Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe ramps up for 2016-17 season

Skiing in October is a paradox, but fall is when the skiing hype goes into full effect, Mike Pierce, director of marketing and sales at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe explained.

People will ski any conditions in the fall, but are ready to move onto new activities come spring when the conditions are still great.

As excitement builds for the 2016-17 season, Mt. Rose doesn’t have to outsource and bring in employees like many other resorts in the area. He explained having Reno in their backyard compliments the nature of employees as well.

“We are very fortunate to be directly above Reno,” Pierce said.

They held a hiring event at the Atlantis Hotel Casino in Reno on Oct. 26.

Piece said they typically see 600 max employment throughout the season, “typically ramping up to the Christmas holiday.”

This year, as part of Mt. Rose’s goal to offer more open trails in advance of the holiday, they have made “further investments in snowmaking.”

Piece estimated an investment of $500,000 in snow making equipment. “100 percent more than last year,” he said.

This includes 13 mobile snowmakers; starting at the bottom and working up the mountain augmented by natural snow.

“We are coming off of a record year in a lot of ways,” Pierce explained as Mt. Rose compares where it’s now to last season.

“That big blast of natural snow early is a blessing,” he said in regards to the storm earlier this month.

With a hopeful open date of October 31, the warm spell pushed that date back but the hope for it to get cold enough to make snow still remains.

Mt. Rose experienced a lot of pass renewals at the end of last season, which is causing it to change how it measures season pass holders.

“We are on par to reach new heights again,“ Pierce said, noting they’re ahead of pass sales compared to this time last year.

Once Mt. Rose gets the season going, it’s excited about accessing new markets to bring skiers to the area.

“We are always trying to attract skiers out of new air service markets,” Pierce said.

He highlighted the Reno-Tahoe International Airport’s new services to New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Texas as markets Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe can tap into to compete with snow destinations like Colorado.

“We can see the impact of the New York and Los Angeles visits,” he said. “We can see it when we look at our zip code demographics.”

Mt. Rose remains for sale, but it’s focusing on customer retention and friendly service.

While its core business revolves around skiing and riding it’s also working on a variety of events.

“Almost every weekend we have something going on,” he said.

Big events include the New Year’s Eve event that offers fireworks in advance of the midnight hour. Mt. Rose will also hold a “Local Brewski” this season featuring more than 12 local craft breweries.

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