Conditions at Mission Ridge Ski Resort ‘looking more like’ two years ago

Dec 29, 2021, 5:00 AM | Updated: 11:07 am
ski, pass...
A Washington Dept. of Transportation snow plow works on a stretch of eastbound Interstate Highway 90, on Dec. 9, 2021, as snow falls near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass are perhaps the most well-known and talked about ski resorts in Washington, but Mission Ridge Ski Resort just outside of Wenatchee is another spot for local skiers.

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Mission Ridge Ski Resort is independent, and has a few different rules regarding COVID restrictions than a resort in King County might. Dori Monson Show guest host Matt Markovich brought Tony Hickok, the marketing director at Mission Ridge, on the show to let skiers know what to expect.

“Things are absolutely excellent today,” Hickok said about the conditions at Mission Ridge. “… We’re just having some really amazing skiing conditions here.”

While smaller in footprint than Crystal Mountain, Hickok says Mission Ridge is actually many hundreds of acres larger than Stevens Pass.

“So maybe a smaller operation, a smaller feel, but actually the third largest ski area in the state,” he said.

Mission Ridge Ski Resort is following all local, state, and federal guidelines when it comes to COVID-19, which means masks are required indoors when you’re not seated and actively eating, at all locations.

“But outside, when you’re in the base area, when you’re out on the slopes, when you’re out in the parking lot, things are really looking more like they did two years ago versus the way they were last year. So no masks required outside at this time,” he clarified.

Hickok says Mission Ridge didn’t have any serious capacity restrictions last year, and doesn’t now.

“We control capacity to make sure that the experience that our guests have is controlled, and we did that last year, and we’re ready to do that this year,” he said. “We did sell out of our primary season pass product, and we will — if necessary — cap tickets on the busier days.”

“Traditionally, this is a pretty popular week for folks to be visiting,” he added. “We know that the weather has kind of modified some folks’ plans — it’s a little bit colder than we’re used to, and certainly seeing some snow and winter weather conditions.”

Hickok says those conditions across the state are impacting how many people have come to ski this week, so he says there is room on the mountain and in their parking lot right now.

“But we’re ready to do what we need to do to make sure that guests have a great experience out on the mountain. That includes just not being overcrowded anywhere,” he said.

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Fortunately, Hickok says staffing hasn’t been an issue at Mission Ridge, in part because the resort is just 12 miles away from Wenatchee. He says they have a number of employees that return every year, as well as a nearby local area that draws a lot of employees to the resort.

“Staffing is always a challenge for a seasonal business like a ski area, but we feel far more fortunate than we know some of the other areas out there have been experiencing,” he said. “We haven’t had to modify any of our operations to this point because of staffing.”

While Hickok wouldn’t say things are back to “normal,” he did say the ski resort definitely looks different than it did in 2020 and “resembles much more like what we saw two years ago.”

“But it’s certainly not exactly the way things were prior to COVID,” he noted.

At Mission Ridge, proof of vaccination is not required at this time for any access to the ski resort, including the lodge, though Hickok says he’s not aware of any ski resort that’s requiring vaccination for access to the lift.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Conditions at Mission Ridge Ski Resort ‘looking more like’ two years ago