The Sinister Plot Behind The Super-Mega Pass

by The Editors on March 5, 2019

It’s barely March and already the resort industrial complex is inundating us with marketing for their super-mega season passes for the winter of 2019-2020. Really? Already? Why are they doing this and what does it mean all mean? We’re glad you asked.

Before we dive in let’s make one thing clear — obviously if you ride 20 days a year or more at the same few resorts owned by the same corporation then buying a super-mega pass is a no-brainer. Spend the $950 and get on it. If, however, you enjoy controlling your own money, waiting for good snow, and riding different resorts all season long, here are a few things you might want to consider before shelling out hard earned cash on an Epic or Ikon pass.

The corporations that run ski resorts in North America (Alterra Mountain Company and Vail Resorts) have very sound business reasons for selling super-mega season passes and they have nothing to do with giving you a good deal. They’re not interested in saving you a boatload of money. And it’s not because they’re putting their guest’s needs first. It all comes down to three main goals:

  1. They want your money now. Not next year. Now!
  2. They want ALL your money. Resorts don’t want you to spend a dime with their competitors (or competitor as the case may be in North America).
  3. They want to offload all their weather related business risks to you so they won’t have to worry as much when a bad snow year strikes.

Once you understand this, the whole mega-pass gambit makes more sense — for the resorts. Look at the way they promote their mega-pass sales. It’s like they’re setting up a con. First, they manufacture scarcity to increase perceived value: “This special deal is available for a limited time only.” We’ve all see the emails, “You have one more week to lock in savings.” “Hurry, this deal won’t last forever.” Why won’t it last? Good question. It could last all season. There’s nothing stopping the resorts from selling super-mega passes all season long. It wouldn’t even be that bad a deal for them. People who bought passes later in the year would have fewer chances to use them. You’d think resorts would do that. But selling passes later in the season doesn’t get your money a year in advance and lock you into their resort for the entire season, and it certainly doesn’t protect resort owners from the specter of a bad snow year.

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Resorts Just Love Spruce Beetles

by The Editors on September 24, 2018

How do ski resorts get more rideable terrain when most of their mountains are covered in trees? They can’t go in and clear cut it just yet, but with a little help from a tree killer known as the Spruce Beetle they can open up new runs no problem.

For example, at Monarch Mountain in Colorado they’ve just removed “thousands of trees” from their mountain that have been killed by the beetles according to a story in the Pueblo Chieftain and they couldn’t be happier about it. Who needs trees?

“It is kind of cool because as we’ve gotten into it and removed the dead trees we have opened up a lot more terrain, and that’s an opportunity for people to ski terrain they could not get to before. I think our guests will be pleasantly surprised,” said Randy Stroud, Monarch’s general manager.

Many of the trees are still good enough to be used for lumber, so that’s a plus, too. For the rest of the story, including the part about how clearing the trees is helping to eradicate the spruce beetle problem, and how school kids a learning about ecology through the tree clearing, follow the jump.

[Link: Pueblo Chieftain]


Vail Resorts Consumes Three More Mountains

by The Editors on June 4, 2018

The Vail Resorts borg is apparently not satiated just yet as it “entered into a purchase agreement” with Triple Peaks, LLC the owners of Okemo Mountain, in Ludlow, Vt., Mount Sunapee, in Newbury, N.H., and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

The sale includes the three ski resort operations, as well as Okemo Valley Golf Club in Ludlow, Vt., and Tater Hill Golf Club in Windham, Vt. As part of the transaction, Vail Resorts will also own the leasehold assets presently owned by Och-Ziff Real Estate. . . “Diane and I are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished at the three resorts for the last 36 years,” remarked Tim Mueller, co-owner and president of Triple Peaks, LLC. “We have had the great privilege of working with a lot of smart, hardworking, dedicated team members, as well as many other people in the local communities and the states where the resorts are located.”

Yes, young slider, soon you’ll only need one pass to ride them all. For the official word from Triple Peaks, please follow the jump.

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Winter Not Over At Mt. Hood Meadows

by The Editors on April 12, 2018

Don’t write the 2017-18 snow season off just yet Mt. Hood Meadows is still in the think of it with an expected three feet of the fresh stuff by Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Vice President of Marketing Dave Tragethon says it is definitely still winter on the mountain, saying, “It’s awesome to have this kind of powder skiing when so many other ski areas across the country have already closed for the season.” Meadows continues daily operations through April 22, and then operates Fridays – Sundays for the next two weekends (April 27, 28, 29 and May 4, 5, 6). A season ending party is scheduled Saturday, May 12, the resort’s last day of winter operations. 

There’s a lot coming up including reVegetate, 11th annual Sno-Kona Pond Skim, and much more. So get up and take one last bite before you shift into summer mode. For the official word, follow the jump.

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Georgian Chairlift Rollback Distaster

by The Editors on March 16, 2018

Resort professionals certainly have all kinds of great reasons why this could never happen at your favorite resort, yet today (March 16, 2018) it happened at “Gudauri, a resort on the Greater Caucasus mountain range in Georgia,” according to a story in the Washington Post. Eight people were reportedly injured, but no one died, thankfully. Guess the big lesson from this clip is to jump off before you get to the bullwheel.

[Link: Washington Post]


Mammoth CEO Becomes Alterra CEO

by The Editors on February 9, 2018

In what would seem to be good news for fans of Mammoth Mountain, former CEO and partial owner Rusty Gregory has been named chief executive officer of Alterra Mountain Company, the parent company of most of the resorts formerly known as Mammoth, Intrawest, and Aspen Skiing Company.

Mr. Gregory will focus on establishing the newly-formed Alterra Mountain Company’s culture and developing the growth, operating and guest service strategies for its platform of mountain destinations across North America, while leading its more than 20,000 employees. . . “I’m thrilled to be leading the Alterra Mountain Company team in its formative years at such a pivotal time in the mountain destination industry. This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with so many highly respected industry leaders and some of the most iconic mountain destinations in North America,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer of Alterra Mountain Company. “Together we will create a high performing enterprise by focusing on what’s important – our guests, our employees, and our mountain communities. We will build our business by enhancing and enriching the lives and experiences of each.”

At least Aspen and the Colorado crew aren’t taking things over just yet. Viva California. For the official word from Alterra, please follow the jump.

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Utah Neighbors Not Happy With Woodward

by The Editors on January 23, 2018

Camp Woodward’s recently approved action sports park near Gorgoza Park on Interstate 80 in the Pinebrook neighborhood of Park City, Utah has some local residents up in arms, according to a story on KPCW.

A group of Pinebrook residents filed an appeal last week against the proposed Camp Woodward youth recreation facility near Gorgoza Park, arguing that the the facility will have negative impacts on their neighborhood. 

The neighbors are complaining about snowblowers, noise, lights, traffic, and a chairlift that goes much higher than it was supposed to go. For the entire story, click the link.

[Link: KPCW]


Mountain High Opens Dec. 6, 2017

by The Editors on December 5, 2017

Hey, SoCal, just a little reminder that Mountain High is opening tomorrow (Wednesday, December 6, 2017). If you’re up for skipping school (or work) tomorrow might be the day.

Top-to-bottom terrain features and trails for beginner to intermediate skiers and snowboarders will be available the moment the lifts start spinning. Mountain High has nearly three times the water available for snowmaking this year which means better coverage, more terrain features and longer seasons. . . “We are absolutely stoked about the new season,” said John McColly, Mountain High chief marketing officer. “It’s expected to be a great one with new features in our terrain park, new online ticket products, and tons of water for snowmaking. This winter will be packed with fun events, not to mention the Olympics, so grab your season passes now. We don’t want you to miss a moment of this epic season.”

The best part? Tickets are only $49 and there will be give-a-ways rolling all day. Follow the jump for all the official details.

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Mammoth Is Now Open For 2017-18

by The Editors on November 9, 2017

Here’s the first chair proof. And by the size of that Mammoth line, we’re guessing these four had to camp out to get it. From other photos we’ve seen, coverage is a little thin. But there are a few “features” in the park so what more do we really need?


Minus Zero Fest Moves To Mount Snow

by The Editors on November 9, 2017

Tickets are going on sale 10 AM EST on November 15, 2017 for Minus Zero winter sport and music festival April 6, 7 & 8, 2018, at Mount Snow, Vermont

Last year, a sold-out crowd of thousands hit the slopes and partied at MINUS ZERO, which featured over three stages of music featuring over 50 top international and emerging electronic music acts including Bassnectar, Zeds Dead, GRiZ, Illenium and Claptone, snowboarding with a Rail Jam & Jump competition and a demo from some of the top pro-boarders including Carinthia Team athletes Nate Haust and Jeremy Ellenberg.

For all the details, follow the jump or click here to buy tickets.

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