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What would you do?? - Magic Mtn Edition

WoodCore

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It's the close of ski season and you've just been handed the keys to Magic Mountain, VT. You have complete control of the ski area and $5 Million to invest. How do you spend the money? Post up your plan!
 

prsboogie

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Gut and reno the lodge, nothing super fancy just solid. Snowmaking infrastructure rehab and whatever power is needed to effectively run said reno. Anything left goes into the lift(s), including a carpet. A little cash to purchase a condo so I can keep a close eye on what's happening and 100k in advertising that Magic is Alive
 

Hado226

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Groomer, 8 inch water and air main to the summit, summit pond, pumps and compressors, 2 fixed grip lifts. 1 to Tali/sorcerer 1 to sunshine, scrap most of black, relocate top terminal top of hocus pocus.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

mister moose

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Buy a 50 foot sailboat and a condo at Breckenridge. Put the rest in the bank. Put the keys on the bar.
 

ss20

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5 million can't fix the ship I'm afraid. You need a 1 or a 2 before the 5 and you can have a reliable used fixed-grip to the top, a learning carpet, and 5 snowmaking ways from the top with somewhat adequate water.
 

drjeff

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Invest the 5 and hope the market is very friendly and quick and you then are starting with 10 million to invest!
 

slatham

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The challenge is that as arm chair resort operators we're not really sure what the various improvements would cost. That aside, this is what is needed IMHO:

Black repaired (I am assuming Red has been running ok)
Magic Carpet lift
50 or so HKD Super Impulse portable guns (combo of the new land ones and towers). These I understand are $3k a pop, so thats a quick $150k
Enough water and air (probably only need one compressor) to run said guns, plus the existing fans. So fix the pond, add some pumps.
Expand the electrical lines on lower mountain so fans can be used elsewhere (Lower half of lower carpet, lower Wizard, etc)
Money put aside to assure that even in a winter like this one we would have enough open by now to attract people looking to avoid the crowds at the majors, which to me means the following need to be open:
Upper and Lower Carpet
Medium
Trick
Show Off
Wand
Hocus Pocus
Beginner/Tubing
Upper and Lower Wizard
Tali

Lodge repair, especially a new roof.

Once - or maybe as - the above is done I would allocate capital to marketing the improvements.

IF Red runs reliably, and Black is available as a back up, my first lift priority is the carpet, followed by a fixed grip for the old beginner area to the lookers right/West of Black. I am not sure I would ever complete Phoenix.

The plan would be to make Magic viable and profitable before spending what I would expect would be $1-$1.5 million a new "used" fixed grip to the summit to replace Black. If Red and Black run ok, the top priority is snowmaking. Snow is key. I will skin up to ski down on snow. I will not ride a new lift to ski dirt!

And I would look to expand at least woods skiing to the West - hike to summit (or a handle tow up) and drop down above Slide of Hans and Wizard all the way to the next ridge line connecting back to lower Wizard.

Powerball anyone?
 

NY DirtBag

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If I were trying to make money (and not just make it better for the hardcore/diehard crowd) I would spend 1.5 mil to upgrade the lodge, 1 mil on snowmaking and infrastructure, 1 mil to make sure the lifts are functioning superbly. I'd use the rest as an operating loss reserve to guarantee snow making no matter what and start really marketing to families. Right now, if you mention Magic to most people coming to ski in southern vermont they think expert tree terrain and natural snow. You need to fix that if you want $$ to come to the mountain to make it sustainable. There aren't enough ski bums with $ to make any resort viable, IMO

Its probably the best family mountain in So vermont (great and interesting green and blues, all trails lead to one base, etc) , but they need reliable snowmaking and a solid ski school to make it work for families.

Oh and cloud seeding. You need to spend on cloud seeding.
 
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deadheadskier

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Haven't seen anyone mention marketing yet. How many non diehards have even heard of the place or know it's a great family option in Southern VT. You sink the full $5M in without screaming from the tree tops that you made major investments and it would all go for not.
 

steamboat1

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and 100k in advertising that Magic is Alive

Once - or maybe as - the above is done I would allocate capital to marketing the improvements.

I'd use the rest as an operating loss reserve to guarantee snow making nop matter what and start really marketing to families. Right now, if you mention Magic to most people coming to ski in southern vermont they think expert tree terrain and natural snow. You need to fix that if you want $$ to come to the mountain to make it sustainable. There aren't enough ski bums with $ to make any resort viable, IMO

Hmmm.
 

deadheadskier

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Missed that. Glanced over the posts and folks seemed primarily concerned with capital. I'd think almost 20% of any major investment should go to marketing. It's that far off people's radar if they only get 25k skier visits a year. I would think a sustainable model would need to double if not triple that number
 

steamboat1

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So out of $5m you'd spent almost $1m on marketing? Seems a bit excessive to me. Then again I have no idea what the marketing budgets are for the larger players & how it relates to their investments. I don't think Burke will spend anywhere near $11m for their $55m hotel investment.
 

deadheadskier

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I wouldn't say that it's a scalable percentage. I'd also suggest 20% isn't something you'd repeat at Magic. But given that so few people know it is open, I'd think dropping only $100k to market $4.9M in improvements would not be enough for where they are at. Maybe $500K is more realistic.
 

prsboogie

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Haven't seen anyone mention marketing yet. How many non diehards have even heard of the place or know it's a great family option in Southern VT. You sink the full $5M in without screaming from the tree tops that you made major investments and it would all go for not.

Check the second (mine) and the one just before yours
 

vt121

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magic business plan made easy...

#1
replace black, use red as back-up (without at least one reliable lift no mtn will succeed )

#2
fix snow making on blue and green side of mtn

#3
add magic carpet on old beginner area (behind black)

#4
refresh lodge

#5
market it like hell
 

oompaloompa

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just wondering if folks are envisoning group or individual lessons in the old beginner area, or simply a beginner pod in which to safely practice? lessons won't work, as it's too far from the lodge to the pod for the chillen's to walk, carrying all their stuff. roughly 800ft, slightly uphill, past the black maze, etc. mapquest it.

it would work if the pod was self-contained, like with a small yurt or something. they're already in use at several areas.

btw, i think an overall plan for the place has been developed by SE group or similar. little boid told me. : )
 

skithetrees

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just wondering if folks are envisoning group or individual lessons in the old beginner area, or simply a beginner pod in which to safely practice? lessons won't work, as it's too far from the lodge to the pod for the chillen's to walk, carrying all their stuff. roughly 800ft, slightly uphill, past the black maze, etc. mapquest it.

it would work if the pod was self-contained, like with a small yurt or something. they're already in use at several areas.

btw, i think an overall plan for the place has been developed by SE group or similar. little boid told me. : )

Worked in the past. Real little kids practiced on the trailside lawn.
 

oompaloompa

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it couldn't have worked too well, the idea was abandoned. there is room to improve the overall experience for never-evers and beginners, why repeat what didn't work really well?

generally speaking, if magic wants to compete with folks who actually think about their customers' experience they'll have to change. a paradigm shift if you will.
 
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Brad J

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Full disclosure:
1) have never been to Magic
2) am oldschool
So with that I would make it MRG like , Dependable lifts , adequate lodge, limited snowmaking, market to serious skiers and their families. Pray for average snowfalls . Invest 3.5 Mil in a solid investment and do not even try to compete with the larger well funded areas. Build your core like minded skiers and riders that like a more natural ski experience. Just need a group of owners that do not care to make a profit,but just love the place and want it to be there for future generations. I know its a pipe dream but there are plenty of small to medium ski areas that are uninspiring so why make Magic one of them.
 

skithetrees

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it couldn't have worked too well, the idea was abandoned. there is room to improve the overall experience for never-evers and beginners, why repeat what didn't work really well?

generally speaking, if magic wants to compete with folks who actually think about their customers' experience they'll have to change. a paradigm shift if you will.

It wasn't abandoned. The lift was sold off after the mountain closed. It was great because unlike so many mountains, experts weren't bombing through the beginner area unlike the current or any other potential setup. Learned to ski there. Maybe kids were tougher back then. If it's such a problem, put in stairs to the base of black in the area where cats come out. Would really be no different than 90% of the other mountains the. The main issue now, beyond money for the lift is that the condo owns part of that land, and with no liability insurance for the mountain, has no interest in letting them use it.
 
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