With below-average temperatures and above-average snowfall for most of December, Mt. Brighton, purchased this spring by Vail Resorts (along with Afton Alps, MN), is poised for a great winter season: their terrain parks continue to develop but are off to a good start, the snowmaking is on point, and the facilities look awesome so far, but…
There’s always a “but…”
The one complaint that I see over and over again is the lines. Not the lift lines, mind you, which would be expected and even to an extent excusable for a resort that’s getting a lot of publicity and attention, but the lines to buy your lift ticket for the day.
Their Facebook is full of people griping about waits of 30 or 40 minutes — one person claims to have waited nearly two hours!
I’ve been there a handful of times, with one wait lasting about 40 minutes, and never less than 15-20 minutes even with only 2 or 3 people ahead of me. On Thursday, my friend Joe waited 40+ minutes in a line that would’ve moved in 10 minutes, tops, at any other hill and it was not that crowded (we didn’t stand in a line for a chair until almost 3pm).
Day skiers are the bread and butter of all ski resorts, and subjecting them to waits in excess of 30 minutes on the regs is a surefire way to make a bad first impression and to keep them from coming back. I mean, you might grin and bear it for an hour the first time because you’re already there, but next time, you’ll probably go to one of the other hills (there are 4 nearby). This translates to lost revenue which I’m pretty sure is a bad thing.
This simply isn’t acceptable — not from a rinky-dink hill, and certainly not from an industry leader like Vail.
During the first week of the season maybe I’d give ‘em a pass, but after a month of operations, purchasing lift tickets should be one of the most straightforward things that your customers do. The current process is a complete disaster. Until they get this process under control, they’re really not deserving the “Epic” moniker.