You're the boss - what would you do right now if you ran a ski area?

fatbob

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Kinda like the how will skiing be different this season but based on what you know now what calls would you be making re the season?

Me

- Freeze current season pass sales
- Consider bifurcating season passes to an early/late season or odd/even day use
- Sell the early season passes at a pro rata rate with a guarantee to give passholders first dibs on the late season or if people opted for late season only now they get it
- Set out my formula for reimbursement/lottery if on hill places are to be restricted
- Set out the scenarios for running the hill at 75%/50% normal capacity and the rules that would apply
- Work out a reservation/no show policy
 

pchewn

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Beaverton OR USA
I would hire an operations research engineering expert to come up with a formula or simulation that takes into account many variables (capacity, coverage, Marcov chain waiting line models,etc). Then have it optimize the overall satisfaction of the expected skiing population.
 

Wilhelmson

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Stay engaged with customers and provide actual facts and plans. We haven't seen enough of this.

Buy facemasks sanitizer and tp.

Create risk matrix with viable adaptable solutions and alternatives.

Use the summer season to establish a template for expected employee and guest behavior.

Build sheltered outdoor warming areas.

Implement all rfid.
 

Steve

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Set my office clock to 4:20 and take out the batteries.
 

RobSN

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Prescott Valley, AZ
I would hire an operations research engineering expert to come up with a formula or simulation that takes into account many variables (capacity, coverage, Marcov chain waiting line models,etc). Then have it optimize the overall satisfaction of
me. FIFY
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
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Denver, CO
Kinda like the how will skiing be different this season but based on what you know now what calls would you be making re the season?

Me

- Freeze current season pass sales
- Consider bifurcating season passes to an early/late season or odd/even day use
- Sell the early season passes at a pro rata rate with a guarantee to give passholders first dibs on the late season or if people opted for late season only now they get it
- Set out my formula for reimbursement/lottery if on hill places are to be restricted
- Set out the scenarios for running the hill at 75%/50% normal capacity and the rules that would apply
- Work out a reservation/no show policy
I would sell season passes as usual. I would limit day passes. Guests that buy season passes and book their stays well in advance have the priority. I would prep the lodge areas for outdoor seating ONLY, for all lunch / dining. ALL indoor eating and drinking will be CLOSED. I would look into STRONG ventilation systems for all bathroom facilities. I would operate lodging at about 50% capacity for safety and longer turnaround times to allow cleaning and disinfecting of rooms and facilities between guests. I would increase fresh and clean air circulation in ALL lodging facilities. I would also implement pretty strict protocols and testing for all my staff and employees. I dont want them or their families to get sick. (Free sanitizing gel and PPE is a given). All this should keep the wheels turning.
 

crgildart

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The Bull City
Assuming there will be limited capacity:
I'd refund all season passes to customers in full and start over.
All clients staying in resort lodging are guaranteed lift tickets at the regular/holiday rates.

What's left after that will be priced accordingly:
Lottery tickets priced at the inverse of regular price times capacity. So, if we're at 50% capacity, a ticket that is normally $100 would cost $200 for whoever wins the lottery, paid in advance and in full, non refundable if it rains or they decide not to show at the last minute.

I'd try to run some kind of yield management model similar to what the airlines do to maximize revenues from remaining tickets available after lodging customers get theirs..

pchewn is on the same wavelength below:
I would hire an operations research engineering expert to come up with a formula or simulation that takes into account many variables (capacity, coverage, Marcov chain waiting line models,etc). Then have it optimize the overall satisfaction of the expected skiing population.
 

Unpiste

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pchewn is on the same wavelength below:
I'm not sure about that.

Assuming there will be limited capacity:
I'd refund all season passes to customers in full and start over.
All clients staying in resort lodging are guaranteed lift tickets at the regular/holiday rates.

What's left after that will be priced accordingly:
Lottery tickets priced at the inverse of regular price times capacity. So, if we're at 50% capacity, a ticket that is normally $100 would cost $200 for whoever wins the lottery, paid in advance and in full, non refundable if it rains or they decide not to show at the last minute.
As a resort operator, even if you don't care about regulars and locals at all, it's probably best not to say it quite so loudly. I suspect you wouldn't be seeing a lot of those former season pass holders for some time to come.
 

David Chaus

Epic & Ikon because I’m indecisive. Or am I?
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I would first of all encourage more people to ski mid-week, and possibly make mid-week the only option for day ticket sales.
I would invest in outdoor covered areas with benches for booting up and such, and have a free gear storage cubbies in a couple of tents.
I would arrange for food truck concessions at the base and see where on slope outdoor food yurts can be added.
I would make sure there are port-a-potties at the base and other places on the mountain where they can be regularly serviced. The lodge restrooms would be cleaned more regularly.
 

crgildart

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The Bull City
I'm not sure about that.



As a resort operator, even if you don't care about regulars and locals at all, it's probably best not to say it quite so loudly. I suspect you wouldn't be seeing a lot of those former season pass holders for some time to come.
The beauty of the airline yield management model is there really ISN'T anyplace else for those regulars to go. If the big industry players all coincidentally roll with the same revenue maximizing model during COVID season then return to pass price wars when things return to normalcy, customers will return. Attitudes don't determine behavior nearly as much as price and value do. Otherwise Wally World would fail to local mom and pops in every market.
 

Andy Mink

I am a half fast skier.
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I would first of all encourage more people to ski mid-week, and possibly make mid-week the only option for day ticket sales.
You just hit on something that lit a bulb in my cobwebbed brain. With all the work-from-home people now, weekdays may not be as empty as they can be, at least at our home mountain. Another variable to consider when deciding whether to ski or put your pass off until 20-21.
 

crgildart

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You just hit on something that lit a bulb in my cobwebbed brain. With all the work-from-home people now, weekdays may not be as empty as they can be, at least at our home mountain. Another variable to consider when deciding whether to ski or put your pass off until 20-21.
Take a part time gig at the resort teaching or patrolling or rental shop? Maybe employees will get a few laps in easier than having to play the lottery or book a room there?
 

noncrazycanuck

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first I would make sure I could even get enough staff and service technicians to open.
then factor in all the usual expected costs, plus this years likely covid expenses, crowd limits, food sale limits, extra sanitation, and the big one potential legal costs if someone doesn't follow your guidelines
add it up and see if the lifts can run and customers kept happy

you certainly need to have even more cash on hand if it turns out to be another short season .
 

BC.

NEPA ShopRat/Skier
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Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
Sell...
I would sell season passes as usual. I would limit day passes. Guests that buy season passes and book their stays well in advance have the priority. I would prep the lodge areas for outdoor seating ONLY, for all lunch / dining. ALL indoor eating and drinking will be CLOSED. I would look into STRONG ventilation systems for all bathroom facilities. I would operate lodging at about 50% capacity for safety and longer turnaround times to allow cleaning and disinfecting of rooms and facilities between guests. I would increase fresh and clean air circulation in ALL lodging facilities. I would also implement pretty strict protocols and testing for all my staff and employees. I dont want them or their families to get sick. (Free sanitizing gel and PPE is a given). All this should keep the wheels turning.
that sounds good to me...I’m in for a trip to Breck to ski with u and @Doug Briggs again this winter.
:beercheer:
 
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