Early snow may be getting a few ski areas off to a quick start across the country, but so far it appears that vacation travelers are taking a wait-and-see approach.
According to the most recent monthly reservation report about trends in mountain travel bookings—produced by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP)—as of September 30, year-over-year booked occupancy is up 0.5 percent for the next six months (October–March) compared to the same time last year.
The booking pace in September for the next six months was down 3.9 percent overall but with considerable fluctuation between the months, with reservations taken during September for arrival in October, November, and February posting gains while bookings for December, January, and March were down.
“It seems that both prospective guests and the resort suppliers are having reservations about booking reservations for the coming season,” said Ralf Garrison, director of MTRiP. “We anticipated that the positive economic news in September, combined with a strong uptick in consumer confidence, would be driving winter booking activity but overall advanced reservation activity is essentially flat.”
Garrison also speculated that last year’s disappointing snowfall in most of the country is contributing to a snow “hangover” and the reluctance of skiers and boarders to book mountain vacations until winter weather trends become more apparent. “However, taking the optimistic view, it’s still pretty early in the booking season; with approximately 40 percent of the ski season’s reservations now on the books there is lots of upside potential,” he said.
Killington Gives Passholders An Early Treat
Killington Resort in Vermont gave its season passholders a sneak peak at the upcoming season with a weekend long “Season Pass Appreciation Event.”
Passholders, or skiers and snowboarders who wanted to buy a pass on Saturday or Sunday, were invited to ride Rime, the one run the mountain had open. The terrain had not been groomed, and was recommended for advanced levels only.
Rime was accessed from the top of the K-1 Express Gondola, where skiers and riders used the Peak Walkway to walk down to the run. Once at the bottom of Rime, they then walked to the North Ridge Triple Chair. And once done for the day, skiers and riders headed back up the Peak Walkway to download on the K-1 Express Gondola.
The area is now closed again, until conditions permit re-opening.
New Executive Director Sought for U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum is looking for a new executive director to run the national museum.
A press release that circulated on October 10, stated that, “The Executive Director is responsible for leading and administrating the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum and should posses the following attributes:”
• Passion for the sports of skiing and snowboarding and the legacy that is created by the perpetuation of their history.
• Ability to provide innovative organizational leadership while maintaining strong day-to-day program administration.
• Understanding of modern communications, providing strong stakeholder outreach.
• Comfortable interfacing with key partners, business leaders, donors and media as a spokesperson for the organization and the history of the sport in America.
• Avid recreational skier or snowboarder.
The Hall is located in Ishpeming, Michigan. Resumes for the position can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Peter Kray
Image: U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame