As we enter a new year and decade its a time for reflection, renewal and resolve. We reflect back on this season, and the challenges it has presented. This holiday we’ve received more than 4 inches of precipitation, which could have been four feet of snow, but resulted in only two inches of snow depth gain. And still we are grateful that we have been able to make the most of what the season has given us, as frugal as it has been, and turn it into a holiday. We’ve operated 27 straight days since opening December 6, plus a three day preview weekend to get the season going.
Our New Year’s Eve festivities underscore our determination to not only persevere, but thrive in the most challenging of conditions. While the weather closed other ski areas on Mt. Hood and around the Northwest, or postponed their evening activities, we felt it was paramount to end the year and the decade with the party we planned. And it was an awesome event and great time for all who attended. A big thanks to our sponsor pFriem for charging ahead with us to make the event happen.
And a bigger thanks to our hearty guests who attended the festivities, with huge attendance for dinner and New Year’s Eve party, second only to last year’s record turn out. Undaunted by Mother Nature’s last big storm to blow out the 2010 decade, skiers and snowboarders carved the creamy soft pack, propelled by gusty winds and fueled by rest stops and refreshments. Any energy left over from making turns was used up on the dance floor, and braving these elements made the champagne toast and midnight balloon drop even more jubilant.
The fireworks were executed perfectly to a small but exuberant crowd who oohed, awed and cheered with every incandescent burst and echoing report. Even the heavy rain couldn't stop the fireworks from igniting and exploding - much like our team that has taken every opportunity to spark joy this season, regardless of weather.
A shout out to our night crew who have answered the call this holiday break, offering twelve nights of Christmas with only a one night break. They’re our champions, choosing to spend the holidays with our guests night after night after night, often at the expense of family get togethers. Our night team does it with great energy and enthusiasm led by our night manager Jason Roberts.
The same goes out to our entire mountain team that work in harsh and sometimes downright nasty weather to keep the lifts turning for our guests. Lifties work tirelessly, arriving early for shovel duty and maze set up, then tending mazes and lifts to greet guests and safely send them up the mountain. Parking lot crew directs traffic friendly and efficiently so guests can catch the shuttle and get on lifts as quickly as possible. The mountain experience is supported by our dedicated pro ski patrol and guests hosts to provide information and respond to those in need. And our Meadows Learning Center instructors log many hours helping guests find the silver lining in these stormy clouds, guiding them towards self-discovery in search of the perfect turn.
Behind the scenes there is an army of groomers and snow haulers who spend the night moving snow to cover the thin areas and then meticulously groom to present the best surface conditions possible. They are like the cobbler’s elves who come out each evening to get the job done and put everything back in place for the beginning of a brand new day. This is all built on the harvested snow from a month ago that got our season going. Look no further than our Nordic Center, which has been operating 9 AM - 4 PM every day this holiday break to realize what capabilities and commitment we have to providing recreation to the greatest amount of people. This is also demonstrated in our ability to operate the Hood River Express for uplift with nightly snow harvesting fortifying the Skiway to provide access back down to HRM.
From tower to tower, top terminal to bottom, our lift maintenance crew provides ‘round the clock preventative maintenance to keep lifts operating smoothly, and respond quickly to any service interruption. With Meadows transportation fleet doubling the last few years, our vehicle maintenance crews have performed magic tending to our snowcats, snow movers, shuttle buses and service vehicles.
And while this focus has been on the mountain and our zealousness to operate even in these extreme conditions, we are also served well by those working in our lodges at guest services, our culinary team, our rental center, retail shops and, batting clean up, our devoted facilities maintenance and janitorial teams. The entire effort receives crucial adminisitrative support from our HR, accounting, sales and marketing teams.
Our resolution moving into 2020 and beyond is to be true to our mission of enriching the lives of our team, guests and community. We will continue to invest in technologies and training to improve our capabilities to present a superior product regardless of the natural snow conditions or weather. We will invest in our team, challenging and motivating them to learn and grow while improving the experience for our guests. We will continue to expand and diversify the Meadows experience and product offerings to keep our core guests interested and coming back, while attracting and serving a more diverse guest, inviting new people in all seasons to discover this magnificent place. And we will be guided by our core values of passion, integrity, wellness, service and sustainability, so we may continue to present life enriching experiences to those visiting, recreating and working on this mountain for decades to come.
Thank you for joining us on our journey!
Happy New Year!
Your Mountain Home Team