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. Jesse Boyd, VP and Chief Operating Officer of Peak Resorts in Wildwood, Missouri took the AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge and provided the following responses on 9/9/2011:
deadheadskier: Do you have a Master Plan for Wildcat? As real estate development is restricted, I’m highly curious what the ‘build out’ potential is for just the skiing at Wildcat. I love Wildcat as is, but I’m curious what if any expansion potential it has beyond current facility upgrades……snowmaking, lodge, lifts, select glading, etc.
Jesse Boyd: There is a Master Development Plan for Wildcat. Wildcat is wholly on US Forest Service land, so there will not be any real estate development at the Resort. There are plans for some eventual snowmaking upgrades, as it relates to snowmaking pipe replacement, and possibly getting rid of our diesel compressors. We are working closely will the Forest Service to improve, and maintain the approved glades at Wildcat. Peak Resorts is committed to the tree skiing at Wildcat, and will continue to work hard to make it the best it can be. We also plan to do so responsibly, and consistent with the Forest Service’s wishes.
Also, as I was lurking on Alpine Zone as I often do, and I noticed you had asked about the old gondola building. Our plan is to dismantle the building next spring. We had looked into possibly restoring the building, because it is really neat, and all of the steel is still in there along with the motor and the bull wheel. Unfortunately, it is just too far gone. It has been exposed to the elements for many years, and is very dilapidated.
kickstand: Is there any news to report on the golf course that was supposed to go in near Attitash, across 302 along the Saco River? Last I had heard the resort was trying to complete a land swap and was about 80% there. That was a few years ago and I haven’t heard anything since. I’m guessing it all fell through?
Jesse Boyd: There are no current plans for the land swap. As you state, at one point it had been a consideration, but it did not work out.
Any comment on if Crotched will ever raise a lift to the trails already cut up top? Really seems a shame, and the #1 complaint from recreational skiers is the hairpin turn at the top.
Jesse Boyd: There have bee some discussions within our company in regards to the Summit Lift at Crotched. At this point in time we do not have any plans for a change, but it is certainly something we are looking at in the future. The turn at the top is certainly not ideal, but he cat operators do a nice job keeping that turn as wide and gradual as possible. There are several reasons why originally back in 2002 we decided to have that lift not go all the way to the top. Wind exposure was one reason, plus the easier way down from the very top to access the main mountain is also no bargain. We would love to gain access to the few trails off the top, we are just trying to figure out the best way to do so.
tcharron: Any plans on making recreational league ski teams more popular at Crotched? Compared to Pat’s Peak healthy night league, your weekday league prices are astronomical.
Jesse Boyd: We are always looking to make the race league more popular. The crew that races at Crotched has been having a good time for sure, with a great race hill, run variety and the apres ski at Onset Pub. This year we will be adding big screen videos of runs as well as bar specials for racers.
We are offering an early purchase discount to pass holders available at $89/racer until our season pass deadline of October 13th. After that we are keeping the same pricing as last season. At our regular rates we offer 9 nights of racing for $99 with a season pass or $139 including a lift ticket for each night. This averages out to a price of to a little more than $15/night for racing and a lift ticket and $11/night for pass-holders. Per night of racing I think you will find these rates are competitive or even less expensive than local mountains especially when season pass rates are considered.
thetrailboss: With regards to Attitash: In the Mount Washington Valley, only Cranmore has night skiing, and it is pretty limited now compared to what it used to be. Bretton Woods only has a couple runs that are lit. Any thoughts about lighting some of the terrain? With the bed-base in Conway, it might be a way to increase traffic.
Jesse Boyd: The town of Bartlett, where Attitash is located, has a light ordinance that would prohibit night skiing and riding. When we originally were installing the mountain coaster, we had an interest in having it lit. It just wasn’t an option.
thetrailboss: The perennial Attitash question: with the Summit Triple now pushing 25 years old, any thoughts on replacing or upgrading it? Granted the terrain it serves is pretty limited, but any thoughts about a high speed quad or some other high speed lift?
Jesse Boyd: There are no plans of replacing the Summit Triple Lift. It is a very good lift and is in great shape. Although it is a long ride, which I understand, we feel that it services our needs at Attitash. Ideally, we would love to have a detachable high speed lift to the top of the Attitash side. Unfortunately, we really cannot justify the cost of a third high speed lift at the property, in relation to the skier visits at the resort at this point.
thetrailboss: Are there any updates on what is happening at the former Haystack? Would you ever consider purchasing that resort and reuniting it with Mount Snow?
Jesse Boyd: I am not aware of what is happening with Haystack. There are no plans of ever reuniting Haystack with Mount Snow.
Anklebiter: Why doesn’t Peak Resorts seem to offer descent mid week discounts. We’ve stayed at Attitash two of the last three years, but end up skiing at other resorts with 2 for 1 offers such as Cannon, Bretton Woods, Cranmore & Black.
Jesse Boyd: Many skiers/riders were pleased to have the new “”joint”" season pass available, including reasonably priced midweek season passes, that were valid for use at both Wildcat Mountain and Attitash Mountain Resorts (and Crotched Mountain, Mount Snow, and Jack Frost/Big Boulder too if they were to purchase the Nor’Easter Pass). Also last year, the Vertical Value Frequent Skier Card was introduced and offered the discount of age specific half-price lift tickets at both resorts every midweek day during non-holiday weeks as well as discounts for every day of the season including weekend and holiday lift tickets too.
By purchasing the Vertical Value Frequent Skier Card for the cost of $79, skiers & riders could then purchase half-price tickets every non-holiday midweek day Monday thru Friday. Adults only paid $31.50, Seniors and Juniors simply paid $19.50; and teens only $24 for a day’s lift ticket all season long Monday thru Fridays during non-holiday periods after buying the card for $79. Don’t forget, the card was valid for use at both resorts. Also, the card offered discounts of 25% off all regularly priced lift tickets on non-holiday weekends and even 10% during holiday periods. Attitash Mountain Resort & Wildcat Mountain are excited to bring back the Vertical Value Card, but new this year, the initial cost to purchase the card will also include the cardholder’s first day ticket.
Another great midweek discount opportunity, or every day of the week, is to purchase your tickets in advance via Liftopia.com. Even right now, both Attitash Mountain Resort and Wildcat Mountain already have ticket inventory available online at Liftopia.com.
Also new this year, more ticket promotions and package offers, including weekly specials for ladies and for skiers age 50+, adult/junior ticket combo days, Wednesday Season Pass and Vertical Value Bring-A-Friend, Sunday Funday, and holiday promotions will open up additional opportunities for you to consider Attitash Mountain Resort & Wildcat Mountain this season where you may not have previously.
Simply put, this season, there will be increasingly more avenues for skiers and riders to get out this season and discover great value in lift tickets, loyalty discount cards, season passes, and gift cards that are valid for use at two of New Hampshire’s larger ski resorts.
deadheadskier: I have read (only on these forums) that Peaks is going Public, or maybe they have already. Can you elaborate on why this decision was made and if it will have any effect on operations at your resorts for the upcoming season.
Jesse Boyd: Peak Resorts is in the process of going public. Since we are in the middle of this process I cannot speak about the details at this time. What I can tell you is that on a Resort level there will be no effect.
tcharron: Can you comment on the impact Hurricane Irene has had on Mount Snow and the other Peak resorts, and what challenges these present for your operations?
Jesse Boyd: We did sustain some pretty serious water damage at our Resorts. The most considerable damage happened at Mount Snow and Attitash. At Mount Snow it was mostly parking lot and culvert damage, the Snow Lake pump house was also submerged. Due to the hard work and pre-storm preparation of the folks at Mount Snow, the site of the new six-pack, and chair storage building was not affected.
At Attitash the most significant damage was done to the Mountain Coaster, which is going to be closed until probably Columbus Day weekend. Wildcat, Crotched, and Jfbb all received heavy rain from the storm, but did not sustain damage.
To view forum comments on this Challenge and the Challenge Results, please visit the following page: