I emailed Nordic Sleigh Rides on 12/28 at the address listed on their website as well as sent them a private FaceBook message on 12/31 but have not received a response. I would rather have addressed my concerns in a non-public manner just in case we were not the typical experience. But, it has been 6 days with no response...so my feedback is below (copied from my original email to the company).
My family and I attended the 5 pm sleigh ride/dinner show last night. When we made the reservations in November, we discussed with your staff who would be attending (my parents, children, and husband) and were assured it was a family-fridendly experience and we would have a great time.
This was not the case…for a multitude of reasons which I have listed below. This was not the experience that was advertised on your website or that we discussed on the phone. Obviously this was not a good experience for my family, some of which had travelled from North Carolina. This evening was supposed to be one of the highlights of their trip, but turned into an utter disaster. Not only were they severely disappointed, we were embarrassed that they paid your prices at our recommendation. It’s a shame that all of this could have been avoided with the appearance of caring about your patrons and a little communication or an apology.
We were given directions over the phone and looked them up online. No mention of Good Times was ever made. I appreciate the exact mileage, but we still thought we were lost when there were no signs for “Nordic Sleigh Rides”. This was very confusing and did not provide a good start to the evening.
2. 5 pm start time
We were told over the phone when we made reservations, on the phone when we confirmed on 12/26, and on the website that check-in was at 4:30. This was emphasized when we confirmed and we were told that we should allow at least 30 minutes from Breckenridge due to ski traffic. We did and arrived at 4:20 pm ish even though we turned around once since we thought we were lost. After standing around for 20 minutes or so, we were asked how the traffic was coming in…it was fine and we had no problem arriving as requested. We were told that the shuttle and other customers were running about 10 minutes late. No other updates were given to us and we finally began the sleigh/dinner experience about 30 minutes after being told everyone was running 10 minutes late. This was around 5:30 pm….30 minutes late…or about 1/4 of the total time. Apologies were never offered to those of us who arrived as requested.
3. Sleigh seats
I am very thankful that we had 4 adults in our party and were given the same row…I would not have wanted to share with strangers. I cannot imagine 4 regular size adults fitting comfortably in those seats. I did not see any group of four that was able to sit everyone in the seat. I specifically asked when making the reservation if we would all fit in the row, especially considering we had 2 children with us. I was assured we would. There were several open seats on a different sleigh…no one on our sleigh was offered the option of moving around so that we could be more comfortable. A gentleman from the group in front of us had to stand the entire ride since he could not fit in the row with the rest of his group. It would have made sense to at least offer someone the option of moving sleighs…but we were told that it was important that we paid attention to our assigned rows and sat in the correct seats.
4. Family friendly
• dinner seating
Your website states that children 3 years and younger are free. It was not clarified that they were free because they would not be given a seat or meal of any sort. In other chuck-wagon dinners we have participated in our children have been given a plate and a seat….even if they didn’t have a full ticket. Last night, we were told our 3-year old should sit in our laps and our baby could have a high-chair. However, when we got to the dining hall, we were told that the high-chair could not be used at the end of the table during dinner service or entertainment…which was the majority of the time. It was suggested that we put our 8 month old in a high-chair behind our table in front of the pot belly stove…I said no. Our child is part of our family and should be able to sit at the table with us…so I held her in my lap. There were approximately 6 other seats at the end of tables that were not interrupted by food service or the entertainment. There was also 3/4 of a table empty where we could have sat with our entire family. None of these options were offered. I cannot understand why a high-chair was offered if we were not going to be allowed/able to use it.
• meals for children
In all of the other chuck-wagon dinners we have experienced, our children have been given a plate, even if they did not pay for a ticket. Last night we had to share mugs and utensils with our 3 year old. I feel this is false advertising…in my experience “free” means they will still be counted as a person but it is assumed they will not eat enough or take up enough room to warrant full price payment. In your company, it seems that “free” means they do not count as a person and will not be given a seat on the sleigh, at the dinner table, or food. (FYI…my son ate an ear of corn off my plate…which we expected. He would not have eaten meat even if offered. It just would have been nice to have a plate for him.)
We have taken numerous tours since moving to Colorado but have never heard Molly Brown portrayed in such a negative, promiscuous manner. I am not sure how the content of her monologue was family-friendly. Your website says that the show promises to entertain adults and kids alike. I disagree…the content and delivery of the show was not appropriate for small children. If we had been advised of this before hand, we would have selected just a sleigh ride or a different company. However, everything on your website and in our conversations focused on how the ride, meal, and entertainment would be family friendly. It was not.
6. Food service / quality
While the food had a good taste both the chicken and steak were very dry. I assume this is because they had to sit for 30 minutes while we were delayed. The drink choices were also nil…I would assume for $80 ish per person that we would be offered some choices. I understand that we are not paying for food per se, we are paying for the experience. So, I could overlook the bad quality, if the service had been acceptable. However, most of the staff (aside from Nick who was great) were rude and non-communicative. I assume they were stressed since things were running so late, but to me that is no excuse.
Once dinner had been served, we were offered pie and then promptly told that we could walk back to our cars when we were done. This seemed rude and rushed to me. We were one of the last groups to leave, and most of the tables (including ours) were cleared by the time we got our coats on. Again, I assume this was because of the delay in our start, but this should not be an excuse.
8. Drive down Tiger Road
As i mentioned, we were one of the last groups to leave. As we were driving down Tiger Road a car approached me from behind. They continue to ride very, very close to my bumper with their bright lights on for several miles. I slowed down and eventually they dimmed their lights but did not back off. When we got to the red-light, I realized that it was your shuttle van. I understand they may have been in a hurry, but tail-gating was not appropriate.