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. Levent Ozgur, Web Developer of Waterville Valley in Keene, New Hampshire, took the AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge and provided the following responses on 8/31/2004:
teachski: Being a teacher, it is very hard, if not impossible for me to get to a ski area mid-week, yet all special discounts seem to take place during the mid-week. School vacations are usually blacked out from these discounts and specials. Have you ever thought of having a couple teacher appreciation days through out the season, including one or two during the normally blacked out school vacations?
Levent Ozgur: Waterville has a very reasonable ticket price that is good on weekends also . In 03-04 , the ticket price was $39 for adults ; in 04-05 it will be $44.These are reasonable prices compared to what the other big mountains offer for the ticket price. We have never considered a teacher appreciation day, but encourage teachers to act as chaperons with school groups and take advantage of a group discount.
Charlie Schuessler: Waterville Valley is closer to me than all of the bigger mountains. However, because of LONG lift lines, I and most of the people I ski with will not go there on weekends. Does Waterville Valley have plans to upgrade the Worldcup triple chair, the North Side double chair or the Sunnyside triple chair?
Levent Ozgur: Waterville has two high speed Quads which give us the second highest uphill capacity in the state. The average line at either of these lifts, even on a busy day, is 8 to 10 minutes. The maze configuration makes it look longer than it is, but moves very quickly. We do lift line counts every half hour to monitor the situation. We do this because many people who complain feel as if they have waited, when the reality is that they haven’t. We have no plans to upgrade the Northside which, even on busy days, has a minimal line. The World Cup Triple is never crowded because most people prefer the five-minute ride to the top on the Quad. The Sunnyside Triple does sometimes have a line, but never more than 10 minutes and that is usually when the skiing on Sunnyside is fantastic, usually in the spring.
riverc0il: Are there any plans for expansion, specifically into the Green Mountain or Tripoli Road areas (i.e. not within existing alpine ski area boundaries) or is Waterville Valley confined to its current boundaries.
Levent Ozgur: The Master Plan includes Green Peak and the area to the right of the High Country unload. Our main priority now is to get our snowmaking ponds built . We should start on those next fall . Once they are completed, we will assess our next step.
riverc0il: Does Waterville Valley have any plans to return skiing and/or boarding to Snows Mountain? What are the short and long term plans for this lost ski area?
Levent Ozgur: We have no plans for Snows at his time. There is no snowmaking over there, so it is a challenge. We also have seen that when we did run it, we had very little interest. People who drive all the way up want to ski the big mountain.
riverc0il: Could you briefly detail the history of why there is the remains of an unload station at the top of the ski area (where the Sosman Hiking trail dumps out). My understanding is the High Speed Quad used to run to the summit. If this is so, why was the decision made to reduce the length?
Levent Ozgur: We moved the Quad from the top to its current unload because the wind kept it from running as much as we needed.
teachski: Do you have any special events planned for next season that you can let us in on?
Levent Ozgur: We once again have a fantastic series of events planned for the season, including the WMUR Winter Rodeo and Spring Fling Mountain Jam. For our complete and up-to-date events calendar (it’s constantly being updated), be sure to visit waterville.com.
teachski: Recently I read that skis that had been stolen from various New England ski area ended up for sale on eBay. Do you offer a ski watch type program and what other measures have you taken to help prevent and deter would-be ski thieves? (Note: I have not heard that this is a major problem at your area. I bring my own lock so I didn’t even look to see if you had any of theses services.)
Levent Ozgur: The theft ring that you heard about on Ebay was discovered by our security team working with a guest. We have a ski check room and we also have plain clothes security and cameras patrolling the racks. Lock or separate your skis; even with these efforts we still lose skis and boards.
teachski: Last year when I went to Waterville Valley I saw that you had a valet service for parking. Do a lot of people take advantage of this and what is the maximum number of cars you can handle with your valet service?
Levent Ozgur: This is a very popular service. We can handle 120 cars, and on busy days we sell out.
teachski: When is the Summit lift run? Each time that I have been to Waterville Valley it has not been in operation. The last time people were earning their turns (walking up the slope that is near the lift) as there was a good amount of fresh untracked powder to be had.
Levent Ozgur: We try to run High Country on weekends; unfortunately last year the conditions up there made us close more than we liked.
Greg: Are there any other infrastructure improvements/upgrades planned, e.g. lifts, snowmaking, base/summit facilities, etc.?
Levent Ozgur: We are always adding and tweaking our snowmaking . At this time we have no plans for this year for any major upgrades. We are concentrating on the mountain and putting in many more terrain features. We are making them in a progression concept, so you can work your way up through the bumps and jumps.