Stevens Pass Ski Area is back in the news this week. The ski area has been under a microscope since a petition was launched last month arguing that Vail Resorts was mismanaging the property.
Over 43k have signed that petition to date, Vail Resorts has put in a temporary General Manager to fix things up, Washington’s Attorney General is asking that complaints against Stevens Pass be filed through his office, and the mountain is still struggling to open up more terrain.
Vail Resorts is now trying to make good with the Epic Passholders in the region by offering discounted season passes for next season.
Here are the details according to Facebook post written by Stevens Pass’ temporary GM Tom Fortune:
1) Eligible pass holders who ONLY want to ski and ride at Stevens Pass can get a discount on those products for next season (Stevens Pass Premium Pass and the Stevens Pass Select Pass), or;
2) Eligible pass holders who want to access more resorts, with one of our multi-resort passes (like the Epic Pass, Epic Local, Epic 4-7 Day, etc.), can get a $150 spend credit to use in resort at Stevens Pass next season for things like lift tickets, ski and ride school, restaurants, and rentals/demos.
People in the comments section are still less than happy.
Some are looking for refunds, some are still looking for a better experience this season, and some have flat-out stated that they will never purchase any Epic Pass products (including a season pass at Stevens Pass) again.
There have also been some words of encouragement for Tom Fortune, which is actually refreshing to see, but the overwhelming vibe is still very negative at Stevens Pass.
I’m hoping that Fortune can slowly right the ship over at Stevens Pass, and put this disaster in the rear view mirror of one of America’s most historic ski areas.
However, I worry that the damage has been done amongst the Stevens Pass faithful. Only time will tell.
Check out the comments for yourself:
*Last names have been removed for privacy*
John G: “I’m done at Stevens – based solely on mismanagement. I will renew my Epic Pass and I’ll use it at Whistler & Sun Valley. If I ski in Washington, it’ll be at Crystal or Baker – and I’ll either buy an ICON pass or pay their daily rate. That is particularly unfortunate since I grew up skiing at Stevens and only live ~60 miles from the parking lot.”
Andrew C: “Name 5 resorts on the epic pass in the US that did not have staffing challenges and were fully open all season. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
And since the draw of the Epic pass means going to other mountains, why would we only get the credit for Stevens Pass? Why not a spend credit for ANY Epic resort? That being said, IKON and Indy passes for next year sure are looking good. And making mission ridge my home mountain would only be an extra hour each way. Same with Baker.”
Nicole M: “I’m not renewing for my family of 5, the understanding that Vail can’t guarantee conditions or terrain has NOTHING to do with lack of staffing. Conditions like weather, and terrain has nothing to do with no employees. All other competing Washington resorts are running with enough staff to open all the mountain terrain. The communication is nice, but it’s simply not enough. Next year’s season pass sales will do the talking. All the people fed up with these policies will spend their money where they see value and real transparency. Tom, I think you are doing your best to make changes to the disaster that is the 21/22 ski season at Stevens Pass Resort, but at the end of the day you must enforce the corporate policies, that offer no real exchange or compensation for the bad investment we made on this ski season with Vail Resorts.”
Starr W: “Keep up the great work Tom! You walked into a daunting monumental years long cluster and what you’ve done in no more than 2 weeks is amazing. Being the middle man is a big challenge and I’d hope more will step back and take a breathe and let you do your thing with all the hoop jumping some of us know you’re doing!
You got this😊🤗💖”
Jacque M: “Tom, you seem to have been making many improvements to operations since you came on board. However, I don’t think this “loyalty” offer even begins to sufficiently compensate passholders for the gross disruption of our ski season. Between parking woes, unthinkably long lines, and severely limited terrain (especially at night), those of us who call Stevens home have had our season ruined. As a direct result of these disfunctions, I’ve yet to be able to go up to my beloved resort! I get the Epic Local pass, because I make an effort to make one ski vacation a year, and I enjoy that benefit of getting a pass through a giant corporation. However, Stevens is the only resort locally where my pass is usable, and I cannot take a vacation every week. With Stevens virtually inaccessible, that means my “local” pass is only good for the 5 days I can get time off to go out of state (which in itself is very costly). Additionally, none of the ways in which I would be allowed to use that Stevens resort credit are valuable to me; I don’t need lessons or rentals, and Vail’s dining exclusions mean that my friends and I usually plan to bring our own food and have a cookout in the parking lot. Bottom line: this pitiful offer misses the point and does not even begin to offset the waste of money my pass was this year.”
Chris T: “I skied there today, it was great to see the main runs open, everyone has a great attitude. The vibe seems to be getting better.”