- Jun 4, 2004
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!
Usual ever day discussions are around 75 percent negative, this vail sucks is at 99.5 percent,I probably do not ski nearly as often as most of y'all but I wanted to chime into the discussion here with some observations from southern Pennsylvania.
In PA Vail has acquired the three longtime Snow Time Inc./Irvin Naylor ski areas in south-central PA of Ski Roundtop, Liberty, and Whitetail, as well as the Jack Frost/Big Boulder operation in the Poconos. As a kid, we went to Ski Roundtop all the time and it is pretty good for PA skiing all things considered, but I have not been to any of them this year due to the extraordinary increase in the price of their lift tickets and failure to get trails open after the massive snowfall we got right before Christmas.
They have been Vail'ed hard. There have allegedly been huge crowds, partly due to the Epic crowds. They have been having huge issues with staffing, and I have been getting lots of ads and emails from Indeed the past few weeks from Vail looking for employees. Big communication issues. Their websites are awful. Vail has quite possibly the *worst* websites in the whole ski industry. It is impossible to find anything that you are looking for on their websites. They got rid of all the individual styling on the websites and have the same Vail template on all of them. The old websites were just fine. There has been a failure to open lifts and trails as fast as usual. They got 18" is snow and great cold weather a week or so before Christmas which is more than we got in total all last year, but they were only able to open a few trails Christmas week. Roundtop is only just recently opening their Upper Gunbarrel/Ramrod expert terrain which seems to be pretty late. Snow Time since the beginning invested *heavily* in snowmaking at Roundtop/Liberty/Whitetail, as you have to around here, and in the past they pretty much seemed to be all open all the time by January. Events such as the Cardboard classic at JFBB have been cancelled "due to covid" and people seem to have been given the impression that they are never coming back.
I *really* hope Vail doesn't ruin Roundtop in particular with "improvements." It has had a pretty good vibe in the past.
IIRC tickets under Snow Time were like $35-$50 but now they are more like $75. We have gone skiing elsewhere. Bear Creek, Montage, and Elk have $25-35 tickets and have been way faster at opening up. Blue Mountain in particularly has had their act together, they had almost everything open right after the big snow, snowmaking running all the time, all lifts running, machines to validate online ticket orders in the parking lot. They are by many definitions the largest ski area in PA and their tickets are cheaper than the much-smaller JFBB and Roundtop/Liberty/Whitetail, as low as like $39 some days. Even Montage, who every year people speculate is going to go bankrupt again, was relatively full on a Thursday, had most of their terrain open, and had all of the lifts spining, even the infamous Long Haul.
We had been considering getting Epic passes this year but decided to wait and see due to covid issues, and I am glad we did. We will be doing our big-mountain skiing and Plattekill and Gore this year.
I have little sympathy for Vail's staffing issues. Other areas seem to be doing better. I had been seriously considering working for Roundtop while on break from college this winter, possibly even into the spring semester since classes are only, but they just are not a competitive employer anymore. Market rate for labor here in central PA is like $12 minimum. You can walk into a fast food joint or Walmart or a warehouse and get paid that much. I get paid about twice what Roundtop would pay working for my local supermarket, it is not a 45 minute drive away, and, most importantly, I do not have to work for Vail.
Thread title says it all.
from a terrain opening perspective they've done just fine at Roundtop given that we haven't had much sustained cold. It hasn't been overly cold or warm. They haven't been able to make snow in going on 2 weeks because it hasn't dipped much below 28 degrees for an hour a two at night. Forecast low is 22 tonight. if they don't make snow then I'll be pissed.
I have heard that Liberty and Whitetail have been super slow to open, but they are even further south and both face the east and south.
Lines have been out of control to the point it seems hard to believe Vail Corp is really saying they are down 16% overall. I guess those western resorts do pack the people in though...
I'm stuck with Vail Roundtop is 4 miles from my house. that is unless I win this $1 Billion megamillions and buy back these southcentral PA resorts :lol:
I skied Hunter today, best day of the year so far!!!!! They were making snow on Upper Crossover, MainLine, Minya and Clairs all during white out squalls!! NO ice anywhere, made me think of the old Hunter when they would be making snow during a blizzard.
Claires is almost ready. Skied by the bottom of it today. They are also making Upper Crossover. Still could be making on another trail like Twilight.Gore is making snow on Rumor and Lies..hmmm..and the west side of Hunter is..dead. Score one for NY owned mountain. Thats a shame.
Today was probably the best day of the season so far. They still could have a couple more trails lit up. And your right, making April will be tough with the current base.I skied Hunter today, best day of the year so far!!!!! They were making snow on Upper Crossover, MainLine, Minya and Clairs all during white out squalls!! NO ice anywhere, made me think of the old Hunter when they would be making snow during a blizzard.
I think they're trying very hard to get as much snow down as possible, cause when March comes and the big orange thing in the sky gets to heating, the thin cover they have will be gone in 60 seconds!
Making it to April is going to be a challenge for sure!