Meadows is rolling out a long list of improvements for the 2013-14 season

Meadows is rolling out a long list of improvements for the 2013-14 season

Mt. Hood Meadows has purchased three new grooming machines, installed a new fiber optic line to improve Wi-Fi, and redesigned the Paradise Sun Deck to enable outdoor seating in winter weather. Oh yeah, and they've also done away with $89 Peak Day Pricing.

The three new groomers are a Prinoth BR-350, a PistenBully 400 and a PistenBully 400 Park Pro Series designed specifically for building jumps and features in terrain parks.

The fiber optic line will open up new Wi-Fi hotspots and enable better lift-ride YouTubing, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming and ShredHooding. The new fiber will increase Internet bandwidth at Meadows significantly.

As for the Sun Deck, Meadows has installed an ice melt to clear snow in the winter and extend outdoor seating for the Alpenstube Restaurant. The idea is to make the Sun Deck scene as lively in winter as it is in spring.

But probably the biggest immediate change for 2013-14 at meadows is the pricing. A year after raising the price of its peak day lift passes by $15 to $89, Meadows is dropping the price back down to $74.

Meadows, which has been trying to gain approval for a new parking lot for years, cited parking gridlock as the reason for bumping the peak day price up to $89 in 2012-13. But the steep increase incited grumbling, and Meadows has returned its prices to 2011-12 levels. The resort is selling season passes for $499 through November 3.

Meadows employees have also cleared the stumps out of the Meadows Nordic Center and cut back the brush on their two most popular terrain parks, Forest Park and Park Place. Removing that vegetation should make for longer seasons in the parks and on the trails.

Speaking of parks, Meadows also has plans to re-purpose four acres of terrain parks serviced by the Easy Rider lift to make room for instructors and parents to teach beginners. That means no more Rose City Slopestyle rails, jibs and jumps for intermediate to advanced riders.

Finally, Meadows is also doing some very interesting things on the technology/GPS side, in conjunction with the RFID tech they embedded in their lift passes in 2012. More on that soon.