Growing Giants: As Alterra Mountain Co. and Vail Resorts grow, who owns what and which mountains remain independent
Last week, it was announced that Utah's Solitude Mountain Resort is to join the growing list of major resorts purchased by Alterra Mountain Co. since spring of last year. Alterra, together with its major rival, Vail Resorts, now own a total of 31 resorts across North America.
And with dueling mega-passes - Ikon and Epic - these growing industry superpowers are flexing influence across a huge swath of the ski and snowboard market. Both the Ikon and Epic passes offer access to many of the resorts owned by Alterra and Vail respectively as well as other affiliated mountains, in the US, Canada and Europe. Here's a current list of who owns what:
Beaver Creek Resort
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Mount Sunapee Resort
Okemo Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort
Perisher Ski Resort
Stowe Mountain Resort
Vail Ski Resort
Alterra Mountain Company
Big Bear Mountain
Solitude Mountain Resort
Winter Park Resort
With so many resorts joining the Epic-Ikon party, smaller independent mountains across the US are at risk of suffering devastating losses in the shadow of these growing giants. Independent mountains offer some of the most unique ski experiences and develop some of the most devoted followings.
Our organizer, Lucie Coleman, has lived in Colorado for five seasons now, but every new helmet gets a Mad River Glen sticker before it ever sees the light of day. In Denver, you see more bumper stickers repping Loveland, Cooper and Monarch Mountains than almost any other local ski areas. While we can't deny that we're excited about the prospect of skiing 20+ resorts for less than $900, independent mountains still have our heart!
Tell us about your favorite independent mountain in the comments!
And check out our list of some great multi-mountain passes available for next season that aren't Epic or Ikon.