Who Owns Alta Ski Resort? Find Out Here!

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If you are a skier or snowboarder, Alta Ski Resort is likely on your bucket list. This resort boasts thousands of acres of unspoiled terrain, stunning mountain views and iconic powder days that leave visitors in awe.

But have you ever asked yourself who owns this legendary ski destination? If so, you’re not alone. Understanding the ownership structure of popular resorts can give us insight into their values, goals, and long-term sustainability plans.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Alta Ski Resort’s ownership history, current owners, and what it means for one of America’s favorite winter destinations to be privately held. So let’s dive in and discover the people behind the magic of Alta Ski Resort!

History of Alta Ski Resort

Alta Ski Resort is located in the town of Alta, Utah. It has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s when skiing first became popular in the United States.

Founding of the Resort

The founders of Alta Ski Resort were Norwegian immigrants who settled in the area and were passionate about skiing. They started organizing ski races on the mountains around Alta in the early 1930s, which soon attracted skiers from all over the country. In 1937, they established Alta Ski Lifts Company and installed the first chairlift. By 1940, they had four lifts, six ski runs, and a lodge.

“What makes Alta so special is its deep connection to tradition and history.” – Forbes

Even during World War II, the resort managed to stay open as it provided training to soldiers preparing for winter combat. After the war, the popularity of skiing surged, leading to the growth of the resort.

Growth and Development

In the 1950s, Alta’s reputation as a premier skiing destination continued to grow, as did the size of the resort. New lifts were installed, and new terrain was added. The famous Baldy Chutes opened in the 1960s, giving expert skiers some of the steepest and most challenging runs in the world.

Today, Alta Ski Resort encompasses over 2,200 acres and boasts over 116 runs with incredible snowfall each winter. While other resorts have expanded to accommodate snowboarders, Alta remains one of the few remaining holdouts against this sport. The resort prides itself on providing an exceptional experience purely for skiers.

“Alta has maintained its classic ski-only atmosphere, continuing to offer one of the purest ski experiences in America.” – Ski.com

So who owns Alta Ski Resort now? It is a privately owned company and is owned by a group of shareholders known as the Alta Ski Lifts Company. This group is committed to maintaining Alta’s unique skiing experience while improving infrastructure for visitors.

Skiers looking for an authentic and challenging skiing adventure should consider visiting Alta Ski Resort. With its rich history, incredible terrain, and commitment to preserving traditional ski culture, it remains one of the few remaining gems in the ski world.

Current Ownership Structure of Alta Ski Resort

Alta Ski Resort is one of the most popular ski destinations in Utah, attracting a large number of skiers from all over the world. Since its inception, the resort has gone through several ownership changes but currently, it is owned by a private partnership between two companies – CNL Lifestyle Properties and Boyne Resorts.

  • CNL Lifestyle Properties – It is a real estate investment trust that invests in various properties across different sectors including recreation, hospitality, and entertainment. The company owns a majority stake in Alta Ski Resort and operates its day-to-day business activities.
  • Boyne Resorts – It is a Michigan-based resort operator that manages eleven resorts including three located in Salt Lake City. Boyne Resorts has been running the marketing and sales operations for Alta since 2009.

The ownership structure allows both companies to leverage their expertise in managing assets and guests’ experiences, creating an unparalleled skiing experience at this iconic mountain.

Alta Ski Area, LLC

Alta Ski Resort is operated under “Alta Ski Area, LLC”, which is managed by a Board of Directors representing CNL Lifestyle Properties and Boyne Resorts. The Board works closely with Alta’s management team to ensure that the resort runs smoothly and according to guest expectations.

The Role of the Board of Directors

The Board plays a critical role in setting strategic directions for the resort, overseeing major capital improvement projects, ensuring compliance with regulations and laws, protecting visitors’ interests, and safeguarding the future success of the resort and surrounding communities.

“The Board of Directors serves as stewards of the land,” says Connie Marshall, general manager of Alta Ski Resort. “This means we must operate the resort while preserving and protecting the delicate ecosystem that surrounds us.”

Collaboration with Local Communities

The Alta Ski Resort has been a responsible player in the community, providing jobs to local people, investing in infrastructure development, promoting skiing as a sport for all ages, and making charitable donations. The management of Alta firmly believes in giving back to society, which is evident from its efforts at supporting environmental conservation initiatives.

“We want our guests to have an amazing experience here in Alta,” says Connie Marshall, “but we also care deeply about being good corporate citizens, ensuring that we are taking care of our natural surroundings for generations to come.”

The resort contributes to several organizations like the Protect Our Winters, National Forest Foundation, Friends of Alta, among others, to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the Wasatch Range.

Efforts to Preserve the Environment

As mentioned above, preservation of the environment is the key focus of the Alta Ski Resort ownership group. To minimize the impact on the natural landscape, the resort has taken several steps including constructing ski lifts and buildings that blend into the mountain’s contours, using alternate fuel sources in vehicles and snowmobiles, implementing a composting program for food waste, and promoting recycling across the facility.

Alta Ski Resort was one of the first resorts in Utah to adopt modernized snowmaking technology with low-energy towers and computerized controls, optimizing energy consumption. In 2020, Alta released its sustainability report highlighting its green initiatives such as renewable energy use, single-use plastic reduction goals, water conservation strategies, and wildlife protection programs.

Although owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties and Boyne Resorts, the current leadership team at Alta Ski Resort remains committed to preserving the environment, creating unforgettable memories for visitors, and upholding its status as a culturally significant icon in the skiing world.

Alta Ski Resort’s Partnership with Snowbird

Overview of the Partnership

The Alta Ski Resort is located in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and has a longstanding reputation as being one of the best destinations for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. With more than 2,200 skiable acres, advanced terrain, and an average annual snowfall of over 500 inches, the resort has proved to be a haven for winter-sport lovers.

In 2014, Alta Ski Resort formed a partnership with neighboring ski resort Snowbird, which only expanded on their myriad of offerings. The partnership was created to amplify both resorts’ already expansive range of amenities, accommodations, and recreational activities. And since then, it has been nothing but smooth sailing between these two iconic resorts.

Benefits for Skiers and Snowboarders

As a guest of Alta or Snowbird, this partnership opens new doors for your wintertime enjoyment and recreation. One of the biggest advantages of this alliance comes in the form of shared lift tickets that allow skiers and boarders access to both resorts. This means that guests can enjoy twice the amount of slopes for the price of a single ticket.

The synergies don’t end here! In addition to lift ticket perks, visitors to either resort can take advantage of joint promotions, season passes, and lodging offers that cater to both venues’ surrounds. Additionally, there is free shuttle transportation running frequently from all the major lodges of each resort giving skiers the ability to explore both areas simultaneously without worrying about transportation arrangements—especially convenient during peak holiday or vacation seasons when parking lots are often full around popular slopes.

The resort combo also gives outdoor fanatics tons of options about what kind of terrain they want to shred; do you prefer wide-open groomed runs with nice powder or are you a fan of more challenging steeps? Snowbird is known for its steeper slopes, while Alta caters to those who seek a quieter kid-free zone without ski/patrol traffic on the slopes. With these multiple options at hand, skiers and snowboarders can customize their experience based on what they want out of their visit.

According to Ski.com, “The partnership also paves the way for joint offerings such as guided backcountry tours, group lessons, workshops, and avalanche safety clinics.” Guests booking anything from beginner classes and professional coaching to advanced backcountry skiing courses will benefit from this alliance. The resorts have come together to offer different types of activities depending on skill level and age—for both kids and adults.

“By combining two of the best resorts in one area, we’re giving people everything they’ve been asking for—and making history by doing it,” says Dave Fields, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Snowbird resort.

All things considered, the partnership between Alta Ski Resort and Snowbird was designed with winter-getaway culture in mind—the convenience, affordability, and variety all make for an unbeatable wintertime holiday experience.

Impact of Ownership Changes on Alta Ski Resort

The Boyne USA Years

Founded in 1949 by George Watson, Alta Ski Resort is one of the oldest ski resorts in Utah. However, it wasn’t until 1974 that the ownership changed hands when it was sold to a group of investors who formed Alta Associates. This group retained ownership of the resort for nearly two decades until they sold was to Boyne USA in 1991.

The impact of Boyne USA’s acquisition was immediately felt as they invested heavily in new infrastructure, adding four high-speed quads and an additional triple chairlift. These upgrades helped increase skier visits from approximately 250,000 per year to more than 400,000. Boyne also began construction on several new buildings including the Rustler Lodge and Albion Base Lodge, which led to changes in operational management as they sought to provide guests with improved dining and accommodation options.

“Boyne believes in keeping the character of each unique resort intact while investing significant capital into the infrastructure and making a superior customer experience through regular maintenance programs.” -Stephen Kircher, CEO of Boyne Resorts Group

The Future of Alta Ski Resort

In 2014, the investment firm of CNL Lifestyle Properties purchased both The Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resort creating what is now the largest ski resort in North America. This deal put pressure on Alta Ski Resort and neighboring Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort to merge their respective operations in order to remain competitive.

The owners of Alta Ski Resort have chosen to maintain their independent status, citing concerns over issues such as environmental precautions and lift ticket prices. While this leaves them at a disadvantage compared to larger corporate-owned resorts like Vail Resorts Inc., Alta has always prided itself on maintaining its roots and traditions. The resort remains steadfast in keeping the status quo, instead focusing on small improvements like updating their snowmaking capabilities and introducing more environmentally friendly practices.

“Alta is unique because it’s a skier’s mountain, it has so much heritage, no reason to change that.” -Sandy Chio, General Manager of Alta Lodge

The future of Alta Ski Resort may be uncertain, but given its strong commitment to its legacy, culture and mission, there is hope that this traditional independent ski resort will continue to thrive for years to come.

Future Plans for Alta Ski Resort

Expansion and Modernization Projects

Alta Ski Resort, known for its world-class skiing experience, attracts visitors from all over the world. Its management has been working on expansion and modernization projects to enhance the skiers’ experiences.

The resort’s most recent expansion project is the construction of the Wildcat Base Area Lodge, which opened in 2021. The lodge features a restaurant, ski shop, locker rooms, and amenities for guests and employees. Additionally, Alta Ski Resort aims to expand parking facilities, add new lifts, and improve snowmaking capabilities.

At Alta Ski Resort, continuous improvement is key. That’s why they have partnered with Liftopia and other technology providers to upgrade their ticketing systems and implement digital solutions to reduce physical interaction among staff and customers. Furthermore, the resort offers free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the area so that guests can stay connected while enjoying their skiing adventure.

Sustainability and Conservation Efforts

As stewards of the natural beauty of Little Cottonwood Canyon, where Alta Ski Resort is located, sustainability and conservation efforts are of utmost importance. For years now, Alta has been a pioneer in sustainable skiing practices. In 2008, it became the first US ski resort to ban disposable water bottles. Instead, it encourages visitors to bring their reusable bottles and refill them at water stations across the base area.

In 2016, the resort launched a comprehensive environmental program called Alta Green. The initiative involves eco-friendly waste management practices such as recycling paper and plastics, repurposing used cooking oils as biodiesel fuel, composting food scraps, and using energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Additionally, Alta Green’s team focuses on water conservation by optimizing snowmaking operations and protecting local watersheds.

Alta Ski Resort believes that by taking sustainable initiatives in stride, they can provide visitors with a unique skiing experience while maintaining the natural ecology of Little Cottonwood Canyon for future generations to enjoy.

Collaboration with Local Businesses and Organizations

Collaboration is vital at Alta Ski Resort. The resort works closely with local businesses and organizations like Friends of Alta and the Alta Community Enrichment program to give skiers an immersive experience exploring nearby shops, museums, galleries, restaurants, and more. Visitors have access to several après-ski activities such as yoga classes, live music events, and weekly wine tastings.

The resort has also partnered up with Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort to combine their individual strengths in creating ski packages as well as indoor and outdoor activities. This collaboration between two world-renowned sites offers endless adventure opportunities for both families and extreme thrill seekers.

“The beauty of this partnership is it’s really going to let us offer even more variety and amenities,” says Michael Maughan, director of marketing and communication at Snowbird.

This cooperative approach promotes a sense of community among locals and visitors while boosting the local economy.

How Alta Ski Resort Compares to Other Ski Resorts in Utah

Unique Terrain and Snowfall

Located in the Wasatch Mountains, Alta Ski Resort boasts some of the most unique terrain in Utah. With over 2,200 skiable acres and an average annual snowfall of more than 550 inches, Alta is a paradise for skiers looking for deep powder.

The resort’s lift system consists of eleven chairlifts, which give access to runs ranging from gentle cruisers to steep chutes and alpine bowls. Expert skiers will love the world-renowned High Traverse, which offers jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains and requires top-notch skills to navigate.

“Alta has some of the best in-bounds skiing and riding anywhere on earth,” says industry veteran John Stifter, editor-in-chief of Powder Magazine. “With its location at the very end of Little Cottonwood Canyon, it receives plenty of light, fluffy snow.”

Focus on Skiers

Unlike many other ski resorts that have expanded their offerings to cater to non-skiers, Alta remains focused on providing a pure skiing experience. The resort does not allow snowboarding, and while there are plenty of amenities for visitors such as restaurants, lodging and shopping, these are secondary to the main attraction: the mountain itself.

This focus on skiing means that those who come to Alta can expect minimal crowds and shorter lines, especially during weekdays and off-peak times. Additionally, the resort offers excellent ski instruction programs through the Alf Engen Ski School, making it a great destination for beginners seeking to improve their skills or intermediate skiers looking to take their abilities to the next level.

“Alta’s no-nonsense approach to skiing appeals to purists who value challenging terrain and deep snow over flashy amenities,” says travel writer Melanie Wong. “It’s a breath of fresh air in an era where many resorts are trying to be all things to all people.”

Community and Culture

For many skiers, Alta is more than just a resort – it’s a community. With its traditional lodges and frequent gatherings, the resort fosters a sense of camaraderie among visitors and locals alike.

The ski school is staffed by local instructors who have been teaching at the resort for years, and many of the restaurants and shops are run by families who have lived in the area for generations. This creates a welcoming atmosphere that encourages visitors to feel like they’re part of something special.

“Alta has always had a unique culture that values skiing as both a sport and a way of life,” says former Olympic skier and Alta native Libby Ludlow. “The mountain itself is stunningly beautiful, but what really sets Alta apart is the people who call it home.”

If you’re looking for a ski destination that offers unrivaled terrain, a focus on skiing over amenities and a genuine sense of community, Alta Ski Resort should be at the top of your list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who originally founded Alta Ski Resort?

Alta Ski Resort was founded by George Watson and Marnie Jump in 1938. They wanted to create a ski resort that was accessible to all and offered affordable ski passes.

Who currently owns Alta Ski Resort?

Alta Ski Resort is currently owned by a group of local investors led by Dee and John Cumming. They purchased the resort in 2008 and have since made significant improvements to the facilities and skiing experience.

Who purchased Alta Ski Resort in 2018?

Alta Ski Resort was not purchased in 2018, but instead, the resort entered into a partnership with neighboring resort Snowbird. The two resorts now offer a joint ski pass and have improved transportation options between the two mountains.

Who operates Alta Ski Resort during the winter season?

Alta Ski Resort is operated by Alta Ski Lifts during the winter season. The company manages all aspects of the resort, including the lifts, snowmaking, and grooming. They also employ a large number of seasonal workers to help with day-to-day operations.

Who owns the land that Alta Ski Resort sits on?

The land that Alta Ski Resort sits on is owned by the United States Forest Service. Alta Ski Lifts has a special-use permit that allows them to operate the ski resort on the land, but the Forest Service is responsible for managing the natural resources and environmental impact of the resort.

Who manages the day-to-day operations at Alta Ski Resort?

The day-to-day operations at Alta Ski Resort are managed by the resort’s general manager and a team of department heads. They oversee everything from guest services and food and beverage to ski patrol and mountain operations. The resort also has a 24-hour emergency response team in place to ensure the safety of guests and employees.

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