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Northern Rockies/Alberta ALTERRA MOUNTAIN COMPANY TO ACQUIRE SCHWEITZER IN IDAHO

JohnL

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I am a local with a condo up at the hill. Very curious how this plays out. I don’t know much about how the rest of their portfolio operates - both good and bad.

As has been stated - the vibe of the mountain has been changing for a while. No more local mountain. Ikon pass and pandemic accelerated that.

Not sure what to expect or how I feel about it just yet.
BTW, love your account name.

Reminds me of one of my haunts in Chapel Hill, NC.

 

New2

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I bet the $199 spring pass and sub-$50 afternoon tickets at Schweitzer are gone forever. And if the remove the blackouts for Ikon Base passholders at Schweitzer, I'd imagine those days could get significantly more crowded. But I don't think the experience is likely to change that much outside of those holidays... visitation will continue to grow, but probably won't spike upwards, with increases largely driven primarily by local population growth and Seattle-area visitors. It's just too inconvenient from most of the country.

As a Spokane local, this definitely makes it more likely that I'll spring for an Ikon pass one of these years... Schwetizer + 5 or 7 days at Red is some very good skiing, even if it will require more driving than I'd like. It's kind of a shame that Alterra didn't buy Silver or Red instead... they both need some pretty major capital investments in the coming years to get to the next level (or just to tread water, in Silver's case), and Alterra's been willing to spend. But I think my own selfish preference is to keep the other local spots independent.
 

fatbob

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Before this becomes another gripe against other skiers invading a local's area let's remember your gripe is primarily against resort ownership that sold out and/or the changing world in terms of WFH flexibility. If you think you have something precious then the only way of keeping it as you like is to collectively buy it out as a community and keep your own rules of access.
 
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Tricia

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Before this becomes another gripe against other skiers invading a local's area let's remember your gripe is primarily against resort ownership that sold out and/or the changing world in terms of WFH flexibility. If you think you have something precious then the only way of keeping it as you like is to collectively buy it out as a community and keep your own rules of access.
Frankly, I haven't seen a ton of griping in this thread thus far. Those who know Schweitzer well seem to be okay with it and are looking at it optimistically.
 

markojp

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I don't recall an airstrip in Sandpoint... yes? No? I only ask because private aircraft accessiblity would seem to be part of the 'let's go and buy a place there' equation for more isolated resorts aka SV, Jackson, Aspen... that ends up hugely skewing real-estate, though Sandpoint is now expensive.... a friend sold their place in town for 1.3 cash after paying 375k about 10 years ago.
 
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Bad Bob

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@markoYes Schweitzer has asmall airport but don't think it has any connections to anywhere or is even jet capable. Coeur d Alene does.

Silver Mountain could be the likely target for Vail. There is all the potential in the world with that hill. A big if here but Silver and 49* North have the same owner, that could make for some interesting possibilities.
 

David Chaus

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So far most of the parking has been free, with paid parking closer to the lodge without an uphill walk. What they do in the future :huh:

The free parking at the upper lot is an uphill climb to get to the lodge and village, but I often boot up at the car, walk to the side of the parking lot and ski down to the Musical Chairs lift. If there's fresh snow you can skate to the run, later ski back to your car, switch skis, and skate back to the slope.

The lower lot is next to the Musical Chairs lift is also free parking.
 

Michael H

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Before this becomes another gripe against other skiers invading a local's area let's remember your gripe is primarily against resort ownership that sold out and/or the changing world in terms of WFH flexibility. If you think you have something precious then the only way of keeping it as you like is to collectively buy it out as a community and keep your own rules of access.
Yep I believe White Pass a smaller but very fun mountain in WA ended up doing pretty much just that. Their skier days with ‘locals’ seems like100% sellout most ski days. It was a heavy snow year but none the less they as a biz group didn’t bow down.
Not sayin Altera is this big evil deal … its a win if you perceive it as a win. Felt good skiing Schweitzer a couple mornings last season. Locals seemed like good peeps to me similar to back on the home hill or elsewhere. We are all locals.
 
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Official press release arrived today on the details.

ALTERRA MOUNTAIN COMPANY CLOSES ACQUISITION OF SCHWEITZER IN IDAHO

The Addition Expands the Company’s Family of Destinations to 17



DENVER, CO, August 22, 2023 – Alterra Mountain Company has announced the closing of the purchase of Schweitzer in Idaho, bringing the company’s total year-round mountain destinations to 17 throughout North America, including the world’s largest heli-skiing operation.

“With the acquisition of Schweitzer, we are excited to expand our presence within the Pacific Northwest skier market,” said Jared Smith, President & CEO, Alterra Mountain Company. “The destination has been a valued partner on the Ikon Pass for several seasons and we are excited to officially welcome the team to the Alterra family.”

Tom Chasse will stay on as President and COO of Schweitzer and will oversee daily operations of the destination while leading the resort’s extensive future capital improvement plans.

“Today Schweitzer begins a new chapter as part of the Alterra family and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Tom Chasse, President & CEO, Schweitzer. “Looking ahead, we will continue to evolve and provide the best family-friendly mountain experience in the region, while upholding the unique values and culture that we’re known for.”

23/24 Ikon Pass access will be expanded to unlimited days at Schweitzer, Ikon Base Pass holders will continue to have five-day access. Current 23/24 Schweitzer pass holders will be contacted in October 2023 to discuss pass options.

Schweitzer is the largest ski area in Idaho and Washington, located in the Selkirk Mountains overlooking the picturesque town of Sandpoint, Idaho, only 80 miles from Spokane, Washington. This beloved year-round destination offers 2,900 acres of big mountain terrain with stunning views of Lake Pend Oreille, Washington, Montana, and Canada and is often recognized for its renowned tree skiing and family fun.

The MKM Trust, which has been the owner and developer of Schweitzer for the past 18 years, will retain non-ski operations and real estate holdings, and will continue to lead future real estate development projects that support the vibrancy of the Schweitzer community.
 

johnnyvw

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Companies don't spend money without a return on investment. To expect the area to not get more crowded is naive, IMO

Yeah, go ahead, call me a pessimist...LOL
 

James

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What happened to Big Sky will happen to Schweitzer.
 

crosscountry

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Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.
Hmm... I know the Pug's gang doesn't go there any more. But it's hardly "too crowded". It went from scary empty to just... half empty.

Sure, it got more expensive. Though I suck it up and commuted from Bozeman. It worked out ok. Last season was soooo good. I used up all my 5 days there and wished I had the 2 more. Wish I had the full IKON.

Do I wish it was still the old price? Maybe, I guess. I would have stayed on mountain instead of having to commute. But it end up costing me a lot less this way. Free 5 day pass from IKON, inexpensive lodging in Bozeman. Cheaper eat too. What's not to like? Oh, right, the commute, that I don't exactly like. But for anyone who put up with the Cottonwoods, Bozeman to Big Sky is no biggie.
 
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KingGrump

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But for anyone who put up with the Cottonwoods, Bozeman to Big Sky is no biggie.

Getting up out of the base been a pain past few years. Not what I like to see at a out of the way resort.

The Cottonwood canyon areas are the same nobody goes there resorts. The skiing there are good but not good enough to put up with the pain. Won't go there unless we are staying on top of the hill. There are plenty of good skiing still around without the pain.
 

James

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Interesting that they need to charge $75 extra for the Lone Peak tram. They also needed a high speed 8 pack at the base. But it’s not crowded.
Before Ikon it was out of the way. Now it’s a target.
 

New2

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I think Big Sky is likely a good comparison of where things are headed... Schweitzer is likely going to keep getting busier and see a big chunk of their potential expansion terrain turn into a semi-connected private development like Yellowstone Club. But Schweitzer is a lot further from commercial air service, so I think it will continue lagging behind.
 

crosscountry

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Getting up out of the base been a pain past few years. Not what I like to see at a out of the way resort.
It's no more out of way than Jackson Hole.

Before Ikon it was out of the way. Now it’s a target.
Jackson is a destination for the longest time. Big Sky should have been but was not, not for many. That is, until now.

Still, Big Sky has huge terrain. The lack of uphill capacity is a minor annoyance. As long as the long lift line doesn't translate into crowded slopes, it's not "crowded" in my book.

Aspen is actually more accessible than Jackson. But it's much less crowded than Jackson, with or without IKON. It's the price (and hard limit of bed #) of lodging that limits the level of crowding at Aspen. Big Sky will be similar as Aspen. Acreage vs # bed.
I think Big Sky is likely a good comparison of where things are headed... Schweitzer
Schweitzer, Big Sky, Aspen, Sun Valley, these are all "destination" ski resorts.

Ok, maybe Schweitzer wasn't. But it will likely become one. Or at least that's what the owner(s) hope.
 

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