As we head into the new season I’ve made some upgrades (I hope they will be anyway) to the “Team Check-In Survey”. You will now find the survey at this link:
The advantages to this are that you will now be able to see past posts if you are interested and those that go to the link from a text will still be able to see the comment responses. I’ve added the last few responses to the website. The one disadvantage is that the email no longer contains the first question within the email you actually have to go to the website to answer the survey. I hope everyone will be ok with that.
We have also added the option to leave your name. There are often comments such my paycheck was not correct but with not knowing who it is we cannot follow up. So if you have something specific to you that really needs to be addressed feel free to leave your name so we can follow up.
Big thanks to Tyler Barnes and Paul Thomson for helping me get the team site going as I believe there will be a lot more we can do with it. One last detail, I get help answering these questions from other Manager and Directors and I have started noting after the answer who the response was from. If there is no note as to who it was from that means it probably came from me.
With the survey going to so many team members now that we are in season we won’t be able to respond to every single comment but we will try to pick out trends. See responses to last survey comments below and thank you for participating!
Q: “It would be awesome to have a shuttle for managers or early season workers. I am spending over 100.00 a week in gas and I am sure that I am not the only one. I know the logistics of it are probably awful but maybe putting some feelers out to see if there is an interest would be a good start. Either that or offer a fuel stipend….400.00 a month off the top just to get to work is pretty rough.”
A: Yikes that is a rough gas bill. Hopefully the team member transportation will help now that we are in season. At the very least it seems like we could try to facilitate more carpooling opportunities early season.
Q: “I really appreciate these surveys. I have spent a lot of time with HR already this season for various reasons and I want to specifically give Matt, Lara and Lenore a shoutout. Not only did they help put together an awesome orientation but they helped me with some tough things over the last couple of weeks. I appreciate their support probably more than they know.”
A: Thanks for saying so and I’m sure the HR team will really appreciate the shout out!
Q: “Leadership training this year was a first for my position, and was very much appreciated. Thanks Chris, Lisa, Dane, Michael, Taylor, Mark, Josie, and all who worked hard to prepare meaningful content and interactions for team leaders.”
A: I’m glad it was productive!
Q: “Thank you for everything you do for The Team. I agree that change is necessary while also being overwhelming and scary. Just like with riding if you don’t push yourself you cannot improves. I feel lucky to be a part of the growth of my Mtn community.”
A: I totally agree, status quo is the enemy of improvement. Change is not always comfortable but it is necessary if we want to keep getting better.
Q: “We have a tight team at Cooper Spur it is because we have a great GM -She is hands on and really cares about her team!”
A: Very cool, I’m sure she will very much appreciate seeing this comment.
Q: “I like working with Josh Fry. He makes the job fun.”
A: Agreed, Josh is the man and we are lucky to have him!
Q: “Lift ops is dirty and it’s a health hazard. There is black mold behind the sink, and mice everywhere along with mouse poop. Please help us revamp lift ops some and give it a deep clean and give it some updates and repairs. Lift ops workers are constantly sick and I think this would help our wellness tremendously.”
A: I just wanted to give you some follow up on the Lift Ops Building “Health Hazard” comment. I have spent about 8-10 hours cleaning over the last several weeks. With multiple people coming in and out it gets messy fairly quickly. One of our initiatives this season is to add a daily item to the supervisors daily tasks which is doing a cleaning of the surfaces in the building. I also emailed janitorial this morning to hopefully get them to start coming over here again as in past seasons. As far as the mice problem goes, it is always a problem, it’s an old building and the mice seem to love it. We have traps all over the building but it just never seems to go away. I am hoping that with everyone cleaning daily, it might discourage the mice from coming around so much. As far as the mold, I am not sure where this person saw it but I would like to be able to follow up with them somehow. I cannot locate the mold they were referring to. Again, it is an old building that spends half the year covered in snow and ice. Leaks happen and we do our best to get them fixed when we find them. Hopefully that helps, I did not see anything that jumped out at me that was lift ops specific but if there was let me know what I can do to help. – Cody Howe
Q: “Please remind your crews to be considerate on the roads when driving to/from work. Don’t tailgate (especially when it’s icy) and if you pass, do it in a passing zone and don’t pull back into the lane until you’re well in front of the car you’re passing to avoid spraying them with gravel. I’ve had my window chipped and cracked 2x by the same Subaru on my way up the hill from Hood River. There is no need to whip back into the lane right in front of the vehicle you passed if you’re passing in a good location. Give yourself extra time to get to work so you don’t feel the need to rush.”
A: Thanks for saying something, we all want to make it to the mountain in one piece without getting our windshields chipped.
Q: “This seemed to be a rough week. People seem to be on edge. We all need to remember that talking about other team members with negative comments does not invite or grow a healthy environment. We need to remember to be kind to all.”
A: Good point, hopefully the new snow and opening will make this week much better!
Q: “Although I haven’t “officially” started, the orientation weekend on 11/10-11/11 was awesome! I’m super stoked to be working for Mt. Hood Meadows!”
A: Your enthusiasm is contagious! Can’t wait to get the lifts running! – Dave Tragethon
Q: “I’m not sure why we are not allowed to wear hoodies while working outdoors. I know you spent a lot of money on new uniforms but I feel that you lack the input from workers that spend their entire shift in the outside elements. The midlayers you provide us aren’t very good. Most hoodies provide more warmth and honestly I feel it effects our wellness. Employee parking would be nice. Removing or upping the daily food limit. Giving us a discount in the stupe would also be nice, I’m talking from open to close, not a small window that gets missed by some due to work. HR being open for night shift. Employee housing because not everyone wants to spend the winter out of their car.”
A: Great suggestions that we need to explore with the different departments you have mentioned. We’ll provide updates in future responses. – Dave Tragethon
Q: “Can we please consider the breakfast sandwiches all day? A delightful favorite and it really warms a belly on colder days while being portable.”
A: We do have them available all day in Higher Grounds, have you tried those?
Q: “Real half and half in employee lounge. The “fake” creamer is terrible. You never see that stuff at any reputable coffee shop. Biggs Junction truck stop even has half and half if that can be a level of comparison.”
A: I will have Jim add the little ½ creamers to the lounge. – Mark Fellows
Q: “I can not wait! Let it snow!”
A: “Your dances are working!” – Dave Tragethon
Q: “Invest in your people and their future with the company. Offer opportunities for growth and professional development.”
A: We strive to be a learning and growing company that is committed to providing more opportunities for our team. That is what our summer operations demonstrated as well as growing our business at Cooper Spur. – Dave Tragethon
Q: “I think meadows may have shot themselves in the foot switching to dynamic pricing and the marketing for the season pass pricing. I know a lot of people that have been pass holders for years that may not buy a pass this year because of how the passes have been priced and because if how difficult it is to navigate the website to buy the pass they want. As for dynamic pricing, I understand the reasons for switching to this new system. It’s supposed to help both the public and the employees so the mountain isn’t overpacked on peak days. However, this is going to make things very difficult for employees working in any form of guest services… explaining the change to guests who are used to purchasing on the mountain why their ticket is $100 one day and $50 another day is going to be difficult and people will be very upset! I understand the decision was made to help reduce the chaos of parking in the meadows lots… but I think Meadows should own that it’s an awesome mountain and instead encourage people to get there early and carpool etc and promote the new parking lot that should be open next year. I’m looking forward to a great season! I’m not looking forward to working with customers that are upset with the season pass and daily ticket price changes.”
A: Thanks for your candor – this is a topic very much worth discussion. In retrospect the April 1 release of “no more Unlimited Season Passes” only confused things for our guests. It really was a simple change in the way a pass was purchased – a value pass with All Access selected was identical to an Unlimited Season Pass. Many people didn’t get beyond the shock value of the headline to understand that this really wasn’t a major shift and that is unfortunate. Even so, we did experience our best early season pass (pre May 31) renewal and sales in history. The slow down in fall pass sales appears to be more related to the dire “El Nino” weather forecast for the season (the Ski Show was way off in attendance and we’ve heard similar concerns from the other Mt. Hood ski areas.) Hopefully, this current weather pattern and getting open will help remedy those concerns.
Regarding Dynamic Pricing, we will need to provide a lot of information and support for our front line team that will be working with guests who may be upset by the price. But the more we can get our guests to go online, make their purchase in advance (to get the best available price) and consider changing their day to visit based on lower priced days, the more likely we will be to improve the experience for everyone (including our team members.)
We too are looking forward to a great season and agree we should continue to encourage those coming on peak days to arrive early, shuttle and car pool. For those that arrive uninformed, we have a great opportunity to educate them about future visits to Meadows.
Most importantly, we are making these changes in order to improve the situation for our guests, and team members. We will be monitoring it very closely to assess whether this is an effective way to improve the experience for all. – Dave Tragethon
Q: “A printout or online document to help us accurately explain the variables within the dynamic pricing concept.”
A: That’s a great suggestion and we will be providing further explanations about our dynamic pricing system. Simply put, we have established several tiers of price points starting at $49 for an adult 7 hour ticket and going up to $99. There are also prices for Young adults (15 – 24); Juniors (7 – 14) and Seniors (65 – 74.) As tickets for a certain day are purchased and the number of tickets at the tier are reduced, the price will jump to the next tier (and so on.) Whatever the last price is the previous day will be the ticket price for the next day, determined at our daily business anticipation meeting. The price will then be placed on our website and sent out in the daily fact sheet. – Dave Tragethon
Q: “Move the smoking areas please. Meadows wants to show the eco friendly atmosphere then guests have to at times pass 8 or 10 guests and employees to get to the lodge. Not the look we should strive for.”
A: That is a good observation. We appreciate those who smoke using the designated smoking areas. If we made them to inconvenient or out of the way they would be tempted to not use them, then we’d have the problem of random smoking violators. We’d love to hear suggestions as to the best locations for designated smoking areas. – Dave Tragethon
Q: “Love my job. The team is great. Managers are amazing and super helpful. They have high standards- as they should.”
A: We are stoked and proud of the team we have assembled. It’s going to be a great season! – Dave Tragethon
Q: “Hand sanitizer dispensors in CLC and throughout the bldg.”
A: That’s a great idea worth looking in to. Meanwhile we encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently, especially as we move into flu season. – Dave Tragethon