Meadows’ founder Drake to retire

News staff writer

October 25, 2006

A management change at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort has brought the end of an era to the Northwest ski industry.

Franklin Drake announced his retirement on Tuesday — turning the reins of the company over to his son, Matthew, and General Manager Dave Riley. Drake was the last of Oregon and Washington’s ski resort founders to still be in an operating role.

“Franklin Drake needs to be given credit for 40 years of hard work and results at Mt. Hood Meadows,” said Riley.

He said Drake wanted a “seamless transition” in management so he began phasing in a succession plan two years go.

“Under this plan, the public will enjoy dedicated experienced leadership capable of providing excellent customer service, safety and responsible operation and development for the foreseeable future,” said Drake.

“The resort’s success is a credit to dedicated key managers and employees attracted to the resort over the years, a strong partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and continual input and involvement from skiers as well as the environmental community, all of which have merged to help create this wonderful alpine recreation area, of which I am very proud.”

Riley, who has held the position of vice president and general manager since 1993, has been promoted to president and chief operating officer. Matthew, who has been secretary of the corporation since 1989, has taken the role of chairman and chief executive officer. Franklin will remain on the board of directors.

Gary Larson, USFS Mt. Hood supervisor, described Drake as a “gracious business partner” who helped the joint public/private venture of Meadows to flourish.

Since 1966, Meadows has become the largest and most popular ski area on Mt. Hood and the second-largest ski area in Oregon. During the 2005-06 winter season, the ski area set another all-time record with 503,095 winter visitors comprising 59.2 percent of total skier visits to all five ski areas on Mount Hood. In addition, Meadows attracts 40.6 percent of the total number of skier visits in the state.

“Few ski areas can meet the very high bar they have set in environmentally friendly ski lift construction. In addition, they have one of the highest ratios of skiers and snowboarders who use public transportation of any ski area in North America,” Larson said. “I look forward to continuing the legacy of our joint partnership with Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort.”

Gerry Frank, past chairman of the Oregon Tourism Commission, said Franklin has built Meadows into a premier winter recreational spot by his “vision and fortitude.” He believes the company’s ongoing contribution to the Oregon tourism industry will remain “alive and well” under Matthew’s watch.

Riley, who resides in Parkdale, concurs with Frank’s assessment. He said the vision of Meadows continues to be “providing an ideal mountain resort experience while respecting the environment.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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