Tough Season

We are located in a ski town. With the economy the way it is visitor traffic is down… way down. That means that local incomes are down and local employment is down… so the local business is off as well.

The good news is that we have a veteran crew and we have been able to reel in the labor costs and are maintaining our benchmark percentage for labor and the price of cheese and flour are down too.

We have a lot of experience in reeling in costs. We have to do it twice a year when our high seasons end so we know what to do, but I sure have never done it in March before!!

Last year we topped out at 50K per week in the holidays and an average of about 25K per week during the rest of the winter. We go from that to 5K in the mud season. But this year we topped out at a little under 40K and have been doing 15K all winter. We should hit 20K or a little better for just this one week but last year it was 30K and it lasted 3 weeks. We have the equipment and the facilties. We have the experienced crew… but. It kills me to lay off good employees after so many years of wishing I could find one… just one more good one.

So, things are OK. We are making money. Product and service are good. Costs are where they should be, but we are not rocking like we have been in recent years. We are back to our 2003/2004 numbers. We made money then. We will be OK this year too.

Sorry to vent.

Is your slice shop still open? I know you said you closed on the sale, but was wondering if you were still operating the business till the season is completely over?

Yes, the slice operation is still rolling. We are operating it for another 30 days. Then is closes down. My daughter put up a face book page about the closing that has over 400 members now… it is a popular place with the local kids.

Same situation here in Whistler, numbers are way down, just like 2003/2004 even worse. At least we got the Olympics this winter to look forward to.

I’m not sure why, but I did not ski even locally half as much this year and we had triple the snow. I’m happy to read you have the crew that can adjust. Next year might be better!