Mountain Creek Files for Bankruptcy

trackbikertrackbiker advanced
edited May 17 in NELSAP Forum Posts: 101

Surprised no one posted this yet. Are you Jersey people all at the beach?


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Comments

  • flbskiflbski intermediate
    Posts: 83
    it's the shore, not the beach
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 834
    first i had heard of it. Would not surprise me. Really limited skiing product (terrain) and crowded slopes on key weekends, coupled with horrendous weather. 
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,875

    first i had heard of it. Would not surprise me. Really limited skiing product (terrain) and crowded slopes on key weekends, coupled with horrendous weather. 

    Really? 30 miles out of Manhattan? Lines all the time?  They are to NYC what Wachusett is to Boston.  If it's not a gold mine, it can only be due to mismanagement.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 834
    I meant the terrain is very limited for even modest crowds. Never said 'lines all the time'. Their terrain is not even close to that of Wachusett's.
  • trackbikertrackbiker advanced
    Posts: 101
    flbski said:

    it's the shore, not the beach

    Sorry, " Were you's guys all down the shore?"

    The tab for posting a link to the article wasn't working.

  • NJSkiNJSki advanced
    edited May 18 Posts: 280

    flbski said:

    it's the shore, not the beach

    Sorry, " Were you's guys all down the shore?"

    The tab for posting a link to the article wasn't working.



    If you are going to insult us, please use proper improper verbiage.

    YOUZ GUYZ: Improper way of saying "You Guys".  Mainly used by people from the East Coast of the US.

    Sgt. Egan said to the whole office "Hey Youz Guyz, clean up my snackbar"  


       




  • NJSkiNJSki advanced
    Posts: 280

    first i had heard of it. Would not surprise me. Really limited skiing product (terrain) and crowded slopes on key weekends, coupled with horrendous weather. 

    Really? 30 miles out of Manhattan? Lines all the time?  They are to NYC what Wachusett is to Boston.  If it's not a gold mine, it can only be due to mismanagement.



    Yup, 40 years of it. Lots of dirty politics up there.

    Everything is done half-assed, and there are no corners that have not been cut.

    So much potential that has been squandered away, leaving an entire generation with a bad impression of the place no matter who the owners are. Intrawest was the only good thing to happen up there, but they picked up the place for a song, but most of their plans were squashed by the local politics and then the crash of the real estate market.

  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    edited May 18 Posts: 1,154


    Really? 30 miles out of Manhattan? Lines all the time?  They are to NYC what Wachusett is to Boston.  If it's not a gold mine, it can only be due to mismanagement.



    Joshua is correct in his assessment. It is a gold mine, from time to time holistically speaking it is mismanaged, usually in regards to hotels, failed cabin timeshares, etc. But make no mistake the on-mountain skiing product is keenly managed and profitable.

     I respectfully disagree to some extent with the "Everything...half-assed" comment above. While it is indeed frustrating to have such a large and pretty darn good ski area suffer from a series of bad decisions, they run a top ski school (no corners cut there), the new lodge is one of the best in the business for moving people to the slopes and is very attractive and spacious, and the snowmaking is excellent.  Bill Benneyan is the guy who runs the place, he's a pro.

    Yes they've closed trails (agree lots of corners cut!!!) and the cabriolet is not ideal and the parking is terrible and there are too many rude people and misbehaved kids. Biggest problem is a history of really bad moves in terms of financing and real estate, (agree 100% with NJSki on that part) including stock fraud in the 80s, a poorly conceived and ultimately failed timeshare cabin complex back in the 90s (Great American Recreation) , and the absolute failure of an Intrawest Potemkin Village in the 00s resulting in a hideous, ridiculously placed hotel with empty store fronts. But the skiing part -- considering where they are and what they got, they do a good job.

    " the company blames the filing on a lack of liquidity based due to a combination of warmer winter temperatures, litigation, and the lingering impact from the residential real estate crisis."

    Sounds nice but.... If you dig deeper, the municipality has an exorbitant sewer bill due to the county utilities authority, and Mountain Creek has the lion's share of that bill. $65 million I think, but don't quote me on that. I really think this is mostly about that; it's just the way big money real estate people do things as a way of doing business. They don't want to pay the crazy sewer bill, plain and simple.  

    This is Jersey.  Trash and sewage are the bulk of our GDP.

    Anyway, the correct spelling is "youse",  except in second person past perfect tense it is "yuz"

    example, "Did yuz take those subs to the shore?" 

    Another thing we say in Jersey is "I know a guy."  I looked at the filing and said exactly that 


    ;)
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited May 18 Posts: 975
    From what I've read they're trying to get out of their sewer bill. Previous ownership wanted to expand housing. Town needed to expand sewer. Ownership agreed to pay 65% of costs. Current ownership sees no massive expansion on the horizon and wants to get out of its obligation.

    What I want to know is who the heck rents condos at a place 30 minutes from a megalopolis?  No local will rent. And if you are traveling up from the south there's got to be better places to stay with more après-ski activities to do.
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 232
    To a lot of people from Queens, Brooklyn, Statten Island and even places like Bayonne, Vernon is a million miles away. To the real city folk Vernon is what the northern White Mountains are to SJers. Far away quiet country.
  • NJSkiNJSki advanced
    edited May 18 Posts: 280





     I respectfully disagree to some extent with the "Everything...half-assed" comment above. While it is indeed frustrating to have such a large and pretty darn good ski area suffer from a series of bad decisions, they run a top ski school (no corners cut there), the new lodge is one of the best in the business for moving people to the slopes and is very attractive and spacious, and the snowmaking is excellent.  Bill Benneyan is the guy who runs the place, he's a pro.

    Yes they've closed trails (agree lots of corners cut!!!) and the cabriolet is not ideal and the parking is terrible and there are too many rude people and misbehaved kids. Biggest problem is a history of really bad moves in terms of financing and real estate, (agree 100% with NJSki on that part) including stock fraud in the 80s, a poorly conceived and ultimately failed timeshare cabin complex back in the 90s (Great American Recreation) , and the absolute failure of an Intrawest Potemkin Village in the 00s resulting in a hideous, ridiculously placed hotel with empty store fronts. But the skiing part -- considering where they are and what they got, they do a good job.




    You are correct Rick. I used too broad a brush to paint the whole operation. I have not used the ski school in decades, so I cannot relate to how things have been lately, so I should not comment on it.

    The new lodge is beautiful and well designed. Unfortunately, it took nearly a decade of dealing with the "temporary" bubbles to get this done. I guess if the village had been built out, the issues with the hotel and parking might make a little more sense.

    For a place that packs em in on weekends, they should be expanding the trail count, not decreasing it like they seem to do on a yearly basis.

    And don't get me started with that Cabriolet, and the way they ruined Great Gorge South with that den of denizens.    

  • z1000307470z1000307470 advanced
    Posts: 104

    Unless Mountain Creek has moved, it is still over 50 miles from Manhattan and, if you are lucky and hit all the lights, 1:30 of travel time.

     This MC ownership group is very similar to the ownership group that ran it into the ground before Intrawest. Vernon is going to get stuck with a big bill, although, maybe they deserve it.

  • njskibabenjskibabe intermediate
    Posts: 88

    This is left over debt from when Gene Mulvihill owned the resort.

    Mountain Creek cannot expand the trail count because it is surrounded by State Land. 

    This is not the first time that Great Gorge, Vernon Valley/Great Gorge, Mountain Creek has filed for bankruptcy.

    The new lodge is nice - but it is not big enough. Not enough seating. The Schuss bar upstairs should also be much bigger. But it doesn't matter since everything closes down at 9:00PM every night.

    Taking out all of the lifts that gave skiers and boarders options of where to go was a huge mistake - everyone is funneled to the top of the slopes where some of them have no business being there because they can't handle the terrain. All of the mid stations and sectional lifts were taken out by Intrawaste.  Two lifts at South make horrible lines. There is NO control over them either.  Two lifts on the Vernon side are also no good. Especially when the Cabriolet is constantly NOT running because of wind, etc.... That leaves 1 lift to get to the top - the Triple.

    Need more lifts.

    Need people who know how to do their job.

    Hopefully it doesn't close for good.  I don't want to add it to my lost list of NJ ski areas.  That would only leave us with 2 ski areas. 1 public and 1 private.  Public one: Campgaw Mountain - Mahwah, NJ.  Private one: National Winter Activity Center - Vernon, NJ.

    3 sporting goods stores are also closing this year:  Heino's Ski & Bike - closed April 30th. Dover Sports Center - closing by the end of the year. Neal's Sports Emporium - closing soon.


  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 834
    Seems like could be room for terrain on Granite (the middle one), or is it too steep/rocky to be worthwhile?
  • NJSkiNJSki advanced
    Posts: 280
    njskibabe said:


    Mountain Creek cannot expand the trail count because it is surrounded by State Land. 


    Taking out all of the lifts that gave skiers and boarders options of where to go was a huge mistake - everyone is funneled to the top of the slopes where some of them have no business being there because they can't handle the terrain. All of the mid stations and sectional lifts were taken out by Intrawaste.  Two lifts at South make horrible lines. There is NO control over them either.  Two lifts on the Vernon side are also no good. Especially when the Cabriolet is constantly NOT running because of wind, etc.... That leaves 1 lift to get to the top - the Triple.

    Need more lifts.





    I am going to have to disagree with you on these points. The trail count can be expanded within the current borders of the ski area. It could be expanded/increased by reopening and reworking some of the many closed trails.

    I believe mid-stations are a thing of the past due to increased insurance rates for areas that have them. They are disappearing.

    The two lifts at South are both high speed quads, and can easily move more people than the three fixed grip doubles that they replaced, so lines should be better than in the past. I agree with the lack of control though. This is a direct result of the skier/boarder demographic that frequents the resort these days.

    The Cabriolet is a disaster that should have never happened. I wish they would have swapped it with another Intrawest high speed lift when they had the chance. I don't think they need more lifts, just more efficient use of what they have. I also believe with the current crowded trail situation, adding more lifts will be dangerous.

  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 834
    Is wind the issue with the cabrio? Or its capacity? Loading/unloading issues? Only ridden one and that was the transfer lift at Tremblant. Pretty meh.
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 232
    More mechanical issues than wind closers. It was originally planned to be cabins in summer and hsq chairs in winter. I'm not site what ever reason changed things with that. The quad on Granite Peak is designed to convert from fg to hs, if they ever wanted to.
  • JMaulJMaul advanced
    Posts: 260
    njskibabe said:

    ...... Intrawaste.  ........

    You ski because even if you don't do it well, it's still a blast....
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,591
    I had 2 nieces (twins)and their brother all High Point students had season passes as Christmas gifts. My brother said under $300 each. Said the 3 of them went at least 25 times this past winter driving themselves so he said it was a great year there.

    I just live off GG VV memories.
  • NJSkiNJSki advanced
    Posts: 280

    Mountain Creek is one of the only ski areas that do not have a webcam.

    One of the least expensive ways to promote your product, and MC seems to be afraid to show what is happening there.

    Even tiny Campgaw has four of them.

       

  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    edited May 31 Posts: 834
    NWAC has one...time lapse as well.


    And I agree: a webcam makes a big difference, but if the visual stinks, then it can hurt.
  • z1000307470z1000307470 advanced
    Posts: 104
    NJSki said:

    Mountain Creek is one of the only ski areas that do not have a webcam.

    One of the least expensive ways to promote your product, and MC seems to be afraid to show what is happening there.

    Even tiny Campgaw has four of them.

       

    Gore does not have a web cam either. Almost all the other ORDA venues, including Whiteface and Belleayre, have web cams. They should partner up with MC and offer the Bad Marketing Pass.
  • njskibabenjskibabe intermediate
    Posts: 88

    Unfortunately it seems that they got rid of most of the people who knew how to run the ski area. Hopefully it doesn't close for good this time.

    Something definitely has to be done about the parking situation at the Vernon base. I stopped skiing there because of the parking issues.  Sadly I only go there when I absolutely have to. I only ski the (Great Gorge) South side. That was always my favorite.

    Prices of food and drinks definitely need to be reduced! This is New Jersey - NOT Vail Colorado.

    Hopefully the new owners can bring it back to a great place to ski & board and will hire back the people who knew how to run the place.

  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 497

    ropeways.net | Home | 2017-08-30

    Mountain Creek Welcomes SNOW Operating as New Resort Operators

    Vernon, NJ – Mountain Creek Resort, Inc. is proud to announce its long-term partnership with SNOW Operating in the resort’s winter ski, snowboard and snow tubing businesses as well as the mountain biking operation. SNOW’s team will be transitioning into the role over the next few months with the resort’s owners, the Koffman family of Binghamton, NY. SNOW Operating’s services and expertise in improving the guest experience are sought after by resorts worldwide, from Whistler Blackcomb, BC to Aspen Snowmass, CO to Genting Secret Garden Resort in China.   Mountain Creek marks a homecoming for SNOW, as its founder and executive team all got their resort industry start working at the resort previously.

    “Mountain Creek has always felt like home to me. I grew up here in Vernon and my family still lives in town. I got my first job parking cars at the resort and I owe so much of my success to the skills I learned and people I met while working at Mountain Creek.   I couldn’t be more excited to return to the resort and get to play a role in helping to secure its future for generations to come. Over the next weeks, months and years, I am confident that our guests will see that we are committed to making Mountain Creek the best resort possible for them, for the community and for our employees. We can’t wait to get started and look forward to an amazing winter together this year,” stated Joe Hession, CEO of SNOW Operating and President of Mountain Creek.

    SNOW Operating plans on bringing the same skills that have made it so widely sought after by resorts the world over to Mountain Creek. The plans include a strong focus on the guest experience, a returned attention to the resort’s core businesses and a commitment of resources into the resort’s infrastructure, including a $5 Million investment into improved snowmaking capabilities over the next five years.

    “We are very excited about this partnership with SNOW Operating. Joe and his team are highly respected throughout the industry as thought leaders and innovators in the area of resort operations. Couple that with their strong personal connections to Mountain Creek and this area, and I know they are going to do great things for the resort and this community. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership for all.” Jeffrey Koffman, Owner, Mountain Creek Resort, Inc.

    Mountain Creek and its new leadership team are busy getting ready for the start of their 52nd winter season. Look for winter season passes to go on sale on Tuesday September 5th. In the meantime, the resort’s waterpark and bike park are open daily through Labor Day and the resort has a robust calendar of events through the Fall including: weekly fireworks, the Northeast’s largest Oktoberfest celebration and a country music concert featuring top-selling country artists, Lonestar. For more information on passes, dates and resort operations visit www.mountaincreek.com.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,154
    If I'm not mistaken, these are the people who do the Terrain Based Learning thing?  It's hard to tell what's what and who owns what these days.
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 232
    I wonder if some of the trails that went away will get some new life now. That seems to be a trend on that hill.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 834
    newman said:

    I wonder if some of the trails that went away will get some new life now. That seems to be a trend on that hill.

    Other than the ones up high on VV side and the Pipeline on on Granite, what other terrain is lost that could come back?
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,154
    there are a couple lost trails on granite, Fitz' folly for example, and one that goes down to the old triple on the Vernon side I think it was called opossum at one time.  I doubt the ones up high on looker's left Vernon (the old white chair/half double-double) will ever come back, they were never any good
  • slathamslatham advanced
    Posts: 157

    there are a couple lost trails on granite, Fitz' folly for example, and one that goes down to the old triple on the Vernon side I think it was called opossum at one time.  I doubt the ones up high on looker's left
    . Vernon (the old white chair/half double-double) will ever come back, they were never any good



    There is also an old trail under the upper section of the Cabriolet. There was also a trail that you got to via Pipeline and then taking a skiers left before the steep pitch of Pipeline.

    Room for more too, but the key will be an over the top snowmaking system.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,154
    slatham said:

    There is also an old trail under the upper section of the Cabriolet. There was also a trail that you got to via Pipeline and then taking a skiers left before the steep pitch of Pipeline. 

    Personally I never saw that "old trail" open -- even under the blue chair -- I didn't start skiing VV until 1975. 

      I think you mean skier's right for that trail from Pipeline, there was a right turn and up to a few years ago it was still quite clear.  I think I have a trail map that shows it, will look up the name.  It was off the map when I returned to the sport in early 2000s.   I don't know of any trail skier's left off Pipeline; there may have been one but I never saw it, terrain is a bit nasty there

    I didn't ski during VV/GG rather turbulent 1990s, that was the peak of their trail count.    Did some PR work for them in the early 1990s which was interesting


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