The AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge was designed to provide a method for our forum members to get official answers to skiing-related questions directly from a ski area representative. Dawn Bauer, Marketing Director of Belleayre in Highmount, New York, took the AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge and provided the following responses on 12/22/2004:
Klugscheisser: Can Belleayre offer a shared season ticket with Gore and Whiteface?
Dawn Bauer: Belleayre Mountain would be very happy to offer a shared ticket with Gore and Whiteface, and it has been tossed around in the past. However, there would be a lot of details to overcome before this could happen, but we would be in favor of it.
goldsbar: Some Northeast mountains such as Loon use standard grooming equipment to”make” very evenly spaced mogul fields on intermediate terrain. Jiminy Peakis also planning to offer “man-made” moguls this season. Does Belleayre havethe capacity to do this and is it something you’ve considered?
Dawn Bauer: Belleayre does have the capacity and machinery to accomplish this task. However, Belleayre Mountain has some of the best natural moguls fields in all ability ranges; expert, intermediate and beginner. We don’t feel that we need to make “man-made” moguls when our natural moguls are so good.
Greg: Does Belleayre have a “sibling” mountain in the East? If yes, pleaseexplain what qualities the mountain shares with Belleayre.
Dawn Bauer: At this time Belleayre doesn’t really have any siblings.
noreaster: The excellent snowmaking and grooming quality at Belleayre has not gone unnoticed. Can you share some of Belleayre’s snowmaking secrets?
Dawn Bauer: Sure we can share two of our secrets – One is Ronnie Hull – snowmaking, and the other Butch Cowan – Grooming!!
noreaster: How would you rate your success of the new 2003-2004 terrain park last season? What did you learn and what improvements to the terrain park are planned for next year?
Dawn Bauer: We had great success the first season with our new and improved terrain park “AREA 51″ I think most of the riders and skiers were very happy with it. We did learn that “Area 51″ is in need of more rails and we are looking into that for this season.
Greg: Belleayre Mountain opened on November 9 last year, making it among the first ski areas in the East to open, along with Woodbury Connecticut, and two Quebec ski areas. Is an early opening date on par with the likes of Bretton Woods, Killington, and Woodbury to be expected again this season?
Dawn Bauer: We will be looking for a Saturday November 13th opening this season. We expect to open every year around this same time. Weather permitting of course.
Greg: Are there any infrastructure improvements/upgrades planned, e.g. lifts, snowmaking, base/summit facilities, etc.?
Dawn Bauer: We have been very busy since the close of last season, alot of our improvements, are kind of behind the scenes improvements, but extremely important to all of our guests, We have installed a brand new potable water system, a brand new fuel storage system, we have improved the design of the the new Onondaga trail, increased snowmaking capabilities, We built a brand new six bay ticketing area located outside the Overlook Lodge. A newly renovated Rental Ski/board shop in the Overlook Lodge, and we have installed a brand new Magic Carpet lift in the KidsCamp teaching area.
Greg: Belleayre is unique in that it is a state-operated ski area. How doesthis fact benefit and/or hinder Belleayre as compared to the other private and corporate owned New York ski areas?
Dawn Bauer: No comment.
Greg: ASC is currently offering the ASC Gold Pass (no blackout dates; good at six resorts) for $599. What do you feel will be the effect of such aggressive season pass pricing on the Northeast ski industry as a whole, especially for mid-sized mountains like Belleayre?
Dawn Bauer: The effect of such aggressive pricing should hopefully mean more people out there riding and skiing, with more people out there riding and skiing, and becoming avid fans of the sport will mean more success for all mountains, so we totally applaud them for their initiative!
jimme: I almost hate to ask, because this shows my lazy side, but I remember doing a lot of “skating” when I skied Belleayre. Any thoughts or plans for a “transfer tow” to move skiers along the summit ridge?
Dawn Bauer: Well you must not have skied here in a few years. We removed the “transfer tow” on the West side of the Mt. when we installed the Tomahawk Quad. There is no hoofing when you use the Quad. On the East Side of the Mt. when you get off the SuperChief Quad, the area down to Roaring Brook has been regraded to a nice gently slope. I think you will find both East and West Sides along the Summit Ridge a pleasure.