Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Crystal Mountain, Alterra, and USFS Leases
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Brian R
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 3:50 pm 
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One final insult before we depart this state forever, Crystal Mountain's new owners/lease-holders have raised day prices to $139/$149 this season. Opened the year I was born, skied my first runs there for four bucks. Last year's prices seemed high at $88 (?) so I skied mostly at White Pass ($68) or skinned uphill here and there. This year, the new owners, Alterra, want a whopping hundred-and-a-half bucks for a day ticket. If there was any doubt remaining that downhill skiing has become an elite/elitist sport, such denial is now indefensible. Hey Alterra, thanks for screwing families and locals. I will never ski at one of your resorts again.

My question is how the USFS can justify lease extensions to corporations who pull this nonsense? Isn't there a clause? For the benefit and enjoyment of the public? A broader segment, at least? I have no problem with leases, per se--and I'm a free-market guy through and through. But c'mon. I hope the market speaks to this and says NO--and drives these greedy ba$%@&d$ back to Colorado. But given the ongoing 'situation' in this region, I'm not optimistic.
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 5:03 pm 
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My first full-day lift prices were $5 bucks. I guess I started later than you did.
We used to go night skiing up at Ski Acres two or three times a week.
Last time I was on skis was in 1994 at Bogus Basin. Dropped over the wrong side of the hill and got lost outside the west boundary of the area and post-holed it back. Fun.
Lift ticket prices were the primary reason I gave up the sport.

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Randito
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 5:33 pm 
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Aspen charges $199 for a day ticket.   Aspen only want "Beautiful People" to ski at their resort.

Lift ticket prices are one thing, but its the standing around in lift lines that started me ski touring in the 70s.
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 5:41 pm 
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You used to be able to get a day ticket for Hyak for $2 at Earnst when I started. You could ride the dinosaur lift that almost killed governed Dan Evans and ski Hidden Valley on the other side. Gawd I’m old   shakehead.gif

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Brian R
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 6:22 pm 
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I remember standing in line, sometimes for an hour, at the bottom of Lower Exterminator--Chair 1--smell of cigarettes and weed in the cold air watching hippies with K2 USAs and Cheeseburgers doing back flips off the avy-cone. The lifts were slower; we were lucky to get 7 or 8 runs in back then. Now you can ski over 30 laps--if your legs can hold out that long and you don't get clobbered by another skier or boarder. Yes, the equipment is way way better and the lifts are faster and safer. Screw it, I'd take the old days back in a heartbeat--sh##ty bindings and all.

Downhill skiing as a kid with my dad was one bridge toward deeper mountain wilderness experiences later on--mountaineering, x-c ski touring, snowshoeing, backpacking, day hikes. I wonder what that bridge looks like now. How can families afford this? The hippies are long gone.
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Randito
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 10:14 pm 
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Brian R wrote:
How can families afford this?

IDK,  my dad was a Boeing Engineer,  but he taught skiing at Ski Acres in order to afford skiing.  One of the benefits in those days was lift tickets for all four of his kids, plus being on the hand me down ladder from all the other "ski instructor brat" kids.    The first new pair of skis I ever got was a pair of Kongsberg Tur Ski cross country skis we bought at a Osborn and Ulland "SNIAGRAB" for $12 when I was 12.  My dad and I ski toured into the Goat Rocks that spring on those skis and when I was in college a buddy of mine and toured the Enchantments during spring break on those $12 boards.
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Brian R
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 10:33 pm 
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Olin Mark IVs were what the rich folks skied on--with Look bindings. I rode a pair of Rossignol ST Comp Juniors with Tyrolia 444s--and bought my new Nordica boots at Parkland Sports for $68.

Back to my point, does anyone here know what the USFS/Alterra "arrangement" looks like? Does the FS get a percentage of the revenue? or just a flat lease payment? If privately owned areas like Alpental can charge exorbitant rates, more power to 'em. But if our US Forest Service is in kahootz with these Colorado bandits at the expense of the American public--locals in particular--well, there ought to be a public conversation about it.
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Cyclopath
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 10:50 pm 
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Free market capitalism at work, trying to extract as much $$ as possible from a resource.  I agree that the government should step in in the form of USFS requiring reasonably priced access for the public.
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Randito
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 10:57 pm 
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Brian R wrote:
If privately owned areas like Alpental can charge exorbitant rates, more power to 'em.

Only the base lodge and the residental development at the base of Alpental are on privately owned land (from an old mining claim)   The ski lifts and runs are all on USFS public land.
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Brian R
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 11:01 pm 
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I didn't know that.

I rarely ski there since the boarders turned Upper International into a big steep sheet of glare ice two or three decades ago. In fact, I avoid the I-90 corridor year round the last ten years.
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Randito
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 11:04 pm 
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Skiing is a purely optional activity -- if you want to be pissed off about growing income inequallity -- look at housing costs -- the house my dad bought in Lake Hills in 1957 for $15,000 now has a Zestimate of $950,000  -- a 63x increase.   His salary at the time was $5000 / year.

Not many engineering jobs for folks with 2 years experience that pay a $316,000 salary.

It's far worse of people working in lower skilled jobs than engineering.
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Brian R
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 11:07 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
Free market capitalism at work, trying to extract as much $$ as possible from a resource.  I agree that the government should step in in the form of USFS requiring reasonably priced access for the public.

Disagree on the first part. There is negligible resource extraction taking place. I'm more concerned with anti-trust practices embedded in an unholy alliance between the public and private sectors--at the expense of people who just want to enjoy their public lands at a fair price.
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Randito
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 11:11 pm 
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Brian R wrote:
I didn't know that.

I rarely ski there since the boarders turned Upper International into a big steep flat sheet of ice two or three decades ago. In fact, I avoid the I-90 corridor year round the last ten years.

Two things about Chair 2:

1) I appreciate the bumper sticker on the loading station that reads "Sideslipping is not snowboarding"
2) I own a base welder primarily because of all the intermediate snowboarders that ignore the bumper sticker and end up butt checking/ slide slipping down the 1st 50 feet of "Nash" and expose rocks.

With the "geezer pass" from the Summit, bought during the summer,  I'm able to bring the lift riding cost per trip down to about the cost of gasoline for the drive.
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Brian R
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PostFri Jan 01, 2021 11:11 pm 
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Randito wrote:
if you want to be pissed off about growing income inequallity -- look at housing costs -- the house my dad bought in Lake Hills in 1957 for $15,000 now has a Zestimate of $950,000  -- a 63x increase.  His salary at the time was $5000 / year.

That's a political conversation. We're talking about skiing and public lands and nostalgia here.  biggrin.gif
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RodF
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PostSat Jan 02, 2021 12:26 am 
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Brian R wrote:
One final insult before we depart this state forever, Crystal Mountain's new owners/lease-holders have raised day prices to $139/$149 this season.

Same as the entrance and permit fees for a weekend family camping hike in any of our National Parks, alas also an "elite/elistist sport"  frown.gif

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