An online petition is gaining traction and accusing the owners of the beloved Stevens Pass ski resort of mismanagement.
SKYKOMISH, Wash. – Jeremy Rubingh has skied at Stevens Pass for 14 years. The latter were more frustrating than fun, according to Rubingh.
“The lines are completely backed up,” Rubingh said. “They only have 3 or 4 elevators open.”
The slide began when Colorado-based Vail Resorts bought the 82-year-old resort in 2018. Since then, Rubingh says less and less of the mountain is open to skiing.
Rubingh said he still has to pay $ 800 for an annual Epic Pass, although 60% of the land is closed.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Rubingh said. “Look at every ski area in the state. Each has the majority of its open terrain, doesn’t have those crazy lines and each ski area has the majority of its open lifts.
And there are a lot of angry pass holders who agree.
Rubingh is the author of a petition on change.org calling out Vail for what he says is mismanagement of the resort.
In just 5 days, more than 26,000 signatures have been accumulated.
Jeremy believes much of the complex is closed because Vail can’t find people willing to work for what the company is willing to pay.
“These employees who run the place are heroes, but they don’t have the resources to run a real ski area,” says Jeremy. “What we hear from everyone is that the staff are underpaid, overworked and undervalued.”
Vail declined KING 5’s request for an on-camera interview.
Instead, a company spokesperson sent a statement saying, in part, “We are listening carefully to comments. Stevens Pass is working hard to address operational challenges, including staff shortages, to open up more of the mountain as quickly – and safely – as possible. “
Stevens Pass also increased wages last year to $ 15 an hour and cut seasonal pass prices by 20%.
Jeremy’s petition calls for a 60% refund for pass holders since 60% of the mountain is closed.
More than anything, however, he wants Vail to treat his employees and customers better.
Otherwise, Jeremy believes there will be “epic” consequences.
“If things are the status quo, there’s no way I can buy an Epic Pass again at Vail Resorts,” he says, “and I’ve heard a lot of people say they wouldn’t do that too. more. “
The spokesperson for Vail asks people to be patient, saying: “It’s also important to recognize that some of the challenges we face are even more complicated as we are in the midst of one of our busiest times. of the year and fight against the impact of the Omicron Variant as it affects our staffing levels in varying ways. This means that we weren’t able to open as many mountains as we would like, and not all mountain restaurants are fully functioning. However, we intend to add more ground and services as the season continues – it’s still early days and we’ve been open for less than 20 days. Our teams deserve the utmost recognition – they continue to work incredibly hard and wear a variety of hats as we face these challenges. “