QFT. Until and unless they run out of space at the Squaw base, that's where they'll build. It comes down to network effects.
Which is why, for a couple of years now, I've told my friends that the surest way to keep Alpine the same, or as close to it as possible, was to merge.
Remember that Alpine announced a similar start date last year, and after it dumped, scrambled to get open for Thanksgiving. The difference is that this year, unlike last, there hasn't been a passholder outcry, presumably because passholders could still hit Squaw and the conditions aren't exactly compelling.