We launched a boat, and it’s floating. (This is Baldy Resort.)
Now we’re building a keel, rudder and sails. (These are Baldy’s systems, staff training, and education.)
When we opened on December 1st, people were amazed. We weren’t planning a landing on Mars; we were just opening a ski resort.
However, after the opening weekend, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of weekday traffic. Then Christmas break hit and each day got progressively busier. We had the busiest day anyone could remember on the 29th. I call this momentum building.
We could have used 30 ski and snowboard instructors. We’re thrilled with the interest in our programs, especially the learn to ski and learn to snowboard.
But when the cold weather hit (remember it is a La Niña year), boom! Where did everyone go?
In Nova Scotia – where I spent 25 years running Martock – the TV weathermen would warn everyone to stay indoors if the temp was forecasted to hit -15C. I’ve been using my more recent experiences from Alberta, where at -20C we break out the down jackets and head up into the mountains. Southern BC is more like Nova Scotia than Alberta when it comes to cold weather tolerance.
It’s time to talk “inversions”. This weather phenomenon happens when the warmer weather finds it way up high, and the colder temps rest in the valley bottoms (where everyone lives). I’ve been busy explaining this to our staff and guests as it’s somewhat rare to have this cold weather in southern BC. This past week was a perfect example: it’s -10C in the sun and -20 to -30 in various valleys around here as reported by guests.
Warm air rises, cold air sinks.
Onto other business. 50% of our guests are converting their day tickets and applying the value towards a season pass. When people try us, they like us. I hope this is not just the “honeymoon period”.
I’m also often surprised by the interest in real estate. I’m reviewing a number of companies with whom to build a place with, and we’re negotiating with 15 different buyers for other development properties. Stay tuned for more updates as they surface.
Overall, I am very pleased with our performance. The acceptance of the resort is excellent; we speak with guests every day who are experiencing the resort for the first time. These are folks who live in the nearby valleys but never saw a reason to come to Baldy.
They do now.
Photo: Backwoods Mama