Can Reed Hastings Disrupt Skiing?


As he looked at the mountain’s finances, he said, “it became clear that we needed to do something significant.”

In the end, that something was leveraging the mountain’s available real estate. “We decided that we needed to lure people here by offering a private experience that they can’t get anyplace else,” he said.

If his plan pans out, Harris Sondak, the former mayor of Alta, Utah, and a professor at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, said that more ski areas might adopt a public/private model to increase revenue. “Running a ski area is expensive, and any new way to make money is often embraced,” he said.

In addition to taking part of the mountain private, Mr. Hastings is raising the price of a season pass to $1,399 from $1,259. A season pass for seniors 75 and older, which used to be free, will now cost $1,049. The number of season passes sold, which had been capped, will no longer be limited, though the number of day tickets will.

Much of the ski community, particularly locals, was upset by the changes. “I’m very concerned,” said Aaron Vexler, 48, who has owned a condominium at Powder Mountain since 2012. “They’re severely limiting the terrain, raising prices, and also selling more passes. How do you sell more passes and keep the ski area uncrowded?” Others, feeling as though Mr. Hastings is only interested in making money, gave the new owner a nickname, “Greed” Hastings.


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