Meadows Blog

The Season Continues - Bonus Time

What an awesome month April has been! We've made the most of the snow, keeping HRM and Heather operating beyond their originally scheduled time frames. We're committed to keep operating these lifts daily through April 25, but there could be some interruptions on days that the weather goes south. Here's an update for the remainder of the season.

Hood River Meadows Operations Extended Weather Permitting

Hood River Meadows is tentatively scheduled to operate daily through April 25, including the HRM parking lot, HRM skier services center, Renaissance Cafe, the Hood River Meadows high speed quad which will provide service to Forest Park, Park Place and gated access to Private Reserve and S&R Cliffs. HRM operations could be affected by weather – we may decide not to operate HRM if the weather forecast or conditions suggest a low turn out day at the resort. We will announce operations on our snow phone and conditions page on our web site.

May Weekend Operations

We've announced our intentions to extend our season on the first three weekends in May - Saturdays and Sundays May 1-2; 8-9; and 15-16. . Here's the plan - hours of operation will be from 9 AM - 2 PM, with three lifts Mt. Hood Express, Cascade Express and Buttercup scheduled to operate. We should have the Cascade Park available for freestylers - we expect it to ride like a combination of Park Place and Forest Park - a fun flowing park using many of the same features from those parks. Shipyard may also be available for lower mountain riding. Weather can affect our operations so you'll want to check our conditions page throughout the week and especially Friday - Sunday for the most up-to-date May weekend schedule and lift operations.

Keep Your Unlimited Season Pass For Next Season

The same unlimited season pass you are using this season can be used for lift access next season, once it is renewed. So keep that pass! We'll be announcing pricing for renewing season passes later this summer and provide an easy way for you to go online to renew. Once renewed you'll be able to use the very same pass for lift access next season - no picture or reissue required. It's one more convenience we are happy to provide to our loyal season pass holders! And if you want to have a new picture or reissued pass for your collection - no worries - you'll be able to do that if that is your wish.

See you on the mountain!

-- Meadows Team

42 Comments

  1. surfer_dude

    April 15, 2010

    Last year at this time I already had paid my $399 for this years seasons pass. I got a feeling this year the $399 is gone. What do you say MHM? Lets keep it.

    Meadows: That was an exceptional price for sure. We will announce pricing and provide a very convenient way to renew later - most likely in the summer. But make sure you keep your pass - you'll be able to use it again next year once you renew if you choose to.

  2. LK

    April 15, 2010

    Can anyone give tips on making my skis glide better on the sticky, wet, late morning and afternoon snow? Does the Meadows ski shop sell wax that helps with this? I don't really want to restructure the bases for just 2-3 more days of skiing.

    Meadows: Stop by the HPC for waxing ideas - we can also do a quick hot wax affordably.

  3. GG

    April 16, 2010

    If you keep it at $399 you'll make a lot of people very very happy! ;-)

    $404 wouldn't be bad either to account for some inflation. That way everyone is happy. Plus 404 looks like a good number!

  4. CG

    April 17, 2010

    Saw on the home page you talk about the varied terrain and mention hiking up to SuperBowl. Has this ever been open for hiking? I've seen some people poach a line but really, I think any time I have ever been up on Cascade the no hiking sign is out. I'd love to get up higher into Superbowl some day...

    Meadows: Yes - Superbowl has been open quite consistently this spring, other than during the epic snow we received in early April. We announce it on our web site but also post it on our Facebook page and tweet on twitter. As always we require beacon, shovel, probe and partner to hike.

  5. steve shaw

    April 19, 2010

    May schedule sounds like a rip off no Heather canyon... that's the best area @ MHM spring corn on silver bowl is awesome. You sold the spring pass and didn't tell anybody about your May plan. This is the fist time I can remember you have ever done this, and you want people to ski Cascade all day and come back on Sunday sounds alittle boring.. come on turn on the Heather chair for us!

    Meadows: Thanks Steve. We've gone into the spring in the past without operating Heather. You are right - ideal spring conditions make Heather great. But we tracked Heather lift ridership in past springs and the numbers just don't add up for the cost. Lift ridership and guest surveys confirm that Cascade is the most popular lift in May.

  6. BT

    April 19, 2010

    I thought giving some discount for paying early was a great idea. You guys got to keep the money over the summer and I was happy having passes for the family all ready to go at a reasonable price.

    Meadows: Thanks BT. We'll announce our price later this summer. Meanwhile make sure that you keep your season pass to use next year once you renew.

  7. JM

    April 20, 2010

    The weather is not looking too great for the Pondskim on Sat. If the decision is made to change to Sunday, when will it be made?

    Meadows: At this point there isn't a major difference in forecast between the two days, so it most likely will stay on Saturday. But we'll see what Friday's forecast brings and will announce any changes by Friday afternoon.

  8. Paul

    April 21, 2010

    Thanks for extending the season. We do appreciate it...

  9. Ken

    April 22, 2010

    Closing Heather Canyon for late season seals off the best spring skiing in the Northwest. Is it possible to add the Heather Canyon chair to the three chairs scheduled to operate in May? Without Heather, the extremely limited terrain hardly makes the trip worth while.

    Meadows: Thanks Ken. Heather is spectacular. But the turnout in May just isn't enough to continue operating the Canyon. Historical numbers bear this out as well - our May guests prefer the upper mountain, spring corn on Cascade, which is far from limited.

  10. Tom

    April 22, 2010

    Weekends in May - will the Magic Carpet be running for the little ones? It isn't listed as one of the "lifts" that will be open, but then again, it really isn't a lift.

    Thanks.

    Meadows: We'll have the Ballroom Carpet - the one that is enclosed - available for Ski School lessons in May.

  11. Linda M

    April 23, 2010

    I too am disappointed about not being able to ski Heather Canyon in May - not even the first weekend, when I KNOW we have been able to ski it in the past - we've had a special birthday celebration to attend, and Heather has been the site of choice for that event. It has some really awesome spring skiing available, and we won't even be able to do it this year.

    On a side note, what about the possibility of putting a rope tow for the long walk up beside the parking lot for those who take the Heather Canyon runout and need to walk back up to the lodge. It's a miserable hike, and every time I do it I wish you had a rope tow - kind of like Alta uses to get along the flats. Is it anything you have ever considered?

    Meadows: Heather is awesome - we just wish there were more who would turn out in May to enjoy it. A rope wouldn't work since it would need to turn. Any other kind of a lift assisted solution requires going through a NEPA process which we're not prepared to do at this time.

  12. JV

    April 24, 2010

    Cascade is the most popular lift in May because it gets you to Heather. Duh.

    How about running on Friday on those weekends? Pretty sure that's the way it was in the past. Saturdays make use mid-week loyals cringe.

    Meadows: Lift passenger counts indicate that Cascade is much more popular than Heather, which can also be accessed by Shooting Star when it is running. The turn out midweek (including Fridays) in late April and May historically has not demonstrated enough interest. Hopefully we'll get good turn out on weekends in May.

  13. J.M.

    April 25, 2010

    You wrote: "We've gone into the spring in the past without operating Heather." My diary shows that Heather has been open in May in 2009 (May 1-3), in 2008 (May 4 and 10) and in 2007 (May 5). Do you really want to close Heather earlier, this season?

    You also wrote: "But we tracked Heather lift ridership in past springs and the numbers just don't add up for the cost." It costs but Heather also draws people.

    Can we please have a "Heather challenge". Like so: More than say 400 Heather rides on one weekend means it runs another weekend (if conditions allow). Neither you nor your customers will be disappointed. Thanks.

    Meadows: Thanks J.M. We know Heather is an attraction which we kept open the entire month of April, along with HRM. If we were to have issued a challenge, the turn out would have fallen short each day since April 12, with the exception of last Sunday and today. We'd love to continue operations, and if numbers had been strong through April we would. We really need a good turnout in May to show that there is interest in May skiing and riding at Meadows.

  14. allah

    April 25, 2010

    Lift passenger counts likely indicate that Cascade is much more popular than Heather for two reasons: i. Cascade does indeed get you to Heather, and ii. nobody bothers to check lift tickets on Heather. How exactly are lift passenger counts conducted anyway?

    Meadows: This week was a great example of the waning interest in Heather and in the season in general. We're hopeful that there will be a good turn out on weekends to show there is demand for spring skiing, during a season which began early. In previous years with early opening dates, late season visits dropped off. So there's your challenge - see you this weekend!

  15. Da Gorge

    April 26, 2010

    Glad to see some consideration being given in re-offering the early season pass deal. It really eases the burden in cost and hastle, especially for harried parents wanting to get passes for a family. For those with youngsters like us we added the Cooper Spur family pass. Copper Spur is great place to learn and give confidence to the youngsters. Unfortunately Cooper never opened this year and the Copper add-on pass went unused (Boo-hoo). I know there is some fixed cost to that small operation but considering it never opened, some discount offered to those renewing the Cooper add-on pass would seem fair and will generate some goodwill for us loyal MHM/Cooper Spur pass holders.

    Meadows: Those Meadows pass holders who added Cooper Spur last year will be given the Cooper Spur add on this year at no charge. Hopefully we'll have a great season at the Spur - meaning a lot of snow. La Nina is forecast - cooler, wetter, big dumps of fresh powder!

  16. Rick

    April 26, 2010

    I think Heather should be open the first part of May and I also think the numbers don't show correctly. I was with a group of 5 yesterday and we skied Heather at least 3 times and we were never checked at the bottom. That's 15 skier trips right there that weren't counted towards the popularity of Heather. Heather Canyon is a HUGE attraction and if it's not going to be available... Remember, a lot of skiers this time of year are your most loyal and probably have season passes - like I do - and we buy beer and food, etc. and let's face it, that is where you really make the $$.

    Meadows: Thanks Rick. We appreciate the patronage of our season pass holders, particularly those that continue coming up late season. There is a considerable expense for operating the Canyon - grooming, patrol, avalanche control, lift operations. Most of these expenses incur in preparation to open the canyon, and then the weather or conditions can change (spring is notably finicky) and the canyon doesn't open. For this season we're focusing on the more popular terrain on the upper mountain.

  17. k2skier

    April 26, 2010

    Heather didnt have much intrest over the weekend because the conditions were miserable on Saturday....epic fail for not bumping the pond skim to Sunday.

    Meadows: Spring weather is especially problematic when it comes to operating the canyon which adds to the huge "risk" of investing all the upfront preparation work only to not be able to open due to weather or conditions. And this year's pond skim was epic - and very well attended. It was a great show for everyone!

  18. Double D

    April 26, 2010

    Making Lemonade in Heather Canyon

    Thank you for extending the season into May.

    Thank you for this forum and your feedback.


    A few thoughts

    Heather makes Meadows more interesting, adds dimension.

    Heather is a rite de passage/badge of accomplishment for many--keep it attainable.

    Heather is most reliably accessed in Spring.

    Few can ski/ride steeper terrain all day--so even Heather afficionados don't run up the Heather chair count all day.


    With Ski Bowl closed, you have a Portland market monopoly on lift served expert terrain.

    You could emphasize this monopoly by:

    A targeted banner add campaign on enthusiast websites like cascadeclimbers.org, snowboardingforum.com, and maybe even rei.com.
    A Spring ticket campaign thru Costco or other venue/media.

    You could promote:

    guided tours
    corn skiing clinics
    steep clinics

    that emphasize Heather.

    And even if no one took advantage, you would be getting the message out that you are the big dog of Portland skiing/riding.

    So does Meadows have rocking terrain (pun intended) and some 'tude? Or is Meadows taking a Spring siesta?

    Meadows: Some excellent observations and suggestions. We have focused our marketing / advertising expenditures earlier in the season (for a greater return on the investment) especially since a late season ad campaign can get washed away with bad weather. With the season initially scheduled to end April 25, we are offering these May weekends as a bonus to pass holders and those enthusiasts who still want to take some turns at the end of what has been a very long season. Remember, we had been operating daily since November 11. See you this weekend!

  19. James

    April 26, 2010

    Lake Tahoe ski resorts, which make Mt. Hood look like kiddy rides at the fair, have season passes for $369. Why are you more expensive? You can't even compare to the size and qaulity.

    Meadows: As always we will determine and offer a price that allows us to provide a quality experience. We can't speak to the Tahoe resorts.

  20. jason

    April 27, 2010

    your medows authorites are ignorant of economy principle.
    the reason why:
    The sooner to early sell early season pass,the more to profit.you deposit the money into bank and get more interest from bank deposit. why do you wait for it until summer? early to sell season pass makes a good benefit for skiers with a lower price and meadows with a interest- earning morning! study hard economy.jason.

    Meadows: Thanks for the economic lesson Jason. When we determine the pricing for a season pass for next season we'll offer it. Meanwhile, keep your season pass as you'll be able to use it to go direct to lift next season once you renew.

  21. Karch

    April 28, 2010

    Congratulations on the improved snow condition reporting. The quick web site refreshes about changing mountain conditions was great and tour willingness to actually say where and when it was raining was refreshing.

    I've been skiing Heather for many years and the remark about passes not being checked is dead on, so you can't possibly know what the ridership is.

    I see you are determined not to open Heather for purely economic reasons, but you might consider admitting you don't know the numbers to restore a tiny bit of credibility on the issue.

    Meadows reply: Thank you Karch.

  22. Rachel

    April 28, 2010

    Hey Meadows,

    Thanks for listening to your patrons and passholders and getting that gluten-free beer upstairs!!!! Definitely makes me and my friends, who ride several times a week, more eager to stick around and hear music and spend money in the bar at the end of the day.

    Next year, it'd be even cooler to see it down in the Alpenstube!!! Also, a sign promoting it would help get the word out...

  23. John

    April 29, 2010

    Thanks for May. It was a great spring and I personally think it is silly to stop skiing just cause the sun comes out. If we all get our buddies to ski or board and fill more than half the parking lot and eat and drink buy stuff and be merry all kinds of good things might happen. Like heather opens, yes!

    Not wanting to be "economy principle ignorant" I did research on "interest-earning morning". Six month Tbill yeild is about 0.23%. Now vs. november yields meadows about 46 cents iinterest on a $400 ticket. Not very compelling.

    I prefer begging. Please keep the price in the low 400s so people can afford it. My economics argument is the PED is skewed towards minus infinity because people are scared for their jobs. Low price helps.

    Meadows: Thank you. We don't want you to resort to begging but you are correct about interest rates. We'll announce prices later this summer but remember to keep this season's unlimited pass - you can use it for lift access next season once you renew.

  24. Vlad

    April 30, 2010

    Will 4x4 type of deal be required for the pass renewals once the price will be announced? Or can you just lift that for us, loyal customers of the MHM and make the pass purchase less of the hustle? Would be a nice touch...

    Meadows: We're reviewing all of that - including the best way to allow current pass holders to renew conveniently online, which would bypass the 4x4 system. But we still feel that a referal or group program has merit to get others excited about the season. We'll announce pricing - and the way to get the best pricing on your Meadows season passes this summer.

  25. Darrell

    May 1, 2010

    I am so glad I can go up and make some turns no matter what lifts and terrain is open on beautiful Mt.Hood. We should feel blessed that Meadows stays open when almost all the ski areas in the nation sitting on all the nice fresh powder have already closed this month. Wow! what a great season.

    Thank you, Mt.Hood Meadows.

  26. colton

    May 2, 2010

    as much as cascade and mt hood express is fun, i still think u need to open up HRM. you cant have mt hood meadows be opened if hood river isnt open. And why is the season only open until may 16th i think, and many others probably think to keep the season open until there isnt eneough snow. there is still 120 inches. that is what we have been sking and boarding on all year. why shut down when snow is still falling.

    Meadows: We are trying to present a sustainable operational plan so we can offer May skiing and riding in the future. While we would like to operate all our lifts and the terrain they serve, that just is not feasible at this point in the season. This became painfully evident the last two weeks of April when we continued with full operations but turn out dwindled far below expectations. HRM would be great to have, but the added expense of grooming, patrol work and lift operations is not justified at this point in the season.

  27. swan

    May 4, 2010

    WHY in the world will you not open at 8:00 a.m. There are many things frustrating about Meadows but waiting till 9 a.m. is a complete joke.

    I could write a novel about the extra morning hour needed but as a non skiing manager you would never get it. I am pissed about this. The mountain forever was an 8 am mountain till just a couple years ago and you have ruined the schedule for condusive riding.

    ugggghhhhhh just open at 8 please.

    Meadows: We opened at 8 AM only for about five seasons. We learned a lot during that time frame - including how disappointed and angry our guests got when we were not able to open on time, usually due to the prep work needed to recover from stormy conditions. We have elected to stick to an opening time that we can commit to and be consistent with. We are proud that this season, regardless of the severity of the weather, we hit our 8:55 AM opening target every operational day.

    By the way - our entire executive team including CEO Matthew Drake ski or snowboard. Not sure where you got that information that we're "non-skiing managers".

  28. Allen

    May 4, 2010

    Since the snow just keeps on coming any chance of May 22nd & 23rd weekend (or even 29-30 just to be a little wishful (or crazy))?

    Meadows: It is wishful but at this time our last day continues to be May 16.

  29. Erica

    May 6, 2010

    You should keep the policy of last year and allow us to pay early and get a discount. I was hoping to do this before my daughter turns 7; when we got her pass last year I was told that if I renewed before her seventh birthday (in June) she's still ski free with me next season. Can I still do this?? Please! Thanks!!

    Meadows reply: Season passes will go on sale by September 1 - earlier if possible. June is probably earlier than what we anticipate at this time.

  30. pinch and poke

    May 11, 2010

    You mentioned how your numbers are low. well when you have to pay 70 bucks a pop that will happen. Anyway you could lower this or even try what bachelor does and set your prices on a sliding scale depending on the weather. With 120 inches still there to shred on and the cut hours couldn't your big brains figure something out? You should reallyy reward your loyalist who spent the hard earned money for season passes and stay open. we know you won't make another billion dollars but you will still get bigger pockets. Remember happy customers are loyal ones.. please keep your prices low and people will come!

    Meadows reply: Thanks for the post. For clarification lift tickets are $49. The weekends we are offering in May on the current schedule are presented as a bonus for our pass holders. We hope they appreciate it and turn out for our final weekend.

  31. Nate

    May 12, 2010

    Dear Meadows guy,

    First off I want to commend you for replying politely to all our complaints and I want to say thank you for what you guys are doing. I like everyone else here love skiing and Heather and would love to ski until there is no snow but I would also like to see you guys around next season. Thanks for all the great work.

    Meadows: Thanks Nate. We have very passionate guests who love the terrain. It's always difficult and somewhat disappointing to wind down the season. Hope to see you this weekend!

  32. pinch and poke

    May 13, 2010

    well thanks for replying bur in your ever so polite reply you forgot some of my question and raised some more. How does lowering your tickets reward the pass holders? they have the pass already. second the idea about the scale on price due to weather, is that a option for next season? and if its the last weekend as big a waste as it is why not stay open later? possible a night ski too. thanks for taking the time.

    Meadows: The lower ticket price may allow friends of pass holders to accompany them up for a great day. Regarding fluctuating ticket pricing - we're concerned about the volatility of the weather as well as the accuracy of the forecasts. We believe guests want a price they can depend on. However, we'll be talking to our friends at Bachelor to see how it worked this season.
    Regarding staying open later in the day the snow can become slushy and tacky in the afternoon. By that time most guests are off the mountain and enjoying the deck scene.
    thanks for the follow up questions.

  33. robin miranda

    May 13, 2010

    last saturday was the sickest may spring day! shut up and ride:) sorry. p.s. thanks for the season and i also love the early season pass....

  34. B. H.

    May 21, 2010

    I enjoyed reading your sane replies to all of the insane comments on this thread! Lots of yahoos who have no idea what it takes to run a business, make a profit, and continue to improve lift service over the decades. Here's an idea: raise pass prices to over $1000 a year. Maybe there will be less bongwater and dog crap left in the parking lot, and we won't have to ride lifts with people whose nonstop commentary consists of how "f-ing sweet" and "f-ing cool" they are. My 11 and 4 year old kids don't need to hear how "f-ing sick" your last run was!!

    Meadows: Interestingly enough, just a few short years ago season passes were $1,000. We share your concern about the use of slang in the lift line, generally announced for others to hear. It really isn't necessary, but for some it has become second nature. Perhaps this post will let others know that vulgar language used in public offends other guests, and that there are more appropriate ways to express their excitement.

  35. Seasons Pass Guy

    May 27, 2010

    Another great year at meadows...please please please do not raise the seasons pass price. Overall, i really enjoy meadows, great staff, the food is pretty good and the beer selection great. One request is to get better heaters for outside sitting. The fires look great, but they do not throw off much heat...nothing better than sitting on the patio ordering a beer or two after a day of skiing :)

    Otherwise keep up the great work Meadows....

  36. The Mantra Character

    June 1, 2010

    My goal this year was to see ski more of the mountain and get appropriate gear to get there. After all the research - I ended up getting most of my gear at the HPC center. I got to ski Heather from half moon to A-zone and got more than 15 days on my season pass - a record for me. And i was on the bunny slope just a lil while back. The folks at the HPC center rock!!

  37. Trayson

    June 9, 2010

    I think that the "keep your pass for next season" by renewing early is a double edged sword. On the one hand, of course I applaude the convenience factor. However, I was really hoping that after two seasons of scanning that you'd be done with the barcode scanning technology. I can't count the number of times that the scanning equipment was a struggle or fail to get a scan. Of course I can understand that you have sunk costs in the scanning equipment that you have already purchased, but I look forward to the day that you move on to a more suitable techology like RFID or something else that isn't affected by wet/snowy/icy passes. Personally, I like the idea of your systems that would be able to tell me how many chairs I took and which chairs that I took. But these kind of stats fall miserably short when lifties can't get a scan because the equipment doesn't work well in a wet/snowy environment. Plus, many chairs don't scan, so incomplete stats are just a notch above useless. In fact, the only cool thing is being able to ask a liftie how many times I'd been up this season.

    Yeah, I understand that barcode scanning is something that you can incorporate into both the vinyl sticker lift tickets as well as plastic passes; but I hope for the day that the scanning lifties is one less thing that we have to hassle with.

    Also, I completely understand that once spring weather hits, people in the NW simply start doing other things regardless of how good the conditions on Hood are. I think that the length of season was quite reasonable, especially since you were open a couple weeks longer than the Colorado Ski areas that had significantly better snow and still closed. It's a business and I get it.

    Also, I was up there the last Saturday for that gorgeous sunny closing weekend. Tailgating in the parking lot was epic and it was the perfect way to cap a fun season. See ya next year.

    -T

  38. mary

    June 10, 2010

    I agree with the language--also the smoking on the lifts, I thought that wasnt supposed to happen but I see it all the time. granted you cant police the lifts all day, so... to those out there that keep doing it, PLEASE consider that you are not all alone on the mountain, or the lift lines, or on the lifts. Dont do things that will adversely affect those around you we are all up there to enjoy!
    See you next season.

  39. Eric

    July 24, 2010

    So I bought a unlimited pass last year in October and it was like 200-300$$ so I turn 15 in November can I still but the pass in October for less?

    Meadows: Passes will be on sale by September 1. The pass you purchase is based on your age on the day you purchase. So you'll if you purchase your pass before you turn 15, you'll pay the 7 - 14 year old price, saving you $$.

  40. Denis

    August 2, 2010

    Hey its later this summer now, can we know what the prices are going to be for current pass holders??

    Meadows: Very similar to last year's group pricing - but current pass holders won't have to join a group. We'll announce pricing soon!

  41. Janet

    August 10, 2010

    We are excited about the season. . . . let's make that announcement, OK? We got plans to make-hopefully with Meadows!

    Meadows: Thanks! The pricing announcement will be coming soon. Make those plans - it's going to be a great season!

  42. Jim

    August 23, 2010

    Hey guys,

    Can you consider having a Armed forces/lawenforcement/firemen/women day this next season to honor those guys and gals?

    Just a thought!

    Jim

    Meadows reply: Thanks Jim. Good suggestion which we'll consider. It would be great if we could open on Veterans day again this season!

Add a comment

  1.  
  2. Submit