johnnash wrote: we found lines longer than those in Copper or Keystone.
Keystone surprises me. Granted I have not bothered to ski there for ~7 years now, but that place used to be heinous especially front side and north peak. Copper is not a surprise, due to the extra resorts you get with a Vail Inc pass the Intrawest/Powd'r one doesn't do as well with their pass sales and many of those folks seem to ski mostly Winter Park. Leaving Copper with some lines and crowds, but usually significantly less than the Vail Inc places in recent years.
johnnash wrote:On the economics of the resorts, I wonder how much the expense of snow-making impacts on the bottom line. Wouldn't the Utah resorts have to spend much less than Colorado on this? I know Tony says Utah is more reliable early in the season.
Probably true for AltaBird, but the PC areas are probably similar snowmaking requirements to Colo. It is a significant chunk of change for sure between capital investment and operational costs.
johnnash wrote: Due to the very abnormal season this year, it turned out to be not such a a great deal for us, but it wasn't a total loss, either, and I suspect we'll do it again.
Based on my 14 years in Colorado I'd guess that (assuming such a pass for non-locals were available that whole time frame) you would do just fine buying one in ~12 of those 14 years (using it for two one week trips). Perhaps 2-3 other 'mediocre' seasons in there as well (ask Tony
, but really this year and 2002 are clear and above 'winners' for crappy snow seasons compared to any of the others. So not exactly bad odds over a decent time frame. And really if you had happened to get lucky and time things just right, much of Feb was pretty decent skiing even this year. (Though the OOtah'ers will chime in with 13 of 14 being great or something).