Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort is making upgrades and improvements this summer to enhance the guest experience for the 2009 - 2010 season. Some projects such as the paving of the Sunrise Parking Lot (formerly known as “The Annex”) will be noticeable creating a marked improvement for guest access to and from the resort. Other projects such as the scanning system improvements are subtler and will have a great cumulative impact making the guest experience faster and smoother. All of the improvements will add up to Meadows guests being able to get better information on the resort and enjoy its quality skiing and snowboarding experience.
New SkiHood.com - Mt. Hood Meadows web site is already established as the most popular winter recreational site in Oregon serving more inquiries for snow conditions, mountain operations and ski and snowboard experiences than any other site. The site has a fresh new look and delivers content more efficiently to both PC and PDA platforms. The site also provides a new mixed (video and photo) media gallery, allowing guests to upload and share their experiences on the mountain with others. A new online store makes purchasing Meadows products and services faster and easier, particularly discount deals that bargain hunters will be looking for. Most importantly the site enables guests to subscribe to a variety of news feeds for weekly, daily snow condition or even minute-to-minute lift operational updates; and provide guests a direct line of feedback to Meadows management.
Telemetry / Communications - Meadows is enhancing its telemetry reporting capabilities allowing for real time reporting of weather conditions at its two weather stations (located at the bottom and top of the Mt. Hood Express). The improvements will allow for real time condition reporting through the resort web site (skihood.com) and to other snow / weather reporting services. An essential part of the improvement to the resort's web site this season will be reporting weather and lift operational information real time (minute to minute) as well as allowing guests to monitor through a variety of social networks this information on portable devices. The result will be improved communications with up-to-the-minute snow condition and operational information for guests and staff members to make for a better experience on the mountain.
Passholder Services Center - The old “desk” is being moved to the primary corridor in the South Lodge providing more convenient access for support services for pass holders - picture taking, reissuing, receiving pass holder benefits and information services regarding their pass.
Sunrise Parking Lot Paved - Paving the old “Annex” lot allows for a better parking experience, wetland restoration and improved storm drainage. It should also allow the grooming department to focus more resources on the mountain as in the past Meadows was responsible for plowing this lot. Now that it is paved ODOT will be plowing this lot.
New Snowcat - Meadows continues its commitment to providing the best surface conditions possible with the acquisition of another new Prinoth 350 snow cat with terrain master tillers and blades. Meadows already has the most advanced fleet of trail grooming and terrain park shaping equipment on Mt. Hood.
Scanning System Improvements - Last season Meadows moved to lift access control utilizing bar coded tickets and scanners at each lift. The system has been enhanced this year to achieve a faster, smoother and more efficient flow through to the lifts.
Night Lighting Improvements - The night lighting enhancement program continues this season, switching out older fixtures with more efficient bulbs which provide more uniform coverage with less electricity. The improvements will be especially appreciated on Stadium (where night ski race training is held) and on the trails serving the night lighted Rose City Slopestyle and Superpipe.
Ballroom Carpet - Last season Meadows installed an enclosed conveyer known as a “Wonder Carpet” in its beginner area. The “glass tunnel” is nearly as long as a football field, and mounted on a hydraulic system which allows the carpet to be raised and lowered with the snowpack. The lift was renamed “The Ballroom Carpet” last season and dedicated to long-time instructors Don Ball, Mignon and Ray Whitcher. This season the Ballroom Carpet and the other over the snow conveyer the Magic Carpet will be used to provide innovative, fun and progressive instruction to beginners of all ages learning to “dance” on the snow.
Additional Smart Carte Lockers - Based on the success of the installation of Smart Carte locker system two seasons ago, Meadows will add several more banks of smart lockers which allows repeat in and out convenience throughout the day with a keyless numeric combination.
Race Timing System - Meadows is investing in a new TAG Heuer FIS Certified timing system with wireless capability which will improve timing accuracy and reliability for race events even in the most extreme of weather conditions.
Sport Skis and Snowboards - The Equipment Rental Center is replacing its Sport Line of rentals skis, snowboards and boots offering better performing equipment for intermediate level riders looking to improve their technique.
HPC Direct Access - Pass holders and other guests can register for their demo equipment rental faster and more efficiently thanks to computer stations, which avoids having to hand fill out a form. A simple scan or swipe of the season pass will bring up the account and print out the rental form, expediting the process.