Originally Posted by Rsknight1
I have not followed all the details of the proposals that closely, so maybe I’m all wet, but I don’t understand what Alta and Snowbird really gain from One Wasatch type deal. They may get a few more ticket sales (or shared ticket revenue), some food sales, some rentals, but no real estate…. and that is where the money is. In return, they get much more traffic and a degraded experience. On the other hand, PC/Canyons gets real estate sales, rentals, retail, a chance to nickel & dime visitors with parking, hotels and also bring crowds to downtown. PC/Canyons make the money and LCC & BCC provide the snow. Maybe the BCC resorts fare better?
Alta and Snowbird are different, and always were. Snowbird was directly controlled by billionaire Dick Bass, who is not in great health and sold part of his stake to the Cumming family before they lost PCMR. He was likely looking for another good steward of the mountain. Alta’s ownership is older, thanks to miner and ski pioneer George H Watson selling those 700 acres for $1.00, which also got him out of tax and other debt issues. The resorts were behind the Mountain Collective pass, and both supported the non-defunct One Wasatch proposal. Why?
Both resorts need skier days when times aren’t busy because there isn’t much else there to genenerate revenue. Alta hit its peak in the 1880’s, with an estimated 1,000 residents, a few saloons, brothels, etc. Today there is the mountain. Outside of Snowbird, there is little lodging in the canyon and that will likely never change. The road can be a traffic disaster on powder days. It is one thing to remain “purist” with slow but necessary and tasteful changes, but the owners want the resorts to do well financially. Solitude and Brighton were not doing well (Solitude was sold and ownership of Brighton will probably soon change). Snowbird never had an issue with money due to the deep Bass pockets, but he made his billions understanding P&L statements. I imagine iconic Alta wasn’t doing that well financially so it tried the pass with Snowbird while retaining the snowboard ban. Regardless, no one wants to run a company that can’t generate enough money to reserve for stuff like lift replacement and needed upgrades, so everyone looks at increasing skier days and/or raising prices. Connected resorts will do both, keeping prices the same for locals who want one resort and raising prices for those that want it all. Skier days increase.
Those who argue that they don’t want to see more skiers on “their” mountain are ignoring the fact that the ski industry is declining, not growing.