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

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Tricia

Tricia

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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.

This Pug goes there, but I do it differently to figure out lodging.
For me crowds are not the issue. Even on the crowdest experience I had there, which was just this past March, it was more than manageable.
Its the lodging that we found crazy.
$500/night is a little pricy when you're planning on staying for a week.
 

James

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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.
Yep, I’ll bet 75% of Ikon pass buyers see Schweitzer on the list and have no idea where or what it is. I know someone who’s been traveling there for years, then just before covid bought property in Sandpoint. He’s not going to be all that happy.
 

Jwrags

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Schweitzer is roughly a two hour drive from the Spokane airport, according to Google. I have never been there but doubt they have the lodging infrastructure, yet, for it to get too crowded. Jackson has a lot of lodging because of how overwhelmingly busy their summer season is so a lot of people can make the pilgrimage there. Maybe Schweitzer gets overrun some day but I doubt it will be in the near future.
 

crosscountry

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Depends on where one is coming from.
If coming from SLC, Big Sky is only an hour longer drive than Jackson.

If flying in from other cities, it's no more or less difficult to fly into Bozeman than Jackson. (there's a shuttle bus from Bozeman airport to Big Sky. A longer ride, but works the same way just as the bus from Jackson airport into the village)
 

David Chaus

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The last two seasons with Schweitzer on the Ikon, I haven’t noticed much of a difference in parking or lift lines. Maybe locals have a different experience. It’s still very low-key compared to other similarly sized resorts.
 

New2

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I bet the $199 spring pass and sub-$50 afternoon tickets at Schweitzer are gone forever.

First season, at least, afternoon re-loads are a reasonable $45 ($50 without the reload). So good job, Alterra, on letting Schweitzer continue to price to be relevant for locals!
 

TonyPlush

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I visited Schweitzer two years ago for the first time. I believe that was the first year they arrived on the Ikon pass? Back then, a few locals told me they estimated the mountain was 30% more crowded than pre-Ikon. They also blamed the post-Covid era and general explosion of the region’s housing market. I still found the mountain pretty quiet overall.

As far as the Big Sky trajectory comparison, I don’t see it. I love Schweitzer, but I don’t think it has the same sexy, headline-grabbing marketing potential as a place like Big Sky. I say that because it seems the average vacationing skier in America gets excited mostly about two things: 1) massive acreage and 2) gnarly steeps (that most can’t ski). Big Sky has always had both, and it felt inevitable that one day people would wake up to this place that was bigger, steeper, and even a shorter drive from the airport than just about anywhere else on the continent. Not to mention that Lone Peak just looks like it belongs in a ski magazine. By comparison, Schweitzer doesn’t have the same draw. Sure, it’s a lot bigger than most realize (and room to expand, especially because I believe the nearby cat terrain shares some ownership?) but it’s nowhere near as “extreme” or “big” as Big Sky.

I think a better comparison is Steamboat, and I imagine Alterra sees similar potential. But how crowded would Steamboat be if it wasn’t within driving distance from Denver?

Infrastructure at Schweitzer is larger than most expect, since I’m told the town of Sandpoint is actually more of a summer destination, and the locals consider winter to be the quiet season. So there’s a Jackson Hole similarity there. That said, the resort is really proud of their newly developed hotel at the base - one of just two or three choices - which has a whopping… 31 rooms total.

Schweitzer is definitely an undervalued asset. But I imagine it will be a long time before we see unrecognizable change. At least I hope so…
 

James

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. I say that because it seems the average vacationing skier in America gets excited mostly about two things: 1) massive acreage and 2) gnarly steeps (that most can’t ski).
Not so much on #2
Gnarly steeps does not describe Vail, with 5x the skier visits of Big Sky. Even more than that compared to Telluride, Crested Butte.
 

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