Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Alpine on the block? No wait...sold, again?

Seems like ownership at Alpine has been a revolving door for a while now. When I worked there..ah yes I get to say, "back in the day" circa 1989 It was a privately held, granola encrusted, slow paced ski area with no snowboarders and more bearded employees then not. The chairs were old and slow and fresh turns could be found all day without having to hike too far out of bounds on a powder day. And we did it on skinny skis-210 gs boards.

Speed up to today's current ownership. ..and the big ski corp marketing juggernaut roles out slick, glossy, color ads, cheap lift tickets, takes over the concessions and with the combination of many skiers and fast detachable quads the mountain is toast by 10AM, all the way out to Estelle. But hey their making money right? But things weren't the same-everybody agreed. Firings (pinkslip or not) of valued, longtime employees were rampant, and frankly with the exit of Larry Heywood-the mtn became less safe.

So after waiting too long one day (about four seasons ago) for the one person on the whole mountain left who could fix the tempermental Summit Six to come down, I said see-ya. And I got me a Squaw pass. And I never looked back-until this year. Yep-I've had the hankering a few times at on our meager pow days this year to make the shlog out to Grouse rock.

But I waited too long and it looks like with all the 60 degree weather we're having I think the season's about done. So I'll wait till next year.

If I have any advice to the new owners it would be to get back to the essence of what Alpine is-a laid back place where the employees and the skiers are happy, not afraid to wear last year's outfit and there to ski, not to walk around a village. And hire back knowledgeable, quality, key people and pay them well.

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