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The Hatchet Falls At Mt. B.: POWDR Corp clears house 

A Dump of Snow Can't fix EverythingJust days after the end of an embattled season that saw near record snowfall but a dip in visitors

click to enlarge A Dump of Snow Can't fix Everything
  • A Dump of Snow Can't fix Everything
A Dump of Snow Can't fix EverythingJust days after the end of an embattled season that saw near record snowfall but a dip in visitors at Mt. Bachelor, the brass at POWDR Corp. is apparently clearing house in Bend.

A tipster told Upfront that several front office folks at Mt. Bachelor got their walking papers on Tuesday, including President Matt Janney.

Mt. B's former marketing director, Carly Carmichael, confirmed that she had been let go by her employer on Tuesday, just one day after the season ended on the mountain.

Carmichael said she couldn't comment on anything related to her departure.

"They told me they were restructuring," she said.

Upfront had a subsequent conversation with Justin Yax of DVA, Mt. Bachelor's local PR firm. Yax confirmed that both Carmichael and Janney had been let go by POWDR, along with two other employees, the ski area's food and beverage manager and the top "back of the house" manager at the mountain.

Janney's ouster could represent a huge shift in strategy by POWDR Corp., which brought Janney in to oversee the day-to-day operations and touted his experience at other POWDR Corp. mountains and his personal connection to Mt. Bachelor where he had been a ski patrol member more than a decade earlier.

Janney had met with the Source just a few weeks before the end of the season. During that meeting he described the difficulty of taking over management of a mountain that was beset by complaints from the local public amidst prolonged maintenance issues and pass price increases. Janney described a season in which he spent most of his time identifying issues that were festering since before his arrival.

What's surprising is how little time he was given to remedy them.

Yax said the decision to let Janney go was based on the POWDR's desire to not just identify, but implement wholesale changes.

"What I can tell you is that Matt has done an incredible job of identifying issues and challenges that the mountain faces and prioritizing them," Yax said.

"Matt's background is on the operations side. With the changes being made, they're looking to bring in someone who can effectively implement those changes across all aspects of the mountain, from food service to parking lot attendants to ticket managers to grooming," said Yax, who told Upfront that he had just come out of a meeting with POWDR's chief operating officer.

"There's a culture shift that (POWDR) sees needs to take place," said Yax, with the end result being better customer service.

He pointed out that at least two of the employees let go had been with the mountain for more than two decades. Yax also confirmed that some streamlining of jobs could result from the restructuring.

For our part, Upfront thinks Bachelor haters might want to hold off on the cheers, or at least consider that some of those let go on Bloody Tuesday likely represent some of the deepest connections to the local community.

In other words, be careful what you wish for.

click to enlarge You Call that Graffiti?
  • You Call that Graffiti?
You Call that Graffiti?Vote and Vandalize

The build up to this week's primary election may have brought out the worst in Bendites whose political fever boiled over into a rash of campaign sign vandalism in the days leading up to Tuesday. On the morning of the actual election day, one Southwest Bend resident awoke to find his Barack Obama sign had been spray painted with the universal "no" sign (red circle with a line though it, duh). The resident said the sign had previously been pulled from the ground and tossed aside.

A local television station also reported that another Central Oregonian had his Hillary Clinton sign stolen from his yard, adding that he'd had the signs from his yard stolen or destroyed once before.

Upfront is left wondering who these sign vandals might be and what exactly they're out to accomplish. Take the vandalized Obama sign pictured above. Notice the poor paint distribution and the asymmetrical circular pattern: clearly this individual is neither a member of the Bloods nor the Crypts, nor the Bond Street Bad Boys (they're new). Has this dimwit ever even painted graffiti before this? If you're going to get involved in political vandalizing, at least do it right, for Dukakis' sake.

And what do these yahoos really think is going to happen as a result of their cantankerous efforts?

"Well, I was going to vote for this Obama fellow, but I'll be darned if somebody didn't cross out his name in red paint. We simply can't have a president with a big red "X" across his name - what kind of message would that send to our boys overseas?"

Or perhaps...

"Jeez, Clinton had my vote in the bag, but all of the sudden all her signs are gone from our neighborhood. Clearly her popularity has eroded, seeing as how everyone took down their signs - I don't want to come across as some weirdo at the next neighborhood association meeting, so I'm taking down my Hillary sign too and changing my vote to Ron Paul."

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