CWSAA spent some time with Mike and Andy (photo) at Manning Park after an epic week of snow, and had a chance to talk shop with Kelvin from maintenance. Manning has an extensive year round operation. Beyond the actual mountain as well as extensive cross country trails , operations includes the popular 41 room lodge (visible from Hwy 3) and 20 cabins, F&B outlets, and new meeting facility. Manning can host about 450 people overnight. They oversee all the summer operations in the park including a couple of very busy campgrounds which includes the spectacular Lightning Lakes campground and rentals (canoes, SUPs, etc).
Manning has two double chairs. Both are original Murray Latta installations. The blue chair was one of the first Murray Latta lifts installed around 1967.
Manning does a great job with signage at it lifts. Clear and crisp. It also hosts a tube park by its beginner tow.
The base provides a natural progression for traffic flow. Starting from the parking lot and daylodge, guests funnel through the base facilities that includes tickets, rentals, etc.
Ticket window signage includes prices, helmet recommendation, and liability.
Manning Park Lodge and cabins are 10 km from the actual chairlifts, but self contained RV parking is located at the mountain.
At the Manning Park Lodge, a new meeting facility has recently been completed. This complements the resorts extensive wedding and corporate business.
The meeting room can be set up for lectures or catered events.
Immediately above the meeting room floor space is small reception area. This must have been designed from experience as it sets up exceptionally well for weddings. The bride and her party have a private space to prepare, and then are able to present themselves to the congregation before walking down stairs to the actual wedding. This provides ideal opportunities for photos. And its weather proof – a necessity for any mountain venue. There are some very good ideas here for any one in the wedding business.
Manning has some great loyalty and community building ideas. Chairlift lottery: a number is drawn to correlate to a specific chair and prizes are awarded at the top if the lift. Scavenger Hunt: clues are distributed to locations (and staff) around the mountain with guests awarded with a prize for completing the hunt. Frozen Bocci Ball: balloons are filled with water and then frozen and used for a winter game of Bocci. These are staged on special days of the year and build a sense of engagement with guests, and sense of community with the location and staff such as Mike and Andy.