$10 Parking at Gore?

There is a rumor out there that Gore is considering charging $10 a car this year to park. As you might have guessed I’m not in favor of the idea.

I’m betting that Gore didn’t see this coming at the first pass deadline. Nobody’s trying to fool anybody. I think what’s happening is that every government out there is short on cash. Have you SEEN the number of speeding tickets being issued? It’s the same thing. Bring in the revenue or we’re looking at layoffs. At the company I work for we’re seeing our existing, satisfied customers staying with us, but spending less. We are doing everything we can to make their budgets work. We’re not having a rate increase for sure. If we did push rates up…they’d probably consider our competitors.

When we came up with the $1800 for three passes in June, we knew we’d be facing a tough economy. We figured at least we can ski, which for us is a part of life. Understand that we have very little discretionary budget. None, if you consider skiing essential..and we do. If the new parking tax happens this will cost us around $400 for the season. For families this is an increase in our pass price. I mean you really can’t ski at Gore if you can’t park. If true, it just isn’t fair.

To me the SEASONS PASS, has always represented a classic risk/reward scenario. I believe that the unwritten understanding has always been…If you are a 10x /season skier:

  • The REWARD is a potentially cheaper ticket price
  • The RISK is the WEATHER – not a price increase.

For the mountain:

  • RISK: Less total money if it is a good season
  • REWARD: Money is guaranteed regardless of the weather, and you get it UPFRONT.

This season the parking fee messes with the whole risk/reward ratio. And it’s a 20% increase after you already bought the product. And this is on top a rate increase already from 07/08. Also a downer for me personally…maybe you too…this means when I’m the tenth car in the parking lot as I always am…I can save 10 bucks if… I drop the family off. Leave all the gear in a pile and go park the car in the outer limits. And walk back through an empty lot. If true…the whole thing feels may feel like a slap in the face to a passholder.

I do think the forums influenced the final decision to kill the gondi to nowhere. It was Tinwoodsman, Mattchuck and a few others..I really think they were heard in that forum with Ted Blazer. Let’s be heard now, too.

Mike Pratt is the Mountain Manager. He’s a good guy. His phone number is 251-2411 and his e-mail is [email protected] Ted Blazer is the President/CEO of ORDA. His e-mail is [email protected].

Skimore on Tug Hill (2008)

Looks like Skimore, the backcountry skier from Central New York, scored some lake effect fresh today. He’s a man of few words:

“16 inches from the lake effect machine on the Tug. More for this weekend. Thank you Lake Ontario.”

Gore Mountain in Ski Magazine

MattChuck is an accomplished skier from Clifton Park, NY. He’s a passholder at Gore Mountain and skis other mountains across the northeast. His analysis and cut-to-the-chase style makes him a favorite reviewer. Following are excerpts from Matt’s review of a recent Ski Magazine piece on Gore.

Gore in Ski MagazineIn the current December issue of SKI Magazine, blogger Everett Potter does a special “Weekends” feature on Gore. To start, the author recommends checking in at the Fern Lodge in Chestertown or the Alpine lodge in North Creek. The article was probably written before the news about the Copperfield broke. Then he recommends barVino. I haven’t been to the newly opened barVino and somehow, I doubt Everett has either. Another option he offers is the Black Mountain – a solid choice. The next day, Potter suggests a warmup run on Fox Lair to Wild Air, then Fairview to Twister, Topridge, Uncas and then finally to the Straightbrook quad. Then ski Rumor (ok), Lies (ok) and Upper Darby …so…. Upper Darby was open when you were there? Next he recommends that you “wind your way down Upper Steilhang” (not sure I ski that one for the corduroy). After lunch at the Saddle Lodge, he recommends the Burnt Ridge area. “Test out Sagamore, a long black diamond, and then hit Cirque Glades, a true experts-only area that offers a taste of the backcountry.”

It’s a whole new concept in FIRST TRACKS!? Couldn’t the guy just wait a year, actually ski it, and then form an opinion of the terrain? So the advice continues…the next day, hit Hawkeye, Chatiemac and Straightbrook Glades after “warming up with a cruiser on Showcase.” Then “get up some speed on Hullaballoo, a groomed black diamond.” When does that happen? 3 times a year? Hullaballoo is good because they don’t groom it.

Finally… finish with a “thriller” down Upper Darby (the guy really loves this trail), “following Lower Cloud to the base.” This “analysis” that makes me wonder if Mr. Potter has ever been to Gore. Basically, the author took a press release and reworked it. The article seems like a collection of internet research on hotels and restaurants, then for the skiing portions of the article, he glanced at the trail map. The piece also says “Grab a Trailblazer – an egg, bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich – at the new Northwoods Lodge…” But you won’t find sandwiches in the ski shop or bear cub den daycare facility. But really all of this is nit picking.

Here’s my real beef: There is no mention of the great trails that set Gore apart from other mountains. No High Pines, no Darkside, no Chatiemac Glades, and no Lower Steilhang. On the bright side, I guess that’s more Gore for us. Also missing from the piece is any reference to the North Chair – where I assume most of Ski Magazine’s readership would enjoy going. Finally he recommends Lower Cloud for the first timer at Gore.

Matt’s Take: Maybe next time SKI should cough up a few bucks for gas and a lift ticket, and write a real article. Everett Potter is a travel blogger that offers hotel reviews, interviews with travel insiders, and practical travel information for consumers.