Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Summit at Snoqualmie development plans
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kiliki
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kiliki
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PostWed Apr 20, 2022 8:47 am 
Big plans. https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/summit-2030 Someone remind me--is the Summit partially on private land? Or is the USFS just really into allowing more development these days? Alpine coasters, concerts, paved parking, new lodges, new chairs, new snowmaking. As is the way with most ski resorts much of this is to make it a viable year round business. But top to bottom snowmaking at Central? For those couple dry but reasonably cold weeks we have in January? I do like the zero emissions goal/composting/etc.

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Randito
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PostWed Apr 20, 2022 8:49 am 
The Summit lies on a complex mixture of public and private land in both King and Kittitas Counties. Not shown on those webpages is any indication of what they plan to do with the former Mountaineers private property parcel the summit acquired in recent years. So far the main change has been cutting a "lower crossover" trail between West and Central that allows "blue" skiers to cross between West and Central -- previously crossing between West and Central involved skiing one of the steeper "black" runs. I figure the biggest money maker for the Summit using this parcel of private land is to subdivide it and develop a number of residences. Siimilar to the residences built adjacent to "Dru Bru" and "The Commonweath". (Zestimages around $1M for 3 bdr, 1500sqft) To enhance the value of these propreties -- I would expect they would want to build an "access lift" that would allow ski in/out access. However I've seen no word of any such plans. https://www.mountaineers.org/blog/mountaineers-sell-historic-snoqualmie-pass-property

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altasnob
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PostWed Apr 20, 2022 9:24 am 
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kiliki
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kiliki
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PostWed Apr 20, 2022 11:20 am 
I wonder how Alpental regulars feel about the changes. The last couple years I've gotten a weekday Summit pass and have found that the easy and quick drive, easy parking and lack of people at Silver Fir and Central make up for the limited terrain and short runs. I don't have issues about the changes proposed aside from being confused about the snowmaking.

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altasnob
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PostWed Apr 20, 2022 11:28 am 
As far as I can tell, none of the new chairlift plans announced today are new. They are all part of the master plan, which was approved in 2008. The master plan approved a quad for that international lift that will track out the Alpental back bowls. The latest plans reduce that to a triple lift. https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/master-development-plan They're adding chairlifts but they don't even run the chairlifts they have right now. Alpental is closed on Mondays. Hyak is only open on weekends. I skied Hyak once this winter excited to ski Hidden Valley lift only to find it closed. It was a busy weekend powder day and people were telling me they were having staffing issues (maybe COVID related). Same for Crystal. They only run Gold Hills on weekends in January and February (yet Crystal wants to put up the Bullion Basin lift right next to Gold Hills so it can sit vacant the majority of the time as well). People say we need more ski areas and chairlifts but in reality, ski areas in the Cascades are only busy on peak winter weekends and sit empty the rest of the time. I think today's announcement at Snoqualmie is all marketing (since it is all in their previously approved and released master plan). Crystal announced their plans so Snoqualmie has to remind people they are doing something too. I skied Crystal yesterday and ran into a knowledgeable patroler. I asked him why Crystal was open yesterday (I was glad it was but figured they couldn't be making money on the day as most everyone up there were pass holders). He concurred they Crystal was not making money on the day and was only open because Stevens is open and they want to match Stevens for marketing purposes.

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Randito
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PostWed Apr 20, 2022 1:31 pm 
kiliki wrote:
I wonder how Alpental regulars feel about the changes.
Skeptical whether any of the proposed changes will happen. The International Chair to Knoll 1 has been proposed for decades. The earlier proposals had the International Chair as a detached quad, now it is a fixed grip triple. It will be interesting to see how the International Chair affects "back bowl" traffic if it is ever built -- as from the proposed unloading site you'll have ready access to the "near backcountry" -- but the unloading station is a bit below the level of "The Great Scott Traverse" used to access the "Far Backcountry" With two triples feeding skiers high on the mountain compared to the current double chair -- yeah it will get tracked out even faster. But in general the reality of a powder day at Alpental has long been that if you weren't in line on the Armstrong Express by 8 and then immediately went to the line on chair two -- you weren't going to get fresh tracks anyway.

bk, kiliki
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tlake
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PostWed Apr 20, 2022 5:46 pm 
Sign me and my grandkids up for the Alpine Coaster.

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thunderhead
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PostFri Apr 22, 2022 8:22 am 
I hope these come true! replacing pac crest and tripple 60 with detachables will make the experience much nicer. So would the new internation if it happens. Staffing should improve after this winter... i wouldnt judge this 1 winter of covid and economic shock as the baseline for all future winters. Going to rfid lift tickets might also allow a few more ticket checkers to be turned into lift operators? Would be nice if they could cut a few more runs.

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thunderhead
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PostFri Apr 22, 2022 8:32 am 
altasnob wrote:
ski areas in the Cascades are only busy on peak winter weekends and sit empty the rest of the time.
This is not as true for snoqualmie these days. With more flexible schedules and work from home, plus the easier drive, and the increasing population/wealth of the seattle region in general, nice weather days are getting pretty pretty crowded, even weekdays. Obviously not as bad as weekends, but much increased recently. A couple Thursdays ago central was PACKED!

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Randito
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PostFri Apr 22, 2022 9:29 am 
I'm a little sad that plans for the "Ski School Quad" in the master development plan isn't part of the 2030 plan. The current beginner chair at Central "Holiday" is often has huge queues on weekends , an additional chair serving "green" terrain easy to access from the base area would really improve things for beginners. Another improvement not being pursued is cutting a new run off the top of Silver Fir that would be longer and easier than "Outback", which is a bit challenging for low intermediates.

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thunderhead
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PostSat Apr 23, 2022 8:42 am 
Seems like there would be room to cut a number of trails between outback and hyak runs. Would need a new lift to make it worthwhile though... rampart and silver express are already at capacity.

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Randito
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PostSat Apr 23, 2022 9:34 am 
The previously published Master Development plan included a "Creek Run" quad that ran from a location near the "Rampart" loading station but heading more west to a knob SE of "Grand Junction" this would service several new "Green" runs. Cutting a new "Green" run from the top of Silver Fir to the Silver Fir base is possible terrain wise, but would require expansion of the Special Use permit boundary. Also the "Creek Run" chair and its runs would overlap the existing "Nordic Pass" backcountry ski trail. So that expansion would involve negotiating with the forest service and a public comment process. A someone that has used the Nordic Pass trail many times, I wouldn't be opposed to the Creek Run chair, as long as the Summit's plans includes a "designated uphill route" that serves a similar purpose. The "Rampart" chair is already nice for families skiing together, if there were a "Green" run from Silver Fir over to "Rampart" that would be very nice.

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Brucester
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Brucester
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PostSat Apr 30, 2022 1:14 pm 
Time for a light rail to Snoqualmie Pass! Don't wait 20 years, the boom is right here, right now! The bubble will never burst in Seattle!

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dixon
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PostWed May 11, 2022 4:20 pm 
thunderhead wrote:
Staffing should improve after this winter
I have several friends who work at the Summit as Lift Operators and one of the biggest issues hiring staff is cost of living in the area. There are employees commuting from as far as Bremerton and Ellensburg because they cannot afford to rent/buy in places like North Bend, Cle Elum, Roslyn, Easton etc. which were once affordable. Sadly there are no plans to build more affordable homes or staff housing in any of these places. I live in N. Bend and went to a recent City Town Hall to raise this issue as I myself have been priced out, only to receive only blank stares from city leaders. Meanwhile builders are clearing land by Chinook Lumber for $2.6M+ 5-6 bed homes ... Going forward I don't see how the Summit (and other) resorts can resolve the staffing issue because people who want to work there cannot afford to live anywhere close to the resort.

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Randito
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PostWed May 11, 2022 5:12 pm 
dixon wrote:
Going forward I don't see how the Summit (and other) resorts can resolve the staffing issue because people who want to work there cannot afford to live anywhere close to the resort.
This has been a growing issue in "Resort towns" , places like Aspen have "priced out" living for resort workers and hospitality workers. Some places have made attempts to mitigate the effects of gentrification by requiring new developments to include a % of "affordable" units in any development. Seattle might be inclined to adopt such rules in their permitting process, but I'm skeptical that North Bend politics are open to such " Social Engineering"

dixon
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