When Mad River Glen informed its skiers and the public that it was closing for the season on Monday morning, March 14, the social media reaction was overwhelming.
In an email to skiers and in a Facebook post, Mad River Glen president Jamey Wimble and co-op chair John Stetson noted that “Mother Nature has forced us to ‘tap out’ on the 2016 ski season.”
The letter went on to detail many of the things that Mad River Glen marketing director Eric Friedman had detailed in a Valley Reporter interview recently; namely:
– 100 inches of snow versus the average 225 inches.
– 45 days of operation versus the budgeted 100 days.
– the persistent weather pattern of snow followed by rain.
They noted that Mad River Glen’s seasonal staff had diminished hours and got laid off much earlier than usual and the fact that full-time year employees are facing unpaid furloughs during the off-season.
Expecting a backlash, Friedman said that Mad River Glen was astonished and moved by the reaction on social media, which ran to hundreds of posts affirming skiers’ dedication to the ski area and steadfast intention of supporting.
Here are some of the comments Mad River Glen received.
Here’s what Roland would do as you did too in this "offseason" – perseverance and providing for the community in all ways possible. Here's to a mountain that provides for her family. Thanks for a great season and reminding us all what this is really all about.
Scout Palemdo Proft (the granddaughter of MRG founder Roland Palmedo).
Please accept our unused Mad Cards as our great up donation to a ski area we also call home. – Mario
Very well said. As someone who had ZERO days this year, after 30-plus last year, it certainly feels like a bogus year. I look at it this way. Taking the last two years together my skiing still cost me about $45 a day – a relative bargain I would say. MRG has spoiled me – I just can’t go anywhere else in the East and enjoy skiing anywhere near as much. Quality over quantity any time. Going to invest in some skins and touring bindings because I’d rather one run through the trees than 20 in a cow pasture. I can’t imagine any shareholder actually looking to get money back or credit next year. – Paul
Great message -- all your diehard MRG fans will be with you always! So, we drank more beer than we skied this winter, c'est la vie...:) – Pam Ferraro, WPSC
Eric – As always, I appreciate your honesty and hold-nothing-back description of the conditions. – Candice White , Sugarbush Resort
Eric, we have three Mad Passes that were never used but we consider it our small contribution to the future viability of MRG. We are both shareholders and will continue to buy season passes, Mad Passes for our son and his family and take advantage of those great fish fry experiences. Keep the faith. Next year will be fabulous! – Tom and Polly
Hey Eric ... I have said a couple of times, what a year to have bought two Mad Cards. That statement is immediately followed by "I can't think of any other mountain I would rather support." It is just a donation this year. We are all in it together – for better or worse. Mad River like no other mountain. I have appreciated your positive, yet honest, spin on the snow report all season. Did a ski day at Sugarbush on Saturday and came to Mad for our apres. That's our home and always will be. Think snow. Thanks for all that you guys do. – Ilana Brett
We had a great ski season despite the weather. Our kids had a blast thanks to the amazing staff and teachers. In some ways, the warm weather was perfect for our 4 year old in his first year of the seasonal program. Also, we really enjoyed our P slope only days as it really brought us closer together (literally) and I met more parents and teachers this way. I had a great ski lesson at the parents’ clinic. In particular, those days really put the spotlight on the wonderful sense of community MRG has and our shared love of skiing! It actually made me love MRG more if that is even possible. MRG is a special place and we will be back next winter and many more.
Thanks for all your work! – Anne
Jamie and John,
This is one of the most progressive and uplifting emails I have read. It is sensitive, compassionate and endearing. It's because of MRG that I continue to push the limit and ski to my heart's content. You can always, always, always count on me to support MRG in the ways I know best ... to be there in good times and bad. Thanks for the past memories and the future ones yet to come! Think snow! – Frank P.
Bad seasons happen and I applaud MRG for being so open about what this one has meant for their employees and community and that they need their loyalists to remain loyal and have faith in a better season next year. I grew up quite literally in the shadow of MRG and Sugarbush and I know how a nonwinter like this one impacts the whole Waitsfield-Warren area. Ski season is the community's bread and butter and this year all of the businesses are struggling, some are even closing their doors for good. The owners and employees of those businesses that have muscled through the mud and ice this year have had to make it work. It warms my heart to see so many supportive and understanding comments following this well written and heartfelt letter to the MRG community. When bitterness has become so common place in our society, it is a breath of fresh air to see a community supporting each other, rather than tearing each other down. – Amber