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  1. #551
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    I'm not articulating this well, but as a public agency managing a public good, at some point the Forest Service needs to be held accountable for preventing affordable & reasonable winter time recreation & access.

    The epic & ikon duopoly is certainly bad, but in the USA compared to Europe or Canada even the private "mom & pop" areas are a monopoly, limiting consumer choice and options.

    The forest service on the last 30 years has been an impediment to skiing and recreation in general. Speaking with a friend who is higher up in the FS (and a skier) he thinks if the forest service of today existed in the 1950s we would not have any skiing in the USA on public land. While there's no overt animosity toward skiing there are a lot of individuals who are subversively adding road blocks towards less human access summer or winter.

    While I'm not suggesting that Vail Corp should get the keys to the city, perhaps some leniency towards small community and non-profit skiing could be instituted? What if the Cascades had a handful of the corporate held big resorts but a few dozen small areas with 1 - 2 chairlifts in cool places that were non-profit & volunteer run?

    At the very least the development process needs to be streamlined and litigation minimized.

  2. #552
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    Nov 2006
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    I like this idea, but haven't the mom and pop areas - at least in WA - (of which I'm a fan) been proved a generally unsustainable (or shoestring at best) business model? Who would operate them and, sadly, why would anyone want to other than out of the goodness of their hearts?

    When I spent a few weeks chasing the FWT 2 seasons ago I was stunned by the level of mom and pop-ness everywhere I went in the European ski universe. From huge and small resorts with no lines and cheap (by our standards) tickets, to the many privately owned, on-hill food and bev businesses that seem to do just fine without being corporate or serving unmanageable hordes of people overpriced shit food.

    I'm kinda slow sometimes, but I was constantly agog at how wonderful it all was with so few customers (ie. $). Do those countries subsidize the industry participant businesses somehow? Don't even get me started on the train thing. How the hell do they do it so well over there?
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  3. #553
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    Dec 2003
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    Our new corporate overlord was standing in the already full base lodge this morning at 7.30 am with a shit eating grin on his face. Then yelled at staff to get the stairs shovelled faster. J would have been shoveling.

    I didn't see any particularity happy customers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  4. #554
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    Jul 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Our new corporate overlord was standing in the already full base lodge this morning at 7.30 am with a shit eating grin on his face. Then yelled at staff to get the stairs shovelled faster. J would have been shoveling.

    I didn't see any particularity happy customers.
    What a fucktard.

    For all the faults folks gave him, there wasn’t a shit job I didn’t see JK do himself. Bumping chairs on Chinook in the rain? Check. Serving fries in Campbell Basin on a pow day? Also check. Seen him cleaning the lower lodge bath rooms. Also ripped first tracks of the season down exterminator with him.

  5. #555
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    Oct 2010
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    Seattle
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    155
    Left SEA at 5AM today and arrived in middle of C lot at 7:30. 410 was a conga line of cars the entire way, avg speed about 40 MPH. Never seen traffic like this in 30+ years of going to Crystal. Something needs to change. Base lodge was a zoo at 8AM, lunch time and at 3 PM. Added bonus was at 8:00 AM the line for the men's bathroom stretched OUTSIDE the lodge, WTF is up with that? I just gave up, will make yellow snow...
    You Will Respect My Authoritah!

  6. #556
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    Sep 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    I'm not articulating this well, but as a public agency managing a public good, at some point the Forest Service needs to be held accountable for preventing affordable & reasonable winter time recreation & access.

    The epic & ikon duopoly is certainly bad, but in the USA compared to Europe or Canada even the private "mom & pop" areas are a monopoly, limiting consumer choice and options.

    The forest service on the last 30 years has been an impediment to skiing and recreation in general. Speaking with a friend who is higher up in the FS (and a skier) he thinks if the forest service of today existed in the 1950s we would not have any skiing in the USA on public land. While there's no overt animosity toward skiing there are a lot of individuals who are subversively adding road blocks towards less human access summer or winter.

    While I'm not suggesting that Vail Corp should get the keys to the city, perhaps some leniency towards small community and non-profit skiing could be instituted? What if the Cascades had a handful of the corporate held big resorts but a few dozen small areas with 1 - 2 chairlifts in cool places that were non-profit & volunteer run?

    At the very least the development process needs to be streamlined and litigation minimized.
    Yes.
    In France and Switzerland, the construction of lifts is sometimes subsidized by the government and then handed over to a private entity.

    It works amazingly well,, especially the independent, private, usually family owned huts and food providers.

    From a legal standpoint, the distinction between small and large corporations seems to have gotten lost with antitrust legislation.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
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  7. #557
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    Dec 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by XavierD View Post
    What a fucktard.

    For all the faults folks gave him, there wasn’t a shit job I didn’t see JK do himself. Bumping chairs on Chinook in the rain? Check. Serving fries in Campbell Basin on a pow day? Also check. Seen him cleaning the lower lodge bath rooms. Also ripped first tracks of the season down exterminator with him.
    Yep.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  8. #558
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    Oct 2003
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    closer
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    I like this idea, but haven't the mom and pop areas - at least in WA - (of which I'm a fan) been proved a generally unsustainable (or shoestring at best) business model? Who would operate them and, sadly, why would anyone want to other than out of the goodness of their hearts?

    When I spent a few weeks chasing the FWT 2 seasons ago I was stunned by the level of mom and pop-ness everywhere I went in the European ski universe. From huge and small resorts with no lines and cheap (by our standards) tickets, to the many privately owned, on-hill food and bev businesses that seem to do just fine without being corporate or serving unmanageable hordes of people overpriced shit food.

    I'm kinda slow sometimes, but I was constantly agog at how wonderful it all was with so few customers (ie. $). Do those countries subsidize the industry participant businesses somehow? Don't even get me started on the train thing. How the hell do they do it so well over there?
    They Do go broke sometimes. The piemont is missing a few little areas. (one of them which I miss a lot, with some of the best tree skiing ever) Super st. Bernhard and San Bernhardino in Switzerland (different passes, the holy patron does not protect them well it seems). And some smaller resorts in Austria barely make it. Generally the Tourist association of all hotels and other businesses of the region subsidize a lot of lifts. Not everywhere though. Usually it helps that most areas are not share holder owned by the empire, but by the local towns or regions, so they just have to make it and not deliver 30% profit margins.

    And of course communist work force field trips to plow the fields in summer. We're in Europe after all.
    It's a war of the mind and we're armed to the teeth.

  9. #559
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    Aug 2016
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    2,183
    Quote Originally Posted by primate View Post
    I seriously believe we could develop rail-served skiing in WA. Dig tunnels (as has been done before over Snoq. and Stevens, which still carries trains) through the passes (Stevens, Snoq., White, maybe even Chinook). Close the roads in the winter, except I90. Get enviros on board with the significant carbon savings. Sell the rail development as one facet of removing the de facto need to own a single-occupancy car to live in WA and have anything resembling an enjoyable lifestyle (no offense to the carless, I lived that way for a long time). Get our corporate ski-area overlords on board by 1) getting the enviros to allow some trams (e.g. Jim Hill at Stevens, maybe something on the N side of road) and 2) providing a stress-free, elegant way for New Jersey Jerry to get his family from Seatac to the slopes. It can happen.
    the milwaukee road ran ski trains from downtown Seattle to summit East for over a decade. The problem is numbers - you need lots of riders to make trains work. The current desired ski experience is antithetical to mass transit. And the current ski area corporate incentives are antithetical to the long term health of skiing.

  10. #560
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    Meh, I hope we don’t waste anymore public money on trains in WA. We’re already burning way to much public money on that 19th century technology in the lowlands. It’s an expensive and inflexible capital investment with almost zero advantages over modern options; especially those which will be available in the next 30 year. I don’t think folks fully appreciate the capabilities autonomous vehicles will provide. Why do we need to spend billions on a train that won’t run for another 20 years when we could have highly flexible cross state bus ‘trains’ running at >100mph that don’t have the entire train stop every time someone wants to get off.

  11. #561
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    Oct 2003
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    Lapping the pow with the GSA in the PNW
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    Isn’t that endless line of cars on 410 between Enumclaw and Crystal on weekends more or less a train? 🤣
    In constant pursuit of the perfect slarve...

  12. #562
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    Oct 2008
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    Wenatchee
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    There used to be many small 1-2 lift mom and pop places all over WA. Rising snow levels and customer desire for a “real” ski experience changed all that.

    All the people you see at the hills now aren’t skiers, they’re people who take a ski vacation or weekend . A very small percentage really go to ski most of the day. I see more people milling about in the lodge and around the base area at Mission that didn’t come to ski or ride at all. Snow boots and jeans taking selfie’s. Moms taking up entire tables in the cafeteria and restaurant saving space for their families, while people stand and wait four an hour or more.

  13. #563
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    Feb 2012
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    5,346
    Heh, sounds like Summit at Snoqualmie. I’d say 15-20% of the people up there now are snow tourists. Clogging up all the resources and trying to sled and camping at tables all day. Annoying

  14. #564
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    Feb 2013
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    Highyak
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    455
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the state needs a snow play area on the west side of Snoqualmie Pass, maybe in the Denny Creek area.
    "Pay your nickel and take your chances"
    "they don't groom Alpental, they just move shit around."

  15. #565
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    Feb 2012
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    The head in parking along 906 was cute yesterday. The turn lane was the main lane because people used the through lane as a parking lot, not parallel parking along the road, just head in parking right under the 8 highly visible “No Parking Any Time” signs under I-90. There was a flat bed towing an X5 on my way out, that made me happy. A tow company could make a killing up there on the weekend.

  16. #566
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    417
    Quote Originally Posted by pipedream View Post
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the state needs a snow play area on the west side of Snoqualmie Pass, maybe in the Denny Creek area.
    Agreed. Took 4 & 2 yr olds for an introduction to snow. Every snowpark, parking nook and cranny at the pass was at/over capacity, say nothing of the actual resort. Should have some kind of snowy "close enough" option a few miles downhill for the Gawking/sledding crowd.

  17. #567
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    Aug 2007
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    Bottom feeding
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    Agree. There really aren’t a lot of options.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
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  18. #568
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipedream View Post
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the state needs a snow play area on the west side of Snoqualmie Pass, maybe in the Denny Creek area.
    Tinkham road off ramp not good enough of a sledding hill and snowman farm for you?

    Rebuttal: the state needs a more consistent snow pack west of the pass.

  19. #569
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    Nov 2006
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    Isn't this exactly the majority go the population that fuels the European model?

    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    All the people you see at the hills now aren’t skiers, they’re people who take a ski vacation or weekend . A very small percentage really go to ski most of the day. I see more people milling about in the lodge and around the base area at Mission that didn’t come to ski or ride at all. Snow boots and jeans taking selfie’s. Moms taking up entire tables in the cafeteria and restaurant saving space for their families, while people stand and wait four an hour or more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  20. #570
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    Sep 2006
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    3,006
    Sounds like Alterra needs to add another day lodge or two. Charge $50+/day for parking, and increase the price of a season pass. They have a major cash cow on their hands, and they need to monetize the crap out of it. Supply and demand. Simple economics.
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  21. #571
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    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    Isn't this exactly the majority go the population that fuels the European model?
    Your question makes no sense, I think I know what you’re getting at though. It’s like when you’re listening to a really drunk or high person.

  22. #572
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    177
    Quote Originally Posted by Toadman View Post
    Sounds like Alterra needs to add another day lodge or two. Charge $50+/day for parking, and increase the price of a season pass. They have a major cash cow on their hands, and they need to monetize the crap out of it. Supply and demand. Simple economics.
    as far as base lodges are concerned, in the short term, it may be possible to set up heated tents to help mitigate overcrowding. Although I enjoy following the situation over there, I'm completely unfamiliar with crystal and whether there is undeveloped private land at the base or whether forest service would allow tents to be put up on short notice, but JHMR had to set up an emergency "base lodge" tent last winter on a small chunk of private land after they shut down the cafeteria that had served as an unofficial day lodge in years past (nick wilson). it has cubbies, chairs, free crappy nature valley bars, and it works well enough as intended. they put a 2nd one this year. flexible for the resort, presumably cheaper, and presumably could be deployed much quicker to stave off the junkshow.

  23. #573
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    Feb 2012
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    5,346
    Quote Originally Posted by LesterSmoove View Post
    as far as base lodges are concerned, in the short term, it may be possible to set up heated tents to help mitigate overcrowding. Although I enjoy following the situation over there, I'm completely unfamiliar with crystal and whether there is undeveloped private land at the base or whether forest service would allow tents to be put up on short notice, but JHMR had to set up an emergency "base lodge" tent last winter on a small chunk of private land after they shut down the cafeteria that had served as an unofficial day lodge in years past (nick wilson). it has cubbies, chairs, free crappy nature valley bars, and it works well enough as intended. they put a 2nd one this year. flexible for the resort, presumably cheaper, and presumably could be deployed much quicker to stave off the junkshow.
    Great insight.

    What are your thoughts on NASA jet propulsion or any other topic you know nothing about?

  24. #574
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    Oct 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK47bp View Post
    Great insight.

    What are your thoughts on NASA jet propulsion or any other topic you know nothing about?
    for my home resort, temporary base tents have been a good temporary band-aid for overcrowding at base facilities. alterra fucked up and should do whatever they can on all aspects of overcrowding. my two cents, buddy.

  25. #575
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK47bp View Post
    Great insight.

    What are your thoughts on NASA jet propulsion or any other topic you know nothing about?
    At this point he likely has more real experience about solutions to the Altera fuck show than those of us experiencing it for the first time. Yes, last year was bad but nothing like the fuckshow JHMR felt.

    FWIW, I don’t think Crystal is the potential cash cow compared to other areas. There just isn’t enough skier access. Everyone who skis there needs to drive up 410 and the blvd; which can only support so much traffic. Current lodging, water, and power situation will keep it from ever being a large scale destination resort. Even with expanded parking, shuttle services and a new day lodge you just can’t get that many people into the valley. It will be interesting if the SEA/TAC demand bump is enough to push Altera to significantly raise prices on ikon passes.

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