Vail Curtails Crotched Mountain Operations Amidst New Hampshire Struggles
The Southern New Hampshire area will now only operate five days and three nights per week.
Thursday, December 30, 2021, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Vail Resorts' New Hampshire struggles continue, as the company has announced it is reducing Crotched Mountain's hours of operations.
According to a statement issued today by General Manager Susan Donnelly, Crotched will only be open five days per week and three nights per week due to "significant hurdles in regard to the COVID pandemic and staffing." During its tenure under Peak Resorts, Crotched generally operated seven days and six nights per week, with two of those nighttime sessions extending to 3 AM.
Crotched Mountain was the last major ski area in New Hampshire to open this year, kicking off its season on December 26, some two weeks later than nearby Pats Peak. Two days later, Crotched closed at 2:30 PM for "scheduled lift maintenance."
Vail Resorts' Mount Washington Valley areas have also been struggling this season, with the general managers at Attitash and Wildcat issuing separate statements on Christmas Eve acknowledging "challenges" and "frustrations." Attitash has had issues with its summit lift again this season, while Wildcat's has yet to operate. Wildcat is currently offering two ways down from the Tomcat triple chairlift.
Vail Resorts acquired the three New Hampshire areas when it purchased Peak Resorts in September 2019. Vail Resorts' other New Hampshire area is Mt. Sunapee, which it acquired in 2018. A new fixed grip quad chairlift is slated to be installed at Attitash next summer.
Among Vail Resorts' New England holdings, Crotched is both the smallest and the only one with night skiing. The mountain was Peak Resorts' first New England area when it reopened in December 2003.
It has been a challenging start to the 2021-22 ski season here at Crotched Mountain. Mother Nature has been historically stingy with natural snow and consistent snowmaking temperatures, and weâ€™ve had to contend with significant hurdles in regard to the COVID pandemic and staffing.
As a result of these challenges, we have made the difficult decision to amend our schedule of operations to Wednesday through Sunday, beginning January 1, with the following hours: Wed. 9-5; Thurs-Sat. 9-9; Sun. 9-5. This change to a five-day schedule will allow our hard-working resort teams to better focus on delivering the best possible ski and ride experience for our guests on those days. We will continue working toward solutions to these challenges and will reassess our operations strategy as the season progresses, so please stay tuned to our website and social media channels for updates.
Iâ€™d like to take this opportunity to recognize the dedication of our resort teams and the continued support from our guests that weâ€™ve received thus far this season. We have truly all been in this together, and that unity has been â€“ and will continue to be â€“ vital to our success. We remain committed to doing everything in our power to make this the best season it can be.
Thank you again, and all the very best wishes for a safe and happy New Year.
Crotched Mountain Resort
Attitash Statement - December 24, 2021
To our Attitash Skiers and Riders,
Happy holidays! I know there has been frustration as we kick off the season, especially in regard to lift access. I want to share some details as to why that is. Before I do that though, I first want to take a moment to say thank you â€“ for your continued commitment to us, for your feedback and finally, but just as importantly, to our amazing team on the ground.
As we look ahead to the next couple weeks, which are on average some of our busiest weeks each year given the holiday season, our team members have been working tirelessly since well before our opening to make snow, run lifts and provide you - our guests - with a safe and welcoming experience.
While opening a resort is no small feat in any season, these team members are deserving of extra thanks this year. Over the last year, we have seen an increased interest in outdoor experiences. At the same time, like others in the travel and leisure industry, we are contending with staffing shortages that are creating challenges for certain departments. This is compounded by the continued impacts of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.
Because of these challenges, we are focusing our team membersâ€™ efforts where we can best maximize the guest experience while keeping everyone safe. Here is what that means for you: Starting daily this Saturday, we plan to run both the Summit Triple and the Flying Bear, offering access to both summits, as well as the Learning Center and Snowbelt Lifts. We will reevaluate lift schedules and open more lifts and more terrain as soon as we are able to do so, and do so safely. You can find the most recent terrain and status updates on Attitash.com
Please know that our entire team is working hard to deliver the best possible on-mountain experience. In fact, thereâ€™s a good chance youâ€™ll see me alongside our other team members at the base on the Summit Triple, loading chairs.
Thank you, again, to our teams and to all of you as we move through this season together.
All the very best,
General Manager, Attitash Mountain Resort
Wildcat Statement - December 24, 2021
Dear Wildcat guests,
Before I jump into lift and terrain updates for the coming weeks (for which I know we are all eager!), I wanted to first say thank you. Thank you to you, our guests, and to our incredible Wildcat team members on the ground.
I know that this has been a challenging start to the season and we hear your feedback that you wish more terrain was open. Trust us, we do too. I wanted to take a moment to give you some more insight as to why that is. It is no secret that we, like so many others in the travel and leisure industry, are facing a staffing shortage that is creating challenges for certain departments at Wildcat. This is in addition to the continuous impacts of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, all while working through our busiest time of year when demand for outdoor experiences is higher than ever.
If youâ€™ve had the chance to visit our resort already this season, youâ€™ll have seen firsthand how hard our team has been working to provide you with a great experience. Without much help from Mother Nature, our team has been working hard to make snow, run lifts and keep you all safe â€“ all with a smile on their faces.
So, as you plan for your holiday skiing and riding, we want to share an update on which lifts are open this week so you can plan accordingly. Beginning this Saturday, weâ€™re planning to operate the Snowcat, Tomcat and Snowbelt lifts daily. Unfortunately, summit access is still not available but we will continue to reevaluate lift schedules and provide an update as soon as possible. Up-to-the-minute details are always available on SkiWildcat.com.
Our amazing team remains focused on delivering the best possible on-mountain experience for our guests and keeping guest safety as our top priority.
We are grateful for your patience â€“ and understanding â€“ and we look forward to seeing you on the slopes soon.
All the very best,
General Manager, Wildcat