Thursday, May 23, 2024

Stevens Pass celebrates last weekend of winter season with a party

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LEAVENWORTH – Blue skies and warm temperatures set the scene for a celebratory closing weekend at Stevens Pass Apr. 13 and 14. 

The weekend kicked off Saturday with a community fair, filling the base area with tents and tables featuring community partners, a Kid’s corner with art and games, and music from DJ Good Cat. The fair included the U.S. Forest Service, EDGE Outdoors, Ski Buddies, and more. 

Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses ruled the slopes, while some skiers and riders donned their brightest and wildest outfits. A couple sported their wedding dress and suit while they snowboarded, after eloping that very morning.  Even the U.S. Forest Service’s Smokey Bear was rumored to be out skiing. 

One group of women from Canada showed up in all 70’s and 80’s attire to celebrate their friend’s birthday.

“Everybody's so cool. The vibe here is so nice. Like, we independently said that. It really it's a great vibe,” said Leah Nurmi, one of the group members. 

Skiers and snowboarders brought the energy again for “Springfest” on Sunday, starting with Chuck-a-Duck competition, in which participants aim rubber duckies at a target in the man-made pond. The event supported Outdoors for All, a nonprofit organization that helps children and adults with disabilities enjoy outdoor recreation. The event was followed by the famous Pond Skim event, in which skiers and riders try their hand at skimming across the pond without falling in. 

The weekend closed out a season of challenging weather, including a later than expected opening due to lack of snow, followed by a cold spell and heavy rains over the next few months. 

“Overall I am pleased with the season…These weather events were challenges and the fact that we had minimal road impacts and continued our operation, with modifications, throughout was a big win. I feel really good about the adaptations that were made to operate safely during variable conditions,” said Stevens Pass General Manager Ellen Galbraith in an email to Ward Media.

Galbraith credited the ability to adapt to having a strong, fully staffed team for the last two years, which has been able to rebuild operations after the ski resort had publicly struggled years prior.

 

“Now that we have regained confidence in our daily operations,  I am excited to focus on improvements to how we do what we do. We are evolving our approach to parking by including the option for reservations, we’re continuing to evaluate and experiment with what we offer in our restaurants, and we’re rethinking our approach to retail, rental, and ski and snowboard school offerings to ensure they align with what our guests are looking for and work together seamlessly,” said Galbraith.

According to Galbraith, the pass plans to implement a more robust plan next season for parking, which will offer a combination of free and paid options on weekends and peak periods, while keeping a focus on reservations and carpooling incentives.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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