Wenatchee Valley College used to have a ski management program and they operated The Loup, and the Chelan hills
I was a member of the last graduating class in 1994. We operated Squilchuck and Echo Valley (Chelan) while I was there. The Loup years were before my time. I believe our PB snowcat did eventually find a home at the Loup.
H'mmm. I guess its a question of where you draw the line between "ski area" and "ski resort"
I tend to think one factor is whether there are on the mountain overnight accommodations.
As far as I know of the Washington areas covered by Indy Pass only White Pass has a hotel on the mountain.
But why aren't there smaller hills like there used to be?
Lowell Skoog talks about this in his ski history book. Apparently there was a high point, IIRC in the 70s, in terms of numbers of ski areas and small ski areas, but these weren't sustainable economically. In WA most were lower elevation and didn't have enough reliable snow to continue. These days ski areas rely on real estate sales, snowmaking, conferences, all sorts of things to remain profitable. Who would start one now, even if you could find land, get permits, etc, in this time of warming temps? It's probably a safer bet to invest your money in racehorses or really anything else.
I've been following the Soldier Mt ski area saga over the years. I think it's a good example of how hard it is to run this kind of business. In 2019 it was sold for the 4th time in 7 years.
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