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US RESORT LIMITS TICKET SALES - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Thursday April 6, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Powder Mountain in Utah is promising only to sell 1,500 lift tickets per day to ensure the slopes do not get too busy and lift queues remain short. Neat idea that maybe other resorts should copy.

Powder Mountain currently only sells 2,000 lift tickets per day but the resort has just announced that the number is being cut further.

As far as we are aware it is the only resort that has a strict policy to limit ticket sales to prevent over-crowding on the slopes.

Many resorts, especially in Europe, continue to expand the number of beds and install new faster lifts without any expansion of terrain.

The obvious result is over-crowded slopes, especially at peak-season.

The decision to limit the crowds in Powder Mountain, Utah, comes despite strong demand.

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"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."

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.

Its slopes are usually deserted.

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I visited Powder Mountain this winter on a 4-week multi-resort North America road trip.

See here when James visited at the beginning of the trip - Monday February 13th.

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And I liked it so much I squeezed in a quick visit at the end too - see here for that article as he hit the resort on a powder day on Monday March 6th.

And it is a resort that lives up to its name.

I was lucky enough to hit it on a powder day Smile

The resort now has the largest ski area in North America. 

The mountain's inverted topography allows skiers to move laterally with ease, traversing several peaks and bowls from each individual lift. 

People arrive at the top of the resort by road and then ski down.

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Skiers head off-piste and 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. 

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And inside the cat PlanetSKI left its mark:

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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.

The day cap reduction coincides with the owners' plans to develop a "new urbanist" Alpine-style town that aims to be the size of Telluride with the spirit of Aspen in its early days.

"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."

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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.

This is the area it will be in and some foundations have already been laid down.

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Homes will 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," said  Elliott Bisnow, a co-founder of Summit at Powder Mountain.

The development will have "an appreciation for sustainability, social entrepreneurship, connection, and collaboration and will feature eateries, juice bars, shops, public art, hotels, and much more," said the resort in a statement.

There are also plans to include micro-lofts and apartments, which will complement affordable housing for artists, social entrepreneurs, and researchers.

Here at PlanetSKI we highly recommend anyone that skis in Utah to take a trip to Powder Mountains - it is well worth the effort.

For more information on Powder Mountain, go to powdermountain.com

For more information on Summit at Powder Mountain and development plans, go to summitpowdermountain.com.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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