Steamboat Ski Area weathers high winds

Gusts that closed lifts Sunday morning not forecast to return today

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— The gusting winds that closed Steamboat Ski Area lifts Sunday morning are not forecast to return early this week.

The National Weather Ser­vice office in Grand Junction is forecasting sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s for today and Tuesday, with “calm” winds of less than 10 mph both days. The next chance of snow on Mount Werner, according to the forecast, is Thursday afternoon and evening.

Calm skies would be quite a change from what ski area crews saw Sunday, when winds of up to 70 mph closed the entire mountain until about 11:45 a.m., when crews were able to open the lower-mountain Preview and Christie III lifts. Winds abated enough to allow crews to open the gondola and Thunderhead Express lifts shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday. Most ski area lifts were opened shortly thereafter.

To compensate for the lost time on the slopes, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. extended hours of operation Sunday for about an hour longer than usual.

The gondola, Thunderhead Express and Christie Peak Express closed at 5 p.m. Sunday. The Burgess Creek lift closed at 4:30 p.m. Storm Peak Express and Sundown Express closed at 4 p.m.

“Fortunately, we’ve got daylight saving time to help us do that,” Jim Schneider, Ski Corp.’s vice president of skier services, said Sunday. “It’s been one of those days.”

Schneider declined to comment on whether additional compensation, such as a refund or voucher, would be offered to guests.

“We’re certainly dealing with those issues in our ticket office,” he said. He added that ski school lessons and other events were shuffled to accommodate guests.

Sunday morning’s gusts whipped the banners stretching over Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat and left little doubt about whether to close the gondola and lifts on Mount Werner.

“Looks like they’ve had at least 70 mile per hour winds at the top of T-head, and 55 miles per hour at the top of Christie Peak,” Ski Corp. Mike Lane said Sunday morning.

Comments

Bill Dalzell 4 years, 6 months ago

I know Ski Corp. is trying to make money and they eventually did the right thing, but come on, enough with the hassle. After calling multiple times and still being closed at 11:15 my sister went to get refunded on a pre-purchased ticket. With her 2 five year olds in tow, they actually tried to deny her a refund saying they had just opened Christie. (Turns out, no they did not drive to the mountain with all of their ski clothes to get a refund, so it didn't matter.) VERY lame and VERY poor customer relations. I know you can't control the weather, but too bad. You couldn't open and it wasn't the customers fault. Furthermore whether legally right or wrong it is definitely ethically wrong to sell a ticket with a certain service advertised and expected, and then not fulfill to that service. Lesson learned, never buy a multi-day ticket. The savings is lame and ski corp. continually disappoints in circumstances such as these. Embarrassing

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dave reynolds 4 years, 6 months ago

so you want your nieces up there skiing in that wind nice uncle billy i sure wouldn't want to be riding a lift with that kinda wind...you seem to be one of those entitled folk thinking that Ski Corp owes you ...bottom line if they feel it is a danger to thier customers they aren't going to open certain lifts or in this case all of them..I worked as a lift op years ago and had the same thing happen high winds caused us to close the silver bullet..i had some moron tell me it was because ski corp wanted to save money on there electric bill..hello if people don't ski they don't make money they are looking out for thier customers safety..i'm sorry your sister had a bad experience..on your ethical comment would it be ethical for them to open with 70 mph winds and risk your sisters life along with her childrens..i buy a fishing trip in florida..high winds high seas i do not expect the captian to take me fishing..how on earth do you expect ski corp to put your sister and her family at risk..its unfortunately a chance you take

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bandmama 4 years, 6 months ago

Goodness, It is nice to know after living here so many years that Ski Corp has control over the weather and is just out to make money. (Can you guys make it snow more next season please? And tone down that 30 below zero stuff, NOT nice of you!) Poor Customer relations? I wonder who would be first in line to complain or to retain a lawyer if those kids were allowed on the lifts and had gotten hurt or even worse, killed. I think this is a perfect example of taking care of the customers that we value for, without them we dont have jobs. We would like those customers to come back, preferably not in a body bag. Most would rather deal with closed minded individuals than have those individuals injuries or death on our concience.OK? Please explain to me how it is ethcally wrong to sell a ticket, then have the winds gust to 70 mph? Ethics has nothing to do with the fact that those of us that are here everyday, place a customers safety above that customers need to get a dollars worth. A very close friend worked the mountain yesterday, Had one of these customers go off on him. No, we really dont set up the wind machine on slow days. And just so you know, it takes as much electricity to make the wind machine go as it does for the lifts to operate, There is a lot of mountain up there! (ok, lets see how many don't note the dripping sarcasm in reference to the wind machines...)

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Bill Dalzell 4 years, 6 months ago

Obviously I wasn't clear enough on my point. You both go off on tirades in ski corps defense. Its not the wind and closing the mountain that was the issue. It the underhanded way of trying to keep money for a service unfulfilled. Yes paddlefisher, if your captain charged you a hundred bucks to go fishing and then said his boat was broken or the seas were too high I would expect him to give you your money back. I can't believe you find that surprising. No bandmama, my sister and her kids were not upset that they couldn't tear it up in 70 mph winds. They just wanted their money back. No, ethics does not have to do with closing lifts it has to do with supplying a service as advertised. So when is it acceptable to keep someones money for a service that you didn't get? Bear in mind, they didn't go up and ask for their money back. They just wanted to get the money they spent on something they couldn't do. The other point is, it is not worth to buy multiday tickets. What happened to customer service?

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bandmama 4 years, 6 months ago

Billy- Let me get this straight, I am a bit unclear, in your first post you stated "they actually tried to deny her a refund saying they had just opened Christie" to me, that implied that she had asked for a refund. The lifts were closed to protect the safety of the customer, and to boot, they extended the evening hours as much as daylight and again safety would allow. I am very sorry that you feel that the customer service was not what you expected. I think that under the circumstances, understanding that this was an outside experience, and the weather was completely out of Ski Corp control they did all they could do. They kept the lifts open an extra hour to try to compensate for the loss of time on the mountain earlier in the day, changing mountain weather and all. I still fail to see where the lack of customer service in your opinion happened? Were children left out in the cold and 70 MPH winds? Was it not explained to the family why the were unable at that time to ski? Were they not given options of where they may wait to see if conditions improved? There is nothing underhanded about the handling of this unfortunate situation. Look at it this way, If a local buys a pass and it doesn't snow.... do you honestly think that we would be refunded the money? No, it would stink, but that is part of understanding weather and the sports that go hand and hand with it. Sometimes you win, sometimes you dont. The service you refer to was is not quite in the same "boat" as having your cable hooked up wrong. I am very sorry that your family had an unpleasant experience here, we do try all we can to make sure that our visitors want to come back. We depend on it. But 70 MPH winds? We just couldn't help that one......

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dave reynolds 4 years, 6 months ago

"remember changing mountian weather could affect lift operations and snow conditions" or something like that....read the disclaimer on the back of your pass and the lift tickets..a multiday pass huh..did she buy it early probably so...this wind was unpredicted so it caught everyone by surprise...if the boat was broken then yes I would expect my money back but no I would not if it was high seas or winds..its like banking on good snow over Thanksgiving anybody who has lived here for a while knows if anything over 12 runs are open its a bonus ..i am truely sorry your family had a bad experience but nobody can predict the weather ski corp did the right thing by shutting down untill they felt it safe for their customers to ski and use the lifts.Question in one sentence you say they didn't ask for thier money back but yet in another you say they just wanted to get the money they spent on something they couldn"t do..unless things have changed you usually get some kind of break on multiday tickets

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Bill Dalzell 4 years, 6 months ago

It turns out I have lived here for quite a while. It was a pre-purchased single day ticket. Plus, no I don't believe you get a discount on multiday tix unless its 3 or more days and then its very minimal. Not worth the risk involved, that's one of the main points. I have also experienced this issue with other resorts where the tickets were refunded sans hassle. It nothing like banking on snow over thanksgiving. Yes it is like a broken boat (no pun intended). Thus the refund. I would love love to sell you some services Paddlefisher. We should try to work out a deal on some boat trips. 50% discount for you on trips that don't ever happen. Fact is the mountain was closed till after 11 (all lifts ). That is more than a reasonable time to wait it out.

"The service you refer to was is not quite in the same "boat" as having your cable hooked up wrong" Not sure what this means??? But if you work for ski corp Bandmama you should read into customer service. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose isn't in the hand book. Not well played.

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bandmama 4 years, 6 months ago

LOL! No, I dont work for them, just a local who also depends on keeping tourists coming back to support my family. What I meant, I am sorry I have to explain, is that this was an unpleasant experience that was not due to human error, or deliberate spite. A refund due is questionable. When you want a "service", and you dont get that "service" ie:hooking up cable, a phone line, a new dimmer switch, an oil change, by all means ask for a refund or compensation. The lifts stayed open an extra hour, They tried to make it right. Again, I am very sorry that your family had an unhappy visit, but there really was nothing to prevent the 70 MPH gusts that ruined their morning skiing. I am sorry that your sister happened to be asking for her refund at the exact moment that the lifts were deemed safe and being opened up for all to enjoy. Perhaps, since you are a local you can arrange some sort of compromise?

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