Thursday, March 14, 2019
Written by Win Smith
While I had a really fun time on our western Mountain Collective tour, it was great to get home last Saturday. A mechanical problem delayed our arrival into Burlington, and I did not pull into my driveway until 5:30am. My intention was to sleep for several hours and get to the mountain after lunch, but the sun woke me up after a couple of hours. As I looked out my bedroom window at the bluebird day, I quickly got dressed and arrived at the mountain at 10am. It seems that everyone knew it was going to be a great day and arrived early. By the time I crossed over from West Hill Road, parking was already in Lot F. And with good reason – what a great day of skiing and riding it was! We had one of our busiest March Saturdays ever but with all trails and lifts open and the woods skiing well, the mountain handled the crowd very well. Even the cafeterias were not that crowded as people were sitting outside in the plaza and on the patios. The Umbrella Bar had one of its best days ever and sold out of pizza. Walt’s had a record day as well at Mt. Ellen. Sunday was not quite as nice, but I still enjoyed a number of great turns. The week has gotten off to an excellent start with nearly a foot of fresh snow, and our midweek business has been strong. While we are currently in a quick spring thaw through tomorrow, it looks like winter returns on Saturday and hopefully brings some fresh snow and another excellent weekend. Saturday marks the last day of Blazers so we will be bidding both the students and coaches goodbye until next year and thanking them for another great year of skiing and riding. Saturday night don’t miss our final 60 Years of Sugarbush Music with The Grift in Gate House. This time they’re focusing on the 2000s.
Tomorrow our season passes go on sale for the 2019/2020 season. Prices have increased on average just under 5% after being flat for a few years. Our wages are up 10% over last year, and we do have to adjust ticket and pass prices next year to compensate for this increase. Still, I believe that you will find that our passes represent some of the best values around, and we are offering the same categories as we have these past several years. As I mentioned previously, supplementing a Sugarbush season pass with either an Ikon or a Mountain Collective Pass might make sense for many of you who plan to call Sugarbush your home mountain but want to ski elsewhere next season as well. The cash that is received from our spring cash sales is what we use to operate through the summer months as well as providing for our capital expenditures, which are always planned to improve your experience here.
I recently thanked everyone for a big improvement in conforming to our afterhours skinning policy. Recently, however, we had a few people again violating the policy, putting both our employees and themselves in great jeopardy. One of our groomers took this video. It's a little tricky to see, but you will notice a few skiers jumping a berm at the top of the Riemergasse Terrain Park and coming precariously close to a groomer. This is not only stupid and disrespectful but it is very dangerous. If anyone recognizes these individuals we will pay a reward of a complementary season pass for this information. We have spoken the Vermont State Police and they are prepared to take action.
I hate to end on a negative, so let me do so on a positive note. Many of our J-1 students are starting to leave in order to get home to begin their studies. We have had a great crew this winter, and I know they would appreciate a smile and a thank you if you see them. Of course, all of our great teammates would appreciate the same as they work very hard to provide the best service possible, and I am very lucky to have them on our team.
Remember, we are still planning on ending with a Cinco de Mayo party!