The Supreme Area is now closed to all backcountry skiing. Click here to view the closure map. 

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Last updated: 2:00PM 12/11/2019

Alta Blog

100 Days to Winter

100 Days to Winter

| 16 Comments | August 12th, 2019 | By Mike Maughan


A Message from Alta's General Manager, Mike Maughan:

There is already a chill in the air at Alta and in just 100 days we will kick off the 2019-20 ski season—launching into our 82nd season. We are excited about the prospects of another stellar ski season and hope Mother Nature is on the same page. 

Recap of Last Season

Snow. Snow. Snow. What a season it was. We received new snow on 52% of the days we were open last season, totaling 626” or 81 inches above average for our 81st season. It was our fifth-busiest season on record and I hope you were one of the many Alta passholders that skied more days last season than previous seasons.

Summer Projects

If you have visited Alta this summer you may have noticed that we are undertaking two important projects—an expansion of Alf’s Restaurant and improvements to the Albion parking lot.   

Alf’s Restaurant

The popularity of the new Supreme lift has made Alf’s restaurant a busier and more vibrant mid-mountain restaurant location than ever before. To accommodate these new demands on Alf's, we are bringing forward some needed and exciting changes.

  • We are expanding Alf’s restaurant to the north and adding approximately 150 seats.
  • We are expanding the building to the south to permanently enclose the exterior demo center space for a retail ski shop.
  • A coffee shop and restrooms are being added on the snow level on the corner of the building closest to the Sugarloaf lift.
  • We are also giving the exterior of the building a facelift.
Albion Lot

During the past couple of decades, Alta has used parking spaces in its parking lots to facilitate and provide infrastructure for mass transit. Bus staging zones and passenger drop off/loading zones have been created and expanded. We are expanding the Albion lot to recoup parking spots that have been dedicated towards important mass transit needs. Remember the steep ramp driving into the Albion lot?  We are also changing the grade of the west end of the parking lot to improve visibility, safety and traffic flow. UDOT is also considering installing a roundabout at the entrance to the Albion lot next summer. 

 

Land Exchanges

During the past 60 days, the administrative land exchange process between the US Forest Service and the four Cottonwood Canyon ski areas has come to an end. Insurmountable differences in land valuations, split mineral and surface estate issues, requirements that lands being traded not have mining tunnels under them or mining overburden on them, and the Forest Service’s clarification regarding base area lands they would exchange, no longer make the proposed land exchange between the Forest Service and the ski areas feasible. While Congress could legislatively authorize a land exchange despite these issues, it is our understanding that the likelihood of them doing so is very low and it is not in the public’s best interest due to the valuation differences.

 

CWC, Federal Legislation & UDOT

Alta encourages Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) to continue its efforts to provide a recreational and transportation system in the Cottonwood Canyons that accommodates current and increasing demand while minimizing impacts upon watershed, wildlife, and the ecosystems in the Canyons. We have respectfully requested to be involved in the drafting of any legislation that has ramifications upon Alta Ski Area’s private lands and the public lands under its special use permit, as well as, public lands between the ski areas that may be used for transportation solutions. 

UDOT is preparing an environmental impact statement in partnership with Utah Transit Authority and the US Forest Service to address “immediate challenges and inefficiencies of mobility, trailhead parking and avalanche mitigation in Little Cottonwood Canyon.” We have been actively involved in providing data and input regarding transportation solutions for Little Cottonwood Canyon.

 

The Future

Climate change, increasing winter and summer demand, multi-resort passes, and traffic congestion are all issues that we are actively monitoring and working on with a variety of other stakeholders. Alta is a beautiful and delicate, yet, rugged place that we love and cherish. We are committed to providing skiing experiences in a natural mountain setting while managing the impact upon the environment.  During the past 81 years, we have worked closely with the Forest Service and other public entities to protect the watershed, wetlands, ecosystems and wildlife in Alta. These efforts are reflected in the Alta we have today—a beautiful place with clean water, a healthy forest and a vibrant ecosystem.

A local moose enjoys Albion Basin

We are looking forward to another awesome ski season that will start in 100 days from today, conditions permitting. Hope to see you on the slopes.


Posted in: #AltaSummer #AltaNews


  
Martha P Truss August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Nice update Mike.

Thank you
Martha

Rebecca August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Hi,
It is my understanding that season passes to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Aspen Mountain will include base Ikon pass benefits. Will Alta be providing the same?

Alta August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Hi Rebecca - Alta will not be providing that option this season as we feel strongly that the value of a $1,099 Alta season pass is very competitive in comparison to the higher season pass pricing at Jackson and Aspen. Thanks for reaching out.

Craig Wilson August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Thanks for the update. But you’re wrong if you think the new Supreme lift is “popular.” It’s brutal — and the run out is the worse. Hardly, an improvement. CW

Alan Gillette August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Thanks for the update. I am glad to see the Alpenglow (sorry...Alf's) get a much needed expansion. I am surprised to hear CW complain about the new Sup chair. It's just fine. If he wants "brutal" may I suggest a ride on the Sugar chair on storm day! Looking forward to another season on the race crew.

ralph edward tarricone August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

good news on the improvements to alf*s rest. the run off of the new lift at sup. is just fine

Colin Reid August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Great update. I'm looking forward to my 32nd season at Alta! I loved the Car Pool Parking last season in the Collins/Wildcat lot. I felt like a VIP when I parked there.

Ronald Chappell August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Thank you for your continued 80+ program. We on fixed pensions appreciate the ability to continue in our favorite sport throughout the winter (and hope to continue till at least 100:). In that vein, I take time to swing by the 'green' often to encourage the newbies with a quickie balance and form demo consistent with the ski school lessons which I encourage. I believe that this would have meant everything to me had I learned stance and balance before joining ski schools where I have taught.
I especially enjoy the wild and natural terrain at Alta which sets it apart from many of the venues where I have skied. Because of the ambiance of Alta, it has always been a favorite in western US, Great Work!
Glad to see that Alf's is growing, it was getting really crowed on weekends and hope it will add a significant revenue for the resort bottom line.
Ronald Chappell
ps. No need to worry about CO2 AGW. Take it from an old scientist from JHU/APL, it will be limited to under 1 C. this century. (The sun however has a mind if its own but is presently cooperating in the colder direction)

Dan Amicucci August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Thank you for update. I may be bucking the trend but personally I relish the simplicity and low key vibe Alta offers. Keep it simple. We don't need crowds. I believe we all love the quaintness Alta so uniquely offers.

Keep up the great work.

Sally Shropshire August 13, 2019 Reply to Post

Love Alta, and the efforts to preserve this beautiful place!

Casey August 14, 2019 Reply to Post

Thanks for the details and continued attention to Alta’s rugged, cherished, resilient community and environment.
Anticipating my annual migration:)
#AdmittedAltaholic

Be well.
Casey Guilfoyle

Bob August 17, 2019 Reply to Post

"it is not in the public’s best interest due to the valuation differences."

So Alta's exchange offer was basically unfair to the public in that the land they were to receive was worth far more than that which they are were willing to give up?

Jan Brunvand August 19, 2019 Reply to Post

In remodeling Alf's I hope you keep all the funky wall decor of vintage ski gear. It would be nice, too, if someone could update the info and photos of the Wild Old Bunch at the cafeteria line entrance. Maybe you could also even install a larger round table for the WOB, as some days we outnumber the seats. Yeah, I know we old guys are skiing free, but we add some atmosphere to the place, going back, as some of us do, to the days of that vintage wall art and even the days of Alf himself. Counting the days until opening day!

Jude Rubadue August 26, 2019 Reply to Post

All the best wishes, thank you Mike.

Jude

Brooke Gordan August 30, 2019 Reply to Post

Loved the updates. Very informative. Feeling good about the future at Alta. Thanks, Mike

Barb September 5, 2019 Reply to Post

Looking forward to skiing Alta in January. Will be visiting Park City and skiing on my Epic pass but will gladly pay the day pass rate to ski at Alta for a couple of days at least. I hope the vibe at Alta doesn't change too much as you adapt to your new needs. I love that place.

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