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Could Alta Survive without Snow Bird?

Poll Results: Could Alta Survive as Skier Only without Snow Bird

Poll expired: Aug 30, 2005  
  • 16% (5)
    Alta Rocks (And would be better off)
  • 10% (3)
    Alta would go broke (New owners GAPER HEAVEN)
  • 70% (21)
    Would make no Differnce
  • 3% (1)
    Who cares, I live VAIL
30 Total Votes  
post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Take away the in Caynon Lodging and activities provided by Snow Bird
In todays market would Alta survive as a (Skier Only Destination)?
post #2 of 8
To me, the areas are mutually exclusive. Some people love Alta. Others, love Snowbird. People like me, love both, and would travel to ski either, regardless of whether the other existed or not. Snowbird is more intense, steeper and gives me more of a rush. Of course, anyone who bombs Great Scott or Silver Fox from top to bottom is gasping for air. While Alta can be tamer, it tuckers me out more. Hiking to find the "epic" stashes, and then floating in chest deep fluff, often leaves me speechless. To me, it is the ultimate "athelete's" area. . Best snow in North America (arguably the world). Who could possibly think that Alta would be better off, or go broke, without Snowbird?
post #3 of 8
I have seen the trend of skier visits over the past decade plus (not including the banner year of 2004-05), and Snowbird's were gradually rising while Alta was down 25% or so from its peak. I believe this was probably due to Alta's lift system, and the new Collins chair was the response.

Could Alta possibly go out of business with that microclimate, terrain, a local population base in SLC and less than an hour from a metro airport? No way. But it was losing market share to areas with more modern facilities.

None of the larger areas would close down. The Canyons is likely buried under an ASC debt load that might not be covered by its 300K+ skier visits. But if ASC goes bankrupt, someone else will buy the Canyons for a fair market price based on the 300K visits.

It is possible I have misinterpreted the poll question, and that the real question is: Would Alta allow snowboarding if Snowbird weren't next door?

In this situation Alta's position would be like Taos, and there would be much more complaining from expert local snowboarders. But if management wanted to keep the ban for philosophical reasons and could survive financially, they would, just like Taos.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker
It is possible I have misinterpreted the poll question, and that the real question is: Would Alta allow snowboarding if Snowbird weren't next door?
Of course not -- snowboarders would just head up BCC instead, which they already do for a large part.
post #5 of 8
I haven't skied Alta for as long as many, but I have been there at least once (sometimes twice) a year for the last 4 years. We plan to go back this season also. We just love it there (we all like ski areas, not resorts.)

Personally, I love having snowbird next door. It gives the boarders a chance to 'ride' LCC powder. I LOVE, repeat, LOVE having no boarders at Alta. I don't care if they raise their tickets to $70, I would rather keep 'Alta is for Skiers', and I have told that to every instructor, management person, and ski patrol that I come across. I don't know how long it will last, though.

I think Alta has a loyal local following that will keep it going. It is a Utah institution.

I don't think it is the facilities that caused declining visitation. It's the snowboarder ban. Many families have kids that board, and won't go there. I think a mixed group of adults is fine, with the combined ticket, but people don't want to put the kids at snowbird ans ski Alta themselves. It is too far.

I like the facilities the way the are. They don't run the high speed lifts at full speed, and there is no development at the base - love it all.

Alta just has the best 'soul' of any mountain I have been to. Any of course the best snow year after year.
post #6 of 8
Heck, the reason I love Alta is there are no boarders. My only complaint is that I like foot rests.
post #7 of 8

The question is moot.

Alta won't have to do without Snowbird, because Snowbird will not magically vanish; a location as exceptionally endowed will always have money to keep it open. Even if Snowbird closed, Alta has an international reputation for, debatably, the best snow in the world, it's close to a major metropolitan area, and has the loyalty of many out of state skiers who travel there every year, if not multiple times a year.
post #8 of 8
Uh, heck yeah Alta would survive w/o Snowbird. What do you think it did from 1938 to 1970, before Snowbird was around? How could the best combo of snow/terrain in the world not survive? Doesn't cost a dime to get all that snow from the sky [minus avy work & plowing]. Alta has and always will be a cash based operation. They have no debt load and pay for everything in cash.
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