IVGID GM’s Corner: How can we improve service at Diamond Peak?
Thanks to all of you who took advantage of our fourth annual Community Appreciation Week at Diamond Peak. Over 2,200 skier visits that week were due to this special program. That is almost three times the participation rate of last year and almost four times the ski visits in 2014.
I’m certain that part of the response is due to the amazing snow conditions, but I also believe that the many special activities have begun to build a following.
Overall ski visits continue to be at record levels. Diamond Peak had record attendance for early January, both on weekdays and weekends.
Last weekend’s crowds for the three-day Martin Luther King holiday set three-day and four-day records for that weekend. Breaking a record on a weekend with mediocre weather is quite impressive.
While we are all thrilled at the record attendance, we also realize that record crowds can tax the operational capacity of our ski area.
This is especially true on the intake side of the business. We are working very hard to make sure that our parking and shuttle services are up to the challenge.
We increased our shuttle capacity this past weekend and will make additional improvements on President’s weekend. We are also looking at additional ways to improve the user experience at our remote parking areas.
We have also implemented a new Point of Sale system this year that should greatly increase our capacity to handle a larger volume of ticket sales. Since we are in the early stages of implementing our new ticket system, it will take some time for us to utilize its full capacity.
In addition, we want to make sure that we implement improvements that benefit our resident pass holders and not just our holiday visitors. During Community Appreciation Week, I spent a lot of time at Diamond Peak visiting with local residents to get their feedback on what we can do better — particularly during peak times at the ski area. I received a lot of good feedback and look forward to implementing as many of the suggestions as possible.
Speaking of peak times, I received a number of inquiries regarding the information I provided in the last column regarding sewer flow. I mentioned how Christmas week was even busier than normal this year as indicated by the amount of sewer flow that week compared to other weeks of the year.
I also noted that overall flow reached a new low this past year, particularly in October and November. I had a number of folks who asked for more information about flow and about what other days are typically the busiest and slowest days of the year.
I took a look at our flows over the past three years and took a three-year average for each day. As you might expect, July 3-6 were the four busiest days of the year. In fact, they had nearly 10 percent more flow (and likely 10 percent more daily population) than any other day.
New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve and December 30th were the next busiest days. July 7, August 2 and August 9 rounded out the top 10. The rest of the top 40 days of the year were the balance of July, the first two weeks of August and the rest of Christmas Week. President’s Weekend slips into the top 50.
The bottom 40 all come from mid-October and most of November, along with December 1. November 12-20 dominate the bottom 10 days of the year. The sewer flow during that time is just over 600,000 gallons per day.
This is about half the flow of a busy summer day and only 40 percent of the flow we experience around the Fourth of July.
Our average daily flow is about 880,000 gallons per day; the Fourth of July flow exceeds 1.5 million gallons.
When reviewing flows on a monthly basis, flows are near average levels from January — March with spikes on Holiday ski weekends. April is slightly below average and then things go back up to average in May.
June is slightly above average and rises during the month — except for the week when the School Holiday begins. July and early August are the peak times. Flows start to drop in mid-August, but stay above average until late September. Flows drop precipitously in the middle of October and stay low until the Christmas holiday.
None of this information should be a surprise to our year-round residents, but it is always nice to have data that backs up our perception of reality. It certainly is a good guide for knowing when to avoid the Raley’s parking lot.
“GM’s Corner” is a recurring column from Incline Village General Improvement Distinct General Manager Steve Pinkerton, who will discuss issues and offer updates regarding various district matters. He may be reached for comment at email@example.com.