Sugar Mountain Resort's Kim Jochl gave high marks to the labor of snowmakers and groomers, and many other area workers, who labor unseen by most guests.
"It's important for people to understand that what they enjoy when they come here rests on the labor of so many people who work through the night to make snow and groom it up," Jochl told OnTheSnow.
"Their experience also depends on so many other people, like the ski patrol who work so hard to keep everyone safe, and parking lot attendants who make sure everybody gets where they want to go."
Jochl said the conditions that Sugar Mountain can offer guests depends primarily on the weather.
"We try to give our guests the best experience we can. If it gets warm and rains, the character and culture of our company doesn't change, we still do the same things, but what we can present does change, so that for instance instead of a 100-inch base we might have a 50-inch base. So there are two levels: We always intend for the consumer to see the best product we can provide, but that product ultimately depends on the weather."
Jochl said that particularly in the South, resorts look for cold weather at night, consistently, for snowmaking and grooming that might be possible during the day in the Northeast.
"So here a lot of things are happening in the evening and behind the scenes. If we don't have dedicated snowmakers and intelligent groomers out there in the cold, working with infrastructure that's been updated in the summer, then it's going to be that much harder to produce the product we want.
"It is important that the parking lot attendant is out there all the time, that the snow makers work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in below zero temperatures, that the groomers are out there at night, that ski patrol care about the people they are responsible for, but there's no glamour in that by itself. The glamour in skiing comes out because of all that work, the glamour also comes from good leadership, which lets the operation shine through," Jochl said.
Sugar is heading toward March Madness, starting March 7, when most resort services are reduced by 25 percent.
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