Drought Forces Mt. Ashland Closure

By Kaila Calhoun, Staff Writer

Mt. Ashland

Southern Oregon is hovering in a severe drought year. Rain fall has been slim and so has snow. The impact on Mount Ashland is dire—this makes the second year of morale crushing drought. Last year the ski slopes did not open on its fiftieth anniversary. This year the ski slope enjoyed thirteen days of being in mid-December before closing again.
Now comes the announcement of lay-offs.
Hiram Towel, the General Manager of Mount Ashland Ski Resort, posted on their website update that they recently had to initiate a layoff this past Saturday, January 17, for a lack of available work for the staff of Mt.Ashland. The staff will be reinstated when the snow returns.
Last season the mountain did not open at all. It was a costly decision, but choosing to not open at all for the first time in 50 years was the only decision for the mountain at the time. On average, the mountain brings in 70,000 to 80,000 visitors each season. Half of these visitors are season pass holders. For these pass holders, there was a great loss when the mountain did not open. Many were hoping for refunds. An adult season pass cost around $499 last season. Kim Clark, the previous General Manager asked season pass holders to treat the cost as a tax- deductible contribution to the non-profit mountain. There was also a 50% discount offered for season passes this 2014-2015 season.
It’s been a tough few seasons for Mount Ashland skiers. Exchange programs were born to deal with the disappointment. For the 2013-2014 season, Hoodoo Ski Area in Sister’s Oregon offered free skiing to any Mt. Ashland season pass holder until Mt. Ashland opened. However, Mt. Ashland never opened that season. So skiers willing to make the drive were able to use the pass.
The most recent exchange offer began Friday, January 23, 2015 at Mt. Bachelor. If a season pass holder for Mt. Ashland is looking for some mountain time, Mt. Bachelor is offering a 4 day ski deal for $189 as long as you show your Mt. Ashland season pass at the ticketing counter. More details for this can be found on the Mt. Ashland website, www.mtashland.com.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login