Barnes brings 20 years of New England ski resort experience and leadership
DANBURY, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Erik Barnes has been named general manager of Ragged Mountain ski area in New Hampshire. Barnes replaces resort industry veteran Jay Gamble who recently accepted the role of general manager at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia. Both resorts are operated by Park City, Utah based Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. Barnes previously served as the vice president and general manager of Mount Snow in Dover, Vermont and brings over 20 years of mountain resort leadership experience to the role.
During his tenure at Mount Snow, Barnes held the position of ski school director and was also in charge of resort services for Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire. He was promoted to head of resort operations in 2008 which included managing ski school, the racing and training center, guest services, rental operations, and ticketing. Barnes became the vice president and general manager of Mount Snow in 2017 and oversaw operations and business development for the publicly traded Peak Resort’s flagship 600-acre ski resort along with its 18-hole championship golf course, lodging properties, and all revenue centers.
PARK CITY, UTAH – Park City based Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI) has named Christian Knapp vice-president and chief marketing officer, both newly created positions for the company. Knapp will oversee marketing, advertising, events, and group sales at the five resorts in PGRI’s portfolio - Mt. Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Powderhorn Mountain Resort in western Colorado, Wintergreen Resort in Virginia, Wisp Resort in western Maryland, and Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire.
Knapp comes to PGRI after nine years as the chief marketing officer of Aspen Skiing Company. During his time there, he also served as the chairperson of the board of Colorado Tourism and served on the boards of Snowmass Tourism and SnoCountry.org.
Devoted skiers and snowboarders recognize the plum benefits of below-the-radar ski resorts: fewer fellow powder seekers, shorter lift lines, relatively reasonably priced tickets and lodging, and, often, limited distractions from time spent on the slopes. Now, especially, these qualities hold even broader appeal, as skiers look to limit contact with others while spending more time outdoors.
At these seven resorts across the country, you’re less apt to jostle other parka-clad elbows while still enjoying a variety of terrain; plus, you can buy individual tickets — some areas require online advance purchase at least 24 hours ahead — at relatively good value.
Off-slope, you won’t find the wealth of other amenities or activities that may attract skiers in a regular winter, but if we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s how to avoid crowds and hang with the family. This is the winter to heat up a pot of fondue in the rental condo and play a board game by the fireplace.
Ragged Mountain Resort is expanding a snowmaking pond that can hold 4 million gallons of water so it can hold 24 million gallons.
Officials with Ragged Mountain told WMUR, the expansion is part of ongoing efforts to make skiing and snowboarding more affordable and improve experiences for guests.
Ragged Mountain aims to drum up excitement for skiing by offering a $349 season pass and free lessons for people who want to try the sport.
This season the resort has launched its Mission: Affordable initiative because at current ticket prices, skiing and riding are no longer sports that "many people in New England can enjoy," said Ryan Schramm, who is Ragged's general manager. The pass much be purchased by Oct. 31 to lock in the $349 rate. Afterward it will be $449.
With wells running dry and pastures turning brown in drought-stricken New Hampshire, it’s fair to wonder what’s in store for an industry so dependent on water that using 10,000 gallons a minute is commonplace.
"We're in pretty good shape," said Benjamin Hall, marketing manager for Ragged Mountain Resort in Danbury, which is in the midst of a six-fold expansion of one of its water storage ponds.
Snowsports industry research indicates the motivation for adults to learn to slide is based on a fancy to spend more time with family and friends. The National Ski Areas Association’s Beginners Conversion Study shows that 55 percent of beginner skiers and 45 percent of beginner snowboarders say they wanted to learn the sports for that purpose.
In addition, according to the study, the self-motivation factor is high. Forty-two percent of beginner skiers said they always wanted to learn the sport and 60 percent of beginner snowboarders indicated they always wanted to learn.
Beginners can learn to ski or snowboard without hurting their wallets by taking advantage of some great deals at New Hampshire ski areas this year.
January is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month for many participating New Hampshire ski areas, which are offering packages that make it easy and affordable to learn a fun winter sport.
Ragged Mountain’s "Mission Affordable" is a program model which breaks the cost barrier for people interested in learning to ski or snowboard. Does free sound affordable enough?
The strategy at Ragged Mountain Resort to get more people to try skiing and encourage them to stay with the sport is targeted to first timers, who are invited to learn to ski in a three lesson FREE learn-to-ski program. On-line registration is necessary to participate, and free equipment is offered to use in the lessons. There are no blackout periods (available all season long) and the lessons can be taken on three consecutive days or any days during the winter, on different weekends, holidays, or in any way that fits the participant.
Before the first flake fell this ski and ride season, the folks at Ragged Mountain Resort in New Hampshire made a bold offer: Come any day all season and learn to ski or ride for free.
The idea was not just to introduce new skiers and riders to their resort, but to turbocharge the flow of new blood to winter mountain sports. In a time when “free” often does not actually mean free, this program does.
Ragged Mountain Resort received its alteration of terrain permit this week and immediately began construction on a large scale project to add water storage to increase snowmaking capacity five-fold.
As the machinery started to rumble and large back loaders dug into what will be the expansion of an old snowmaking pond, Ragged Mountain General Manager, Ryan Schramm explained, "This expansion will add 20 million gallons to the current 4 million gallon pond allowing us to more readily open terrain in the early season so we can help out Mother Nature when we need to."
Ragged Mountain Resort is installing a new high-speed four person ("quad") chairlift to replace the aging Spear Mountain triple chair. The announcement came via an event held for season pass holders, local officials, and the media featuring helicopters flying out the old lift towers and flying in concrete for the new tower bases.
Ragged Mountain Resort has changed its business model and in doing so has made a clear statement that it wants skiing and snowboarding to be accessible to the majority of New Englanders through a program called MISSION: AFFORDABLE.
Ryan Schramm, General Manager at Ragged Mountain, explained the logic behind the change in strategy, "There is a cost barrier for many people in getting into the sports of skiing and snowboarding and in staying with the sports as their families grow."
Ever wanted to learn more about Ragged Mountain Resort? What's our vertical? How many trails do we have? Check this out to learn more.
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