Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Tue May 03, 2011 7:25 pm

cd wrote:
rfarren wrote: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)


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...


Killington was THE place. The only places running weekends in a row. Open until you had to tale off your skis 3-4 times before you did top-to-bottom. At one point, I'll post some old stuff on Ski Mad World about the good old Spring Days. The blog is still a work in progress.

Here is something from a few years ago...
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6809&p=34630&hilit=Kmart+June+days#p34630
Patrick wrote:
Geoff wrote:Killington is day trip distance from metro-Boston and 4-ish from metro-NYC. In the spring when everyone else closes, there has always been a huge amount of day ticket business at Killington as the people with all the ski passion from other Northeastern mountains wander in. Tons of Canadians. Tons of Massholes. Tons of New Yorkers.

Sure, the 7 month season and snowmaking reputation has always been a reason to settle at Killington and buy a season pass. A big April into May is also a viable business based on walkup day ticket sales. You don't get the same skier yield since lodging is steeply discounted and there's a price break on the lift ticket but it doesn't take many staff to operate the resort at that time of year. They run the K1 in the summer for mountain biking and touron lift rides when the place gets very little traffic. There's no reason why they can't do the same thing in at least the first half of May.


I remember arguing this point a few years ago. Speaking as a ex-"Canadian within a day trip distance", I've almost exclusively skied Kmart on the margin of the season. Killington is, I believe it's still, my 3rd area with the most visits, although I've only skied a handful of time in months other than May and June. I haven't skied at Killington much in the last few years, because the Kmart isn't the only game in town for me and I've had other choices.

Geoff wrote:I think ASC really created the problem when they ripped out the Killington double chair. They could load at the midstation and operate the lift with 3 or 4 staff for October and late-May skiing. Upper Downdraft held snow much better than Superstar and the trail is much narrower so the costs to stockpile snow were much lower. To restore the Killington brand, I really think they should buy a used double or triple and run it from midmountain up to Killington Peak for fall and spring skiing.


Even before they removed that double, they moved late Spring skiing operations on the new Superstar. This was shortsighted, because it required some much more to get Superstar to open that late in the season. Once they decided to removed the double and replace it with K1...that pretty much made the energy and efforts to start early and end late so much harder...the fate of K legacy (early/late skiing) was living on borrowed time.

It would be great if they would try to restore the K brand the way that Geoff mentions, however I would be surprised if that would happened. How many people saw the arrival of the K1 Gondola has an improvement over the 0ld K Peak double? Not many people had a tear from that old double, the ones that did really understood what it meant. :cry:


PS. Superstar would look in much worst shape than the actual pic of a closed OL on K's closing days. [-X

PPS. Superstar and Skye Peak is a way better terrain than Jay (Haynes-Jet) for late late season. As Mt. Ellen with FIS is better than Sugabush Valley.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Thu May 05, 2011 12:08 pm

I agree that the early (Oct) season was greatly affected by the loss of the old K peak double w/ midstation, but they had started doing Superstar in spring prior to that and IMO it was a very good call. Making some extra snow on that huge wide ribbon, esp with parking/social scene at bottom, is (oops, was) just right for the warm May/June cult!

As for the early season a higher elevation definitely does help with a jump on the snowmaking. The big problem with the olde K double was that skiers loading at midstation had to wait for chairs not already occupied by leaf peepers or mt bikers, plus the chair had to slow down for any pedestrian up or downloading so it made for some glacially slow waits/rides. A rope tow (are those even legal anymore?) or Poma on Upper Cascade would serve that purpose more cleanly but overall Kmarts Glades chair is more suited for early season IMO, with it's high altitude and at least semi-northern exposure. The method with the pickup truck ride> Canyon chair > Glades chair was admittedly a bit silly although it was always appreciated for evidence of their then-commitment to the experience. Now that they've installed a catwalk between the summit (that the gondola is running to anyway in the fall) and the top of the Glades area there's a little more flexibility- only time will tell if they take more advantage of it.

This subject will never be a completely dead horse to some of us.....tho I do admit it smells a little funny at times haha....
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri May 06, 2011 12:54 am

Patrick wrote:PS. Superstar would look in much worst shape than the actual pic of a closed OL on K's closing days. [-X

I'll leave Patrick's syntax alone this time, but the OL picture vs. old days closing pics of Superstar is what immediately popped into my mind also.

cd wrote:Now that they've installed a catwalk between the summit (that the gondola is running to anyway in the fall) and the top of the Glades area there's a little more flexibility

In the marathon thread a few years back I had advocated using the K1 as a transport lift. I chatted with Tom Horrocks once at a NASJA meeting and he conceptually agreed but had no idea if it would ever happen. Given Vermont Act 250 the catwalk is probably the best they can do in terms of access vs. the ideal of extending Glades to the top.

I agree with most of the posters above. Killington is the closest viable spring mountain to a huge population base in metro Boston and NYC. There is ample historical evidence of more than adequate patronage, at least on the weekends. I might add that Powdr is even being stingy about what lifts they ran last weekend. When I skied April 29, 1990 the lift out of the Bear base was open even though you you had to move your car from the main base to ski there. And K1 was open serving Downdraft I think.

Geoff wrote:Mount Bachelor extended their season by 2 weeks into mid-May so this has nothing to do with the corporate bean counters in Utah.

BFD! With 633 inches of snowfall Bachelor is going to have wall-to-wall cover for its full 3,100 vertical well into July this year. And the extension is one week, to Sunday of Memorial weekend. They have always been open to 3rd weekend of May for the Pole, Pedal, Paddle event.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby riverc0il » Fri May 06, 2011 4:49 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:BFD! With 633 inches of snowfall Bachelor is going to have wall-to-wall cover for its full 3,100 vertical well into July this year. And the extension is one week, to Sunday of Memorial weekend.

Whoa! Tony is starting to talk like he's in a Killington thread for real and not just arm chairing. LOL.

:rotfl:
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby riverc0il » Sat May 07, 2011 8:23 pm

Lots of Killington Refuges at Jay today. Last week, it seemed like at least every other skier was from Quebec. This week it seemed like at least every other skier usually skis Killington. I bet Jay broke even if not made a profit this weekend.

:stir:
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Sun May 08, 2011 11:13 am

Yep, that'd be your former Kmart customer base. Dunno what's sadder, the fact they've abandoned their once-proud tradition or that they don't seem to care. I'll bet Superstar looks almost exactly the same today as my pic from a week ago....except of course for the tumbleweeds blowing across the parking lot. Thank god there's places like Jay, just wish it wasn't so damn far away from here!
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Mon May 09, 2011 6:54 am

riverc0il wrote:Lots of Killington Refuges at Jay today. Last week, it seemed like at least every other skier was from Quebec. This week it seemed like at least every other skier usually skis Killington. I bet Jay broke even if not made a profit this weekend.

:stir:


Jay OR Sugarloaf. \:D/ I know at least two regular ex-late season Kmart skiers went to the Loaf yesterday. :mrgreen:
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Geoff » Sat May 14, 2011 12:11 pm

riverc0il wrote:
Tony Crocker wrote:BFD! With 633 inches of snowfall Bachelor is going to have wall-to-wall cover for its full 3,100 vertical well into July this year. And the extension is one week, to Sunday of Memorial weekend.

Whoa! Tony is starting to talk like he's in a Killington thread for real and not just arm chairing. LOL.

:rotfl:


And he completely chose to ignore my point.... which was that local management at POWDR resorts seems to have at least some autonomy. This one can be 100% pinned on Chris Nyberg as the Killington GM. It's stunning that anyone who lost 30% of their market share could keep their job. Just goes to show that Nyberg's boss in Utah is equally incompetent. In the book "The Peter Principal", a person promoted to their level of incompetence can still be promoted if their boss is also incompetent. That's called "Peter's Paradox". It's in action at a ski area near you. The good news is that it's unlikely Chris Nyberg will be around much longer. His wife refuses to live at Killington. The bad news is that his replacement is unlikely to be any better; and could easily be worse; given the demonstrated incompetence of the Utah overlords. Killington, Vermont ain't Park City, Utah.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat May 14, 2011 3:02 pm

Geoff wrote:And he completely chose to ignore my point....

??? I'm aware the Powdr resorts are supposed to have local autonomy. But the actions at Bachelor and Killington look strikingly similar. Both have extended their spring seasons a week or so beyond recent years but are still over a month short of what they did in pre-Powdr Corp days.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Sat May 14, 2011 8:03 pm

As posted on Ski Mad World:

Here are the last 3 to close in May only since the ECT started in 2006.

2006:
Bretton Woods: May 5
Killington: May 1

2007:
MSS: May 6
Sugarbush: May 6
Wildcat: May 6
Killington: May 6

2008:
MSS: May 11
Sugarloaf: May 5
Sugarbush: May 4
Jay Peak: May 4

2009:
MSS: May 3
Sugarloaf: May 3
Sugarbush: May 3
Jay Peak: May 3

2010:
MSS: May 2
Sugarloaf: May 2
Jay Peak: May 2

2011:
MSS: May ??
Jay Peak: May ??
Sugarloaf: May 9

Kmart hasn't been in the last 3 to close since 2007. Most of those years, they didn't make it to the final 4. Before they were often a couple of weekend alone is spinning lifts.

Tony Crocker wrote:Both have extended their spring seasons a week or so beyond recent years but are still over a month short of what they did in pre-Powdr Corp days.


Really? It might be a perception, but when was the last time K didn't make it to MAY 1st. You have to go wwwaaaaaaayyyyy back in time. And it's not crappy conditions/winter when the competition makes it.

Kmart closing days:
2011: May 1
2010: April 25
2009: May 2 (which was a Saturday and not making in the last 4 areas because of it!!!!).
2008: April 20 - same closing as MRG and a bunch of other areas (check out the details for yourself).
2007: May 6 (last day in the East)
2006: May 1 (4 days earlier than BW).

I read this on TGR and I was sure that Geoff would appreciate it...

On the other hand since Powdr has taken over the mountain in general has seen more snowmaking on more trails than ever before for the other 5 months of the season. I remember seasons where lower ovation , lower conclusion, devils fiddle just to mention a few wouldn't even open at anytime during the winter because they didn't blow snow on them. They even groom out some of the steeper terrain on a regular basis but still leave enough terrain natural to satisfy most anyone. I enjoy a few bump runs & even the glades but as I get older it's nice to still have some of the more challenging terrain groomed out to take it easy a little while not being limited to only blues & greens for groomed runs. Personally I think Powdr is doing an excellent job taking care of the mountain which after all is what counts the most.


:popcorn:
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Thu May 19, 2011 7:54 pm

As Mont St-Sauveur announce today they were reopening on Saturday (and maybe Sunday-Monday if there isn't any rain), I was inspired in a rant and rave post about certain ski areas this Spring. :-" (see EC Closing thread).
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Thu May 19, 2011 11:40 pm

Exxxcelent Kmart wrapup over there Patrick! Sums up the fall of the once mighty K very succinctly. All the corporate sycophant spin in the world can't disguise the fact that they've absolutely ruined their skiers reputation (hell, have actually bordered on a customer-as-enemy mindset!). Thank god for big-picture areas like MSS, just wish they were closer to S New England ;(

Just talked with a guy who hiked Kmart this past weekend, said that Superstar was *still* unbroken albeit getting thin in coupla spots...y'know, just like it should be a week or two before closing. Pathetic.

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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Fri May 20, 2011 10:43 am

cd wrote:Exxxcelent Kmart wrapup over there Patrick! Sums up the fall of the once mighty K very succinctly. All the corporate sycophant spin in the world can't disguise the fact that they've absolutely ruined their skiers reputation (hell, have actually bordered on a customer-as-enemy mindset!). Thank god for big-picture areas like MSS, just wish they were closer to S New England ;(

Just talked with a guy who hiked Kmart this past weekend, said that Superstar was *still* unbroken albeit getting thin in coupla spots...y'know, just like it should be a week or two before closing. Pathetic.

Never let em forget!


It wouldn't be Jonathan by any chance? I saw a picture on TGR.

People that know me know that I've been pretty critical of MSS in the past (over hyped marketing and a few others things that aren't that important in the big picture). Do I have to give them credit. I don't crash talk about Tremblant, because they never been or claimed to ski until there is snow. I believe that they could also still be open and run as late as MSS if they wanted to.

As mentioned in the blog, I really appreciative of what Jay and Sugarloaf has done. They are now the new reference to late season skiing in the East despite (especially Loaf) favorable geography.

PS. My Edelweiss pass is good at MSS.
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby cd » Fri May 20, 2011 11:11 am

Haha yes I do believe we're talkin about the same guy!

Not familiar with TGR, got a link for that report?
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Re: Kmart 5/1/11 RIP

Postby Patrick » Fri May 20, 2011 11:36 am

cd wrote:Haha yes I do believe we're talkin about the same guy!

Not familiar with TGR, got a link for that report?


Not really a report, just one post inside the crazy "It's Back EC Roll Call version 4.0". Post number 9985 in that thread. :shock:

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/200383-Its-Baaaack-EC-roll-call-version-4.0(beta)?p=3268243#post3268243

It was in reply from Steamboat1 which I posted a quote a few post above. Praise about Powdr and job at Killington.

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/200383-Its-Baaaack-EC-roll-call-version-4.0(beta)?p=3268041#post3268041
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