In the ongoing season pass battle with Vail Resorts, Alterra Mountain Company has committed to revamping and reinforcing the guest experience at all 12 of its mountain destinations. Starting in 2018-19, Alterra has announced an investment of $555 million in capital improvements over the next five years, devoting $130 million to the coming winter season.
The massive improvement and overhaul plan comes less than three months after the announcement of Alterra’s Ikon Pass, the first real competition to Vail Resort's Epic Pass since its inception. Alterra Mountains Company’s quick and deliberate action shows the company is here to stay, and won’t be shying away from offering some of the best deals the ski industry has seen in years.
“It is our commitment to invest in each of our destinations in order to grow the sport, offer a variety of activities, inspire loyal guests and instill a love of the mountains in all that visit,” said Rusty Gregory, the CEO of Alterra Mountain Company in a press release. “We do that through thoughtful and innovative capital investment that improves a guest’s experience, while we continue to support and preserve the character and traditions of each destination.”
So far, skiers can expect a new gondola, three new chairlifts and some big renovations at six different Alterra mountains for the 2018-19 season.
In Colorado, Winter Park will gain the Zephyr Gondola, which will transport guests from the Village faster and more efficiently – decreasing wait times by 15 minutes during peak season. Its 42-year old snowmaking system is also getting a major upgrade, which will open up possibilities for earlier season operations.
Bear River Restaurant in Steamboat is receiving a complete renovation and new design, enhancing the popular après destination’s menu and atmosphere while increasing its seating capacity.
Further west, Mammoth Mountain’s Canyon Lodge, which sees 60% of the mountain’s visitors, will be redesigned over two years to become the future Day Lodge. Fall 2018 will see the longest top to bottom zipline tour in North America come to the resort, as well as a via ferrata rock climbing experience and new ropes courses.
Big Bear Mountain Resort will enhance and beautify its existing facilities at the base; including pedestrian areas and its learn to ski area.
Out east, Stratton is getting a new chairlift. The Snowbowl Chairlift is replacing the 31-year old fixed grip quad with an innovative new lift that will accelerate skier flow at the mountain.
Tremblant’s Lowell Thomas Chairlift is being replaced by a high-speed, four-passenger chairlift, which will increase uphill capacity by 33%. The Canadian mountain will also receive some superior snowmaking systems, offering more and better snow in all types of conditions.
West Virginia’s Snowshoe Resort will receive a snowmaking overhaul, replacing its current system with an energy-efficient snowmaker that will open up more trails in early December.
Additional Alterra capital improvement projects will be announced in the fall. Whether you're on Team Ikon or plan on staying Epic, it's clear that the future of ski resorts and their offerings are looking bright.