An Open Letter to #WhitecapNation
It is hard to believe that it has been just over 6 months since fire took our Base Lodge. A few weeks after the fire, at a staff meeting, I told everyone that I believed that the fire was actually a blessing in disguise and now the opportunity was in front of us to bring Whitecap “out of the ashes” and into the future. Although the loss of revenue was devastating we continue on because we are #whitecapstrong!
There are many things to say about the future of Whitecap but the most obvious is that the future has never been brighter!
Our season pass program netted twice the amount of ski passes than last year, five times more golf passes than last year, and we have already surpassed last golf seasons visits and we’re only 6 weeks into this season. Additionally, the number of first time golfers to Skye Golf has surpassed our expectations.
Skye Golf veterans have told us that the course has never looked better! It is not unusual now to catch many golfers eating breakfast before their tee time or having a ”cold one” and a sandwich at our new bar/cafe in the hotel lobby after their round. Additionally, we will be hosting two tournaments this year with the first one scheduled for 7.29.19 and the second on 9.7.19. Hat’s off to our grounds crew! Not a traditional golfer? Not to worry: our new 27 hole disc golf course is slated to open in the spring of 2021.
Daryl and his crew began lift work about 5 weeks ago and they continue to work diligently everyday on our lifts. To their credit, since February 20, 2018, we have not had a major lift problem during the ski seasons and we will continue to ensure that our skiers have a great experience when they are here. As we look towards the future you will see upgrades and replacements (maybe even a few things being moved around).
The legendary Wine Hut (AKA: our “clubhouse with an attitude”) has been the place to be this summer. Who would have thought that you would find Keith out there in the warm months serving beverages to boaters, hikers, ATV’ers and golfers.
Speaking of Keith…………..he has been very busy planning the Inaugural “Glades of Glory” ski race which will take place in the “Gouge” on Sunday, February 16th, Presidents Day Weekend. This will be the first glade race of it’s kind and where better to watch a ski race than the deck of the Wine Hut?
Over the last 3 months I have been able to take a long, hard look at everything and I see a multitude of possibilities ahead of us. The endeavor to make Whitecap a premier Midwest destination resort is a great undertaking and will not be done in one or two years, or even 4 or 5; it will be an ongoing project to bring our guests the best possible experiences they can have.
One of the first steps towards that goal was to find an individual to be our Director of Mountain Operations. I set out on an interview process that began this past February and finished up in June and even though everyone I interviewed would have been a great fit for Whitecap, I am pleased to announce the hiring of Don Odell.
Don, who was with Vail Resorts for 34 years, brings with him a wealth of experience not only in the ski industry but the golf industry as well. Together with Mark Sbraggia, Jimmy Vokolek and the rest of the staff, they will help transform Whitecap. If you have been here in the last few weeks you have no doubt seen Don around the property. Please feel free to say hello to Don when you visit.
Jim Lucas, our architect, continues to work with us to find the best location for our new Base Village. Originally, we thought that the best spot was where the old Base Lodge resided but after much discussion we have identified at least two other suitable locations.
The process is painstakingly slow but we continue to move ahead. The old Base Lodge is almost down and our crews have been very diligent about the recycling process. We try to repurpose as much as possible so that we minimize our effect on the landfills. There are many “artifacts” that we have pulled out of the rubble and we will incorporate them into the new Base Village so that we can continue the great Whitecap story.
A lot of people have been wondering about the upcoming winter season. Well, fear not #Whitecapnation, all of the amenities and services that you would expect in the winter will be available. We have decided to keep the “concourse” area of the old base lodge for this winter; it will house our rental department, picnic area and retail shop. At the desk you will be able to purchase tickets, rent ski /snowboard equipment and sign up for snow sports school. The hotel will be available for check in and dining in the newly constructed cafe area.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has inquired about investing in Whitecap.
To those of you who have made this commitment, I look forward to having you as part of this great journey. If you are interested in real estate or investing opportunities, please contact the office.
Please come on out to ski what’s new at Whitecap!