I noticed something this year I hadn’t seen before. The High Peaks chair had run for two straight weeks, after President’s Week.
I had a some back and forth with Mike Pratt via email:
NYSB: Mike … did the High Peaks Chair run for two weeks straight?
Mike: Actually it was 18 consecutive days – from March 4 through March 21.
NYSB: Does that represent a shift in strategy?
Mike: It was simply great snow and our belief that this was the most likely operational strategy to both offer great experiences and attract the most visitors.
NYSB: But I mean you KNOW how cranky it makes Gore diehards when the Dark Side is down right?
Mike: It is a difficult decision when we limit operations mid week, but we are developed on 9 sides of 4 mountains and obviously the lift and trail capacity is much greater than the midweek crowds.
NYSB: So it’s a purely an operational decision, and has nothing to do with the importance of the terrain to the Gore Core?
Mike: The High Peaks side is a key component of both the winter and spring operational strategies. Snow cover, weather, and the size of the crowd are all considered when we make our operational decisions.
NYSB: Ok. If you’re going to open the Dark Side for 18 consecutive days in March… we’ll take it. But I swear I saw you over there on Saturday with a big grin on your face. Thanks for the time.
3 comments on “Gore’s Midweek Lift Operations”
Hmm, 9 sides… I gotta think about that.
Kudos to Mike and Gore mgmt for keeping the Dark Side accessible for most of the past month. I strongly believe that when the DS terrain is skiable, that lift should run. While mid-week clientele (particularly passholders) may accept closure of the North Quad, taking the HP off-line severely limits available terrain. Perhaps for next season the mountain could better communicate a mid-week lift operations policy so that mid-week skiers can at least know what to expect. I think some compromise is possible that would keep the DS accessible mid-week, and that would go a long way towards appeasing passholders, IMO.
Back in the free flowing money days of the 80s, they used to run all the main mountain lifts midweek. I remember riding the old North Chair (not a quad then) by myself, and I mean myself. The North Face was like my own private ski area: Up chair, down Tahawaus, up chair, repeat. Then I left Gore for college and they noticed no one was skiing the North Side midweek anymore and thus began 20 years of midweek shutdowns. Or so I would like to think.