“No one drives 400 miles through the middle of the night to make fresh tracks on Mt. Ordinary. Welcome to the Extraordinary. “ – www.squaw.com

More like, welcome to the Extra – Ordinary.

Being injured stinks. Being injured on a three-day weekend, not being able to ski, and being forced to people watch, not so bad. While doing so this past weekend in the village of the self proclaimed “Mt. Extraordinary,” I witnessed what I would call an “Epic Failure.”

Saturday morning, the first day of the 3rd busiest skier traffic holiday for every resort in the North America, Squaw Valley’s new marketing and promotion was put to the test. And boy was it interesting. With “Unofficially” close to 10,000 skiers descending upon the Olympic Valley this past weekend, the customer service seemed to be nearly nonexistent.

What I witnessed was lines like I’ve never seen before. Talking with guests who were still 25 people deep from the ticket window, the frustration was apparent.

“I’ve been standing in this line for well over an hour, and not one person seems to know what the hell is going on?”















Apparently Squaw Valleys Operations Managers were not prepared to accommodate the influx of people anxious to take advantage Squaw Valleys latest ticket promotions. While lines extended through the village creating a maze of frustrated and angry customers, I had to sit back and ask myself a few questions.

1)   How, with a brand new “state of the art” ticketing center, does Squaw have only 4 ticket windows open?

2)   Why aren’t there informed customer service employees out here able to direct questions and people to the appropriate locations for rentals, tickets, etc? And by informed I don’t mean ski patrollers and lift maintenance employees handing out free coffee and hot cocoa vouchers.

3)   How, with all the fancy degrees, high paid executives and endless resources available from KSL, is Squaw not  prepared for this media/promotion frenzy they have created?

4)   Who the hell would stand in line for well over an hour to spend nearly $100 to buy a product that is at best, lack luster?

5)   Will those who actually did, really come back in the future after such a shitty experience?

The list goes on, but I think you get the point. As a person who lives and works in Tahoe year round, “we” depend on these customers for survival. Will they be back?

I do applaud Squaw on getting as much terrain open this past weekend as physically possible. I see that Headwall is finally spinning and I hear nearly everything that has at least 1’ of snow was open. However, Squaw needs to wake the hell up and step into the party. All the marketing and BS tag lines you put all over your new fancy website and Facebook posts don’t mean a damn thing if you cant execute the basic principles of business. Creating the experience, CAPTURING the $$, and leaving guests with the desire to return and spend their hard earned dollar. For every one good experience a customer has, they may be inclined to tell one or two people. For every one bad experience a customer has, they are inclined to tell at least ten people. That’s the first rule in Customer Service Squaw.

Figure it Out Squaw!!

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