Plattekill (needs to get it together)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Plattekill (needs to get it together)

    I never really minded the 8+ hours getting to/from Plattekill so many times during the season. Maybe it's the $3 per gallon this time around, but I came away from opening day pretty disappointed due to the following:

    1. $27 for a lift pass isn't breaking the bank, but it seemed pretty crowded to me for a non-race day. The best stuff on the mountain is all accessible by the second lift, which of course wasn't running. If you're gonna charge full price for a lift ticket, it doesn't really seem fair to run half the lifts, especially when it's crowded.

    2. Second run down we were held up for about 10 minutes while a group of riders graciously cleared out all the fallen trees that no one bothered to do. Not enough resources for trail maintenance? I mean, how hard would it be to pay a couple gummos from in town $50 to hop on their quads and get rid of the downed trees. Ridiculous.

    3. That ladder jump at the bottom of the mountain had a loose plank for the first couple hours. Watched one guy hit the landing and the whole thing shifted. Again, just a total lack of maintenance.

    4. Again, with no second lift running, we waited about 15 minutes to get up the mountain for our first run. It wasn't until we got to the front of the line that we realized you could hop in front if you were willing to hold your bike up the painfully slow lift. For as much business as they're gonna be bringing in, with the sport growing as it is, is it too much to ask to weld a couple hooks on the lifts that don't have bike holders -- every other one right now.

    I don't know. I always preferred Plattekill over Diablo, mainly because it was a bigger mountain, less crowded, and just as much big stuff if you knew where to look (another knock on them is the lack of identifiable trails) but after this last experience I can't WAIT for Diablo to open up. Just saw a couple new videos posted on their site, and that right there is a class operation. The anti-Plattekill, sorry to say. Maybe some day they'll wake up and spend a weekend putting in a little effort on their end for those of us that travel hours and hours to get to the middle of nowhere and ride (and who will probably be there again next weekend since the Creek won't be open yet).

    Plattekill, the way it is, might be fine if it was an hour away and I'm sure it's no big deal for anyone who lives within that range. But the group I ride with is from Philadelphia and NE Pennsylvania. As far as parks with lifts, it's there and Diablo and that's about it. They should recognize that.
    Last edited by Mega T; 05-01-2006 at 11:10 AM.
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  2. #2
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    As far as I know this has been going on since plattekill started, i still had a good weekend, what were you riding, I was on the morewood izimu with morewood jersey.
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  3. #3
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    Amen brotha!!!! Lazlo made a killing this weekend w/ all the people jonesing to DH. But the conditions were horrible! I think this is his way of throwing the towel in to Diablo. Ski season has been done for 3+ weeks- what the hell was he doing for 3 weeks- he wasnt couting his winter money cause they had a **** winter. So common sense says get ready for the DH'ers who actually want to spend money and ride a great(formerly) mountain. I betcha hes at the bank this morning depositing tons of CASH (thanks to the DH crowd) to pay off the bills hes been racking up all winter. it made me sick!!!!!

    Funniest thing is at the end of the day sunday he had 2 guys in a dump truck drive around the parking lot picking up garbage on thier hands and knees (my beer bottles and cigs). Its a shame Plattekill will see no more of my money this year. Lazlo, it takes more than a mountain to keep ur customers happy. Customer service is KEY. That redheaded prick in Jesey is gonna get all the money u could of made. The riders are not responsible for clearing trails the MANAGEMENT is. Goodbye Plattekill. Hello Diablo
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  4. #4
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    I've got no problem with high prices if that's the only way to stay in business.

    Last time I was there only the left side of the mountain was operating, I thought that was part of thier plans to close down the right side for a few years or something. I hiked over to the right side a couple times, it's my favorite side.

  5. #5
    AussieLostInNyc
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    The price was fine but the trails definately needed some trees removed prior to opening and that loose plank freaked me in the air on the first run but then it was all good.

    Those hooks were only bolted on so I also couldn't figure why they didn't fabricate a few more and bolt then onto the chairs?? would have sped up that line quite a bit.

    They would need to do some work to pull some of the crowd from Diablo or perhaps that's just our thinking because diablo is a 1/3 of the drive away..
    For a more local rider Plattekill is a sweet deal.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpjackal989
    As far as I know this has been going on since plattekill started, i still had a good weekend, what were you riding, I was on the morewood izimu with morewood jersey.
    I was on a black Banshee Scream (with not enough oil in my fork, unfortunately). The guys I rode with had a RMX, a Tomac and a Brooklyn. I forgot people's screen names but I do remember seeing that brown/gold Demo.

    But yeah, this really sucks because I especially planned on hitting Platty a lot early on b/c we have a guy with us who's just getting into DH for the first time. Diablo's fine, but not the best place to be waiting on someone in your group with how packed and aggressive it gets. Good to see that at least I wasn't the only one who was a little disappointed, despite the incredible weather.
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  7. #7
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    It's funny, this same debate is raging on a couple different boards right now. Seems like DH is turning the corner in this area, and the old "be glad you have a place to ride, and you should pitch in and help out" mentality is giving way to the "this is a viable business, and as paying customers, we expect something for our money" attitude. Platty has been able to coast on that old mentality for a while, and get away with not putting the same kind of investment into the rider experience, but as we're seeing now, the number of people willing to spend the money to get all the way up there just to ride poorly maintained trails is declining. Platty's going to have to really change the way they think about their customers if they want to do decent business this year. God bless the free market... it's like Ditech- when mountain bike parks compete, YOU WIN!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbogner
    Platty has been able to coast on that old mentality for a while, and get away with not putting the same kind of investment into the rider experience, but as we're seeing now, the number of people willing to spend the money to get all the way up there just to ride poorly maintained trails is declining. Platty's going to have to really change the way they think about their customers if they want to do decent business this year.
    Good post. I think the gas prices really have something to do with some of the uproar coming to a head this year. In our case, we stuffed 5 guys in a truck to cover the $60 in gas. When gas was under $2/gal, I wouldn't think twice about heading up there a few times a month, even with 2 or 3 people spur of the moment.

    As far as them stepping up, there really isn't THAT much they need to do to get things up to speed.

    - Removal of fallen trees/debris = taken care of by the customers in a day, but could have been done by a couple workers in a short amount of time. Give them a hammer to fix loose features, too.

    - Bolt on hooks for all lift chairs without them. How much could that cost?

    - Come up with a clear trail marking system and a revised map. Seemed like every time we got to the top of the mountain, there were a bunch of people looking to follow other people, hoping they knew where the good runs were.

    - Running the second lift. Either operate the lift when X amount of people are there by 11:00, or post what weekends the lift will be running.

    As far as wanting people to lend a hand... if they want to throw some season passes out there for riders willing to camp out and pitch in for a weekend, I'd consider it. But I'm not seeing any of that day pass $, not to mention the fact that they actually raised the prices -- and for what?

    I really hope they hear about all this negative feedback and do something about it. 20 minute lines at Diablo doesn't really do anyone much good.
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  9. #9
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    Platty

    I was only at Platty a handful of times last season. I enjoyed it, but my beef was the lack of map/markings. I had some great people to ride with and show me around so it wasn't bad but I was lucky to have that.

    There were many people complaining about the lift times and how many runs you could actually fit in for the day. I think I got in five with a short lunch brake.

    As far as trail maintenance goes, when it becomes a safety issue then there's a problem. Does the location of the resort influence volunteers from helping out? Is management giving the vibe that would make people want to help? I'm not too familiar with the regulars or where everyone is from. I know I find it difficult to drive three hours each way (with a full time work schedule of my own) to get up there for a day of maintenance. I wish I could do it but this is where reality sets in and they have to recognize that.
    Keeping riders safe is a concern of mine. You always want to live to ride another day. My last run at Platty in '05 I hit a pile of leaves on a trail, there was a log underneath that caught my front wheel and sent me sliding. I landed on my hand and chipped the bone where the thumb and hand meet. Nothing major but I was splinted for a couple of weeks and missed some work days. It could have been worse but it also could have been prevented.
    Maybe that's the reason it's called, "Splattekill?"
    Overall it is an amazing, beautiful place to ride. With other resorts stepping it up though, it will be interesting to see Plattekill's reaction.
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  10. #10
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    Gumby-where you there Sat or Sunday? I was there on Sunday making an ass of myself!
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  11. #11
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    Well, it is unfortunate that plattekill is located where it is. Diablo's 45min away from Manhattan, Platty is almost 3 hours. Diablo's always going to have a bigger rider base, which means more $$$$, which in turn means more money to spend on trail improvements, facilities, etc. Lazlo has the terrain, but not the geographic location, local amenities (hotels, restaurants, etc) or high-speed lift capable of handling a lot of riders. He spent a lot of $$ putting in that second lift (the one accessing the left side of the mtn), as it had only been a T-Bar going up to the top.

    Sucks, but there it is. Regardless of Lazlo's personal decision making (not all of which I agree with), he's sort of limited by where he is, and what's around him (or not, as the case of restaurants/bars/hotels/etc). Still love their racing series, but besides that its hard to justify the trip when Diablo's so much closer.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dante
    Well, it is unfortunate that plattekill is located where it is. Diablo's 45min away from Manhattan, Platty is almost 3 hours. Diablo's always going to have a bigger rider base, which means more $$$$, which in turn means more money to spend on trail improvements, facilities, etc.
    This is no different than the situation in the winter. From NYC, you can make it to Vermont in only an hour longer than it takes to get to Plattekill. And locally, Platty has to compete with two larger and better-funded mountains that are less than half an hour away.

    Plattekill is a business, and it's up to Lazlo to decide how he's going to attract people to his business. Of course he's constricted by his location. But as with all business, you can sit around and complain about how disadvantaged you are, or you can find a way to survive.

    An old friend of mine owns an independent record store down in Florida. First he had to deal with the intrusion of Best Buy and other mega-discounters into the music space. Then came the internet, and the death of "brick and morter" record stores. Tons of stores went out of business. He had every excuse to throw in the towel and whine about how bad things are. But he didn't, and the store just recently doubled in size.

    How? Better marketing, spending money on advertising, long-lasting relationships with customers, special order, vinyl, collectables, in-store performances, getting the store involved in every local music event possible... it was a lot of work, and he's invested a lot of money where others would have pulled back and not taken the risk, but so far it's been worth it.

    There's my analogy. Success is not owed to any company. Success is earned. It's hard work, and there are no guarantees...

    A couple of people complaining on the internet is not going to put Platty out of business. They've done a pretty good job of keeping their core constituents happy. But when some guys who were regulars start to talk about not going back, that has to raise at least a small red flag...

  13. #13
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    that suucks, but we pay 40 for tickets out here.....i would still ask for a free pass or something....send a letter to the mountain
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbogner
    T
    A couple of people complaining on the internet is not going to put Platty out of business. They've done a pretty good job of keeping their core constituents happy. But when some guys who were regulars start to talk about not going back, that has to raise at least a small red flag...
    Yeah, I've only been there less than 10 times up to this point, but that was all on an all-mountain bike. This offseason I sunk over $2K on a DH setup and I'm looking to go every weekend I have a chance. Creek = 2 hrs, Platty = 3.5 hrs. Sure looked like there were a lot of other people on the mountain who sunk a good chunk of change into their rigs, too. That said, sure, everyone can go to Diablo, but it's gonna be packed to the gills. If they stepped up and took care of that place, speaking for me and my group, we would have no problem whatsoever driving an extra hour or so to really get all there is out of Plattekill on a regular basis. The freeride trail, from what I hear, is better than anything at Diablo, but without that second lift running it ain't too fun pushing a 50 lb. bike as far as you'd have to consistently.
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  15. #15
    AussieLostInNyc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neen
    Gumby-where you there Sat or Sunday? I was there on Sunday making an ass of myself!
    Saturday, had a great day and think I may be hooked. I will be hitting diablo on opening day too hopefully.
    I would like to get back up there, perhaps in a couple of months.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    that suucks, but we pay 40 for tickets out here.....i would still ask for a free pass or something....send a letter to the mountain
    lol......do you have a vision that plattekill is some big dollar mountain with a receptionist and valet parking in front of the Grand Hotel.....?

    its basically a 2 person operation and bunch of transients for employess who do all the work, put in all the water lines for snow making, manage all the drainage, manage the water collection, and 3 years ago the put up a new lift.......

    Lazlo attitude is you pay for the lift ride.........the DH trails are for the the riders to manage, that has inherit pros and cons.........if you want to build something then build it.....but on the other hand dont expect and battalion of leaf blowers out there for 3 weeks before the lift opens...

    It is not some polished high dollar fru-fru resort but on a sunny day it is one the most beautiful mountains you will find anywhere....

  17. #17
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    Here's a novel idea. They have a website -- add a calendar that states when BOTH lifts will be in operation. This way, since you're going to pay full price either way, you know which weekends to avoid.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mega T
    Here's a novel idea. They have a website -- add a calendar that states when BOTH lifts will be in operation. This way, since you're going to pay full price either way, you know which weekends to avoid.
    Doubt that will ever happen and i could care less.......1 lift will always be running and usually it the 'big' lift........from there you can get to 70% of the trail on the other side.

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  19. #19
    Go Big or Die Tryin'
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    And how about how long it takes just to pay for a lift ticket? Plattekill is getting regodamdiculous. Does anyone know which lift will be running this weekend for the race? I'm planning on heading up on Sunday but I won't even bother wasting my time if the triple chair lift is the only one running. Besides poorly maintained trails, that side of the mountain is a little weak. The freeride trail is the best trail on the East Coast. Just watch you don't break yourself off too many times.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cant Climb
    1 lift will always be running and usually it the 'big' lift.
    Why don't you show me around this Saturday then, caveman.
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  21. #21
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    to add more compatition, highland is suposivly opening this summer. from the looks of it, thats even more trouble for platty if they dont get there act together soon.
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  22. #22
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    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah




    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaah





    Here comes the Waahmbulance.

  23. #23
    Go Big or Die Tryin'
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    "Waaahmbulance"...that's really clever.
    Azonicrider188a, where is this "highland" place that you speak of?
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  24. #24
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    Highland

    Quote Originally Posted by Finius T Flubberbuster
    "Waaahmbulance"...that's really clever.
    Azonicrider188a, where is this "highland" place that you speak of?
    It's just outside of Concord NH... looks like we are FINALLY getting the Whistler of the East that we've needed for so long.

    I do agree Platty has to get thier crap together and update the place a bit, but it is still my favorite place to ride with all it's "rawness". You come out of every weekend there a better rider.. it is just so sick!!! Drops EVERYwhere, nasty chutes and tons of loose shale!!!

    Have any of you guys hit Bromont in Canada?? It's the other sick place out here.. rock garder after rock garden!!!
    Last edited by KillingtonVT; 05-04-2006 at 11:10 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Banzai
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah




    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaah





    Here comes the Waahmbulance.
    shut up you! no diablo for you!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finius T Flubberbuster
    "Waaahmbulance"...that's really clever.
    Azonicrider188a, where is this "highland" place that you speak of?

    Check it out!


    http://www.highlandmountain.com/index.html

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by aixelsyd
    rumor is that they're going to leave it as 100% mtn biking (no skiing). the owner bought the mtn just to turn it into a DH park.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dante
    rumor is that they're going to leave it as 100% mtn biking (no skiing). the owner bought the mtn just to turn it into a DH park.
    No rumor thats the plan. I have'nt been yet but i can't wait hopefully it will open very soon.

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