Meadows Blog

Meadows Extends Season on Weekends Into May

MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) – March precipitation set records in Portland – more than double the monthly average (and the most in 81 years!) Likewise, Mt. Hood Meadows received a heaping helping of March snow – more than 15 feet – growing the resort’s base snow depth to an impressive 174 inches. The resort has received 527” of snow (almost 44 feet) this season, most of it since mid-January, well ahead of its 430” average.
 
Lifts Operate Daily through April 29 - then Weekends in May
With lifts already scheduled to operate daily through April 29, the resort has announced it will extend the season on weekends into May, setting May 20 as the current end date for the season. May operations are dependent on good conditions and turnout, but the amount of snow and coverage should not be an issue. May hours will be from 9 AM – 2 PM Saturdays and Sundays, with Mt. Hood Express, Buttercup and Cascade Express scheduled to operate. Scheduled lifts, conditions and lift ticket prices will be presented on the resort’s conditions page.
 
The Unlimited Spring Pass (on sale for $149) will be honored the rest of the season, included the extended days in May.
 
Storm recovery efforts today opened up the Cascade Express – the resort’s highest lift – providing high speed service to the 7,300 foot level. The lift had lain dormant for almost a week while the upper mountain was pummeled by a powerful spring storm dropping several feet of snow. Crews deiced the lift, knocking foot thick rime ice from the lift towers and haul rope. Snowcats plowed out the piled up and drifted snow from under the haul rope to provide clearance for skiers and snowboarders. Their tireless efforts resulted in opening the high speed quad with limited grooming shortly after noon.

Deicing Cascade in storm recovery following a week of snow.
Snowcats dig out pathways under the haul rope for clearance for skiers and snowboarders.

20 Comments

  1. Jim Lamb

    April 2, 2012

    You forgot to mention the Heather lift will be open in May.
    Please correct this oversight.
    Thanks,
    Jim

    Meadows: Thanks for the post. At this time Heather isn't scheduled. As much as we'd like to continue to operate Heather and the rest of the mountain, it just isn't viable that late in the season.

  2. Yomama

    April 3, 2012

    I don't understand why Meadows closes so early...why cancel night ski now. The days are longer and it is light well past 7 p.m.? Why do they cut night ski off so early in the season??? I was there the last wkd (Saturday) of night ski this past wkd and it was busy...so it's not for lack of customers. Skibowl has night ski as long as the season lasts...

    Meadows: Thanks for the post. We have been extending our night skiing operation the last several seasons. Three years ago nights ended the first week of March. Night business tapers off this late into the season - so we focus our hours of operation on the hours that are most popular.

  3. dan

    April 4, 2012

    Glad to see the extended weekends in May - thanks Meadows!

    Meadows: You're welcome! With spring-like weather Cascade will be awesome!

  4. John

    April 4, 2012

    I have a weekday season pass, will it be honored in May for weekends?

    Meadows: Sorry, but no. The midweek pass is valid only Monday - Friday.

  5. Zach

    April 7, 2012

    So april is the end of the season for those people who don't sit behind a desk all day. There needs to be a serious discussion on season pass pricing. A midweek, non holiday pass needs to be much cheaper than a full pass. Midweek gets less grooming, has less amenities open in the lodge, and has less lifts running. Was stadium only built to move people up the mountain on weekends?

    Meadows: This is a good discussion topic. First - Zach is incorrect regarding grooming midweek vs weekend. We follow the same grooming patterns every day regardless. Daily grooming is affected by snow accumulation and weather conditions (especially wind.) But we groom for a Tuesday or Wednesday, the same as we groom for a Saturday or Sunday.
    The number of lifts operating is related to the turn out on that particular day, but we always make sure we are providing access to all the terrain. On a slow day Stadium may not operate, but all the terrain it serves is accessible through other lifts. It makes more sense overall to modify our operations this way, reducing costs but maintain access to the terrain. Our cost of preparing that terrain is the same (grooming, avalanche reduction operations, patrol) so the only variable cost is the lift operation.
    An economics professor would suggest that those coming midweek should pay more than those on the weekend - based on dividing the cost of the operation by the number of people enjoying the operation on that particular day. Certainly the midweek experience tends to be less crowded, offering more runs per day for guests. If that makes the day better, should it be valued higher?
    Currently our midweek season pass is priced considerably less than the unlimited, even before the early season deadline. We expect to continue to offer a reduced season pass price for midweek as an incentive to enjoy midweek skiing and riding.
    Any feedback or suggestions?

  6. Meadowsfan

    April 10, 2012

    Hey Meadows,
    Just wanted to let you guys know that you hit it out of the park with the full sail banked slalom this year! It was so much fun, and the course was awesome, especially the faster lower half. Please, please, please, consider having more than just one race like this each year. It would be really awesome if you did a kind of "top to bottom race", i.e. A-zone to near the heather lift, or cascade all the way down to hood river.
    Just a thought, I know a lot of people would love to see a race like that happen.
    Keep up the good work!

    Meadows: Thanks for the kudos! It's a fun event and part of the appeal is everyone can participate and enjoy it.

  7. k2skier

    April 11, 2012

    How much will lift tickets be in May?

    2 HSQ's is kind of sad for May operations. You need to think about opening Heather and SS. If too many guests come up on good weather weekends lift lines will be long.

    Meadows: We wish long lift lines in May was an issue - if it was we would open more of the mountain. The continued cost of prepping, grooming, patrolling and lift operations for that much terrain just isn't feasible with the turnout we receive in May.

  8. dan

    April 11, 2012

    It's funny how everyone thinks that the ski area should cut ticket prices while maintaining or expanding service. Anyone who can work out a way to do that without going bankrupt has a rosy future in business!

    Meadows: "We'll make it up in volume =0}" Seriously - we make our best efforts to extend the season in May, but the reality is we need to reduce costs due to dwindling turn out. But the wide open nature of Cascade on a spring day in May is awesome!

  9. WRC

    April 12, 2012

    With all the negative press Meadows received this season; most of which having to do with new management, particularly how they elected to to handle the parking on NYE & other busy days ...liteally turning pass/locker holders away and instructing workers to communicate "so sorry, no entry allowed" after spending most of the day getting up there, I would seriously advise giving back somehow by extending the season. This much of a base affords Meadows to stay open on a limmitted bases for all of May, up until June 1st. The gesture could leave people on the fench considering never investing again cause for reconsideration.

    Meadows: Thanks for the suggestion. Regrettably, there were six days this season that our parking lots reached capacity, and we needed to temporarily (for as little as 45 minutes) turn away traffic. We're working on additional park and ride shuttle strategies to prevent that from happening next season. But we also opened the season November 19 earlier than our average opening date by a week. We operated every day through April 29 for 163 days of continuous operation. While most ski areas across the country have already closed for the season, we're adding six days in May. We're making efforts to retain and add value for our loyal pass holders.
    We are seeking solutions for peak parking days - please add yours to the parking blog posted March 9. Thanks!

  10. EP

    April 12, 2012

    I think the no honoring midweek passes in may is lame. With extra weak sauce. I have a Spring Pass, but would be PO'd if I wasn't getting any MAY appreciation from Meadows for buying a season long midweek pass. C'mon, they'd ski, but you're not open when they can, give 'em a break. In some ways, midweek people are doing meadows a favor the rest of the season by letting others up on the weekends.

    As far as pricing, early this season, as I recall, your season pass was $499. Midweek was $429. That's 15% off. Hardly "priced considerably less."

    Timberline's Season Pass was maybe 469-499, but their midweek was 229, that's 15% off... So I bought one. The exact dollar amounts may be off, but when I was choosing, I went with Timberline's 55% savings over Meadows' 15%.

    Either way, I think it's weak that the difference between a full-time and weekday-only season pass is $70, the cost of one lift ticket. What percentage of people actually bought the midweek pass? I'll bet a lot of your season pass holders wanted a midweek, but just paid the extra for the season pass. Good pricing structure for Meadows, not a great deal for others.

    The spring skiings been great. Let everyone get in on it in May!

    Meadows: Thanks for the suggestions - we're beginning our discussions regarding pricing for next season. One thing to keep in mind is Timberline offers night skiing only on weekends - our midweek pass includes lift operations until 9 PM Wednesday - Friday evenings. We also have about twice the terrain that Timberline offers. More terrain - more lifts equates to more costs. The midweek pass has been very popular. Those who know they don't want to come up weekends enjoy the savings and prefer the midweek pass. But the extended season on weekends is something that a midweek pass purchaser should keep in mind when purchasing their pass. Perhaps the unlimited would be a better selection up front.

  11. WRC

    April 12, 2012

    "An economics professor would suggest that those coming midweek should pay more than those on the weekend..." - really your response to Zach?
    Customer service and appreciation is kind of an important thing.

    Meadows: We agree. We're only pointing out that there are economic realities in providing these services. Zach was concerned about the new Stadium lift not operating on some midweek days. As of April 11, 2012 we had been in operation 145 days. Stadium was open 99 of those days with one day on wind stand by. It has operated 44 weekend days and 55 midweek days. Using this last midweek as an example, we had days with less than 300 people total on the mountain. It doesn't make sense to operate Stadium - it would have spun empty, when the terrain it serves can be accessed by the Mt. Hood Express (which had no lift lines this entire week.) We do our best to balance the economic realities with providing an ideal mountain resort experience. In that way we fully appreciate our guests.

  12. mark

    April 12, 2012

    A second comment about heather.... Sure be nice to get a crack at Super bowl in early May as if rarely opens during the normal season. Heather lift would put you right back to the base area if running Star and HRM are an issue as far as operational costs. Can't imagine melt out would make the decsent unfeasible or unsafe especially in early May vs. now. Are we talking about conditions or operational cost here??? If you can't run the lift how about a BC gate like Crystal or Baker has. Neither area is closing down for people doing crazy stuff in side country zones, and Meadows has some high terain that would get some real interest when winter storms are cleared and the weather finally good. Skied out groomers on Express and Cascade aren't that exciting to some... one sure way to maintain a good turn-out it seems.

    Meadows: While conditions and operational costs are part of the equation, the primary issue is turn out. It just isn't feasible to continue the scope of operations for the amount of people who continue to hit the slopes in May. We appreciate those who do come up and wish we could offer more. Cascade and Mt. Hood Express offer the greatest appeal - terrain wise - for our spring operations, so that's where we'll focus our May efforts.

  13. MonSkier

    April 12, 2012

    Hope you guys keep all the midweek lifts going, great to get out there midweek, particularly Mondays. Thanks again!

    Meadows: We're operating daily through April 29. We appreciate those who have been turning out midweek (Mondays included.) Pass the word - we're down to the last two weeks of midweek operations.

  14. was hopeful

    April 16, 2012

    So, when I bought a Night season pass for the 2010/2011 season it was honored last spring; as were all the other types of season passes in the last few weeks of the season. I was hopeful that this year the 2011/2012 season it would be the same scenario; and I was figuring on that so much that I bought the night pass again. Is it reliable to say that what you did at the end of the season for all types of pass holders you'll NEVER do again; or could management be more generous again next year? I'm asking as it will help me make my decision for how I pay for next season, daily rates, passes, etc. Thanks for helping me plan ahead- Sincerely, A'lil'Bummed'out. :(

    Meadows: Last season we offered our midweek pass holders free skiing on our closing weekend in May. We haven't determined whether we will be doing that again this season, but if we do we'll try to give more advance notice.

  15. hoodskier203

    April 16, 2012

    Universal Complaint Solver
    1. Meadows has way more the terrain than T-line or ski bowl,so they are entitled to charge more for passes and tickets

    2. Meadows is a business- they can't cater to everyone.

    3.Many times people complain about lack of parking space, or heather not being open, etc. Most of the time Meadows wants the same thing as you, but environmental organizations would fight crazily against things like bigger parking lots or more avalanche control. Meadows is on government land, so it has to jump through hoops to do anything.

    If your complaint doesn't fit in these categories then its valid-complain away!

    Meadows: Thanks for the post!

  16. J.Blaze

    April 16, 2012

    If Skipatrol is requiring people to have Avy Beacons to hike Super Bowl, why not rent them??? Any plans to run SnowCats up there???

    I like the extra week added to May, I'll be there!

    I really wish you would extend your night operations(Size and Hours). I'm a Meadows season pass holder that lives in Portland. Last 3 seasons I've ridden more nights at Ski Bowl than Meadows. It's hard when you work to justify the extra 1/2hour drive to ride a well tracked Express that closes early. I know you'll point out the numbers fall off after 9pm but I don't even consider Meadow Nights anymore. It's Sad because I started riding the Hood on Meadows Safeway night:(

    Meadows: Thanks for the post. Beacons require more familiarization and practice for use - we're concerned that just renting a beacon will not provide the user with the knowledge of how to use it in an actual emergency situation.
    Thanks for your night observations. It is difficult to run lifts past 9 PM when the amount riding the lifts after 7 PM frequently number in the dozens. Looking into the future we do have plans for adding more lighting for night terrain.

  17. alex

    April 17, 2012

    What is operating hours on Friday nights?

    Meadows: Our night season has come to an end - we're open daily from 9 AM - 4 PM through April 29, then weekends 9 AM - 2 PM in May through May 20.

  18. David Westbrook

    April 18, 2012

    Thanks Meadows! Looking forward to skiing in May.

    Meadows: See you then - but don't forget we're open daily through April 29!

  19. Chris Paulson

    April 19, 2012

    Complaining about prices is weak sauce. Moved out from North Dakota and boarding a crappy hill back home costs $230 for a season pass. Now before you think that is cheap it has 300 (no I didn't forget a 0) vertical feet to work with. Buy the pass before it jumps to full price (think I paid $380) and think of me next year when i'm stuck ice fishing and dreaming of riding. Peace

    Meadows: Enjoy North Dakota and thanks for the post!

  20. k2skier

    April 20, 2012

    I'll ask this question a third time; what are lift ticket prices in May going to be?

    Meadows: The lift ticket price for our May operations will be $49. We plan on operating Mt. Hood Express, Cascade and Buttercup. Always check the conditions page or snow phone in advance, as our schedule will change with marginal weather. It's possible that we'll operate one weekend day (just Saturday) if the forecast is calling for bad weather on Sunday.

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