MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette Mountain has a new general manager, and he's explaining his plans to get the ski hill "back on track."
Andrew Farron replaced Frank Malette as GM on Monday afternoon.
Malette became GM last summer. The changes he made, combined with several shortcomings in routine operations this winter, disappointed and frustrated many local ski enthusiasts.
Farron says he has been snowboarding at Marquette Mountain for more than 15 years. He grew up in Traverse City and moved to Marquette with his wife two years ago.
Farron says he is leaving his engineering career to turn his frustration into action at Marquette Mountain.
Farron says he has been meeting with the ski hill's owner regularly for the last two weeks and has approval for a number of changes. Farron says the T-Bar has officially returned. Malette changed the bar's name to the Carp River Saloon.
Below is the letter Farron wrote to community members:
Like many of you, I am a winter sports enthusiast, strongly planted in the Midwest. I am a member of the community and Marquette Mountain is a core part of my life. I too have been watching closely as it falls far short of its true potential.
I have left my engineering career to turn my frustration into action and have gained the confidence of owner Pete O'Dovero to turn this place around. I take this responsibility very seriously. I consider myself highly organized and capable of big picture understanding. I have fresh, detailed & substantial plans to get Marquette Mountain back on track. I will be asking heavily of our employees, partners and community members but I truly do believe we are about to live up some of this unused potential.
Not all changes will happen overnight. We will need your patience to continue and believe we must first take a step back before we can move forward. Season pass holders will no longer require a ticket. Terrain park and border cross will be developed and properly maintained. Areas of the fencing will be removed to increasing parking. Jim and ray will once again be playing at the TBar.
This summer we will be busier than you've ever seen before. We will redesign & replace the snowmaking infrastructure. We will finish the lighting project and promise to have everything energized for next season. We will catch up on heavily neglected maintenance on our machinery and snowmobiles. We will operate a complete new business of gravity mountain biking.
There are dozens of additional summer projects that we want but may not have the resources to complete on our own. Glading out new areas of the hill, building a safe, progressive freeride bike trail down one of the ski hills, building more patios and outdoor hangouts ares just to name a few. To complete these types of projects, we will be calling for your help. At the end of the day, THIS IS YOUR MOUNTAIN. Yes, somebody owns it but your livelihood is heavily affected by it and you have plenty of power to change it.
Understand that it is my job to figure out how we can make this investment turn a profit. If we can't achieve that, it will always remain unfulfilled potential. We can't be a charity but are incredibly willing to partner in any way possible to promote the growth and accessibility of our sports. We need to host big races. We need huge season pass sales. We need bus loads coming up from Appleton. We need the community to support us. That includes both on social media and on the property. Share some pictures, memories and stories. Leave us a positive review (once we are deserving of one). Thank a snow maker. Buy a beer at the TBar before you head home. And please keep your expectations reasonable.
I truly want to hear from each and every one of you. I will obviously have my hands full for a bit but I promise to take time to listen. I will be checking my emails daily and will be adding a suggestion box at the ticket office. Whenever possible, to I encourage you to offer solutions, not problems. We certainly have a lot of work to do, but I have no doubt this is a big step in the right direction.
Thanks in advance for your continued patience and support during this transition.