palisades tahoe ski resort opens a month early for 2021-2022 season
Big improvements are scheduled at resorts like California's Palisades Tahoe; (photo/EQ Roy)

Massive Ski Resort Owner Announces Largest-Ever Investment in Properties

Alterra Mountain Company owns some headline properties in the ski resort world. This week, it announced it will drop record cash on its multiple big-mountain destinations.

Palisades Tahoe, Steamboat, Mammoth Mountain, and other high-profile ski mountains are about to get some significant upgrades.

On Monday, the resorts’ owner, Alterra Mountain Company, announced its largest-ever single-year investment in capital improvements. In winter 2022-2023, it plans to drop a massive $344 million on its keynote properties.

Alterra Mountain Company’s Investment Plan

The recently announced plan will dedicate $237 million of that to “large scale resort development.” That includes $93 million in increased capacity and terrain expansion, $91 million in skier services upgrades, and $16 million in guest experience technology, both remote and on-site.

Alterra will channel funds toward five major destinations. Plan on seeing upgrades if you ski or ride at any of the following:

  • Steamboat Ski Resort (Colo.)
  • Palisades Tahoe (Calif.)
  • Deer Valley Ski Resort (Utah)
  • Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (Calif.)
  • Crystal Mountain (Wash.)

Rusty Gregory, CEO of Alterra, stressed base areas and guest experience as its main focuses. “More than ever, we continue to infuse meaningful capital into projects that will transform our base areas while significantly improving our physical and digital on-mountain offerings,” he said.

Translation? With these cash investments, Alterra aims to change the experience for everyday skiers.

Here’s a breakdown of what the company plans to do at each resort.

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Steamboat Springs

  • $90 million investment will cover relocating the Christie Peak Express lift’s lower terminal and the first leg of the Wild Blue Gondola.
  • Wild Blue Gondola will access a new mid-mountain beginner area.
  • Steamboat Square renovation, including food courts, ice skating rink, restrooms, and lockers.

Palisades Tahoe

  • The long-awaited $65 million base-to-base gondola at Palisades Tahoe will be completed for the 2022-2023 winter season. The structure will directly connect the resort’s two mountains and combined 6,000 acres of rideable terrain.
  • It connects The Village at Palisades Tahoe with Alpine Lodge.
  • It will be the first gondola of its kind in North America, with four terminals and a climb of nearly 2,000 vertical feet.
palisades tahoes gondola
Planning for the Palisades Tahoe base-to-base gondola, including renderings like this one, got underway as early as 2015; (photo/Palisades Tahoe)

Deer Valley Resort

  • Snow Park Village improvements include a “reimagined plaza” and arrival area. New additions include hospitality, food and beverage options, retail outlets, and a ski beach.
  • The new Burns Express chairlift will serve the Wide West beginner area. The new lift will connect the Snow Park base area to Little Baldy Mountain, offering Ski School access to more beginner teaching terrain. It will also create another option for skiers to navigate out of the main arrival area.

Mammoth Mountain

  • Work to replace two key lifts, Canyon Express and Broadway Express, will begin in summer 2022. The resort aims to open the high-speed six-pack chairlifts in winter 2023-2024.
  • Woolly’s Adventure Summit tubing area will expand, reconfigure, and open during summer.
    Other Woolly’s improvements include one of the longest mountain coasters in North America and adventure ropes courses. A permanent base lodge with food and beverage services is also on the list.
  • Snowmaking improvements to open more terrain faster during the early season.
  • Improvements at the Mill Café include expanded seating and restrooms, new furnishings, and a facelift.
  • Funding for the planned redevelopment of the Main Lodge and Mammoth Mountain Inn.
Snowmaking at Mammoth Mountain in 2018; (photo/Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort)
Snowmaking at Mammoth Mountain in 2018; (photo/Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort)

Crystal Mountain

  • $100 million over 5 years invested in the base area, focusing on greater access, more space, and enhanced skier services.
  • $25 million in added parking and a two-story skier services building, Mountain Commons. The structure will house ticketing, retail, dining, and an expanded slopeside beach area.
  • Mountain Commons will break ground in March 2022 and targets winter 2023-2024 for opening.
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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.