Sugar Mountain might be the worst ski resort in the world! I’ll start off first by saying that I am very grateful for the internet and the ability to log reviews when service is not even close to par. I, like another writer, have never written a review for anything and didn’t plan to until I read other patrons dissatisfactions with Sugar Mountain. I experienced problems very similar to the other reviews, back in 1998 and did not have a place to express my dissatisfaction, but allow me to do so today on this slow day at the office.
To sum up a long story, I worked in the Ski industry in Colorado for 3 years. 2 years at Beaver Creek and 1 year at Durango Ski Mountain (Purgatory Resort). I worked in the ticket office at Purgatory and regularly experienced customer fraudulently trying to get a lift ticket. In most cases it was pretty easy to weed out the honest patrons from the delusional ones, simply by scanning their ticket and getting the data of when they purchased it or verifying the purchase through the CC receipt.
My story with Sugar takes place in 2001 when I and my two buddies and long term girlfriend decided to hit the slopes after a nice snowfall. It was my Girlfriends first time snowboarding and I have always been taught head to the top of the mountain and for a long lesson down. I purchased 2 lift tickets at the stand, and my two friends purchased tickets. We got suited up, and hit the hill.
As you know each lift line has a scanner, so they scanned our tickets and I got on the lift with my girlfriend, on the way up I put my gloves in my pocket. I felt something tugging on my jacket and when I turned around the plastic clip that secured my ticket broke off my jacket. I saw my ticket floating down the chairlift midway between the half way station and top of the hill. I immediately new this was not a good scenario and expected a few minutes of explaining at the ticket stand. I got off the lift and told the attendee to call down to the bottom of the hill to report my misfortune, in which they did. I instructed my friends to keep an eye on my girlfriend and I raced down the hill to take care of the mishap.
This is where the management at Sugar Mountain showed their complete incompetence. I arrived at the bottom of the hill and walked over to the ticket office. They instructed me I needed to go to the management office to plead my case. Armed with my receipt for two tickets, a broken clip on my jacket, the first scan up the hill, the contact with the lift attendee at the top of the hill, I felt I had an open and shut case to reissue a ticket. I was met firmly by the desk clerk with the answer No! They didn’t even care to hear and explanation of what occurred. I informed I wanted to speak with someone higher on the Org chart who will at least take time to listen to what occurred.
Out walked the GM of the resort, and with little listening and a lot of talking explained I did not have enough evidence to warrant a reissue. My hopes of snowboarding that days were diminishing quickly and my mom who funded the trip wasn’t going for round 2 on her Credit Card. I made my way to the pay phone to call my mom back at the office and explain what occurred. As she called the Office at Sugar I went out to wait for my girlfriend and buddies who should be near the bottom of the hill by now.
I explained to my Girlfriend and buddies what occurred, and they were almost in disbelief. I informed them my Mom was calling the office to explain what occurred and asked the three to join me in the main office to talk it over. After all, now I was armed with 3 eye witnesses, a broken fob on my jacket, a receipt, a receipt for each of my friends, a scanned pass, a call from the top of the hill, and a call from mom, I figured they had to reconcile and understand I was being honest not fraudulent. Instead the GM walked out of his office, informed me I was not getting a ticket reissued, and advised me that I needed to leave the property or he was calling the cops to escort me off. I was completely amazed, #1 at the awful Customer Service, #2 now I might get arrested for trespassing. As I got my last words in about how awful the Customer Service was and how I could not understand their decision two security personnel escorted all 4 of us to our car.
When I got to the car I could not believe what just happened, they just kicked 4 people off the Mountain for losing a lift ticket. I could not explain how upset I was, losing a good day on the hill and having to deal with Sugar Mountain management’s lack of understanding and care for its patrons.
That day I decided the rest of my snowboarding would be done out West or at Snowshoe in W. VA. My uncle has a cabin in Boone and my family takes trips up there regularly since 84. I have not skied a day in NC since 1998 and when we do our annual SuperBowl trip with 15 guests, guess where we don’t go! Sugar Crap Mountain! I figured since 1998 I have probably cost them about $30k in business. That’s about 20 trips a year with the guest that I bring up to the cabin during ski season, and food, rentals. So a 50 dollar lift lost ticket ended up costing them a lot more than it did me that day! I warn everyone to stay away from this place not unless they enjoy awful Customer Service and a risk of having their vacation ruined!