The battle between Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Company was unofficially launched yesterday with Alterra’s announcement of 555 Million budgeted at 12 Mountain Destinations over the Next five Years.
The move reinforces Alterra’s 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.
About Alterra Mountain Company
Alterra Mountain Company is a family of 12 iconic year-round destinations, including the world’s largest heli-ski operation, offering the Ikon Pass, the new standard in season passes. The company owns and operates a range of recreation, hospitality, real-estate development, food and beverage and retail businesses. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado with destinations across the continent, we are rooted in the spirit of the mountains and united by a passion for outdoor adventure. Alterra Mountain Company’s family of diverse playgrounds spans five U.S. 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 in Utah; and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia. We honor each destination’s unique character and authenticity and celebrate the legendary adventures and enduring memories they bring to everyone. Alterra Mountain Company also owns Honua Kai Resort and Spa in Hawaii.
About Vail Resorts, Inc.
Vail Resorts is the premier mountain resort company in the world and a leader in luxury, destination-based travel at iconic locations. Our Mountain segment owns and operates ten world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Our mountain segment includes lift ticket, ski & snowboard school, dining and retail & rental businesses.