Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Marc_C » Sat May 14, 2011 1:56 pm

soulskier wrote:Sunshine Village Watch, A New Ski Resort Watchdog Group Formed


Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...................
-marc
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Patrick » Sat May 14, 2011 2:05 pm

Geoff wrote:I still stick by this comment. I think the internet spew on this is extremely one-sided. We have no idea what those employees did that caused them to get fired. There is no inherent right of free speech for corporate employees. If you bad mouth your company to their customers, you deserve to get marched out the door. I know for certain that if I did a tell-all to my employer's customers, I wouldn't survive 5 minutes and I'd be unemployable in the industry. I don't comprehend the sense of entitlement of resort town employees. It's not like the resort owes them a job. When soulskier's little shoestring operation falls on hard times or makes hiring mistakes and they have to fire people, I really hope he receives the same scruitiny he's subjecting other employers to.


That doesn't seem to be mentioned in the Statement of Defense from SV (check out the reply from the employees). I read them a while ago and there are a few allegations made. It's just funny that these employees were fired after 20-30 years service. You don't promote people that they don't do the job right. No warning that their actions wasn't appropriate. No reprimand. Looks like a witch hunt to me against these employees going their jobs and having everyone to respect the rules.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby soulskier » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:58 am

Making Locals Jaded, Powder.com July 11, 2011

http://www.powdermag.com/stories/making-locals-jaded/
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby soulskier » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:35 am

http://www.MountainRidersAlliance.com
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby EMSC » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:03 pm

soulskier wrote:Sunshine Village fires back.


Well, it certainly does still fascinate me to watch just how fascinated you are by this story soulskier.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby soulskier » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:52 pm

EMSC wrote:
soulskier wrote:Sunshine Village fires back.


Well, it certainly does still fascinate me to watch just how fascinated you are by this story soulskier.


I'm glad you are fascinated by my fascination.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:07 pm

I vote with soulskier on this one. It is an interesting story. What information has been made available is 99% on one side. This is the first attempt I've seen from SSV to fight back in the public media. I'm certainly interested to see how the trial plays out.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Mike Bernstein » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:01 am

Tony Crocker wrote:I vote with soulskier on this one. It is an interesting story. What information has been made available is 99% on one side. This is the first attempt I've seen from SSV to fight back in the public media. I'm certainly interested to see how the trial plays out.


+1

And a pretty disingenuous attempt at that. I particularly love how SSV decried the reliance upon emotion over fact in this case and then promptly offered up the tragic story of a crying 12 year old whose YouTube videos of SSV got panned. No attempt to address the central question of how/why the incident with Li'l Scurfield kicked off the whole imbroglio. Nor was there an attempt to answer the question of why, if these employees had such a long record of skullduggery, they were dismissed in the midst of the X-Mas holiday instead of the off-season.

Listen - this whole corporations/money/power = "bad" meme is pathetic, ignorant and just tiresome. That said, there are a lot of bad apples out there, and the Scurfields appear to have a few of them. If you are interested in the ski industry and don't find this story just a bit fascinating, I'm not sure what to say.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:39 pm

I'm curious to see what everyone would consider to be the ten biggest PR missteps at a ski mountain/resort over the past decade. Here are a few off the top of my head -- I'm sure there are many others:
- Killington voiding lifetime passes
- Bachelor/Killington curtailing spring skiing
- Tamarack tanking
- Haven't there been a bunch of problems at The Canyons over the years?

As bad as some of the controversies have been, none hold a candle to Sunshine as far as PR damage.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby EMSC » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:36 am

Well now I know how shows like "Big Brother" stay on the air.

James, not sure what defenition you are using. I wuld think items directly in control of the resort that go badly wrong and the quality of the PR handling associated with said event?

What about the lifts that have broken? Or the stranding of folks on lifts overnight? Etc...
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:45 pm

I was going to say that the drastic cutbacks in spring skiing by Powdr Corp at Mt. Bachelor and Killington were part of a broad pattern of actions that alienated their clientele. In the case of Bachelor that included cutbacks on grooming machines and lift maintenance. As EMSC notes, the lift maintenance issue is more serious and probably was the key factor in Powdr Corp making some attempt to improve its operations at Bachelor over the past couple of years.

In line with EMSC's comments, a good measure of PR damage would be a decline in skier visits relative to other resorts. This definitely occurred at both Mt. Bachelor and Killington. It would be interesting to see the numbers for Sunshine and Lake Louise over the past few seasons. I really have no idea whether the Sunshine brouhaha is mostly an internet echo chamber so far.

EMSC wrote:Or the stranding of folks on lifts overnight?

I thought that was only in "C" movie scripts. But a quick search reveals that it has happened twice in Europe:
Les Arcs, March 2005: http://community.us.playstation.com/thread/3776714
Hochzillertal, Austria, Feb. 2010: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-storie ... -22048317/

Also Whistler March 2011, though at least that one was in an enclosed gondola: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ... anded.html

I did get a bit nervous at Coronet Peak in August 1982 when I was the only person on a lift stopped ~3:30PM in pouring rain, but it started up in about 10 minutes.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Admin » Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:15 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
EMSC wrote:Or the stranding of folks on lifts overnight?

I thought that was only in "C" movie scripts. But a quick search reveals that it has happened twice in Europe:


It happens more often than you think, pretty much once every winter or two somewhere in North America.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Geoff » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:42 am

Mike Bernstein wrote:
Tony Crocker wrote:I vote with soulskier on this one. It is an interesting story. What information has been made available is 99% on one side. This is the first attempt I've seen from SSV to fight back in the public media. I'm certainly interested to see how the trial plays out.


+1

And a pretty disingenuous attempt at that. I particularly love how SSV decried the reliance upon emotion over fact in this case and then promptly offered up the tragic story of a crying 12 year old whose YouTube videos of SSV got panned. No attempt to address the central question of how/why the incident with Li'l Scurfield kicked off the whole imbroglio. Nor was there an attempt to answer the question of why, if these employees had such a long record of skullduggery, they were dismissed in the midst of the X-Mas holiday instead of the off-season.

Listen - this whole corporations/money/power = "bad" meme is pathetic, ignorant and just tiresome. That said, there are a lot of bad apples out there, and the Scurfields appear to have a few of them. If you are interested in the ski industry and don't find this story just a bit fascinating, I'm not sure what to say.


There are a lot of bad management teams out there. There are also an awful lot of bad employees out there. As an employee, just because you work for lousy management doesn't entitle you to mouth off in front of your customers. I think the termination with cause will hold up in court for that reason.

In a business that mostly has fixed costs, any day ticket you don't sell comes right off your bottom line. In this case, I think enough people will take their business elsewhere that the mismanagement will be costly.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Mike Bernstein » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:44 pm

Geoff wrote:
Mike Bernstein wrote:
Tony Crocker wrote:I vote with soulskier on this one. It is an interesting story. What information has been made available is 99% on one side. This is the first attempt I've seen from SSV to fight back in the public media. I'm certainly interested to see how the trial plays out.


+1

And a pretty disingenuous attempt at that. I particularly love how SSV decried the reliance upon emotion over fact in this case and then promptly offered up the tragic story of a crying 12 year old whose YouTube videos of SSV got panned. No attempt to address the central question of how/why the incident with Li'l Scurfield kicked off the whole imbroglio. Nor was there an attempt to answer the question of why, if these employees had such a long record of skullduggery, they were dismissed in the midst of the X-Mas holiday instead of the off-season.

Listen - this whole corporations/money/power = "bad" meme is pathetic, ignorant and just tiresome. That said, there are a lot of bad apples out there, and the Scurfields appear to have a few of them. If you are interested in the ski industry and don't find this story just a bit fascinating, I'm not sure what to say.


There are a lot of bad management teams out there. There are also an awful lot of bad employees out there. As an employee, just because you work for lousy management doesn't entitle you to mouth off in front of your customers. I think the termination with cause will hold up in court for that reason.

In a business that mostly has fixed costs, any day ticket you don't sell comes right off your bottom line. In this case, I think enough people will take their business elsewhere that the mismanagement will be costly.



As for the terminations holding up, I guess that depends. Recall the timeline here - some of the employees were fired before anymore mouthed off to the press, so any such judgement wouldn't apply to them. It was only after the walk-out that this got press attention and additional people were fired in the associated aftermath. SSV will still need to come up with convincing answers as to why they decided to fire these guys immediately after a confrontation with Scurfield Jr. instead of in the off-season if these problems were so longstanding.
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Re: Turmoil at Sunshine Village

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat May 11, 2019 4:39 pm

I wondered what came of this brouhaha a few years back. I had an e-mail correspondence with a Banff local earlier this season, and this was his take:

Chevy (who was Mountain Operations Manager) is now the President of Fortress Mountain, currently running as K-Pow Cat skiing. Jock, who was the head of ski patrol at the time, is now head of ski patrol and snow safety (avi control, etc) at Fortress. Most of the senior patrollers at the time are cat ski guides at K-Pow. It's safe to say they all landed on their feet just fine. Yes, there were settlements (the legal claims of both parties in the wrongful dismissal lawsuits were a matter of public record and were pretty interesting to read), and yes, there was non-disclosures.

If there's a message from all of that, the message is that everyone has a boss, and as in all businesses, ignoring or going against your boss is unwise and has consequences. On the bright side, injured people at Sunshine no longer have to pay for splints, bandages, slings and other Patrol supplies. In truth, they never did, but Chevy charged them anyway, and used the proceeds to supplement Patroller salaries. On the downside, there's no longer free beer in the Mountain Ops office.


These guys plan to revive Fortress as a lift served ski area: https://www.skifortress.com/?lightbox=dataItem-iu03r3vy

jamesdeluxe wrote:I'm curious to see what everyone would consider to be the ten biggest PR missteps at a ski mountain/resort over the past decade.

Surely Powdr Corp's failure to renew its cheap lease for Park City on time sets a bar high to clear for ski area management incompetence.
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