What a season this has been! 532" of snowfall since we opened in November, some of the best powder days we've ever experienced and an early start that allowed us to operate 156 days this season. The bonus midweek days we added last week generated $6600 for the Hood River Crag Rats, so while the daily turn out was somewhat dismal, we appreciate those who rode with us and supported the Crag Rats. We now are winding down the season, with our last two weekends:
Final days of the season:
Friday, Saturday and Sunday April 28 - 30
Friday and Saturday May 5 and 6
Lifts operate 9 AM - 4 PM
For most of our guests who have already moved on and have already skied or snowboarded their final day, thanks for making Meadows Your Mountain Home this season. We look forward to you returning next year! And for those who haven't hung the equipment up yet, we hope you make the most of our final five days. We have the Sno-Kona Pond Skim (April 29), the Rams Head Randonee (April 30) and our season ending party on May 6. We look forward to seeing you on our final days of the season!
Next season's passes are on sale on our website or you can stop in at Concierge or Passholder services to purchase or renew your pass.
This has been an awesome season one that we all wish would continue, but history has taught us (season after season) that the interest in continuing to ski and snowboard dwindles in the late season, beyond where operating lifts becomes feasible. We wish that everyone were as passionate about continuing to ride as you are, but unfortunately that just isn’t the case.
In order to sustain the season, we need to plan, prepare and execute on all levels of the guest experience. That includes all the slope preparation work (which is significant) to run even a limited lift operation. And as we are finding out during this bonus week, our guests expectations exceed the limited lifts we are able to operate. With two high speed quads scheduled, and only able to operate one due to weather, there is disappointment, especially when a season such as this creates such great memories and expectations. That’s understandable, but not sustainable. When you have only a handful of people purchase a $20 lift ticket, with the proceeds going entirely to support the Hood River Crag Rats (which we are very proud to do), and minimal passholder turnout, it tells us that continuing the season is not on most people’s minds at this time of year.
We appreciate our season passholders and the investment they have made to come to Meadows this season. In turn, we reinvested those pass purchases into our infrastructure, equipment and a team that can deliver on a high quality, meaningful and enriching experience. We will operate for 156 days this season, one of the longest in the country. Most ski areas have ceased operations – even with substantial bases, but we are committed to continue operations on the schedule we set and announced at the beginning of this season (although we added early season bonus days and four midweek bonus days in April).
Committing to this schedule allows us to plan accordingly to provide the best experience for our guests and support our team that is responsible for delivering that experience. It allows guests to make their plans (hopefully to continue to visit on our scheduled days); our team to make their plans (which for most includes taking on summer positions so they can hopefully rejoin us next fall) and our company to make its plans. This includes several improvement projects – a construction schedule that is quite intensive considering the number of days we operate.
Before we open next November, we will have replaced the Buttercup chairlift, upgraded the capacity and overall compliance capabilities of our water system, removed and remediated the fuel tanks by our old maintenance shop and remodeled the High Performance Center in the South Lodge. There are dozens of other facilities and mountain maintenance and improvement projects that we undertake in between each season as well. Many of these projects require on snow travel to access and lengthy completion times that demand our attention earlier than our typical summer work project scope.
We strive to continually improve the guest experience at Meadows, but must look at the longer term to be successful. It is this longer range planning, and commitment to operate on a set schedule, that provides the momentum to allow us to grow over time, and not just fluctuate with each season, and the snow that any one season provides. While some would prefer we continue to operate another day, week or even a month right now, that would be at the expense of our ability to make the needed improvements over time. This same commitment is what allowed us to operate 115 days in a season such as 14/15 when snow was scarce, but still deliver a high quality product and experience for our guests.
We are exploring ways that we can more efficiently extend our season including developing late spring and summer activities at Meadows. This would allow us to connect our winter season to our summer season, and more naturally allow us to continue operations. Our goal is to become more of a year ‘round operating company, to provide activities for guests and stable employment for our team members.
So while this season we have planned and are committed to the schedule we have set, we will continue to explore and innovate to find ways of improving and extending our guest experience in the future. We sincerely hope you found enrichment this season at Mt. Hood Meadows and that you will join us next year for our 50th Anniversary Season celebrating “Your Mountain Home”.
Thank you for your loyalty,