AlpineZone Challenge 2004 – Steve Wright of Jay Peak

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. Steve WrightDirector of Marketing and Sales at Jay Peak in Jay, Vermont, took the AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge and provided the following responses on 9/16/2004:

Tin Woodsman: The cutting of the Can-Am Supertrail, like many of its brethren cut in the mid-80s, can be said to have been a mistake. On a mountain as windy as Jay, it can easily get scraped clean of its natural snow cover while the snowmaking resources required to cover such a wide trail must be staggering. Even on days with good cover, you are simply left with a broad boulevard nearly devoid of the character that makes trails like Kitzbuhl so special. Are there any plans (or even discussion) to try and rectify this situation by allowing one of both sides of the trail to grow in? For the record, it seems like this strategy was pursued successfully on the upper half of the Sunrise trail at Sugarbush.

Steve Wright: 
Don’t disagree but there are no plans or discussion toward growing in.

Tin Woodsman: What was the motivation behind placing the terminus of the Green Mountain Flyer in such an exposed location? As I’m sure you know, the top third of this lift ride above Exhibition can be painfully cold. Moreover, the lift line cuts through (some would say destroys) the upper portions of Everglade and Staircase. Clearly there must have been some motivation for this placement – the mountain ops crew would have known of these consequences. I’m just wondering what was gained with its current alignment over one that would, for example, have ended the lift close by Tower Two of the tram? Wouldn’t this alignment have enabled intermediate skiers to access everything the current GMF can, save for Ullr’s Dream? Was the access to Ullr’s worth the consequences?

Steve Wright: Yes, the access to Ullr’s was worth the, for lack of a better word, consequences.

Tin Woodsman: I must say that I am concerned by the initial planning that has been revealed for the forthcoming expansion into the West Bowl. Jay has proposed to add 3 detachable 6 packs and 1 fixed grip quad to this area. That is a truly stunning amount of uphill capacity for the size of the area in question. Aren’t there concerns among the mountain ops staff that this will lead to overcrowding on the trails in that area? Specifically, what good is it cutting so many glades if they are turned into treed mogul runs by the end of the day? Moreover, the crowding/scraped off snow problems on trails like Goat Run are already well known. Aren’t you concerned that adding a 6 pack to the same area as the GMF will only exacerbate these problems? There is a worrying emphasis on quantity over quality in the thought process behind the plans revealed thus far.

Steve Wright: You’re operating off of an older, initial mock-up of the West Bowl expansion. No 6-packs are on the table. We’re looking at 2 Quads with only one, possibly, being a high-speed.

thetrailboss: Thanks for taking the challenge. I’m a NEK native and enjoy Jay. Burke is my home, I’ll admit. The biggest problem I’ve had with Jay is that for almost every good day I’ve had, there has been at least one bad day (specifically, skiing conditions that were not as good as reported or not skiing at all because half of the lifts are closed due to wind). I know that there is not much you can do, but with your amazing website and updates, could it be possible to get some Real Time snow conditions reporting so I don’t drive an hour to find half the mountain closed due to wind? There has been some improvement, but anything more would really be appreciated!

Steve Wright: The problem of one good day for each bad is not unique to the Jay area–especially given my work history..;) We’ll continue to strive toward more accurate and timely reporting.

thetrailboss: Also, be sure to keep the Burke/Jay interchangeable pass program. Has this helped your mountain?

Steve Wright: As a Marketing Director I can see both benefits and negetives to the Jay/Burke Pass. I love skiing Burke, but not many Jay Pass holders are buying a Jay Pass because of the Burke accessibility.

pragmaticskier: With greater glade and woods trail use some of the areas are turning into regular runs (like double dipper did at Killington). Are there any plans to close certain areas to allow the trees to regrow (like MRG regeneration zones)?

Steve Wright: Again, no regrowth is planned.

pragmaticskier: Are there plans to have more mogul runs and/or less grooming?

Steve Wright: There are no plans to *add* mogul runs. This place is groomed less than 98% of the resorts I’ve visited so I can’t imagine a scenario where ‘less’ would be incorporated.

pragmaticskier:For Can-Am, any plans to add trees to the center of the trail to lessen wind blown snow and make two decent trails?

Steve Wright: Adding trees? No.

pragmaticskier: I know this isn’t easy but the Boniventure quad would work better if the whole lift was moved further up the mountain (starting near the second or third tower and dropping off on the other side of Northway. This would allow better access to the east side of the mountain (similar to the old quad). Any thoughts on this?

Steve Wright: Moving the Quad?? Double no.

pragmaticskier: Every year the main trails seem to get wider and wider (JFK for example) any plans to narrow any of the trails?

Steve Wright: Narrowing of trails??? Triple no.

To view forum comments on this Challenge and the Challenge Results, please visit the following page: width=