Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

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Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Sun May 01, 2011 11:20 pm

Haven't posted in a long time. Fantastic day at Kmart, too bad it doubled as a wake for the former eastern giant's season. Another record early closing and this time amidst some of the most letter perfect cover in recent memory. Granted most eastern areas closed with thick wall to wall cover but Killington used to be different. Sadly they're just another ski area now (notice how few Kmart reviews are on this forum?).

That said it really was great today in the moment w/ bluebird skies & Superstar lift serving multiple trails with the crown jewel being its namesake (see photo hopefully attached!) with thick side to side bumps from top to bottom. Hundreds and hundreds of people proved that spring skiing IS viable (note cars in pic- yes many were there only because it was last day, but there would have (and has been) a huge crowd on any spring weekend day this nice). People were hanging everywhere making it look like a rock concert parking lot. Even the outlying slopes had beautiful cover and many could be seen hiking over to the K basin to ski slopes like Cascade & East Fall, and even making the trek over to Bear Mt to ski the still well-covered Outer Limits (as long as they'd arranged or could snag a kind-hearted ride back to the main area!!)

It's criminal that Kmart isn't staying open another couple of weeks (even longer would easily be possible) but their corporate homogenization is a pretty open book at this point -they surrendered their late season reputation years ago and will never get it back. I was recently rereading some of the threads here from ca 2005 when the Kmart late season worm turned and was having a good chuckle as some semi-anonymous company hack tried to post random justifications only to be blowtorched at every turn!

Hike em if ya got em- will be great for a good while!

[attachment=0]Superstar5-1-11.jpg[/attachment]
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Superstar @ Kmart 5/1/11
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Sun May 01, 2011 11:30 pm

Welcome back CD.

I believe the last time you posted a TR of a Kmart closing in May, there were about 140 replies. :mrgreen: I would be surprise if it becomes a long thread. The Beast isn't back. Everyone knows it. If I would have gone skiing today, Kmart wouldn't have barely my top 4 ski area for this May 1st. Sad state of affairs. They were charging $49 and they were a ton of people for 7 runs. Look at the competition this weekend (okay, Kmart is closing to BosNYC metro)...same price and cheaper with more terrain (except MSS).
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby rfarren » Mon May 02, 2011 6:43 am

I wasn't about to pay $49 for a day at Kmart with 7 runs open. It just doesn't seem worth it it for that price.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Mon May 02, 2011 6:58 am

rfarren wrote:I wasn't about to pay $49 for a day at Kmart with 7 runs open. It just doesn't seem worth it it for that price.

When I was checking who survived and was calling it quits, I saw that Jay was charging $69!!! I know they had a deal with the Tram Haus Lodge for $69/pp/pn including lift tix, but lift tix alone also????

Can anyone confirm this?

PS. As of last night...

Miller, Bush and Kmart are done. As well as Daily skiing.
Loaf, Jay, MSS are planing to reopen next weekend.
No clear wording at the Saddle about next week.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Mon May 02, 2011 8:39 am

Oh these last few times were definitely worth the $50, would be doing it multiple times more if they hadn't dropped the ball. Only downside yesterday was that so many people agreed with the above that it made for some hi-density sections at times. Besides the usual looking ahead on your line you often needed that extra sense of other peoples lines. There's worse things haha, but this is why many were adventuring elsewhere (see pic). Other downside of course was the aforementioned "wake" aspect and sadness about once mighty traditions there, but it was easy to forget in the day-at-the-beach moment...hey it's not the snow's fault!

[attachment=0]OuterLimits5-1-11.jpg[/attachment]
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Outer Limits 5-1-11
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Mon May 02, 2011 10:07 am

Outer Limits yesterday!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

What a shame... ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Mon May 02, 2011 10:51 am

Roger that, seemed to be the prevailing opinion among the formerly faithful. And still this good after Bears been closed for coupla weeks (afaik, few of us follow the day-to-day up there anymore). Here's one last pic from top of OL, that skiers right line in particular was perfection! Note added knife-twist of locked gate to parking lot necessitating a trek across same to cars...

[attachment=0]OuterLimits5-1-11 II.jpg[/attachment]
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Geoff » Mon May 02, 2011 5:06 pm

cd wrote:Roger that, seemed to be the prevailing opinion among the formerly faithful. And still this good after Bears been closed for coupla weeks (afaik, few of us follow the day-to-day up there anymore).


Bear closed the Sunday of Mogul Challenge. That was April 3. OL was wall-to-wall for most of April. Earlier in the month, Killington was trying to pull passes of people who poached it. That produced some fairly ugly confrontations. There was also a huge amount of snow on what used to be lower Bear Claw from the Mountain Dew event in January. Killington actually had a groomer in the half pipe removing snow from the bottom so it would be unusable.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Geoff » Mon May 02, 2011 5:24 pm

cd wrote: It's criminal that Kmart isn't staying open another couple of weeks (even longer would easily be possible) but their corporate homogenization is a pretty open book at this point -they surrendered their late season reputation years ago and will never get it back.


This isn't about corporate homogenization. It's about Chris Nyberg being totally incompetent. Mount Bachelor extended their season by 2 weeks into mid-May so this has nothing to do with the corporate bean counters in Utah. I don't know about you guys but if I took over a business and lost 1/3 of my customers in the first year, I'd expect to get fired. Chris Nyberg's spring skiing policy is only one of many moronic changes he implemented that chased all the people away. If you ask any of the staff, the guy is a total tyrant and the staff is afraid to speak their mind for fear of being fired. The guy was a western ops guy and never had the reins of a whole ski resort. He had an in-between job selling snow grooming equipment for Bombardier to other ski area ops guys. He has zero experience with the eastern drive-to market. As an ops guy, he's done a great job repairing the snowmaking system and making sure the roofs didn't leak in the base lodges. As the visionary to carry Killington into the 21st century as the premier ski resort in the east, he has been an epic failure.

I doubt Chris Nyberg will be around much longer. Word is that his wife hated Vermont and is now living in the Carolinas. If POWDR hires the right replacement, Killington could easily restore their late season reputation. Unfortunately, POWDR could also hire somebody who is worse.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Mon May 02, 2011 10:37 pm

[quote="Geoff"]Bear closed the Sunday of Mogul Challenge. That was April 3. OL was wall-to-wall for most of April. Earlier in the month, Killington was trying to pull passes of people who poached it. That produced some fairly ugly confrontations. There was also a huge amount of snow on what used to be lower Bear Claw from the Mountain Dew event in January. Killington actually had a groomer in the half pipe removing snow from the bottom so it would be unusable.[/quote]

Yes I heard some of those tales from the cadre of ski gypsys we met over there. Sounds about right given their recent track record or lack thereof.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Mon May 02, 2011 10:53 pm

[quote="Geoff"][quote="cd"] It's criminal that Kmart isn't staying open another couple of weeks (even longer would easily be possible) but their corporate homogenization is a pretty open book at this point -they surrendered their late season reputation years ago and will never get it back.[/quote]

This isn't about corporate homogenization. It's about Chris Nyberg being totally incompetent. Mount Bachelor extended their season by 2 weeks into mid-May so this has nothing to do with the corporate bean counters in Utah. I don't know about you guys but if I took over a business and lost 1/3 of my customers in the first year, I'd expect to get fired. Chris Nyberg's spring skiing policy is only one of many moronic changes he implemented that chased all the people away. If you ask any of the staff, the guy is a total tyrant and the staff is afraid to speak their mind for fear of being fired. The guy was a western ops guy and never had the reins of a whole ski resort. He had an in-between job selling snow grooming equipment for Bombardier to other ski area ops guys. He has zero experience with the eastern drive-to market. As an ops guy, he's done a great job repairing the snowmaking system and making sure the roofs didn't leak in the base lodges. As the visionary to carry Killington into the 21st century as the premier ski resort in the east, he has been an epic failure.

I doubt Chris Nyberg will be around much longer. Word is that his wife hated Vermont and is now living in the Carolinas. If POWDR hires the right replacement, Killington could easily restore their late season reputation. Unfortunately, POWDR could also hire somebody who is worse.[/quote]

Thanx for the background. It is homogenization as far as opening/closing in line with everyone (or most) else but if it's more one guy's doing than the mothership well guess there's a sliver of hope. Sure seemed more systemic at the time the spring policy changed amidst debt restructuring, land swaps, etc. Of course we all knew that the "late season as reason for $ woes" was a red herring. Guess there's hope that the next guy won't be so myopic but we'll see. After so many years away from the long tradition it'd be awhile before their hardcore reputation truly returned, if it ever truly did...but hey I'll talk em up if they change ;)
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby rfarren » Mon May 02, 2011 11:09 pm

I may be naive, but what else has Nyberg done that has harmed the brand other than shorten the season? (it's been 4 or 5 years since I last skied there)
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Tue May 03, 2011 1:29 am

>>>>>I may be naive, but what else has Nyberg done that has harmed the brand other than shorten the season? (it's been 4 or 5 years since I last skied there)>>>>>

Hmm that's kinda like asking "Other than that how was the play, Mrs Lincoln?" haha. Seriously, I'll let someone who pays attention to Kmart's day-to-day season answer that BUT meanwhile it's impossible to overstate just how much the drastic shortening of the season has harmed the brand. Having your area be the first one people talk about in the fall and the last one they talk about in the spring (or summer!) pays off in *huge* ways that don't always show up on the ledgers as a line item on a particular day. Not only did they blow it off but during the fairly sudden change they actually had company leghumpers out on forums like this one lying about motivations, fudging reasoning and in some cases openly sneering at/insulting their most faithful late season customers for calling them out on it all. They forgot that cachet, loyalty and reputation are everything. Maybe they can get it back, but every additional year they shut down and leave conditions like are on the mt right this minute to rot they get a little further away from a possible recovery...
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Harvey44 » Tue May 03, 2011 2:11 pm

I'd pay $49 just to ski that pic of Superstar.

I don't get to Killington often, but I love the place and wish it was run the old way.

Hell I think all the northeastern mountains should have an add on to their full pass that gives you rights to ski Kmart after your hill closes, with Kmart getting most of the revenue generated.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby riverc0il » Tue May 03, 2011 5:44 pm

Patrick wrote:
rfarren wrote:I wasn't about to pay $49 for a day at Kmart with 7 runs open. It just doesn't seem worth it it for that price.

When I was checking who survived and was calling it quits, I saw that Jay was charging $69!!! I know they had a deal with the Tram Haus Lodge for $69/pp/pn including lift tix, but lift tix alone also????

Can anyone confirm this?

Sunday was $39 at Jay. They had Jet, Bonnie, Metro, Village, and the Magic Carpet turning. Amazing that they truly had terrain for all abilities. I heard that the Tram and Flyer had electrical issues and as a result got shut down which probably lowered the price to $39. Otherwise, it was most snow making terrain open except trails that dump into Ullr's/Kokomo as that run out was blown. Seriously impressive offering from Jay last weekend. I know where I'll be skiing this coming weekend... VT's new King of Spring. :-D Jet and Haynes, FTW!

Though, much as I like Jay better than K... Superstar is a superior spring skiing offering and I would be there over Jay if they were open.

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