- Written by Ben Jacklet
- Category: Resorts
- Published: October 24, 2014
- Last Updated: November 23, 2014
Skibowl is heading into the winter season with new lockers, stronger Wi-Fi, an improved computer system for rentals, a new conveyor lift for beginners, and some much needed upgrades to the Historic Mid-Mountain Warming Hut. Now all they need is snow — preferably lots of it.
Skibowl got off to a rough start last winter, with major rain storms and limited snow fall. The resort was unable to operate chair lifts through the Christmas holidays and did not open for chairlift-served skiing and snowboarding until January 17. Snowmaking, rope-tow terrain and the increasingly popular Tubing Hill kept the resort's early winter from being a bust. The Tubing Hill at Skibowl East opened Thanksgiving weekend and the two rope tows at Skibowl West operated starting in early December.
Conditions got good in February and stayed good through March and into April, but in the ski industry a good spring can never make up for a slow Christmas. Sill, in spite of the difficult early winter, Skibowl continued to invest in 2014. They added some adrenaline-pumping features to their menu of summer offerings including a Tarzan swing and a six-story Tarzan Plunge. They upgraded their beginner's rope tow at Skibowl West to a conveyor lift, replaced the old coin-operated lockers with electronic ones, modernized the rental shop's system and completed a new two-story youth racer's building at Skibowl East in conjunction with the Mt. Hood Race Team.
They also teamed up with a historic preservation team from the U.S. Forest Service to complete the first stage of a three-year project to restore the Historic Warming Hut, built 1935-1936. The Warming Hut is an excellent place to get a mid-mountain beer or hot chocolate and warm up by the fire when the weather turns nasty. But after decades of mountain weather the structure has needed some attention for a while. Workers and volunteers installed new support posts underneath the hut this summer and re-stacked all the rocks back around the entire building. Stone masons were on hand to guide the dry stacking of the rock.
Skibowl spokesman Hans Wipper credited ZigZag District Ranger Bill Westbrook of the Forest Service with securing the grant money to get the Warming Hut work done. Assuming the money continues to flow, the job will continue for the next two summers, repairing the hut's siding and replacing the shake roof.
"The work being done will ensure that the Warming Hut will be enjoyed for generations to come," said Wipper.
Some of that future enjoyment will no doubt involve the gramming, tweeting, posting and sharing of copious mountain photos. With that in mind, Skibowl has improved its public Wi-Fi connection at the base of Skibowl West.
Skibowl is selling discounted season passes through November 2: $399 for full access ($249 for kids and seniors) and $139 for night passes.
And of course, Skibowl is also partnering with Timberline and 11 other Western resorts on the Mt. Hood Fusion Pass, which gets you access to the ski areas of the Powder Alliance. The Fusion Pass is selling for $499 through November 2.