In an unprecedented move in the ski industry, Powder Mountain, the largest skiable resort in North America, today announced that its day ticket limit is being reduced from 2,000 to 1,500 – lowering what was already an industry-leading skier cap.
This was done to further preserve the uncrowded, unspoiled, independent spirit of Powder Mountain and enables a skier density less than 10% of what is found at comparably sized resorts. The decision to limit the crowds comes despite strong demand.
“We had a record-setting season despite capping visitation, hitting our 1,000 Adult Season Pass cap and topping 500 inches of snow,” said Mark Schroetel, General Manager of Powder Mountain Resort.
“We also added two new lifts—the largest lift-serviced terrain expansion in US history—pushing the lift accessible terrain total to 7,957 to offer the most acreage per skier in the US.”
Powder Mountain, which is independently owned, is increasingly being recognized as one of the best skiing destinations in the country—yet with only a fraction of the typical crowd: last season, four major North American ski resorts exceeded crowds of 60,000 skiers over a long weekend, whereas last year Powder Mountain sold 60,000 tickets over the entire season.
The day cap reduction coincides with the owners’ plans to develop a “new urbanist” Alpine-style town the size of Telluride with the spirit of Aspen in its early days. Summit Village per 1 Color High Res_r1_web.jpg
“We bought Powder Mountain to preserve its magical skiing experience for generations to come and to save it from overdevelopment,” said Chairman Greg Mauro.
“We are excited to have made good on the first part—preserving the skiing experience—and are focused on building a new urban village at 8600 feet, showing that by developing a portion of the mountain responsibly, we can save the entirety from overdevelopment.”
Mauro partnered with the founders of Summit Series, a community of innovators and entrepreneurs, to purchase Powder Mountain in 2013 and develop a sustainable, size-limited town focused on arts, innovation, and impact, Summit at Powder Mountain.
The town intersects the top of three bowls, and has topographic features and views unlike any location in the US. Homes range from 360 square feet micro-cabins, called treehouses, to mountain homes capped at 4,500 square feet—ensuring that all homes are subservient to the natural landscape and not vice versa.
“We are fans of the tiny house movement, and wanted to do our part to stop the spread of massive homes that have destroyed the hillsides in many mountain towns,” commented Elliott Bisnow, a co-founder of Summit at Powder Mountain.
Summit at Powder Mountain’s Main Street will embody an appreciation for sustainability, social entrepreneurship, connection, and collaboration and will feature eateries, juice bars, shops, public art, hotels, and much more. There are also plans to include micro-lofts and apartments, which will complement affordable housing for artists, social entrepreneurs, and researchers.
Helping to establish the ethos of the town is the Summit Institute, a non-profit convening leaders and organizations addressing emerging ideas and innovative approaches to the most pressing challenges of our times. Summit Institute was founded in 2015 and has collaborated with the Gates Foundation, the Sorensen Center for Global Impact, the White House Office of Social Innovation, Brookings Institution and more, bringing leading thinkers to the mountain for hosted gatherings year-round.
The Summit Institute has communal co-working and dining space, a 300 person conference and concert venue, and an après-ski and event center, which may also be booked for private events.
Powder Mountain offers something for everyone, from groomers to terrain parks, in addition to elements not commonly found at other resorts. The mountain’s inverted topography allows skiers to move laterally with ease, traversing several peaks and bowls from each individual lift.
The resort also offers unique adventure experiences for the day skier, including Powder Country, where skiers head off-piste to return via a network of shuttle buses, or Lightning Ridge Single Ride Snowcat runs, where $25 drops skiers into avalanche controlled Snowcat skiing, ending up at a lift. Taken together, Powder Mountain functions with less than half the lifts of comparable-sized resorts and as a result of this lower cost structure, it can choose to not chase the crowds.
Powder Mountain’s 2017/2018 Season Passes are on sale as of April 5.