Meadows Blog

Meadows Takes Action to Curb Peak Day Parking Problems

MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) -- Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort is taking action to reduce peak day parking issues. Long-term Mt. Hood Meadows is addressing this important issue with an additional parking lot, currently undergoing review by the U.S. Forest Service. Resort officials are moving forward with additional initiatives this season to reduce the number of days it reaches parking capacity.

The multi-faceted initiative includes subsidizing transportation programs to the mountain, increasing employee shuttle bus routes, promoting ride sharing and creating peak day pricing. The initiatives are intended to significantly reduce or possibly eliminate the number of days the resort reaches parking capacity.

Nearly all the days Meadows reached parking capacity coincided with storms delivering substantial snow and powder conditions on a major holiday weekend; when the weather conditions on one of the weekend days was far superior to the other. In many cases the other Mt. Hood resorts and other resorts throughout the Northwest also exceeded parking capacity on those days.

Meadows has identified the days most likely to reach parking capacity - December 26 - 31, 2012 and Saturdays and Sundays in January and February. It is these days the resort's peak day parking plan will be most effective in optimizing the parking resources at the resort.

Subsidized Bus and Lift Packages

Mt. Hood Meadows will reduce the price of shuttle rides to the resort to $20 round trip, from last season's $30. The resort will increase the number of park and ride shuttles operating on peak days from one to four, and also offer the $20 transportation price to all guests purchasing Meadows multi-day ski and snowboard programs. The subsidized pricing is expected to increase bus ridership by 25% this season, and provide an additional 300 seats on peak days, which would remove more than 100 vehicles traveling to the resort those days.

Rescheduling Competition and Race Events

Meadows can reduce another 100 vehicles on peak days simply by rescheduling competitive and race events to off-peak days or different times on peak days.

Employee Transportation

For the past several years, the resort has achieved employee ridership of over 12,000 each season. Meadows will increase the number of employee shuttle bus routes and offer more flexible shuttle bus schedules and pick up points. The target is to reduce an additional 150 vehicles per peak day off highway 35 in the 2012-2013 season.

Carpooling

Drive Less Connect (drivelessconnect.com) was launched in November 2011 by ODOT.  This website is promoted on SkiHood.com to guests to find others traveling to Meadows - and ultimately reduce the amount of vehicles coming to the mountain. Creative incentive programs are being created for guests and employees who use such resources to rideshare to Mt. Hood Meadows. 

Information Sharing

Mt. Hood Meadows provides timely parking updates on its conditions page, snow report and twitter tweets, anticipating days when parking may be an issue and recommending guests alter their arrival times to the resort to avoid parked out lots. The resort will increase the number of variable message signs mounted on mountain ready vehicles located at the intersections of MHM access roads and Highway 35 to provide current traffic information messages as directed by ODOT staff.

Peak Day Pricing

The all day lift price at Mt. Hood Meadows this season is $74. However, on Peak days, the price will be $89 - the additional cost of a peak day should serve as an incentive to drive peak day traffic to off-peak time frames. Meadows is also making less pre-purchased tickets available on peak days so the result should be more people making plans to recreate on off-peak time frames.

Third Party Transportation Services

Mt. Hood Meadows partners with third party transportation services, offering season pass incentives and special lift pricing for passengers.  Meadows currently works with Sea to Summit, Aspen Limo, the Grease Bus and The Inn at White Salmon which all offer guest shuttle services and scheduled to Meadows.

Après Ski

Mt. Hood Meadows' Vertical and Alpenstube Restaurants offer Après Ski promotions from 3pm to 6pm, helping to spread out the egress from Mt. Hood Meadows.  Food and drink promotions along with live music and other entertainment is offered during Après Ski times.

8 Comments

  1. Trayson

    August 27, 2012

    Honestly, I was fine with the fact that your parking lots filling up were the limiting factor for peak days. It was a realistic balance to keeping lift lines manageable.

    Respectfully, I'm not thrilled about you finding ways to cram more people into the lots on peak days, because more people without more uphill capacity means longer lift lines and in turn a lower guest satisfaction experience. This was stated to you again and again.

    You have spent a lot of time beating the drum praising your RFID technology. However, it really doesn't matter if you're using RFID, barcodes, or smoke signals--only empty chairs mean there's really a lift ticket inefficiency adding to the queue time. And even with the scanning, we didn't have empty chairs, so you really can't say that when lines are long that RFID is saving us ANY time in line. All that to say that RFID doesn't offset the longer lines that adding capacity for hundres more vehicles will cause.

    Do I like the fact that I had to leave 30 to 60 minutes earlier last season? No. However, it was worth it because when parking filled up, the lines were still manageable.

    And $89 for a day ticket? WOW. Glad I'm a passholder. Meadows having ticket prices on par with Whistler is quite a statement.

    I do appreciate that you're really taking these challenges to heart, but please don't focus so much on "solving" one problem only to CREATE a bigger one that will leave your guests disappointed.

    Meadows: Thanks Trayson. Our number one limiting factor currently is parking, and we believe we will manage the mountain and lift access efficiently - both peak and off-peak days. The RFID gates will help us achieve that consistently.

  2. Drew

    August 29, 2012

    Wow guys, come on. I agree with some of the steps taken to reduce parking on peak days, but raising tickets to 89.00 is a little outlandish..... I am not a frugal person by any means but it just seems a little high to be on par with Whistler prices specially when the best parts of the mountain are closed a good portion of the season. (cascade / heather area).

    Meadows: We encourage our guests to purchase a $74 day pass, and come midweek or off-peak. Or perhaps the new $99 Meadows Club Card makes sense if you're coming up more than a few times since it includes your first time free and $10 off Peak Days ($15 off Off-Peak Days) AND you're 5th time is free. We think it will be very popular. But if you do purchase a day pass, you can keep take it home, claim it online to review your vertical, and then ReLoad it @ $84 for Peak Days or $69 OffPeak for future visits.

  3. Chad

    August 31, 2012

    Okay, Meadows, your RFID improvements may or may not be nice. We'll see. But your pricing for lift tickets is getting to be simply insane! Especially for peak day pricing.

    I started skiing in 1988, at Meadows. A lift ticket was $33 or so. Every year from 1988 to about 2005, the price of a lift ticket went up by $1 or $2 a year. In the 2005-06 season, the price of a ticket was $48, or $52 on peak days. In 2006-07, tix were $49/$59. I remember thinking, "Whoa, a $7 increase in one year for peak days?! That's a lot". Then, in 2007-08, tix went to $54/$64. Again, I was amazed at how high the price jumps were. In two years, peak day tickets went up by $12!

    Now, this year, peak day pricing goes up by $15 !!!! Wow!!! I've never heard of a ski resort gouging customers quite so badly! In seven years time, peak day tix have gone up by $37!!!!!! What in the world?!

    You say you want to try to get people not to come up on peak days, to alleviate parking problems. Well, you know what -- PEOPLE WORK ON NON-PEAK DAYS and can't get those days off! So, people are either going to not come up at all or they'll go to another resort.

    You say you are adding chairs to Shooting Star. That's nice. Maybe you could also throw in a free lunch with those tickets that cost $89?

    $37 increase in single-day ticket prices in just 7 years. Good job, Meadows. Way to drive away customers to Timberline and SkiBowl. I'll definitely be skiing more at those places from now on.

    Congratulations on driving away a loyal customer since 1988.

    Chad

    Meadows: Thanks Chad for expressing your concerns about pricing. Please note that our Peak Day Price @ $89 is December 26-31, 2012 and Saturdays and Sundays in January and February. The regular price at $74 is the same as last year (no increase,) and is valid on weekends before Christmas and after February. So we are talking about only a relatively few days compared to the entire season.

    We've also introduced new products which make peak (as well as off-peak) more affordable. We have the $99 Meadows Club Card - which offers the first and fifth days free (and every fifth time after that,) with discounts of $10 off peak days and $15 off off-peak. If you used this pass only to get the free day on the fifth time, and came only on peak days, you'd spend $67.20 / visit on Peak Days! Mix in some off-peak days and the price / day gets even better. We're getting creative to offer our guests different ways to make Meadows fit their lifestyle and pocket book, and the Club Card may work best for you.

  4. Amy

    September 2, 2012

    As a season pass holder I'm thrilled to see "peak day" pricing to help encourage people to come at off peak times. Yet I agree with some of the other feedback here that the biggest impact to the guest experience ON the mountain is the length of the lift lines. Of course adding additional parking capacity will reduce customer frustration about getting turned around at the road but that frustration will go off the charts once they pay $89 and only get in 4 runs on a peak day. Hate say it Meadows but I really hope the US Forest Service turns down your request for an additional lot.

    Keep up the good work in all other areas but more parking = a less enjoyable experience on the mountain.

    Meadows: We appreciate your view, but the numbers show that our uphill capacity is far greater than our parking lot capacity. A few seasons ago Meadows discontinued parking vehicles on our access roads. The new parking lot largely will provide space for those vehicles. And not to get to technical, but even on our busiest days it's easy to get a dozen runs in (more than 4 in the day). We will continue to work to make the lift line experience as efficient as possible.

  5. Get up early, then!

    September 16, 2012

    I have never complained on any blog; in fact, I am tired of everyone complaining about EVERYTHING you guys post. But I AM concerned about having more parking spaces this year. I mostly ski on offpeak days, but if there is good snow and I'm not at work and it is a weekend, yeah, I'm coming up!

    I get what you're saying about uphill capacity, but what about downhill capacity? On crowded days when the parking lot reaches capacity, it is like playing frogger trying to ski down my favorite runs - people everywhere, not paying attention....making the whole experience frustrating.

    I don't mind getting up early to get a parking spot and get some good runs in before the crowds get out of control. Heck, I don't even mind waiting a little bit in the lift lines. I DO mind having to spend my runs avoiding other people instead of enjoying the snow. Let's not overcrowd the place...if people complain about not finding parking at noon on a Saturday... well, that's just the way it is. I can't imagine packing even more people onto the hill than there were last year on the couple times I was there on a weekend/holiday....please don't do it!

    Meadows: Thanks for the post. This may be a matter of better educating and communicating to guests what the "off-peak" patterns are on peak days. Granted there are locations on the mountain that get crowded on peak days. But quite often at that same time there are underutilized trails that would provide a great uncrowded experience comparatively speaking. We've noticed that crowds also tend to "pack together" - that is form a pack upon arrival, and then move "swarm-like" from location to location (at Mt. Hood Express together - then move en mass over to Shooting Star - then hitting the lodge for lunch at noon...). Breaking away from the crowd and finding the off-peak pattern will improve your day.

  6. Mary Cypher

    October 24, 2012

    Can you put in a bus, or just a bus stop, in Hood River near the parking at the edge of town next to China Gorge?

    Meadows: We've explored different shuttling options from Hood River, including a partnership with Columbia Area Transit and the Grease Bus. It really does come down to whether locals support it on an ongoing basis to sustain the service. We're continuing to investigate this further however.

  7. SK Piste

    November 15, 2012

    Hey Meadows how about a graphical calender showing Peak/Off Peak Days ?
    Been looking, not finding as I would like to more easily plan my Off Peak Card use.

    Meadows: That is a great idea! We'll work on that and put it on our lift pricing page.

    Well as far as crowding goes try riding Killington !
    Meadows is far from capacity if you have ever pulled a Weekend there ...

    My only Beach is there are so many Ski Tourists ripping up the limited fall lines on the Volcano. Can we institute a permit/ticket system for advanced terrain ?
    Citizens Arrest, Citizens arrest ... Hey Pops, little Jimmy, no snowplowing across the bowls on a deep powder days.
    Heres a ticket for ruining 30 perfect would be garlands.

    Why aren't these people made to take a lesson ? I thought NW drivers were bad but the general snow sport population here are really lacking skills and common sense.
    I watched a Newbie somersault half way down Upper Heather once. As fun as that was they trashed a perfectly good line.

    Thanks for playing,
    Mr. Coffee

  8. employee shuttle in oakland

    April 18, 2013

    Great site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also

    Meadows: Awesome! Thanks for the kudos.

Add a comment

  1.  
  2. Submit