What an epic season and great year to be a Meadows passholder! We want to thank you for spending your 2015/16 season at Mt. Hood Meadows – Your Mountain Home. Fresh off a season that provided many powder-filled snow days, we are now looking forward to the developing La Nina forecast for next winter season. That usually means a colder, wetter winter weather pattern meaning more snow for us to enjoy!
This was a solid snow year – accumulating 478 inches from our opening snowfalls in November through our closing day, measured at our base area. We operated 136 days – our normal schedule plus some extra late April and early May days. Our mid-mountain snowpack led the country through most of the season and there were many truly awesome powder days.
That five-foot December storm opened Private Reserve just before the holiday, and Heather on Christmas Day. What a gift for all of us to have all lifts operating and the entire permit area open for the holiday! After last season’s “skip year” Heather Canyon was open 102 days in total, and was closed only four days due to avalanche hazard this season. We appreciate hearing from so many of our passholders who expressed appreciation to our patrol and mountain crew for getting Heather open as early as possible on those fresh snow days.
And while the greatest benefit of your Meadows pass is to access the awesome terrain, we were pleased to see redemption of loyalty reward points reach an all time high. The improvement of the loyalty rewards program with the convenience of converting points to passholder value online has been very well received. We expect additional refinement and improvements to this program moving forward.
A reminder – you can convert your loyalty points into passholder value and apply it towards next year’s pass online. We are excited to again offer our renewing passholders the best possible deal for those who renew their passes by May 31st with first year renewing passholders saving $20 and multi-year renewing passholders saving $40 in addition to extra benefits like a free bonus pass. If you haven't already you can renew your season pass here.
Passholder appreciation days seemed to be a big hit this season especially in March when we presented a free buffet breakfast in Vertical and April with free breakfast burritos in the Alpenstube. These have been fun events and we expect to continue them next season.
We heard from our friends at Mt. Baker that a great number of our unlimited passholders took advantage of their five free days, and we enjoyed hosting Mt. Baker passholders as well. We will be continuing this important exchange program next season, and we are excited about our new program for unlimited passholders who will receive three free ski days (total) at Winter Park and Steamboat Interwest resorts in Colorado.
The abundant snow and superior conditions, particularly during the holidays, wasn’t without challenges. We’ll continue to innovate to mitigate peak day traffic and parking problems but we’re pleased that the majority of our loyal passholders already know to arrive early on those days. There are times even on these busy days that we have extra capacity in the lodge - early in the morning and later in the evening. We will be looking to add services on busy days such as a breakfast buffet option in Vertical for those that arrive early and après ski pricing and events for those that stay later in the day in hopes of spreading out the traffic flow as much as we can. We will also have great online pricing on tickets and passes during the mid-week timeframe to try to draw guests with flexible schedules to less busy days of the week. Please understand that our long-range plans include expansion of our lodge and more dining areas to provide a better experience on our busiest days. Construction within our Resort is an arduous process but we are working hard to accommodate our guests' many needs. And recruitment for extra staff for those busy holiday time frames has already begun.
Over the summer we will be relocating our vehicle maintenance shop from the south side of our parking lot to a new location near the Sunrise lot. This is the first step in reworking our base area to be more accommodating for our guests. It will open up some more beginner terrain where we are currently parking our snow cats which will take pressure off the base area and Ballroom Carpet. It will also move equipment that is stored in the main lot over the summer to make the approach to the lodge much more inviting for summer guests.
Our summer offerings are also increasing this season with our retail location in the Pearl District “Altitude” being open all summer carrying beautifully curated clothing and accessories. Our weekend scenic chair rides / bbq / events run July 16th through Labor Day and this year we are presenting four sessions of our kids summer mountain camps.
We very much appreciate your loyal patronage and will be working hard to make Mt. Hood Meadows a better place for our passholders and guests. We welcome any feedback or comments you have either in reply to this email or keep an eye out for our end of season guest survey coming soon. Have a great summer and we look forward to some fun summer operations and hopefully a very snowy 2016/17 winter season.