GM Blog: Home Sweet Home

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I am flying home from Austria.  Tomorrow I jump right back in but first I want to reflect on an amazing trip.  When I look back 10 yrs from now, I would like to think that my trip is more than just a photo album.  I want to put the inspiration I feel right now to good use.

Without a doubt, I learned a lot about lifts and feel more qualified to help with decisions on lift upgrades at Mount Snow.  And just to get it out there, we have not purchased a lift.  Lifts to replace the Summit Local and the Sunbrook Quad are a high priority for Peak Resorts.  The Summit Local is 1st on the list.  We hope to install a lift this summer but there is still work to be done.  I assure you, you will be one of the 1st to know.  Some of you have suggested that we get a 6-pack with heated seats but skip the bubble (too windy.)  Heated seats don’t really work without the bubble.  It has been tried with little success.  We are looking at all options.

Okay, back to Austria.  Our last day was a marathon. We started in Pitzgal, drove to St. Anton and finished the day at the world-famous Mooserwirt bar on the slopes of St. Anton.  They sell more beer than any other après ski on the planet.  Something like 60 kegs a day.  Don’t quote me on that...some guy dancing on a table shared that factoid, so I assume it is true.

At Pitzsal, we checked out the kid friendly detach 6-pack.  It is pretty slick.  Notice that every other seat is red, black, red black, so kids know where to place their tiny butts.  Once you are loaded, the safety bar comes down automatically and locks.  See in the pic that your footrest extension comes down between your legs so you can’t slip under?  The kids can pull on a strap and bring down the bubble on cold days.  Unload is the best.  You just sit there and the bubble and safety bar automatically rises just in time to unload.

At St. Anton we rode another amazing lift.  In my opinion, we saved to best for last.  Best if you are looking for sex appeal.  I was told that the Galzig Bahn was such a beautiful lift that a glass terminal was built so it could be showcased, not covered.  Unlike most funitels, you enter your cabin (24 ppl) at ground level and then you ride the “ferris wheel “up, eliminating the need for all those stairs!

I have to admit that I was envious of the lifts we rode, the terrain we skied and the 360 degrees of breathtaking views.  I traveled with 14 ski area operators from all over the US and Canada, like Whistler, Heavenly, Solitude, Le Massif and Aleyska.  We talked for hours about our operations back home and again, I was a little jealous.

Okay Kelly, get over it!  At times like these it is important to remember that every ski area has its place and purpose.  Like the little ski area in NH where I grew up.  Much smaller than Mount Snow but when I was 12 I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to ski anywhere else. It is where I fell in love with the sport of skiing. I am sure that Mount Snow means that much to many people, me included.

The Alps of Austria remind me that anything is possible and I look forward to getting back to Mount Snow to work with my staff to make our resort even better.  I think we should start by giving the Moosewirt a run for its money – can you say Cuzzin’s on steroids?

Thank you to our hosts from Doppelmayr, the resorts we visited and our most-capable bus driver, Helmut.  Note: 3 ppl missing above.  Impossible to keep a group this big together!
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