Alyeska Ski Resort is pushing back it’s opening date from the traditional Thanksgiving opening until December 15th. The resort cites changing weather and budgetary reasons for the later opening.
The resort is just not seeing the ROI in opening before the mountain can be fully operational. Simply put, Alyeska needs more skiers and snowboarders to hit the slopes than the hardcore pass holders who will head to the hill to ski the early season conditions.
Will other ski resort follow?
With the consolidation of ski resorts and changing weather patterns it is more likely that we will see ski resorts across North America opening later and closing earlier.
One of the main reasons we believe you will see this change is because of the push by resorts to lock skiers and snowboarders into season passes. With day tickets reaching north of $175 and mega passes offering even more resort options skiers are opting to buy passes opposed to day tickets. With this shift to season pass sales resorts loss the incentive to open the slopes in the hopes of generating revenue through ticket window sales.
Video by ktuu.com
Marketing director Eric Fullerton told ktuu, “Sometimes we’ll get the inversion where there’s rain on the bottom and there’s a lot of snow on top and it makes it difficult to ski all the way to the bottom” Fullerton said. “Or it flip flops and there’s not enough snow on the top and we got snow on the bottom.”
Fullerton goes on to say, “You gotta have return on that investment at some point, and that’s really what’s happening here” Fullerton said. “If we only have the lower half of the mountain running and there’s only one restaurant available for people to eat at, then you know the numbers don’t add up for the amount of people you need to have to keep things going, right?”
The ski business is not an easy business to be in and we understand the need for resorts to cover their nut in order to stay viable. However, this totally sucks for us skiers and riders.
Welcome to your new reality.