Was the past one a great ski season? Enjoy it for now!
From Bloomberg Business
This past winter’s weird weather patterns delivered record snowfalls. There are now five North American ski resorts still open and even Mammoth is planning to use its chairlifts in August.
The ski industry – a business of $8.4 million in North America has gone from being really bad, to have a good year even when there is a fallout of climate change.
It was a record year for skier days in the US – as the National Ski Areas Association published there was an 11% increase in skier days from the prior year reaching 59 million skier days in the US.
Both Alterra and Vail Resorts have taken advantage of this. From November through April, Vail received 13.7 million skier days – a 20% year on year. Total revenue increased 14.5 percent to $1.8 billion.
Alterra Mountain Company Announces $181 Million in Capital Improvements for the 2019/2020 Winter Season
The Investment is Part of $555 Million Improvement Plan through 2022/2023
Alterra Mountain Company announces its plans to invest $181 million in capital improvements across its 14 North American mountain destinations for the upcoming year. Marquee 2019/2020 projects aimed at enhancing the guest experience include new high-speed lifts at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Winter Park, direct to lift access at Deer Valley Resort, an expansive renovation of the Bobbie Burns lodge at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, and an upgrade of Steamboat’s gondola.
This year’s $181 million plan includes $32.3 million towards improved gondolas and lifts, a $27.1 million investment in innovation to offer customer-friendly technology, $8.3 million towards state-of-the-art snowmaking, $6.2 million dedicated to expanded dining experiences, $6.3 million in summer activity investments, and nearly $10 million in planning efforts to unlock future potential terrain and lift expansions, base area developments, new dining facilities, and four-season activity offerings.
These capital projects are part of an ambitious improvement plan totaling more than half a billion dollars through the 2022/2023 season, focused on elevating the guest experience at all destinations, after an initial $170 million investment for the 2018/2019 season.
“Alterra Mountain Company’s unique year-round mountain destinations offer skiers, riders and summer visitors of all ages from all over the world special, memorable experiences, and each aspect of our business plays a part in bringing the guest back year after year and inspiring a lifelong love of the mountains,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “We are committed to investing in everything from lifts to snowmaking to creative dining experiences, and technology that weaves it all together for a seamless visit.”
Significant improvements for the 2019/2020 season include:
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, California
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will replace the Hot Wheels lift at Alpine Meadows with a new high-speed quad with an extended second leg to the ridge, granting skiers and riders quicker access to the Alpine and Sherwood areas. New surface lifts at High Camp at Squaw Valley will improve connectivity with High Camp facilities and enhance the beginner experience.
Deer Valley Resort, Utah
Deer Valley Resort will have direct-to-lift access for winter 19/20 after an investment in RFID technology. This will streamline and speed up the on-mountain experience, and Ikon Pass holders will no longer have to visit the ticket window, giving skiers more time on the mountain.
The IKON Pass Valid for 2019 Winter Season at Valle Nevado
DENVER, CO, November 5, 2018 – Ikon Pass, the new standard in season passes, announces Valle Nevado in Chile as its newest partner, now offering access to nearly 77,000 acres at 37 premier mountain destinations across the planet. The Ikon Pass is available for purchase at www.ikonpass.com and through select travel partners.
In addition to access to winter 2018/2019 at 35 destinations in North America and Japan, Valle Nevado joins Australia’s Thredbo to offer Ikon Pass holders skiing and riding during the Southern Hemisphere’s 2019 winter season. Ikon Pass holders will have seven-day access to Valle Nevado on the Ikon Pass with no blackout dates, and five-day access on the Ikon Base Pass, also with no blackout dates. Valle Nevado’s 2019 winter season will run from June to September.
Valle Nevado in Chile, located just 90 minutes from the Santiago International Airport, sits at 10,000 feet in the spectacular Andes Mountains, the second highest peaks in the world. It is South America’s foremost mountain destination, offering access to the largest amount of terrain and the most modern lift system on the continent.
“Valle Nevado is an ideal addition to the Ikon Pass community. Now Ikon Pass holders can extend their 2019 season by booking a trip to Chile for the legendary above-treeline terrain in the Andes that Valle Nevado serves up,” said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer of Alterra Mountain Company. “South America is full of passionate skiers and riders who can also now take advantage of an endless winter with the Ikon Pass as they hit the slopes of North America during the 2018/2019 winter season.”
Alterra is expecting to sell 250,000 of the new IKON Pass while Vail Resorts stated that their sales of the EPIC Pass are up thanks mostly to the $99 military pass. This was the excerpt heard during the annual Governor’s Tourism Conference at the Talisa Hotel in Vail. The “Trends in ski” panel with Alterra’s Head of Sales Bob Stinchcomb, Vail Resorts marketing chief Kieran Cain and Powdr’s Jennifer Rudolph.
Lauren Berlamino, of Karsh Hagan, a marketing, design and tech company started the discussion with where the whole ski industry is in Colorado, noting the challenges of shorter seasons due to climate change and aging demographic. The opportunities to be had are the experiences beyond skiing and the leading the way in sustainability.
One-fifth of skiers are 55 years or older, with some of the most avid participants are aged 70 and older. Skiers and snowboarders visits in the country have increased from 8.7 million in 1996-97 to 9.2 million in 2017-18. Berlamino states that this growth does not correlate with the overall population growth over the past years.
“It kind of sounds like we’re facing an uphill battle, but really Colorado is doing amazing in this industry,” she said. “I think nobody’s better positioned than our state to continue to ride this momentum and be successful amidst all this change that we’re seeing.”
According to the National Ski Areas Association, Colorado’s share of overnight ski trips in the calendar year of 2017 was 21 percent, followed by California at 13.7 percent. Of the 53.2 million skier visits, that’s about 11 million visitors to Colorado.
DENVER, Colo., September 6, 2018 – Alterra Mountain Company’s Ikon Pass and the Denver Broncos are teaming up on an integrated multi-year partnership, making the Ikon Pass the Preferred Ski Pass of Broncos Country.
The partnership is designed to provide Ikon Pass exposure to millions of fans nationwide throughout Broncos Country, a passionate group of fans who follow the team and visit Broncos Stadium at Mile High during each Broncos home game.
Creative elements at Broncos Stadium at Mile High will provide a glimpse into Ikon Pass premium destinations and generate visibility for the multi-resort pass product through branding at the Mile High Mountain Village between Gates 4 and 5 and LED in-stadium signage. The partnership also includes website, TV and radio advertisements and activations featuring appearances by Broncos mascot, Miles, cheerleaders and alumni.
“Football season is here and winter 2018-2019 is around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to announce a partnership between the Ikon Pass and the Denver Broncos,” said Jimmy Huh, Director Media Marketing. “These are two brands with passionate fan support and a natural fit for anyone who is a fan of the Denver Broncos.”
Expanding Regional Access to the Company’s Family of Destinations. Alterra Mountain Company, the owner of the IKON Pass, announces that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington, which would bring the company’s total to 14 year-round mountain destinations throughout North America, including the world’s largest heli-skiing operation.
“With the addition of Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington, we are able to expand our reach into the Pacific Northwest and offer our guests incredible experiences in the Cascade Mountains, while also giving Crystal Mountain Resort skiers and riders the opportunity to explore all the other premier destinations on the Ikon Pass,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “Crystal Mountain is Washington’s premier resort and has been a favorite year-round destination for those in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area for years, and we are excited to include it in the Alterra Mountain Company family.”
Crystal Mountain Resort will be available on the Ikon Pass for winter 2018/2019. Access will be unlimited with no blackout dates on both the Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass. (Any Ikon Pass access or benefits at Crystal Mountain Resort is contingent upon the completion of Alterra Mountain Company’s transaction to acquire Crystal Mountain Resort.)
The Ikon Pass Now Offers Skiers & Riders Access on Three Continents
Ikon Pass holders will now have access to more than 72,000 skiable acres over three continents with the addition of Niseko United, located on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. Japan is home to some of the planet’s most plentiful and light snow, making Niseko United a bucket list destination for any skier and rider on the hunt for fresh powder.
Niseko United is regarded as Japan’s premier mountain destination and is comprised of four ski resorts located on one mountain – Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and Annupuri. Famous for the consistency and quality of its snow, Niseko United receives 50+ feet of snowfall every winter with just 7% of water content from crystallized moisture picked up from the Sea of Japan. Multi-million dollar investments in accommodation and infrastructure make Niseko United an excellent destination for families and powder hounds.
Loon Mountain, Sugarloaf and Sunday River Increase Access; Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, The Summit at Snoqualmie, and Cypress Mountain Join the Ikon Pass Community.
The Ikon Pass community has expanded to all corners of the country with the addition of The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington, Cypress Mountain in British Columbia and Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain in Michigan. Plus, access to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire and Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine just tripled.
The Summit at Snoqualmie, Cypress Mountain, Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain will offer 7 days each on the Ikon Pass, and 5 days each on the Ikon Base Pass with 10 holiday blackout dates, (Dec. 26 – 31, 2018; Jan. 19 – 20, 2019; Feb. 16 – 17, 2019).
Loon Mountain, Sugarloaf, and Sunday River originally offered 7 days combined between the three destinations on the Ikon Pass, (5 days combined between the three destinations on the Ikon Base Pass) and will now offer 7 days at each destination (5 days at each destination on the Ikon Base Pass), bringing access to 21 days total on the Ikon Pass (15 days total on the Ikon Base Pass).
The Ikon Pass announces that Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico will join the Ikon Pass community for winter 2018/2019, offering expanded access across the Rockies from British Columbia to New Mexico.
Taos is the southern gateway to the Rocky Mountains, nestled in an intimate valley where Spanish Colonial and Native American history meet a European village. The mountain boasts over 100 trails, including expert hike-to terrain on Kachina Peak. Taos Ski Valley is in the midst of a $300 million overhaul with new infrastructure and updated amenities, including the recently opened ski-in/ski-out hotel, The Blake, and a new high-speed quad chairlift for winter 2018/2019.