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Alterra Mountain Company plans to invest nearly $500 million in transformational changes in the year ahead

Capital investment program focuses on enhancing guest and employee experience

On March 21, Alterra Mountain Company announced a nearly $500 million capital investment program focused on enhancing the guest and employee experience across its destinations over the next year.

Alterra will invest almost $400 million in lifts, snowmaking, summer adventures, additional guest amenities and resort infrastructure; $50 million dedicated to employee housing; and $40 million for technology upgrades to better connect and streamline the guest experience.

In the past year, Alterra has completed three projects, including the opening of the new Base to Base Gondola that remade Palisades Tahoe into the largest ski area in California, the opening of Steamboat’s industry-redefining Greenhorn Ranch Learning Center and the first stage of its Wild Blue Gondola, which will ultimately become the longest gondola in North America and the fastest in the country.

“In our first five years, Alterra Mountain Company has established itself as a proven leader in the outdoor industry, and we intend to continue to innovate by investing in large-scale projects that will deliver differentiated guest experiences,” said Jared Smith, president and CEO at Alterra Mountain Company. “These projects, and our investments in the years ahead, demonstrate our unwavering commitment to evolving our destinations to better serve our guests and to improving the experience our employees can expect when living and working in our mountain communities.”

Elevated guest amenities

To provide guests with options that suit their tastes, Alterra has committed to transforming its base areas and on-mountain amenities, including food and beverage and skier service offerings.

  • In winter 2023–24, Steamboat’s three-year Full Steam Ahead project concludes with adding 655 acres of expert terrain in Mahogany Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon, making Steamboat the second-largest ski resort in Colorado. Wild Blue Gondola will become the longest gondola in North America and the fastest 10-person gondola in the country. Throughout Full Steam Ahead, Steamboat has transformed Steamboat Square and reimagined the resort experience by adding an escalator to eliminate stairs, moving the Steamboat Gondola on snow to make room for a larger Steamboat Square featuring Skeeter’s Ice Rink, the Mountain Stage and the Range Food & Drink Hall, and introducing Greenhorn Ranch, a dedicated beginners’ area on-mountain. This concludes the company’s initial $220 million and three-year investment in Full Steam Ahead.
  • Crystal Mountain’s new 25,000-square-foot skier services facility, Mountain Commons, will bring new guest services and ticketing experience, retail, dining and an expanded slope-side beach area for the 2023–24 winter season.
  • Snowshoe is planning for the new design concept replacing Shavers Center, featuring enhanced skier services, including food and beverage, après offerings and other year-round activities.

In addition, the company plans to enhance the base area offerings at Deer Valley Resort, Winter Park Resort, Palisades Tahoe and Mammoth Mountain in the years ahead.

Increased lift and terrain capacity

Alterra will invest in eight additional lifts, including new or replacement lifts at Steamboat, Mammoth Mountain, Winter Park Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort and Snowshoe Mountain.

  • The completion of Steamboat’s much anticipated Wild Blue Gondola will nearly double out-of-base capacity, whisking skiers and riders to the top of Sunshine Peak at 10,397 feet in about 12 minutes. Steamboat will also add 655 acres of expert terrain in Mahogany Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon, serviced by the new Mahogany Ridge Express high-speed quad lift, making Steamboat the second-largest ski resort in Colorado.
  • Snowshoe will replace the Powder Monkey lift with a fixed-grip quad to increase uphill capacity in the Basin area and improve access to its Western Territory.
  • Pioneer Lift at Winter Park Resort will become a six-pack and benefit from a mid-station loading point for better return skiing.
  • Canyon Express at Mammoth Mountain will be upgraded from a quad to a high-speed six-pack to boost uphill capacity by 25 percent and allow faster reopening after weather events.
  • A high-speed six-pack lift will replace Eagle Express at Solitude Mountain Resort.

Expanded beginner terrain & ski racing courses

Alterra continues investing in beginner terrain and racing facilities to introduce more guests to snow sports. The company’s investments include Steamboat’s new premier Greenhorn Ranch dedicated beginners’ area featuring terrain-based learning, four magic carpets and the Greenhorn Ranch Express, a detachable quad lift. In addition, enhancements are being made to beginners’ areas in Deer Valley Resort, Stratton, Snowshoe and Big Bear Mountain Resort.

Alterra is also investing in recreational ski racing infrastructure, adding free racing courses to each mountain destination in partnership with newly-minted FIS all-time World Cup record-holder Mikaela Shiffrin, U.S. Ski and Snowboard, and Outside Interactive, Inc., owner of NASTAR. Alterra and its partners hope offering these investments for free will invite and ignite the next generation of ski-race champions.

More efficient snowmaking

To help ensure a consistent season length and a quality experience, Alterra is investing in robust, multi-year snowmaking enhancement programs designed to bring higher efficiency equipment to all resorts, most notably overhauling systems at Winter Park Resort, Steamboat, Palisades Tahoe, Sugarbush, Snowshoe and Mammoth Mountain. These new systems favor increased energy efficiency and reduced water usage, allowing its destinations to improve guest experience while reducing the environmental impact.

Additional summer offerings

To provide guests with mountain adventures all year, Alterra continues to reimagine and expand its summer activities to enhance the guest experience beyond the winter season.

  • Mammoth Mountain will debut the revamped Woolly’s Adventure Summit, adding one of North America’s longest mountain coasters after introducing expanded and improved winter tubing lanes this past winter. In addition, Woolly’s will break ground this summer on a permanent base lodge with food and beverage amenities. Future phases include adding a zip coaster, adventure ropes courses and the relocation of Snowmobile Adventures, making Woolly’s Adventure Summit a true year-round center for family mountain adventurers of all ages.

Additional summer offerings include a new alpine slide at Winter Park and an aerial adventure course at Crystal Mountain:

  • The Winter Park Alpine Slide opened in the summer of 1980 as Colorado’s longest alpine slide, with 3,000 feet of smooth track. The track will be replaced this summer.
  • Crystal Mountain’s new Flying Raven Adventure Course will feature a series of aerial challenges, including rope bridges, barrel crossings and treetop ladders and will open this summer.

Enhanced digital guest technology improvements

Alterra is committed to utilizing consumer technology to ease and enhance its guests’ journey from booking to arriving at its destinations. As a result, the company is investing significant capital in improving its digital capabilities. In the year ahead, guests will benefit from additional Ikon Pass app features, significantly streamlined booking and packaging options, new radio frequency identification gate technology at most resorts, and a more connected experience on and off the mountain.

Commitment to employee housing

With its employees’ experience top of mind, Alterra is committed to doubling its portfolio-wide employee housing capacity over the next five-year investment period. This year, the company will add almost 500 workforce housing beds with significant expansion at Palisades Tahoe, Stratton, Tremblant and Winter Park Resort. This will mark the opening of a new premier housing facility that will house over 300 employees on resort grounds. The company also plans for nearly 1,000 additional affordable workforce housing beds across Palisades Tahoe, Blue Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Sugarbush and Deer Valley Resort.