Mt. Hood Meadows has paused sales of all season pass products with the exception of the Nordic season pass. We discontinued sales of our All Access pass in December, and now we've removed Value and Night passes. Following a weekend that maxed out all available parking spaces at every ODOT SnoPark lot on Mt. Hood, including Meadows lots, we are taking additional action to curb peak day visitation in advance of the MLK holiday weekend. In addition to cutting off season pass sales, we removed night tickets for Saturday and Sunday and reduced the inventory of day tickets available for Saturday through Monday. The removal of night tickets will help reduce afternoon parking pressure with fewer people arriving for night sessions, leaving more room for current Night and Value pass holders to find afternoon parking spaces.
We already reduced the number of All Access pass products by almost 40% compared to seasons prior to the pandemic by cutting off sales of our All Access, 10 Time, 5 Time and Beginner Progression passes. The All Access products allow any-time, any-day access, and we reduced the quantity so we can better manage and forecast peak day / peak time visitation. We can then project the turnout on any given day and make day-parted lift tickets available to fine-tune our visitation. We've also discontinued our very popular Costco ticket, since that was valid on peak days and we had no way of anticipating when they would be used.
A cascade of events led to a huge turnout that overwhelmed SnoPark lots last weekend, congesting roads and creating hours-long commutes to and from the mountain. After more than a week of fierce weather - which added over five feet to the snowpack last week - the weather broke with clearing skies on Saturday and bluebird weather on Sunday. Meadows lots are part of the ODOT SnoPark permit system - but through the storm cycle, ODOT plows were focused on keeping the highways passable, so we had to plow our own lots six days during the storms. As a result, snow removal in the Twilight lot wasn’t entirely completed, which limited some parking space. Crews are working this week to remove snow and provide more parking as the MLK holiday weekend approaches.
We also observed families parking in lots for snow play not related to skiing or snowboarding. And with COVID, the average passenger per vehicle is still well below pre-pandemic levels, meaning spaces fill more quickly even with fewer guests skiing and snowboarding. COVID has also greatly reduced mass transit opportunities to the mountain, limiting Park and Ride from Portland to just one bus a day weekends and holidays. There is also limited Gorge to Mountain Express service from Hood River to Meadows operated by Columbia Area Transportation. Meadows has taken action to reduce and limit the number of passes and lift tickets available and will continue to adjust and update forecasting models as we receive more data.
So for this holiday weekend, don’t come to Meadows unless you already have your lift ticket or season pass. Be prepared for winter driving conditions and give yourself more time coming to the mountain. Check TripCheck.com for road conditions, road cameras, and travel updates, and our conditions page and twitter feed @HoodMeadows for parking lot status updates.
We are doing our best to forecast visitation and limit passes and tickets to the expected turnout. We appreciate your patience and cooperation and we apologize if circumstances beyond our control result in our lots reaching capacity. If that happens, please follow the directions of our parking lot team. Treat them with respect - they deserve it. They are doing their best to accommodate everyone and frankly should be praised and commended (not cursed and yelled at).
And one last special request - please don’t park at Teacup. Those spaces should be left for those who cross country ski at Teacup Nordic Center and not for those heading to Meadows. There is no shuttle service and frankly it’s dangerous to park at Teacup, walk across a very busy Highway 35, and hike more than a mile in boots up our access road to our nearest facility. It’s better to wait for parking to open up after 2 PM, which is why we have cut off night tickets sales for this weekend and have paused the sales of Night and Value season passes. We are doing our best to make room for you.
Be patient. Be flexible. Be kind.