Exclusive: Alta set to welcome snowboarders
Alta, one of the last skier-only enclaves in the United States, is set to open its lifts to snowboarders this season.
While the delayed season start – now slated for December 2 – was initially put down to a lack of snow, it is understood the resort is actually fine-tuning its policy to allow boarders on to the mountain.
Alta is even looking at offering free passes for anyone who brings a board on opening day.
After resisting calls to open up the mountain to the one-planked brethren for years and even fighting – and winning – a federal court lawsuit over the issue, the owners of the fabled powder-magnet believe it’s now time to join the 21st century following 77 years as ‘skier only’ resort.
An Alta communications spokesperson said snowboarders would now be welcome with open arms and treated as part of the riding community at the resort, particularly as modelling suggested the mountain could increase revenue by 46 per cent with them.
“We’ve been discriminating too long,” the spokesperson told The Snow Gauge.
“I mean, me personally I dislike snowboarders but I shouldn’t let that get in the way of resort operations and 40 per cent of the riding population having a good time.
“After all, I hate telemarkers, monoboarders, liberals from the coast, most Eastern Europeans and all Muslims but I manage to keep my own personal biases to myself without having to go on the public record about it.”
Alta insiders outlined some minor restrictions placed on ‘boarders only to “ensure the comfort of all guests and so that they are seamlessly accepted into the resort”. It is understood terrain open to snowboarders will be in the black boxed out zone as indicated in the new resort map below:
There is scope to increase the new designated ‘Board Zone’ by as much as 4 per cent for 2017/18 should things go well this season.
An extended cat track with a slight uphill section and small moguls course is being added to the zone in preparation for opening day.
At this stage any snowboarders found outside the ‘Board Zone’ will have their passes removed.
While not wanting to be seen as too heavy handed and pushing their new slogan ‘Equity for All-ta” resort management reluctantly pointed out that some other snowboarder infringements would also result in immediate pass confiscation including:
- Wearing pants below the hips
- Side-slipping in powder
- Smoking marijuana (cocaine use is acceptable if accompanied by a Wall Street banker who skis)
- Being heard using words such as “stoked”, “frothing”, “lit” or any “cork” not related to a 2010 or older Merlot.
A spokesperson for Deer Valley, along with Mad River Glen now the only resorts in the US that don’t allow snowboarding, said it would however be unlikely to follow suit.
“It’s simply not what our elderly and privileged white-bred clientele wants,” she said. “Instead of wasting money on snowboarding infrastructure we’ll be putting it towards well-overdue new skier facilities such as ‘helondolas’ – our new fleet of 250 helicopters which will shuttle skiers to the top of runs and a breeding pond for boneless salmon.”
Skier reaction at this stage appeared to be muted to the introduction of snowboarding at Alta.
“I never thought I’d see the day,” said skier Mike Brown from Provo. “But in a world where Donald Trump can become president, the left complains about the results of a fully-functioning democracy and Facebook will happily publish stories that aren’t true, I guess anything is possible.”