April 7, 2005
Teton Village, WY., - Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) ended the season with another strong week rounding out their most successful season to date. Final numbers approximating 397, 500 skier days (391,000 in 99/00 was the previous high), a cultural shift toward mass transit and great customer service are being singled out as the highlights of the winter season.
With a less than average snowpack, JHMR officials are crediting staff and valley business partners for the stellar results. "Lift ticket figures reflect aggressive packaging by valley hotels and improved air service, commented Jerry Blann, President JHMR. The lodging companies are packaging lift tickets with rooms which is convenient for the customer and helps ensure their guests ski. We want to recognize all the lodging partners and businesses that promote Jackson Hole in the winter because we feel this is a community effort. he added.
JHMR season pass days reflected a slight decrease, but JHMR was pleased to learn the 14 and under free pass introduced this year was received warmly with a 50% increase in free passes provided, nearly 200 kids.
Early results from on-mountain surveys show several JHMR departments and the resort community of Jackson Hole continue to provide customer service levels higher than industry standards. In particular improvement was noted in the areas of parking, patrol, rental and retail. Blann added "I have heard nothing but constant praise for the work the snowmaking and grooming departments have done this winter. I can't remember the number of times I have heard the mountain is skiing so well considering the snowpack from locals and guests alike.
This year JHMR implemented a strategy of customer friendly special events along with sanctioned ski and snowboard competitions. The combination worked and most weekends posted strong skier days. "Our research told us that guests like to feel a resort has energy. Live music at the Gondola, family events such as Chevy Family Fun, the Drambuie Open and USSA snowboard events keep folks coming back for more. Stated Blann.
End of Season figures for parking, bus ridership and car-pooling can only conclude that a cultural shift is starting to evolve. We know we have had to use persuasive methods such as paid and limited parking and we know Stilson and bus ridership can be perceived as less convenient for our guests, but we feel justified when we see the results from this winter. Since 1998 we have been required to work towards goals set by Teton County officials as part of the Teton Village Master Plan and Transportation Demand Management Plan and this year we have made tremendous strides. With a 19% decrease in cars on the village road and a 30% increase in START ridership, we are setting records for mass transit. A great deal of credit goes to START which has shown extraordinary flexibility in serving resort employees and guests.
"We are pleased to hear the positive results from Teton Village businesses at the end of the winter season. Early reports from properties, retail and restaurants in town are also indicating a stronger winter than the last few. Some properties have seen increases of nearly 15%. It is uplifting to know that the tide is moving in the right direction for valley-wide businesses here. We read in the papers about the alleged animosity between town and village businesses, on the contrary, when it comes down to it the business owners are taking advantage of increased visitors and the benefits are diverse and valley-wide, commented Steve Duerr, JH Chamber of Commerce Director.
On the heels of celebrating the strong winter season, JHMR officials are finalizing plans for the summer including announcing some new developments. Teewinot Chairlift will operate for mountain bikers to load bikes uphill, the Bridger Center will open as a one stop activities center for Teton Village offering shopping and food/beveragee services, and a new bungee jumping device will add another lively attraction. Of course, JHMR winter season pass holders can ride the aerial tram for free all summer and if there is snow are able to take their skis on the lift when it opens on Saturday May 28, 2005. For more information go to www.jacksonhole.com