"It was kind of a bummer we didn’t open for Christmas break, as far as revenue,” Snowhaven Ski & Tubing Area manager Mark Vandlik told the Free Press Jan. 13, “but, the last two weekends have been really, really good. For the first weekend, we were surprised at how busy we were, but for this past weekend, we were double that — pretty much at full capacity.”

It’s Vandlik’s second season in Grangeville and first as manager, having done last season as assistant to former manager Scott Wasem, who he met through a Forest Service fire job.

“I put in for assistant and one day I got a phone call from the mayor,” he said of how he got the job. “Being from a big city, that was a big deal to me. ... I told him ‘I don’t have much but I’m a YouTube mechanic. I do fire and carpentry and handy-man jobs, so I can definitely figure it out. And that’s what this year is, is figuring it out.”

He has found a need to find more T-bar operators and tubing hill operators.

While Snowhaven is backed by the city, it operates on its own revenue.

In addition to “some aesthetic things around the lodge,” Vandlik has a couple of enhancements in the works, including establishing Internet access at the lodge and, as early as next month, beer and wine sales. “I do want to do some bigger overhaul things, but I need revenue for that,” he noted.

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