Meadows Blog

Meadows voted Oregon's "Best Resort" and "Best Attraction"

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort was named Oregon’s “Best Resort” and “Best Attraction” by NW Meetings and Events Magazine annual reader poll.

NW Meetings & Events AwardsThe magazine polled certified expert meeting and event planners from throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska, tallying thousand of votes. The magazine says winners run the gamut from small service providers to veritable behemoths of the industry, but they all have one thing in common: Their commitment to service has earned them a place among the best of the best.

Meadows CEO Matthew Drake says the awards are humbling, considering the runners up in each category.  At the same, he says, “These awards validate the efforts Meadows has made to improve resort services. Three seasons ago Meadows distinguished itself by earning the national ski resort guest service hospitality award. These acknowledgements further recognize the efforts of and motivate our dedicated staff to provide an ideal mountain resort experience for our guests.”

>>Best Attraction
THE WINNER IS: Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort
RUNNERS UP: Columbia River Gorge, Crater Lake
Winning “best attraction” against natural wonders like the deepest lake in the United States is an accomplishment that nearly speaks for itself. With 2,150 skiable acreage, 85 runs (the longest of which is three miles) and annual snowfall of 430 inches, Mount Hood Meadows is a skier’s paradise. After an exhilarating day on the slopes, dine guilt-free at one of several restaurants, where the primary food vendor is Food Alliance Certified, using all-natural, local, sustainable food whenever possible.

>>Best Resort
THE WINNER IS: Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort
RUNNERS UP: The Allison Inn & Spa, Sunriver Resort
Dave Tragethon, executive director of sales for Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort, believes in the power of the mountain: “Maybe it’s the oxygen-enriched air from the millions of pine trees, or the altitude, but food tastes better, and toasting the day’s accomplishments with friends has lasting meaning.” On-hill clinics are facilitated by certified professional ski instructors, and slope options range from scarysteep to beginner hills. Not yet sold on Mount Hood Meadows? Browse the dozens of “guestimonials” on their website, featuring praise for everyone from the concierge to the ski lift operator.

 

NW Meeting+Events Presentation
Northwest Meeting + Events Magazine's Sheri Harbour de Vos presents the 2011 Best Awards to Meadows Executive Director of Sales Dave Tragethon (left) and Sales Manager Joe Munk (right).



Mt. Hood Meadows Takes On The NSAA Climate Challenge

ClimateChallengeLogoThe National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has added a new component to the Sustainable Slopes Program this year: the Climate Challenge. The Climate Challenge is designed to give recognition to ski areas that are developing carbon inventories, setting goals for carbon reduction, and measuring success in reducing their overall carbon footprint. With guidance, resorts will set quantitative greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and timelines, and develop plans for reaching these targets. Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort is one of only eight ski areas taking on the challenge in its inaugural year.

“The Climate Challenge is intended to provide a venue for a friendly competition among resorts that will inspire action and elevate the visibility of the entire industry in its efforts to fight climate change,” says NSAA President Michael Berry. “The efforts will bring measurable and audited results and take the industry and Sustainable Slopes to the next level in sustainability performance.”

Meadows CEO Matthew Drake says the resort is looking forward to the challenge. “As a charter member of the Sustainable Slopes Environmental Charter adopted in 2000, we applaud the NSAA for inspiring us to take action and create a streamlined process for showing meaningful and measurable progress in carbon reduction in our industry. Our entire team, led by our Sustainability Manager, is excited about this challenge, which we expect will engage employees, management, and others in working together to pursue a common purpose of ever-greater sustainability performance.”

The Challenge provides an opportunity for resorts looking to complete a carbon inventory and leverage the technical expertise of the program partners. As part of the Climate Challenge, resorts will also commit to implementing at least one meaningful and measurable action each year toward their end targets.

For more information on the Climate Change program, please visit the NSAA website. For further information on Mt. Hood Meadows considerable environmental and sustainability initiatives visit the environment page.

Mt. Hood Meadows Awarded NSAA Sustainable Slopes Grant

Guests at Mt. Hood Meadows will find it easier to hydrate themselves responsibly thanks to new water bottle filling stations funded by a National Ski Area’s Association (NSAA) Sustainable Slopes grant. The resort received a grant to purchase and install the bottle filling stations in high traffic areas. The stations make it convenient to fill guests’ reusable containers, which was a challenge at the existing drinking fountains found at the resort.

H2Snow_245The filling stations will serve up spring-fed fresh water from Mt. Hood – branded “H2Snow” at the resort. The concept of promoting reusable bottles recognizes a trending shift away from purchasing disposable plastic water bottles. The filling stations promote two of Meadows’ core values:
  • Sustainability by refilling a reusable container
  • Wellness by promoting hydration
Meadows offered a bottle filling tap for “H2Snow” at its Fresh Tracks Deli this season, which was well received by guests according to Sustainability Manager Heidi Logosz.

“Our guests enjoyed and appreciated being able to refresh themselves with pure mountain spring water from a local source, but there were not enough convenient locations. This grant will place two more stations in high-traffic areas and help us to elevate awareness of the impact of bottles being saved from production as a result of using this local water source.”

Meadows will match the grant with two additional water bottle filling stations, bringing the total number of bottle filling stations to five, in addition to several drinking fountains. The filling stations will be installed this summer, in preparation for the 2011-2012 ski season. Reusable water bottles are sold throughout the resort, and guests are encouraged to bring their own to quench their thirst with pure mountain spring water from Mt. Hood.

For more information on this grant or other sustainability initiatives, email Heidi Logosz or call 503.337.2222 ext. 1215.

There is no Virtual Reality

This time between seasons gives a chance to pause, reflect and think about what we want to achieve next season. We initially envisioned SkiHood.com to become a community, where enthusiasts could come together and share their passion for Meadows and outdoor recreation. According to Alexa.com web site rating service, SkiHood.com is the most visited winter outdoor recreation site in Oregon – surpassing the visitation of other Oregon ski area web sites and even TravelOregon.com in the winter.

Our Facebook page has grown to more than 21,000 likes or fans, which has helped to create a sense of community.  But promoting the sports of skiing, snowboarding, Nordic, and general outdoor recreation creates an interesting oxymoron – should a virtual experience be created which may actually distract people from experiencing the real thing?

Ever hear of Harry Harlow? He’s a psychologist who conducted a series of controversial experiments on infant monkeys in the 1960s, isolating them for periods of up to 24 months. While we don’t condone these experiments, the results are startling.
Harlow wrote that total social isolation for the first six months of life produced "severe deficits in virtually every aspect of social behavior.” When initially removed from total social isolation, they usually go into a state of emotional shock. When exposed to other monkeys for the first time they would shriek in fear, run to a corner of the cage and stare at the floor. Isolates integrated with monkeys the same age who were reared normally "achieved only limited recovery of simple social responses."
As great as the internet is and online communities have become, we feel it is vital that SkiHood.com serves the passion of the community, and doesn’t try to replace it with a virtual experience. We need the very real physical, emotional and social stimulation which comes from this sport. The rush of fresh mountain air, the exhilaration of acceleration, exploring the mountain and sharing together with others can never be virtualized. Our concern is too much time spent online in isolation connected to a virtual community, may result in some of the social deficits experienced by Harlow’s subjects. Eventually, could “virtual” become “reality”? OK – didn’t mean to go all “the Matrix” on you.

We recently restructured our communications department to better serve the needs of our guests. SkiHood.com plays a huge role in delivering information, accurately, honestly and immediately through the conditions page (the most visited page on our site) and throughout our site. In addition to the current weather, snow conditions, lift operational and parking lot status, we provide event, activity and special offers that may affect the days you want choose to visit Meadows.

This information is also delivered through our eNews on a weekly basis during the season, through daily snow report emails, with Twitter updates and when warranted on our Facebook page. We’ve developed these services so you can choose the way you want to be informed of what’s happening at the mountain.

As technology advances, so will the ways in which we offer this information. Our site is totally functional on mobile platforms, so you can access this from your smart phone. We’ve also developed mobile apps for both the iPhone and Droid which you can download for $1.

How would you like us to communicate with you in the future? What improvements would you like to see in our web site and technologies that will serve your needs better?

You can use this blog to share your thoughts, or email directly to Dave Tragethon, Executive Director of Communications.

Have a great summer. Get outdoors and recreate – or just sit back and soak up the splendor and beauty of nature. And get ready for the best ski season ever!

-- Meadows Team