Dec 1, 2006 | Marmot, Summer 2006

News In Brief

Encompassing people, places and happenings at Mount Washington.

Mount Washington Operations Manager Erik Meertens has won a top industry award, this one from the Canada West Ski Areas Association. Meertens was presented with the Lars Fossberg Award at the CSWAA’s annual conference in May. The award is presented annually to an up-and-coming manager or supervisor who shows a high degree of initiative and creativity together with the ability to improvise when dealing with the unexpected.

Meertens certainly knows the improvisation angle: he arrived at Mount Washington right before the infamous “no snow” season. Then this year – his second at the resort – Mount Washington experienced the third deepest snow season on record.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is king of the marketing world – at least in the eyes of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). The Resort was honoured in May with an NSAA marketing award, which Mount Washington Director of Sales and Marketing Karen Bonell accepted.

“This is our first award from the NSAA and gives Mount Washington Alpine Resort exposure to the entire North American market,” Bonell said. “It’s an honour to receive an award among the high-quality Resorts represented at the NSAA.”

The Resort submitted its new “1,2,3, Free!” Discover Skiing and Snowboarding initiative in the Best Program to Increase Trial by New Participants category.

“Mount Washington delivered a unique campaign that truly appeals to not only new participants, but skiers/riders of all levels,” said NSAA judge Senan Gorman, chief creative guy of the North Pole Design Company. “The 1,2,3, Free! Program is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”

The NSAA represents 326 alpine resorts in the United States and Canada that account for more than 90 per cent of skier/snowboarder visits nationwide.

He found out what a half-metre of snow falling in 12 hours looks like. He also discovered the joys of clearing the resort’s parking lots three times in one night, only to repeat the same task a day later!

Speaking of parking lots… skiers tired of looking for a parking spot on the crazy-busy days at Mount Washington can take heart. The Resort is hoping to solve that problem over the summer. Parking will be expanded by 100-120 spots and new crushed rock laid down.

The parking lots aren’t the only part of the Resort to get a facelift this summer: the buildings will get a fresh coat of paint and new carpets will be installed.

Peter Mustard, an Earth Sciences professor from Simon Fraser University who was profiled in our Summer 2002 Marmot for the geological exploration he was doing at Mount Washington, was in the news again earlier this year.

Mustard and partner Mike Boddy, a provincial geologist, were in remote northwest B.C. in the summer of 2004 when Mustard stumbled upon two important fossils, according to a report printed in British Columbia magazine.

He turned up an early Cretaceous turtle shell in Bower Basin, 450 kilometres north of Terrace. Less than an hour later, after knocking a rock off an overhang, he discovered a three-pronged track of a carnivorous raptor encased within the rock.

Both fossils can now be found in the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria.

Foodies, take note: the Mountain Wok is morphing into a chicken rotisserie this summer. And Fireweed’s will now serve pizza, pasta and prime rib. The Resort has also created a food kiosk at the Hawk chairlift for those who just can’t wait for a good nosh.

Got any news tidbits to share about Mount Washington or its residents? Contact us at and dish.

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