Pacific Group Resorts - In Profile
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is one of four Resorts that Pacific Group Resorts Inc. owns, and the first to geographically echo the “Pacific” in the Company’s name.
The others are Wisp Resort in Maryland, Wintergreen Resort in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and Ragged, located about 160 kilometres (98 miles) from downtown Boston. While they are all unique, they have some common threads, such as snowmaking and year-round business.
Mount Washington General Manager Peter Gibson has been to Wisp Resort, which offers 172 acres of varied terrain, including 14 acres of new beginner terrain. Wisp (www.wispresort.com) fits perfectly within the Pacific Group Resorts’ model due to its proximity to Washington, DC, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Morgantown, according to its website.
“It’s a Resort in transition, like we are,” Gibson said. “Some old stuff and some new stuff; and they’re progressing forward. They refocused their beginners’ terrain two years ago,” Gibson explained. “They’re very big in the wedding business like we are.”
Wisp, Wintergreen and Ragged all boast something that Gibson hopes will come to Mount Washington, too. “All three of those operations have bigger summer than winters,” he said. “All three of them have very strong summer programs.
“That’s the direction we’re going. We started with the Bike Park last summer and there’s more to come.”
Resort ‘Training Camp’ in Park City, Utah... Park City, Utah is a mecca for mountain resorts, and it has served as an inspiration for Mount Washington Alpine Resort’s Management Team over the past year.
Pacific Group Resorts Inc. has a close relationship with Park City Mountain Resort: PGRI President and CEO Vern Greco once managed the Resort, and they maintain a relationship with premier touring company White Pine Tours.
Last year Gibson took two trips to Park City at the behest of the new owners, and Bike Park, Manager Mike Manara also travelled to Park City to check out mountain bike operations last spring.
Park City is a 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City, and sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level. Its mountains are part of the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.
The City built up around a silver mine in the 1880s, and didn’t transform into a ski destination until the first ski lift was installed in 1946, according to the Park City Chamber of Commerce.
Gibson and a couple of other managers visited Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Alta, Snowbird and Solitude resorts on one whirlwind tour. “What we did by focusing on those areas is looked at their summer operations,” he said.