Well, it didn’t take long for Alterra Mountain Company to get down to business.
On Monday, March 12, the Denver-based conglomerate, which was formed last year when investment firm Henry Crown and Co. (Aspen et al) and KSL Capital Partners (Squaw Valley et al) embarked on a joint venture, announced it was going to plunk down more than a half-billion dollars over the next five years in capital improvements on the the more than a dozen resorts it operates in the United States and Canada.
“At our core we area ski company . . . (and) it is our commitment to invest in each of destinations in order to grow the sport,” Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory said in a statement. “We will do that through thoughtful and innovative capital investment that improves a guest’s experience.”
Of the budgeted $550 million improvement package, nearly one quarter of it ($130 million) will be doled out for the 2018-19 season across seven resorts in four states and one Canadian province for things such as snowmaking upgrading, lift replacement and structure redesign/overhaul.
Here a brief rundown on what is expected to be happening at those resorts:
The Zephyr Express quad will be replaced by a gondola, increasing uphill capacity to 3,200 riders per hour and cutting wait times on busy days by an estimated 15 minutes. The Colorado resort will also have its 42-year-old snowmaking system modernized.
A complete redesign of the Canyon Lodge over the next two years is on tap for the California resort, with new retail space, better access to ticket windows and rentals, improved food and beverage services and a renovation of the snow beach area.
The Bear River restaurant, a popular apres gathering place at the Colorado resort, will be overhauled and redesigned, with a new kitchen, enhanced menu options and increased seating capacity.
The Quebec resort will have its Lowell Thomas chair replaced by a high-speed detachable quad and its snowmaking system will be expanded.
The base area at the California resort will have a makeover, including enhancements to existing facilities, pedestrian areas and the learn-to-ski area.
A brand new snowmaking system will be unveiled next winter at the West Virginia resort, increasing output and efficiency to open more trails in early December and reducing electricity use.
A high-speed detachable lift will replace the fix-gripped Snowbowl chair at the Vermont resort.