An update of Alta’s Master Development Plan (MDP) was approved by the USFS in May of 2023. Alta’s MDP is based upon the following objectives:
- Provide a quality ski experience in a natural mountain environment that includes off-piste skiing and groomed run skiing for all levels of skiers. Providing a quality ski experience includes managing the number of skiers allowed at the ski area given conditions, available terrain, and infrastructure.
- Provide facilities, lifts, services, and amenities matched to the comfortable carrying capacity of the skiable terrain within the ski area boundary as needed to accommodate visitation levels. Increase on-site employee housing to attract, retain, and have sufficient employees to operate the ski area.
- Improve and maintain trails and traverses to (1) accommodate skier visitation levels, (2) provide at least two groomed ski runs from the top of each ski lift that can be groomed early season, (3) permit access to skiable terrain during extended periods of high pressure, (4) reduce the snowmaking required to open a ski run, (5) address skier safety issues, and (6) provide more groomed terrain to reduce the density of skiers on groomed runs when off-piste conditions deteriorate.
- Implement, upgrade, and maintain a snowmaking system that permits Alta to provide skiing on man-made snow from the top of ski lifts early season. Increase snowmaking water storage capacity to provide sufficient water flows to efficiently use the snowmaking system and to mitigate the impacts of climate change, which includes fewer days to make snow.
- Mitigate avalanche risk within the ski area. Implement appropriate avalanche mitigation equipment, systems, and processes to reduce risk and improve public safety.
- Be a leader in environmental sustainability in the ski industry focused on conservation, education, mitigation, and restoration. Alta is committed to protecting and improving the environment in sustainable ways that are economically viable and good for the Company and community.
Projects in harmony with the MDP objectives are presented below in three categories, approved projects, projects in review, and accepted projects.
These are projects that the USFS has approved for implementation and the NEPA work has been completed for these projects. Alta will implement these projects as resources and conditions permit.
- Albion Day Lodge Expansion. Expansion of the Albion Day Lodge to provide additional restaurant seating, storage, public restrooms, and employee housing.
- Sugarloaf Patrol Building. Construction of a building for Ski Patrol use at the top of the Sugarloaf Lift. The current Ski Patrol structure is inadequate for current uses and needs.
- Remote Avalanche Control Systems (RACS). Installation of RACS to assist with mitigation work in the Devils Castle and Patsy Marley Areas.
- Snowmaking Reservoir. Construction of 1 million gallon water tank between the Nina’s and Corkscrew ski runs to provide additional water storage for snowmaking.
- Wildcat Lift Replacement.
- High-Mambo Terrain Change. Regrading of a step section of the High-Mambo ski to eliminate a blind breakover and make the grade more consistent with rest of the ski run which is the easiest way down from the top of the Collins Lift.
- Ballroom Traverse. Adjustment of the ballroom traverse grade and width to enable the traverse to hold snow better during low snow conditions.
- Race Course Entry. Removal of a few trees and minor terrain adjustments to allow snowcat access to the Race Course ski run for grooming in low snow conditions.
- Watson Shelter Expansion. Expansion of Watson Shelter to provide additional seating for customers and storage for operational needs.
- Wildcat Base Lodge. Addition of a base lodge building at the Wildcat Base.
- Supreme Snowmaking. Extension of Alta’s snowmaking system to include two groomed runs from the top of the Supreme lift.
- Equipment Storage Building. Construction of an Equipment Storage Building on the north side of the Albion Parking lot to allow storage of equipment and supplies locally rather than at our warehouse on the West side of Salt Lake Valley. This will reduce our use of SR-210, emissions and traffic congestion.
Projects in Review
These are projects that have been accepted by the USFS and are in the NEPA review and USFS screening processes.
- Albion Conveyor Addition. Addition of a new covered conveyor for level 1 and level 2 skiers and provide easier access back to the Albion Day Lodge. The existing conveyor used by the ski school would be moved to a different location as part of this project.
- Roadside Parking Replacement. Expansion parking along the North side of the Wildcat Parking lot and closure of the roadside parking between the Alta Bypass Road and the Alta Lodge. This will improve public safety, reduce traffic congestion, and be more convenient for skiers.
- Traverse Improvements. Terrain improvements along the High Traverse and Thirds traverse to improve retain and skier access to skiable terrain during low snow conditions and extend high pressures. Improvement of the Catherine’s traverse to allow snowcat access for grooming of the So-Long ski run in periods of extended high pressure.
These projects have met USFS screening criteria to allow their inclusion in Alta’s Master Development Plan. These projects need to be further developed and will be subject to additional USFS review and the NEPA process before implementation.
- Employee Housing Building
- Snowmaking Water Storage
- New Ski Lifts
- Ski Run Terrain Improvements
We welcome your feedback and will continue to adjust our plans and develop new plans as conditions change. Thank you for your interest and support of Alta Ski Area. Our visitors and their love of Alta are an important part of what makes the Alta community and mountain so special.