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. Ted Blazer, ORDA President and CEO of Gore Mountain in North Creek, New York, took the AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge and provided the following responses on 10/18/2006:
mattchuck2: What is the latest on the Ski bowl base area to the Gore base area Gondola? Is that still the plan for expansion? How many new trails and lifts will there be and where will they be located? What will happen to existing base area buildings? What kind of timetable is there for completion? I heard you got $5.5 million in the state budget this year. When the Ski Bowl expansion is completed, will there be a new halfpipe and park down there? I know there is lots of concern about liability, but Whiteface’s Park/Pipe is far superior to Gore, and I feel as though there will be ever increasing demand for this kind of thing at Gore. I also want to express my thanks for opening up a lot of terrain that other mountains would never open. Dark Side Glades, High Pines, The Cave, and “Darby Woods” are great trails that really add an individual flavor to Gore – separating it from the “Strattons of the world.” Hopefully, Gore can retain that distinctive character even as a base village/golf course/condo complex is added at the bottom.
Ted Blazer: That lift is thought of as a last possible development in our planning, and still requires some environmental analysis. The successes of the expantion to the Ski Bowl and market demands will ulimately determine the time frame for this lift.
The original gondola’s loading barn is being turned into a Learning Center. The rental shop will be in the basement and the Snowsports school will be on the upper floor. This is being designed now, with the behind the scenes improvements ongoing. Construction of the Learning Center will occur in the Spring.
The Ski Bowl will be redeveloped over the next few years and a Park and Pipe are being planned.
Tin Woodsman: Some feedback regarding this plan. I noted with disappointment the preliminary design plans for the Ski Bowl/Gore interconnect. Re-establishing downhill skiing in a meaningful way at the Ski Bowl is an obvious positive for many obvious reasons. However, it is the plan to use a Gondola to connect the bases of the two areas which has me concerned and confused. With the re-opening of the Ski Bowl, you have a tremendous opportunity to utilize that base as a new portal for Gore and to spread out the load of incoming skiers and riders. Yet you have chosen an expensive option to take skiers only to the existing base area. From what I can tell, this will only increase crowds in the lodge and on the base area lifts and trails. There will be no meaningful expansion of skiable terrain accessible from Gore with this lift. I know the terrain between Gore and Ski Bowl is, to say the least, unique, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to interconnect the two areas by bringing people to a mid-mountain off-load on Gore directly from the Ski Bowl base?
Ted Blazer: The entire plan is will be studied and implemented in the most cost effective and user friendly way possible.
Kornfein: Once the new North Creek ski bowl lift gets installed (prior to the interconnect) will a shuttle run between the areas? Will the trail from the bottom of the North chair be open to get to the bowl? I can think of several area including Killington, and Breckenridge that have trail that go to condo areas but you need to return by shuttle bus. Gore once offered a tour down to the Ski Bowl and picked skiers and riders up in a bus. Could you do this again?
Ted Blazer: We are analysing the sequence of our expansion and include the guest service considerations in our planning.
mattchuck2: After that fiasco at the big air contest last year, will the big air contest be returning to Gore this winter? Is there any chance you can leave that jump up all year instead of grooming it flat immediately after the contest? Whiteface has jumps that are 3 times the size of that thing.
Ted Blazer: The fact that one individual chose to disregard the rules will not cause us to disregard everyone elses good times. We are making more terrain park improvements every year, but also are required to properly risk manage these features. We will probably continue with elements on GoreEGully, Upper and Loweer Sleighride, and only use the Big Air Location for Events.
thebigo: Many of us in greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire have read and heard great things about Gore and Whiteface. Personally I would love to ski there but I can never justify driving past many of the great hills in Vermont. What are those of us who never skied in New York missing and why should we drive the extra few hours? Do you offer a ski/lodging package that would allow someone to check out Gore and Whiteface in one weekend?
Ted Blazer: www.goremountain.com
mattchuck2: Are trails off of Burnt Ridge in the expansion plan? If so, will they impact the Twister glades in any way? I love the length of twister glades and the “backcountry” of Burnt ridge, and I would hate to see either destroyed. But, I guess I could be persuaded if you have a halfpipe with 18 foot walls at the Ski Bowl.
Ted Blazer: The Twister Glades and Burnt Ridge Back Country Terrain will be impacted by our expansion. This will be possitive, as it will include a 7000′+ lift with over 1600′ Verticle. There will be more ways to access new glades and back country terrain, and it can go down below our base area.
Kornfein: There was talk of moving the Kids Center to the old gondola building a couple of years ago. As a parent of a young child I thought this was a great idea. Drop offs and pick-ups of children behind the base lodge are a hassle and cut into the small amount of free ski time you get as a parent. Will this come to fruition?
Ted Blazer: This is our top priority. It is being worked on now and will be ready for the 07-08 season.
highpeaksdrifter: Rumors, Lies and Innuendo, what happened to Innuendo. I’ve heard different rumors (no pun) about why that trail was never cut and thought this would be a good opportunity to hear the real reason. Could you share the real story with us?
Ted Blazer: The trail was just a rumor. No really. The extention of Open Pit was the third trail.
mattchuck2: Some questions regarding the beginner terrain. Will the beginner hill in the back of the lodge be affected by the Ski Bowl interconnect? I always though that trails could be cut off of the back of that hill down to the ski bowl. Is that a possibility? I also heard that you are regrading that beginner hill this year? What will that look like?
Ted Blazer: The topography does not allow for skiing to the ski bowl from gore’s base area. The beginner improvements are driven by the Learning Center project and are happening on Bear Cub Run.
highpeaksdrifter: I think it was in 2003 or so that Gore was open Thanksgiving day. My whole family went until 2:00 before we hit my sister’s for dinner. You guys helped make this the best Thanksgiving ever for me and my family. If conditions allow will you be open on Thanksgiving day again this season? When is your scheduled opening day and how committed are you to opening on that day?
Ted Blazer: We target the weekend before Thanksgiving as our opening day. If we can, we will.