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December 30, 2008

Snowbowl Turns Away Customers Because of Insufficient Parking

People from Phoenix and Tucson want skiing in Flagstaff. Plain and simple. There is not enough parking or lift capacity to meet demand. Hence why it makes sense to upgrade the parking, add snowmaking, improve lifts, and open new terrain... unless you are the competition, the Sierra Club, or the Hopis and Navajos. But again, that is another matter:

Arizona Snowbowl filled up on Saturday, with an estimated 3,500 skiers, and again on Monday, said General Manager J.R. Murray.

Traffic leaving Snowbowl was at a crawl on Saturday, so about 400 customers stayed at the lodge for two extra hours, until about 8:30 p.m., to wait it out.

"We're trying our best to accommodate everybody," Murray said.

Some received vouchers or discounts, for long waits.

Avondale resident Steve Navis was one unhappy customer when Snowbowl's lift lines and parking lots filled up on Saturday.

He started up Snowbowl Road at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and, after lift tickets and lift lines, hit the slopes at 12:45 p.m.

Most of his group got in two runs for the day, due to large crowds. Then it took them 3 1/2 hours to descend Snowbowl Road.

It's a dilemma for the business, said Murray, which typically has 10 or fewer days per season that reach capacity.

"People don't want to get turned away after they've driven here, but at the same time, they don't want long lines," Murray said.

Demand is there. The area is there. Just a couple improvements away from having consistent seasons with artificial snow so that people do not all try to cram into the area at one time. Some additional parking. Some more lift capacity.

I feel bad for the people that got turned away. No business wants to turn people away. Every single unhappy person that drove up the mountain and got the boot should thank Joe Shirley and the Sierra Club for their attempts to block the improvements that would already be completed if not for their lawsuits. Instead of skiing at Snowbowl, a good way to spend the weekend is watching a Beatlemania knockoff concert at the local Indian Casino in Phoenix. OK, that was unfair, this is a different tribe, not the Navajos or Hopis, but still, come one. Beatles Knockoff band?

Posted by Justin at December 30, 2008 04:14 PM