Not only does Eaglecrest have record amounts of snow for this time of year, it also did record business over the two-week Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Now that the accounting is done, General Manager Matt Lillard says sales were up in all departments, from the number of day tickets sold to equipment rentals, ski and snowboard lessons, and the cafeteria.
“Percentage-wise we’re looking at over a 42 percent increase over the highest two-week period that I can track. We also had our busiest day on Saturday, December 31st, with approximately 15-hundred skiers (and snowboarders) up at the mountain,” he says.
He says the city-owned ski area also has had record season-pass sales in terms of revenue.
“Season pass sales to date are 778-thousand dollars, surpassing the record that was set in 2009 and 2010,” Lillard says. “Between the online sales and what actually takes place here (Eaglecrest office) it’s going to be probably around the 21-hundred, 22-hundred mark (individual season passes).”
Most ski areas make more money from daily ticket sales, while Eaglecrest has historically brought in most of its ticket revenue through season passes.
Eaglecrest opened the day after Thanksgiving for weekends only, then on December 16th it began operating every day through Monday, January 2nd. The holiday period is important to all ski areas, which stand to make 10 to 20 percent or more of season revenue. But across the U.S., many ski resorts had little or no snow last month.
According to skicentral.com, a database of North American ski resorts, 347 or 471 U.S. and Canadian areas are now open. Eaglecrest still has more snow than any other ski area in North America.
Eaglecrest is back on its normal operating schedule, open Thursday through Monday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
- A new weather station installed on Mt. Ripinsky last month is now relaying data on weather conditions that could help hikers, climbers and skiers prepare for bad weather -- especially avalanches.
- Kids attending the Homer Folk School learn everything from making apple juice to building kayaks.
- Bethel has made more than a quarter of a million dollars from its 12 percent sales tax on alcohol since legal alcohol sales began in April.
- A National Weather Service meteorologist says warm ocean temperatures and less sea ice suggest this year's winter could be close to normal.