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Mt. Bachelor Takes the Heat Over Spring Closures


About 350 people filled a Bend meeting room Wednesday night for a rare, if not unprecedented public meeting called by Mt. Bachelor to both state their case and hear from critics of the resort’s recent decision to close down some weekdays during the spring ski-snowboard season.

Most of those on hand: season pass-holders, upset about the recent announcement that the mountain plans only to be open Thursday through Sunday starting April 30th.

They say this is to save money after little snow early in the season meant few guests on the mountain, creating a financial pinch.

“We could have done a host of things,” Mt. Bachelor President Dave Rathbun told the crowd. “We wouldn’t be changing the operating plan this spring if we didn’t have to.”

Rathbun gave a presentation on where the company currently stands and then opened the floor for public comment.

One man said he was concerned about a failure by the resort to live up to the terms of his mid-week season pass-holder agreement. He said he signed the contract with the understanding he would be able to ski five days a week for the entire season, not the four proposed by Mt. Bachelor.

“My concern is that you are breaching the contract,” he said, “I happen to be an attorney — you are breaching the contract.”

Rathbun told the crowd he understands their displeasure, and that it was a difficult decision to make.

“When faced with a challenge like that,” Rathbun said, “to have to go and cut 12 days from the out of the season and to give ourselves a chance to be financially successful — I actually feel pretty good, when I look around at my (ski resort) neighbors.”

Mt. Bachelor says they plan to move forward with the shortened week, and some pass holders are okay with it.

“Decisions have to be made sometimes.” said long-time skier Christian Schuster, “When things turn around, then you change your decision again. I support this place — it’s a neat place.”

Many on hand said they appreciated the company holding the forum, even though they still are unhappy with the coming closures.

Issues with the parking lot not being cleared and overnight parking were among those discussed during the meeting. Also, Rathbun announced plans to upgrade the Outback Express chair, which was shut for much of the season.

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