Is Mt. Brighton Really Epic?

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!

brighton lift tickets

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 person's kid said it was the "worst skiing experience, ever." Think they'll be back?

This person’s kid said it was the “worst skiing experience, ever.” Think they’ll be back?

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.

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4 thoughts on “Is Mt. Brighton Really Epic?

  1. Same bad business practices extending into Jan. Wait times were 30 minutes at the start of the night session. By the time I got to the window with friends, one window was open. Two other employees behind the glass were doing their best to ignore the line and the wait. Later in the night only one lift was running at the front of the property. I feel ripped off.

    • I was in line yesterday behind about 12 people at Alpine Valley. I stood in that line for only about 5 minutes total. Remember that there are 3 other ski areas in Southeast Michigan and while they may not have the cache of Vail, there’s still something for everyone: Pine Knob has great parks, Mt. Holly has fun terrain and usually a good jump set, Alpine Valley is a bit easier terrain but still has decent parks *and* a halfpipe!

  2. I was behind 30+ people in line to ride up a chair lift. One lift open on the right side of the Mountain is just stupid you have 2 parks, bordercross, bunny hill learners, the only way to get to the back jumpline, and ski school down the right side of red. Yet they still couldnt open a second lift they ran it during the groom break then shut it down I stood in line 1 time after grooming came back down and said screw this and I left. Pretty disappointed as a season pass holder. Thus far all its worth is the trip im taking to keystone.

    • Damn. I did see on their FB a lot of people complaining about this lift situation. The 5 or 6 times I’ve been there so far this season the lifts have pretty much all been running, wonder if there was a mechanical problem… They should always have both of those chairs on the right side open.

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