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Red Lodge Mountain weathers the storm, receives two feet of snow in February

Posted at 5:44 PM, Feb 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 11:57:10-05

RED LODGE - After a slow start to the year in terms of snowfall, Red Lodge Mountain has received two feet of snow during the month of February.

The snow came just in time for President's Day weekend, which is typically a very popular time for ski resorts everywhere and that certainly was the case in Red Lodge.

Billings resident Robert Beers was among the many who were hitting the slopes Sunday.

"By the time you hit Red Lodge, it's full-on ski stoke and you're ready to go," Beers said. "That excitement from when you're little, it builds when you're older and you get excited to pass that on generationally."

Beers said that skiing has been a constant in his life for over 40 years, but that he has seen a big change in the pricing.

"It's getting pretty spendy," Beers said. "But you know what, there's ways to get creative and cut those costs a little bit.

Regionally, there's been a massive difference. According to the National Ski Areas Association, daily lift ticket prices have increased in the Rocky Mountain region from an average price of $97 in 2013 to $218 in 2023. That's nearly a 125 percent increase.

Red Lodge Mountain General Manager Jeff Schmidt said it hasn't been the easiest start to their season and that the limited snowfall adds to the challenges of keeping lift tickets affordable.

"It has been a tough start, but not as tough as it has been for some folks," Schmidt said Sunday.

Schmidt said they will change ticket prices so that it best reflects what runs and lifts are open at that time.

"We do vary out prices and if it's not exactly what we were hoping for, we don't go to the very full rack rate," Schmidt said.

Red Lodge also offers deals to add to the customer experience, much like many other resorts around the state. On Sundays, half day lift tickets are only $30 and they also have a $299 package that comes with four lessons, four lift tickets and a season pass for the rest of the year.

Bridger Bowl has a deal where one can ski any three days out of the year for $210, while Showdown has a March 1 special, where one can get a season pass for next season and the rest of this season for $299.

Even with the slow start, Schmidt is hopeful that the last two months of the ski season will make up for it. Currently, the plan is to have the mountain open until April 14.

"We're starting to creep up on last year's numbers and last year, the last two months we had a record year," Schmidt said. "So, hopefully, we can have something similar to that again.

For Beers, the expenses are always worth being with the people, and in the place, he loves.

"There's not many better places in Montana or in the west than that stube deck with all the welcoming people," Beers said. "You feel it all over here in Red Lodge."