Alterra Buys Snow Valley, California

Alterra Mountain Company today announced the purchase of its 15th ski area, Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Southern California. Snow Valley operations will fold into nearby Big Bear Mountain Resort, which includes Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Snow Valley currently operates nine chairlifts including a detachable six pack and eight Yan fixed grips.

“The acquisition of Snow Valley Mountain Resort is a continuation of our ongoing mission to build a premier portfolio of great mountains in robust markets,” said Jared Smith, President and CEO of Alterra Mountain Company. “As we do with all our destinations, we are excited to invest essential capital to enhance the on-site employee and guest experience to further strengthen our offerings to skiers and riders in Southern California.”

The purchase has already closed and Ikon Pass holders can access Snow Valley beginning Monday, February 20th. Snow Valley’s current Indy Pass participation will likely end after this season.

News Roundup: Dueling Passes

News Roundup: Preferred Alternative

News Roundup: Forecasting Demand

News Roundup: First Load Test

Schweitzer Joins Ikon, Plans Lift Improvements

Idaho’s Schweitzer has signed on to become the 45th Ikon Pass mountain in North America. Ikon Pass holders will enjoy up to 7 days of access at Schweitzer and Ikon Base Pass holders will get 5 holiday-restricted days. Schweitzer’s top tier local passholders will receive an Ikon Base Pass valid at destinations worldwide. “This is a huge win for skiers and snowboarders and for our community,” the resort said in a statement. “We wanted to be able to offer our customers the benefit of a multi-resort pass and joining Ikon Pass allows us to do just that. The Ikon Pass includes premier mountains around the globe, and we are excited to be the newest Ikon Pass mountain destination.”

The partnership with Alterra replaces Schweitzer’s membership in the Powder Alliance reciprocal program, which brought the North Idaho mountain about 5,000 skiers per year over the last seven seasons. Schweitzer says it was the single most-redeemed destination in that alliance.

With Ikon and regional population trends, Schweitzer is planning for continued visitation growth of about 5 to 10 percent over the next couple of years and will make “continued investments to help the mountain to absorb that growth.” This summer, the resort will dedicate more than $250,000 to increase the capacity of the Stella Express by 15 percent (235 people per hour). This will be accomplished by adding 14 new six passenger chairs. The mountain will also debut a $500,000 RFID ticketing system in the fall, enabling direct-to-lift access. Following these projects and the debut of a new slopeside hotel, replacement of the Musical Chairs lift will become the mountain’s next major capital priority. The new high speed quad will span a creek near the current bottom terminal and connect to a parking lot for 1,500 cars.

The mountain’s master plan envisions at least four other new lifts in both Schweitzer and Outback bowls in the years to come.

News Roundup: California Dreaming

  • The Town of Jackson, Wyoming inches closer to approving the Snow King Gondola five years after it was first proposed.
  • Aspen Skiing Company eliminates nearly 50 positions citing the “ever shifting Covid landscape.”
  • The Miami Dolphins won’t operate their SkyView stadium gondola this NFL season.
  • In New Zealand, ski resorts say they are not the mask police.
  • Alps resorts prepare to reopen this month.
  • The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board grants a variance for a new Telemix on Aspen Mountain.
  • Ikon Pass holders will need a reservation to visit certain resorts this season while other mountains will not require reservations and more are still deciding.
  • Big Sky’s Lone Peak Tram will be open this winter but guests may be allowed to boot pack to the summit as an alternative.
  • A second indoor ski resort for the United States moves ahead near DC.
  • Aspen Snowmass and other creditors will appeal a judge’s decision to keep Liftopia out of bankruptcy.
  • Some Canadians aren’t happy with Vail’s pandemic-era customer service.
  • Magic Mountain, Idaho is threatened by a wildfire.
  • A study finds the proposed Oakland Athletics gondola would carry a million riders a year and generate $685 million in economic activity.
  • This summer’s construction projects are just the beginning for the new Saddleback Mountain.
  • A planned urban gondola in Los Angeles get a fresh name and website as it prepares for environmental review.
  • Leitner Ropeways will build New Zealand’s first eight passenger chairlift.
  • The Utah Department of Transportation continues to refine alternatives for Little Cottonwood Canyon and will release a report this fall.
  • Great Bear solicits bids for a new chairlift.

News Roundup: Perfect

News Roundup: Switzerland to Italy

Ikon Pass Signs Mt. Bachelor and Windham Mountain

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Uniquely located on a volcano, Mt. Bachelor is the largest destination resort in Oregon.

New resorts on both coasts will join Alterra’s Ikon Pass for winter 2020-21.  In central Oregon, Mt. Bachelor will become the fifth Powdr-owned mountain to sign on to Ikon following Copper, Eldora, Killington and Snowbird.  In New York’s Catskill region, independently-owned Windham Mountain will be the first Ikon destination in the Empire State.  Both new additions will offer seven day access on the full Ikon Pass and five restricted days with the Ikon Base Pass.  Ikon Pass holders will now enjoy access to 42 mountains in North America with a total of 503 lifts.  The competing Epic Pass from Vail Resorts offers 42 different mountains with 434 lifts in the US and Canada.  Both passes also include days in Europe, Asia and Australia.

“As we look ahead, we are excited to announce these new partners that represent the spirit of the Ikon Pass community, bringing added value to pass holders, at some of the lowest rates available since we launched the Ikon Pass,” said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer for Alterra Mountain Company.  “Mt. Bachelor in Oregon and Windham Mountain in New York are favorites in their regions, adding expanded access in two new states in North America and inspiring Ikon Pass holders to seek more adventures.”  Alterra recently introduced enhanced renewal savings and an Adventure Assurance program to entice buyers amid COVID-19 uncertainty.