfect situation for early- and late-season skiing on the upper mountain only, with downloading on the single chair. How often, if even, does MRG open with only upper mountain skiing? If it is not a normal occurrence, is there a reason why it will not be done in the future?

On a similar note, will the new single chair have a midstation?
 

PowderDeprived

New member
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
101
Points
0
Location
MRV
Eric-

Since MRG is an independent ski area and is of its self the most unique Ski area in the business, I think it would be reasonable for the CO-OP to consider making an open appeal for cash donations (possibly through the website) to help preserve the resort. With projects like the single chair, hypothetical land purchases such as the land on which the 19th and 20th hole are located. I really think many skiers would be willing to make donations to ease the financial burden on the resort. I really view MRG as more of an organization than a typical ski corporation or a business (even though MRG is a profitable business) and I think many in the ski community would be willing to donate cash to MRG for large capital projects and environmental (glade) restoration projects with out eating fromthe operating budget, or tempting the CO-OP to raise ticket prices.
 

smootharc

New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
543
Points
0
Location
CNY & MRV
Base area buildings.....

....is there a plan to build another structure to house the ski school ?

If yes, are there any site plan images available ?
 

smootharc

New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
543
Points
0
Location
CNY & MRV
Would MRG ever create....

....some sort of "Adventure Skiing" program that gets folks exploring OB. Could be a good revenue generator for those who want to dip their toes in a "safer" way. Not some major program, but perhaps just another "menu" item on the ski school side of things.

Of course SB has their entire adventure program.
 

smootharc

New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
543
Points
0
Location
CNY & MRV
Parking....

....I realize is a problem. But sometimes the parking lot controllers stuff cars together so tight rear hatches cannot be safely opened, equipment is guaranteed to hit other cars, and some vehicles cannot even back out and leave. Any way to get a bit more breathing room ?

I, of course, am smart. I show up REALLY early now, even with my 5 & 7 year old kids. I don't know how I did it, but I convinced them early is good....you get more/better ski goods.
 

smootharc

New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
543
Points
0
Location
CNY & MRV
Shareholder incentives....

....I've tried to get my wife on board with us buying a share.....but she doesn't see the value. I've tried to tell her membership itself, with the current incentives, is reward enough...to be part of something special....but she's not convinced.

There's a few nice price savings on passes for the shareholder, but no reductions on things like kids lessons/programs. That might be the tipping point for us, with three kids.

From a dollars and cents standpoint I'm sure the shareholders have discussed this. What are the pros/cons of offering just a bit more in terms of price breaks for shareholders vs. selling (perhaps) more shares if you do. It could certainly be promoted as a shareholder amenity.
 

kcyanks1

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Messages
1,555
Points
0
Location
New York, NY
smootharc said:
....some sort of "Adventure Skiing" program that gets folks exploring OB. Could be a good revenue generator for those who want to dip their toes in a "safer" way. Not some major program, but perhaps just another "menu" item on the ski school side of things.

Of course SB has their entire adventure program.

That's a good question. I was wondering about the answer to this as well. In addition to SB's Slide Brook tours, Jay Peak Ski School supposedly does tours of the Dip, a back country area there. It would be cool if MRG ski school could have guided trips to the 19th/20th hole.
 

skibum1321

New member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
1,349
Points
0
Location
Malden, MA
kcyanks1 said:
That's a good question. I was wondering about the answer to this as well. In addition to SB's Slide Brook tours, Jay Peak Ski School supposedly does tours of the Dip, a back country area there. It would be cool if MRG ski school could have guided trips to the 19th/20th hole.
I actually wouldn't want to see guided tours go back there. There are already enough people skiing that terrain. I would prefer to see less people back there instead of guiding more people back there that wouldn't go on their own.
 

kcyanks1

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Messages
1,555
Points
0
Location
New York, NY
skibum1321 said:
I actually wouldn't want to see guided tours go back there. There are already enough people skiing that terrain. I would prefer to see less people back there instead of guiding more people back there that wouldn't go on their own.

I guess I'd like it because I haven't gone, and the times I've skied at MRG (very few unfortunately) I either haven't been with someone who would go, or have been with someone who also doesn't know the exact route (I have an idea what to do, he probably didn't have any...that was also early season so it was probably out of the question anyways). I've been in similar situations at SB, and one year a friend and I did the Slide Brook tour, and then the following visit when I was with him and a few others, we ventured in ourselves, because we had done the tour and had an idea where to go. We had a nice size group, and were careful and stayed near the beaten track. But I never even would have done that if not for the initial experience of the tour. So from my point of view, I know that I'm much more likely to ski the 19th/20th a first and subsequent times after doing it for the first time on a tour.
 

skibum1321

New member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
1,349
Points
0
Location
Malden, MA
kcyanks1 said:
I guess I'd like it because I haven't gone, and the times I've skied at MRG (very few unfortunately) I either haven't been with someone who would go, or have been with someone who also doesn't know the exact route (I have an idea what to do, he probably didn't have any...that was also early season so it was probably out of the question anyways). I've been in similar situations at SB, and one year a friend and I did the Slide Brook tour, and then the following visit when I was with him and a few others, we ventured in ourselves, because we had done the tour and had an idea where to go. We had a nice size group, and were careful and stayed near the beaten track. But I never even would have done that if not for the initial experience of the tour. So from my point of view, I know that I'm much more likely to ski the 19th/20th a first and subsequent times after doing it for the first time on a tour.
I did both Slidebrook and 20th Hole the first time without a tour. I was told where to go in and then followed the tracked out routes. In the case of Slidebrook, I stuck to the beaten path the first time and then expanded out gradually. My methods of experimenting aren't always the smartest way but I always have a pretty good idea where I'm going and go with a few others as well. For the 20th Hole, I ended up a couple of miles down the road because I missed the cat tracks (stupid mistake). For the record, to learn a ton about MRG, the trail work days are a great resource (lots of folks who know MRG like the backs of their hands).
 

skibum1321

New member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
1,349
Points
0
Location
Malden, MA
My question is regarding the trail work days led by Jay Appleton. Since these days have begun, how has the work of these groups affected the areas that are marked as regeneration zones? Have you begun to see Paradise, Glade, and all others begin to return to their former glory? Do you find that people generally respect the regeneration zones? In regards to the clearing of glades that they do, how are the glades holding up that they have cut and maintained? Do you see any changes to MRG's forestry policies or to the scope of the work that these crews will be doing?
 

kcyanks1

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Messages
1,555
Points
0
Location
New York, NY
skibum1321 said:
I did both Slidebrook and 20th Hole the first time without a tour. I was told where to go in and then followed the tracked out routes. In the case of Slidebrook, I stuck to the beaten path the first time and then expanded out gradually. My methods of experimenting aren't always the smartest way but I always have a pretty good idea where I'm going and go with a few others as well. For the 20th Hole, I ended up a couple of miles down the road because I missed the cat tracks (stupid mistake). For the record, to learn a ton about MRG, the trail work days are a great resource (lots of folks who know MRG like the backs of their hands).

Doing one of those work days one time would probably be a great idea. A nice day outside if the weather cooperates as well as a learning experience. I think that if I had a few people in a group, talked to someone who knew, and saw the tracks out to the 20th, and perhaps had a pick-up ride arranged in case we ended up in the wrong place, I might try it without a guide and follow the tracks. I'd have to make sure the situation was perfect, the tracks were clearly visible, etc. Slide Brook I definitely wanted to have a tour first, because I've heard you can get lost in there if you aren't careful.

You are right though that there are other options aside from relying on a paid tour--you can always meet people on lifts (though MRG makes that one tough!), in the lodge, or even on message boards such as these. I see the downside to having organized tours, as it can lead to the off-piste areas getting skied up much more quickly. Slidebrook is a bigger area than the 20th I presume (perhaps incorrectly), but it's clear from the 3 times I've been in it (1 with tour, 2 without but following what was probably the tour route), that there has been a lot of traffic in there. The dilemma for me was that while I'm sure there were plenty of fresh tracks to be find, I didn't want to look for them because I wanted to make sure I didn't get lost.
 
Top