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Quoth Skip King:
>
>The bonuses of YOUNG mountains is more like it. Them peaks in the
>Sierra are juvenile tectonic upstarts when compared to the hoary
>ancients we call home.

Hoary can be good.  A little erosion would be nice to smooth out the
rough edges that lurk underneath the powder!  Maybe some Brutal
Grooming with a jackhammer-attachment to the snowcat would work.  :)

>But I agree, Matt - the Tahoe area has some awfully sweet stuff on
>offer, just about anywhere you go.

And Leigh's right--sometimes the foofiest resorts are the best places
to be on a powder day.  Kirkwood's supposedly "hard-core", and yet it
seemed that half the people were hiding inside the lodge during the 2
inch/hr dump.

However, to get back on the resort vs. ski area thread--I have to say
that my enjoyment of the ski experience here is seriously affected by
the attitude of the Tahoe resorts, with Heavenly being the worst so
far.  I mean, it's great to have the option of ski valets, gourmet
dining, and boutique shopping, but when you either provide no low-end
alternative or (worse) dress up cheap service and charge gourmet
prices it starts to get insulting.  I'll admit I used to ski at cheap,
non-resort MRG, pile into cheap hotel rooms, then spend all sorts of
money afterward at expensive places like John Egan's or American
Flatbread.  It was a choice--you could choose price or quality and
decide on what you valued.  I like good food and reebs.  Out here and
at many of the Big Resorts, I've found myself eating granola bars on
the lift just to protest the bastard taxes.  I *know* resorts want and
need to have the guests spend extra cash while visiting, but do they
have to be so smug about keeping a captive audience?  I'd rather see a
ski area cafeteria that only served $20 venison-gorgonzola sandwiches
(on foccacia) than one than throws a frozen burger at you for $12.

Never been to Tremblant, but one thing I admired about the Intrawest
development Whistler was that they offered choices and priced them
according to quality/luxury/value.  Brutal grooming for the masses
might be good business, but I wonder if ski resorts can compete with
cruise ships and Disneyworld without duplicating that level of service
at all levels.

-Matt
http://www.mit.edu/~reagan/outdoor.html

...venison and gorgozola?  Mmm.  Good idea...

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