IT’S BEEN A busy first few weeks for Marquette Mountain’s new general manager Andrew Farron.
Big races, big crowds, and some changes after the abrupt departure of former GM Frank Malette.
First, (and not necessarily in importance), Jim and Ray, the popular local singing duo, are back playing at the T-Bar (the name Carp River Saloon was discarded). Farron has Jim and Ray playing every other Thursday and Sunday. And there’s a reason for that.
“We compared the weeks when they play and when they don’t, and frankly it’s a wash financially,” Farron says. Meaning they’re selling more food and drink when the duo plays, but that increase is offset by what Marquette Mountain has to pay them.
For the time being, they’ll continue playing, Farron says, because that’s what local skiers and snowboarders said they wanted.
Second–and this has more to do with mindset than anything–they’re not going to have the T-Bar competing with the restaurants downtown.
“We’re not a five star restaurant,” Farron says. “We’re not gonna pretend we’re something we’re not. We’re a place of hang out after you ski, have something to eat and drink, and have a little fun. You want fine dining? There’s great restaurants downtown.”
And third, what about turning the mountain into a mountain bikers’ destination after the snow melts?
Yes, they are planning to use one of the lifts (Rocket) for biking this summer on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and they’ll how see it goes. If it’s popular, it could be expanded. If not, well….
“Our first priority is getting the snowplowing and electrical work done on the mountain this summer,” Farron emphasizes. “Everything else is secondary. We don’t want to get caught like we did last fall with the work not being done.”
Anyone who’s witnessed the repeated delays and breakdowns with the lifts this season will likely appreciate his perspective.
Farron’s young, he ‘s inexperienced, he’s brand new on the job, but so far he’s seems to be doing and saying all the right things.