Alta Ski Area Jobs, Employment & Info
Alta is a ski resort located in the Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City, Utah. With a slogan of "The Greatest Snow on Earth," the skiable area consists of 2200 acres (8.9 km²), beginning at a base elevation of 8,530 ft (2,600 m) and rising to 10,550 ft (3,216 m) for a vertical gain of 2,020 ft (616 m).
It has an average annual snowfall of 514 inches (1,306 cm). Alta is one of the oldest ski resorts in the country, opening its first lift in 1939
Alta is notoriously known as one of the few remaining ski resorts in the world which still discriminates against snowboarders.
Alta is one of the oldest ski areas in the U.S. The community of Alta was established in 1871 as an offshoot of the silver mining operations in Little Cottonwood Canyon. A fire that destroyed most of the town in 1878 and a cataclysmic avalanche in 1885, combined with the decline of mining in the area in the last decade of the 19th century, heralded a period of dormancy for the town. The area did experience a modest resurgence in mining in the 1900s, but the town declined again shortly thereafter, and was deserted with the exception of a few hardy miners who continued to intermittently prospect the area.
In 1935 the U.S. Forest Service retained the noted skier Alf Engen to hike into the area and determine its potential as a future ski area. Engen's reports expressed great promise for the area, and recommended the purchase of additional surrounding lands to form the ski area. In 1937 a prominent Salt Lake City lawyer, Joe Quinney, along with other local businessmen, formed the Utah Winter Sports Association to oversee the development of skiing at Alta. In the following year construction began on the original Collins chairlift, then just the second such lift in the United States, after Sun Valley. Alta opened to skiers for the first time on January 15, 1939, offering a single ride on the chair for 25 cents, or a full day pass for $1.50.
The ski area did not install its first triple chair until 1991, when the Germania double chair was upgraded. The resort did not have a developed snowmaking infrastructure until 1996, and the system was not completed until 2000. However, Alta has moved toward snowmaking in order to remain competitive by opening earlier in the season, and retaining good skiable conditions in drier years. The late 1990s and early 2000s were marked with further modernization. In 1999 the Sunnyside lift was replaced with a detachable triple chair, the resort's first detachable lift. Two years later the Supreme chair was upgraded to a triple, and the Sugarloaf chair was replaced with a detachable quad. The most recent lift development is the opening of a new Collins chair for the 2004-05 season, a detachable quad, replacing the old Collins and Germania chairs. None of Alta's chairs have safety bars. Also, during the 07-08 season, Alta is introducing a new Axess RFID electronic lift ticket system, similar to the one currently in place at Solitude Ski Resort. Eventually, users will be able to track their vertical and lift ride data online, and will at some point in the future be able to purchase Alta Cards using "ticket vending machines".
The resort currently has 2 detachable quad chairs, 1 detachable triple chair, 2 triple chair, 3 double chairs, and 5 surface tows.
The terrain is classified as 25% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, and 35% Advanced.
Partnership with Snowbird ski resort
Beginning in the winter of 2002, Alta and its neighbor, Snowbird, began offering both a joint day pass and a joint season ticket, allowing skiers to fully access all of the terrain on both mountains. The offer coincided with the opening of a new lift in Mineral Basin, a large bowl owned by Snowbird on the back sides of Snowbird's Hidden Peak and Alta's Sugarloaf mountains, that allowed access to Alta from the Basin. Other access points between the two resorts exist as well. The offer is open to skiers only, as a result of Alta's skiers-only policy. Snowbird is open to both skiers and snowboarders. A true, complete union -- an "Altabird," as some have called it -- seems unlikely, however, for a myriad of reasons: Alta's unwillingness to serve snowboarders being chief among them.
The Baldy Chutes (accessible from Sugarloaf lift and a hike) and Catherine's Area (accessible from Supreme lift) are renowned for their excellent pitches, difficulty, and superb snow. The Greeley Chutes and the Rustler pitches (accessible from Collins lift) are also well-known and were the favorite slopes of Engen in the early days of skiing in Utah. Other notable areas include Glory Hole (a small bowl accessed from Sugarloaf), Devil's Castle (a peak with open steeps and excellent powder skiing, also accessible from Sugarloaf) and the Wildcat Steeps, accessed from Wildcat lift, with excellent deep-powder tree skiing.
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