Slide Brook Express Quad @ Sugarbush Likely Not To Run This Season Due To Staff Shortage

Slide Brook Express Quad @ Sugarbush Likely Not To Run This Season Due To Staff Shortage

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Slide Brook Express Quad @ Sugarbush Likely Not To Run This Season Due To Staff Shortage

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One of Sugarbush’s main ski lifts, the Slide Brook Express Quad that connects Lincoln Peak with Mt. Ellen, will likely not run this season due to a staff shortage. In a blog post, Sugarbush said that despite pay increases and expanded employee benefits the ski hill is still short on workers. 

An Update on Snowmaking, Slide Brook, and Uphill Travel

“Now that both mountains are fully open we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries as to when the Slide Brook Express Quad could potentially open. From a snow depth standpoint, we’re still not quite there. As you’ve likely heard before, we can’t operate that lift until there’s enough snow throughout the work roads in Slide Brook and under the lift to safely get vehicles in and out of there to check lines, perform maintenance, and even evacuate the lift if necessary.

However, the reality is at this point we’re not optimistic that Slide Brook will spin this year. The main reason for this is predominantly staffing. Unfortunately, both our lift mechanic and lift operations teams are already stretched pretty thin operating and maintaining all of our other lifts at both mountains. And when it comes to prioritizing, we want to be able to operate the lifts that can access new terrain (and also accommodate all abilities), so we believe it makes sense to focus on the lifts we have running, rather than trading one of them for Slide Brook.

So then perhaps your follow-up question is why this wasn’t shared sooner. Well it was our hope that our staffing levels would be in a better place at this point. We just haven’t managed to quite get there. It’s an industry wide trend. In fact, the New York Times just ran an informative piece yesterday about the struggles with staffing in the ski industry. It’s worth the read. We’ve certainly been doing everything we can to attract workers. We raised our minimum wage to $15/hr this past summer, we’ve been expanding employee benefits, and we even transformed the Sugarbush Inn into employee housing to add to the housing we already have, which was no easy feat.

We’re not saying there’s zero chance of Slide Brook spinning, but at this point we should all expect that it’s pretty unlikely. If things change, we will of course update everyone immediately. I think this is also a good time to give a virtual round of applause to our current mountain operations team. They’ve all been working hard to keep things running even while understaffed. These men and women really care about the product we’re putting out. Please give them your thanks next time you run into one of them.”

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