Featured Alterra Mountain Company Announces Long-Term Capital Improvements

Discussion in 'Skiing and Industry News' started by Tricia, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 7.42.43 AM.png
    ALTERRA MOUNTAIN COMPANY UNVEILS LONG-TERM CAPITAL


    IMPROVEMENT PLAN TO IMPROVE THE GUEST EXPERIENCE

    $555 Million Budgeted at 12 Mountain Destinations Over the Next Five Years

    $130 Million Budgeted for 2018/2019 Including New Gondola and Three New Chairlifts


    DENVER, Colo., March 12, 2018 – Alterra Mountain Company reinforces its commitment to growth and investment in its family of 12 mountain destinations by announcing its initial capital improvements, with an investment plan totaling more than half a billion dollars over the next five years, spending $130 million for winter 2018/2019.


    Alterra Mountain Company, created in 2017, is comprised of 12 mountain destinations spread throughout five states and three Canadian provinces: Steamboat and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Stratton in Vermont; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario; Deer Valley Resort in Utah; and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia.


    In keeping with Alterra Mountain Company’s tenet to empower its leaders to be decisive, creative, and bold, destination presidents proposed their improvement priorities for the next five years. Plans for each destination were based on current needs and input from guests that will enhance the on-site experiences, while retaining each mountain’s authentic character.


    “At our core, we are a ski company and we offer year-round mountain experiences to skiers, riders and summer visitors of all ages from all over the world,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “Each aspect of our business plays a part in the guest experience that brings them back year after year, from a welcoming base area to an efficient ski school to exceptional services. 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. 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.”


    The $555 million budgeted improvements will be invested broadly to elevate the guest experience and introduce innovation and technology through new chairlifts and gondolas, snowmaking, food & beverage offerings, base areas development and access, and new adventurous summer experiences. Additional capital improvement projects will be announced in the fall.


    Highlighted Improvements for 2018/2019

    Zephyr Gondola and Increased Snowmaking at Winter Park Resort, Colorado: Accessed from the Village at Winter Park, and replacing the Zephyr Express quad, the new Zephyr Gondola will improve the guest experience by expanding uphill capacity to 3,200 guests per hour, decreasing wait times by 15 minutes during peak season, and providing faster service to the Seven Territories of the mountain and the Lodge at Sunspot.


    Winter Park Resort’s 42-year old snowmaking system will be upgraded with state-of-the-art energy efficient systems. Given the mountain’s base elevation of 9,000 feet, with quality snowmaking the destination has the ability to extend season operations to enhance early season offerings.


    Canyon Lodge & Summer Activation at Mammoth Mountain, California: Canyon Lodge sees 60% of Mammoth Mountain’s visitors and will receive an innovative redesign over the next two years, positioning it to become the Day Lodge of the future. An enhanced guest arrival will include new retail space, user-friendly access to rentals and ticket windows, innovative food and beverage services, and a redevelopment of the popular snow beach area.


    A new summer adventure sport offering will be available for fall 2018 at Main Lodge at Mammoth Mountain, complete with adrenaline-pumping thrill experiences, including the longest top to bottom zipline tour in North America, in the combination of the two spans, plus a via ferrata rock climbing experience suspended on the mountain face, and junior ropes courses.


    Bear River Restaurant, Steamboat, Colorado: Steamboat’s most popular slopeside après ski destination is getting a complete overhaul and new design, including new kitchen, enhanced menu options, and the enclosure of a portion of the outdoor space to increase seating capacity by 72 seats.


    Snowbowl Chairlift at Stratton, Vermont: The new Snowbowl Chairlift will replace the 31-year old fixed grip quad with a high-speed detachable lift that will increase beginner skier accessibility, alleviate mountain choke points, and will enhance the guest experience with a quicker ride to the summit.


    Lowell Thomas Chairlift and Increased Snowmaking at Tremblant, Quebec: The Lowell Thomas Chairlift will be replaced with a high-speed 4-passenger detachable chairlift, increasing uphill capacity by 33%. Energy-efficient snowmaking capacity along the upper portion of the Algonquin Trail will be increased by 50%, offering visitors earlier access and more reliable snow conditions.


    Base Area Improvements at Big Bear Mountain Resort, California: Development at Bear Mountain will include enhancement to existing facilities, common pedestrian areas and the learn to ski area.


    Snowmaking Overhaul at Snowshoe, West Virginia: Snowshoe’s current snowmaking system will be replaced with a state-of-the-art system that will increase snow making capabilities allowing for significantly more trails to open in early December, and drastically reduce electricity usage.


    In February, Alterra Mountain Company unveiled its debut season pass product for winter 2018-2019, the Ikon Pass, offering visitors access to over 63,000 skiable acres at 26 destinations, including 14 partner destinations, throughout North America. Passes are on sale now at www.ikonpass.com.
     
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  2. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    Just watch the announcement on FB for Tremblant. Posted it elsewhere.
     
  3. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The improvements that are slated for the resorts I've skied are long over due. Glad to see this plan.
     
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  4. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    About time. Never thought I would see this in my life time.
     
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  5. Chris Walker

    Chris Walker Ullr Is Lord Skier

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    Really happy to see the upgrade to Winter Park's woefully inadequate snowmaking system. It's so frustrating during lean early seasons like this year when the crowds are there but only 1 or 2 lifts are running. It seems like they can only make snow on one trail at a time.

    The Zephyr gondola will be a big help too, especially for a couple hours in the mornings.

    Edit: here's an article with a few more details on the Winter Park projects:

    https://www.skyhinews.com/news/just...ress-to-be-replaced-by-new-10-person-gondola/
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  6. aerojack

    aerojack Putting on skis Skier

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    Unfortunately it is a catch-22...these things will be nice, but make it too nice and it brings in hoards.

    So it will be nice, if everything stayed the same except these improvements...since it won't, only time will tell if it is a net benefit.
     
  7. Philpug

    Philpug The season is over when we say it's over. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Well, lets hope you make it till next year.
     
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  8. tball

    tball Zippered Up Skier

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    I'm really excited about this:

    "Logging operations will also be conducted over 21 acres of Eagle Wind Territory improving the gladed skiing experience in the area while also contributing to the overall health of the forest by removing dead and dying timber that will promote forest vegetation," resort officials stated.
    Beetle kill has been fantastic for WP/MJ tree skiing.

    And the snowmaking is long overdue. It will make an enormous difference early season when WP has gotten its butt kicked in getting terrain open prior to natural snowfall.
     
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  9. Chris Walker

    Chris Walker Ullr Is Lord Skier

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    Yah but the hordes are coming regardless.

    I have been having this argument with my dad for my entire adult life. He says building more highways only attracts more traffic and I say traffic is coming anyway so you may as well have enough lanes to accommodate it. Who knows who is right. :huh:
     
  10. aerojack

    aerojack Putting on skis Skier

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    Maybe the hordes will come. Maybe not if they have alternatives they prefer (see Loveland vs rest of Summit county).

    My last line agrees with your last line. Not saying it definitely will get worse, but rather I’ll withhold judgement on if I am excited about it in a few years.

    It is a delicate balance to keep ecosystems stable. And humans tend to be really bad about maintaining that balance.

    On a side note, WP seems big enough to me to handle more people, but man does it seem like most people stick to a few areas on the front side that make getting to the base hairy at times.
     
  11. LKLA

    LKLA Out on the slopes Skier

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    I get what you are saying but this could be the inflection point from which other resorts decide to make similar investments, bringing all the resorts up.

    Or could be the point at which those resorts that do no make investments and improvements become less and less desirable and thus go out of business.

    Investing in lifts, snowmaking, lodges, ski schools, rental shops, dining offerings,...is a good thing. Often a needed investment due to the extreme wear and tear cause by skiers and the weather. Sometimes its due to new safety legislation. Often, it is done on the back of having consulted with their guests to see what their guests want and how their experience can be improved.

    Of course there are two sides to everything in life, but that is life. It's not just the ski industry. If movie theater put in recliners and stadium seating and surround sound then it would be "foolish" (perhaps unrealistic is a better word) to see it as a negative because more people will now be coming to see movies there.
     
  12. aerojack

    aerojack Putting on skis Skier

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    But, it is a negative if you are already happy with the movie theater and more people end up coming because it has invested in things you don't care about (e.g., for skiing, gondola's).

    Maintaining is one thing, upscaling another. I don't fault Alterra for doing what they are doing, I am just not necessarily ready to celebrate it and am a little concerned about the direction.
     
  13. LKLA

    LKLA Out on the slopes Skier

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    I get your point, and I myself often feel the same about certain things changing. But, while I may not like it, the majority of people do, which is likely the reason why the theater is making the change to the seats or the ski resort owner is adding the gondola. Most movie theater goers I know like reclining seats and most skiers I know would welcome a gondola and if asked would tell the resort owner/operator to install one.

    But there is no doubt that even something that would seem to be nothing but positive - such as a gondola - can indeed cause issues. If they install a gondola but do not fix any issues with overall skier traffic patterns, potential safety concerns at the base or drop off, impact on trail access/flow... it can come back to bite them.
     
  14. Ron

    Ron AKA Finndog Pugski Ski Tester

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    this is long overdue and will be a nice upgrade to the base area. Much welcomed.
     
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  15. Brad

    Brad Booting up Skier

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    Really looking like Alterra and Ikon are expecting a lot of crossover customers from epic. Copper and WP changing their lifts probably indicates they expect a significantly higher number of skiers.
     
  16. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    Certainly hope so. Way too old to brave that ultra cold 15 minute ride.
     
  17. Eric W

    Eric W Booting up Skier

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    I've been to Stratton a bunch of times. Didn't realize this lift even existed. I guess I just always went down to the Gondola since everything is pretty accessible at Stratton from the Gondola.
     
  18. PinnacleJim

    PinnacleJim Putting on skis Skier

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    Copper is owned by Powdr, not Alterra. Powdr is also putting $16m into Killington this summer. I guess they are finally spending some of the money they got from Vail for the sale of the Park City base.
     
  19. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

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    Copper and WP are both unlimited skiing days on the Ikon Base Pass so it is nice to see management responding in advance in a big and significant way to expected increases in skier visits.

    I skied WP for the first time a couple of seasons ago and was very impressed with the glades skiing in the Eagle Wind area, so more tree thinning:yeah:

    BTW, from a marketing point of view having the word "wind" in the name of an area :nono:. OTOH the "Mary Jane" area probably works in Colorado.:duck:
     
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  20. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    The existing unload at the same location as the gondola.
    No one wants to ride the existing snow bowl chair because it is slow, cold and windy.
    A high speed chair at the current location will keep most of the skier traffic from the west side of the mountain from returning to the base area. Will probably reduce the traffic and crowding at the gondola and base area by about 30%.
     
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