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The ALTERRA SUCKS Thread

AdironRider

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As for crowding at partner resorts, sorry, that's on the partner's management. K could require reservations for Ikon. It is their choice not to... So apparently management either just doesn't believe they're over capacity...or just doesn't care and simply wants the revenue. Either way that's on K, not Ikon/Alterra.

Jackson realized this and put in a reservation system and a cap on Ikon redemptions.
 

tumbler

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I've been good with Sugarbush under Alterra. Yes, Northridge is an issue but has been for decades. There has been money invested in capital and a new Heavens Gate will be great. The crowds at holiday times are lite because of the blackout which is great but the busiest weekends have not exceeded what has been in the past. MLK weekend used to be a total sh*tshow. The vibe has changed a bit with the more transient skier but the core is still there with still a large amount of Sugarbush only skiers. Sure, it's not getting the investment amount that Steamboat is but it's not like the place is falling down either. I consider the new employee housing a great use of capital which will help the on mountain experience. There things that could be done better but it has not turned into what the Vail owned mountains have become in NH.
 

boston_e

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Is infrastructure capacity really being exceeded though? Or is like DrJeff said it more that people's perception of capacity is different from the reality of actual capacity. I really haven't heard anyone say every lift at K has long waits. Conversely every time I hear someone talk about K's lifts being crowded someone else chimes in that there are plenty of other lifts at K that have short lines.

As for crowding at partner resorts, sorry, that's on the partner's management. K could require reservations for Ikon. It is their choice not to... So apparently management either just doesn't believe they're over capacity...or just doesn't care and simply wants the revenue. Either way that's on K, not Ikon/Alterra.
I would say that if people are having to park down by the lookout or illegally park on route, four down by sky ship that yes, as a minimum parking capacity infrastructure is being exceeded… Even if that is only happened on a small handful of days each year.

I would also think that if crowding is at a point where our guests are starting to feel unsafe (even if people like you and I know where to go to escape it) then yes, one could argue that capacity is being exceeded.

To Jeff’s point I would agree that probably technical fire code capacity, etc. versus the capacity as far as providing a quality guest experience are two different things… But I would argue the quality guest experience is the more important one, and will be reached before things like fire code, etc.
 

VTSkiBike

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I've been good with Sugarbush under Alterra. Yes, Northridge is an issue but has been for decades. There has been money invested in capital and a new Heavens Gate will be great. The crowds at holiday times are lite because of the blackout which is great but the busiest weekends have not exceeded what has been in the past. MLK weekend used to be a total sh*tshow. The vibe has changed a bit with the more transient skier but the core is still there with still a large amount of Sugarbush only skiers. Sure, it's not getting the investment amount that Steamboat is but it's not like the place is falling down either. I consider the new employee housing a great use of capital which will help the on mountain experience. There things that could be done better but it has not turned into what the Vail owned mountains have become in NH.

As a local who's been skiing Sugarbush since before the Alterra days, I completely agree. I don't get the hate for Alterra when you look at mess Vail made of their resorts in VT and NH.
 

cdskier

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I would say that if people are having to park down by the lookout or illegally park on route, four down by sky ship that yes, as a minimum parking capacity infrastructure is being exceeded… Even if that is only happened on a small handful of days each year.

I would also think that if crowding is at a point where our guests are starting to feel unsafe (even if people like you and I know where to go to escape it) then yes, one could argue that capacity is being exceeded.

To Jeff’s point I would agree that probably technical fire code capacity, etc. versus the capacity as far as providing a quality guest experience are two different things… But I would argue the quality guest experience is the more important one, and will be reached before things like fire code, etc.

I'd be curious to know how actual skier visit numbers compare. I'm not necessarily sure that parking alone is a good indicator. There are ways for there to be more cars, but not necessarily more people if patterns and habits change. For example less carpooling/families/people per car, or more day-trippers and less people staying locally that maybe took shuttles in the past. Without actual data it is hard to say. In the late 90s/early 2000s K was hitting right around 1M visits a year. It then dropped in the late 00s down to around 700K before they stopped reporting numbers. Are they back to 1M now? Are they substantially higher than that?

As for quality guest experience, again, that can be controlled if the mountain desires to do so. Has nothing to do with Alterra though in the case of K as K has the power to make their own decisions.
 

skiur

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I would say that if people are having to park down by the lookout or illegally park on route, four down by sky ship that yes, as a minimum parking capacity infrastructure is being exceeded… Even if that is only happened on a small handful of days each year.

I would also think that if crowding is at a point where our guests are starting to feel unsafe (even if people like you and I know where to go to escape it) then yes, one could argue that capacity is being exceeded.

To Jeff’s point I would agree that probably technical fire code capacity, etc. versus the capacity as far as providing a quality guest experience are two different things… But I would argue the quality guest experience is the more important one, and will be reached before things like fire code, etc.

But on the days that parking is down to the lookout and on rt 4 by skyeship the bear lot is half empty. K is trying to get people to park at bear by opening a lift there at 7:30 on Saturday but the lot rarely gets more than half full.
 

cdskier

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Its likely a combination of many things. increased Ikon visits, change in traveling habits, unreliable condo shuttles, etc.

Agreed. The reality is usually that there are multiple factors at play at the same time. People always look for a single thing to blame, but that is not often the case. It is just easier for a single scapegoat to be chosen.
 

cdskier

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But on the days that parking is down to the lookout and on rt 4 by skyeship the bear lot is half empty. K is trying to get people to park at bear by opening a lift there at 7:30 on Saturday but the lot rarely gets more than half full.

So that's interesting and really shows that they're not necessarily over-capacity even from a parking standpoint. It is just people being either stubborn or unaware of the available options.
 

BodeMiller1

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AdironRider said:
Can you name a single capital improvement at Wildcat under Peak or prior without googling? Their one high speed is ancient. The other lifts even more so.

They converted the gondola going to the top to a detachable Quad. Was this an improvement? More skiers at a faster rate. They used to make a fortune in the fall running the gondola. Waited a good half hour on Septober 25 years or so ago.

Note: Septober is a real word I coined it working for Waste Management. Does Waste want credit for the word? Doubt it. :unsure:
 

BodeMiller1

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Guess what? If everyone wants the latest and greatest lifts the cost of skiing will never come down. (y)
 

drjeff

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So that's interesting and really shows that they're not necessarily over-capacity even from a parking standpoint. It is just people being either stubborn or unaware of the available options.
I think some of what plays with the parking at the Route 4 Skyeship Base at K is there is the perception, by many, that it's either way too far out of the way from the rest of the resort, or thta there aren't any services there, so if someone parks there, it may seem to them like they're loosing 1/2 of their skiing/riding day just getting from there into the core of the resort and then back there at the end of the day.

Never felt that way myself, even with the old K 3 stage K gondola was still around, my family would often park at the Route 4 base and begin/end our day there. And the only time it really felt like we "wasted" a day was the 1st or 2nd season Juggernaut opened, and Northeast Passage was still in play all the way down to the 100/4 junction, and me, my brother and and my parents rode all 3 stages to the top, then skied (more like poled and skated) all 10 miles of Juggernaut down to the Northeast Passage base, had lunch at that point at the Back Behind Saloon, then rode the Northeast Passage Triple back up (was able to read all of War and Peace twice on that ride ;) )and by that point we were thinking that it was nearing the time that we'd have to head back down to the Route 4 base to get to the car!
 

cdskier

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I think some of what plays with the parking at the Route 4 Skyeship Base at K is there is the perception, by many, that it's either way too far out of the way from the rest of the resort, or thta there aren't any services there, so if someone parks there, it may seem to them like they're loosing 1/2 of their skiing/riding day just getting from there into the core of the resort and then back there at the end of the day.

Never felt that way myself, even with the old K 3 stage K gondola was still around, my family would often park at the Route 4 base and begin/end our day there. And the only time it really felt like we "wasted" a day was the 1st or 2nd season Juggernaut opened, and Northeast Passage was still in play all the way down to the 100/4 junction, and me, my brother and and my parents rode all 3 stages to the top, then skied (more like poled and skated) all 10 miles of Juggernaut down to the Northeast Passage base, had lunch at that point at the Back Behind Saloon, then rode the Northeast Passage Triple back up (was able to read all of War and Peace twice on that ride ;) )and by that point we were thinking that it was nearing the time that we'd have to head back down to the Route 4 base to get to the car!

I think you might have misread something. The Skyeship base is over capacity parking wise some days, meanwhile Bear is half empty. Could be a lot of people that don't feel like driving up the mountain. But that's not really a valid excuse. If you get there too late and Skyeship is full, you go to another lot.
 

AdironRider

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Snowmaking. The system failed one season.

Haha ok fair. I do kind of chuckle at calling that an improvement, they really just patched together a system that broke but it was indeed capital spending.

I think the point stands though that Peak wasn't exactly pouring money into the place.
 

skiur

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Skyeship base parking is full (both sides of rt 4) almost every Saturday it's open. It is a very popular place to park.
 

thetrailboss

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I'd be curious to know how actual skier visit numbers compare. I'm not necessarily sure that parking alone is a good indicator. There are ways for there to be more cars, but not necessarily more people if patterns and habits change. For example less carpooling/families/people per car, or more day-trippers and less people staying locally that maybe took shuttles in the past. Without actual data it is hard to say. In the late 90s/early 2000s K was hitting right around 1M visits a year. It then dropped in the late 00s down to around 700K before they stopped reporting numbers. Are they back to 1M now? Are they substantially higher than that?

As for quality guest experience, again, that can be controlled if the mountain desires to do so. Has nothing to do with Alterra though in the case of K as K has the power to make their own decisions.
So, for reference, in the first two seasons of IKON, Alterra's talking points (that were repeated by the partner mountains) was that the increase in traffic from IKON was 20%. Alterra spun it as not a big increase. Critics noted that the increase was during already peak times. Since then, the partners and Alterra have quietly throttled back on access. IKON Base now is not accepted at places like Alta, Jackson, and Aspen. Alterra also created three tiers of IKON. Going forward, I think we will continue to see IKON Base slowly evolve into a midweek option in order to push folks to the higher pricepoints while also trying to restrict crowding.

And you're absolutely right that the partners have some say in IKON access. Alta, Jackson, and Aspen (although Aspen doesn't really count because they own Alterra) all demanded a more restrictions. Boyne has long required reservations and limits them. Several Boyne employees have told me that Boyne "doesn't need IKON" and it is gravy. The one that you mention, POWDR, is the biggest IKON fanboy and has pretty much focused on the IKON traffic for revenue. I have to wonder if POWDR is somehow a minority owner in Alterra or setting up to sell to Alterra.
 

thetrailboss

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Haha ok fair. I do kind of chuckle at calling that an improvement, they really just patched together a system that broke but it was indeed capital spending.

I think the point stands though that Peak wasn't exactly pouring money into the place.
I agree with you. I was going to say that arguably the work was really maintenance. I know that the pipe replacement was extensive. I also know that they added a few fan guns here and there but it was nothing to write home about.
 

AdironRider

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AdironRider said:
Can you name a single capital improvement at Wildcat under Peak or prior without googling? Their one high speed is ancient. The other lifts even more so.

They converted the gondola going to the top to a detachable Quad. Was this an improvement? More skiers at a faster rate. They used to make a fortune in the fall running the gondola. Waited a good half hour on Septober 25 years or so ago.

Note: Septober is a real word I coined it working for Waste Management. Does Waste want credit for the word? Doubt it. :unsure:

That change happened well before Peak ownership.
 
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