Stevens Pass vows to do better during this ski and snowboard season

Dec 2, 2022, 1:47 PM | Updated: 2:50 pm
Stevens Pass skiing...
Opening day at Stevens Pass 2022-23. (Adam Sanders, Stevens Pass)
(Adam Sanders, Stevens Pass)

The Stevens Pass Ski resort is open and it’s under pressure to show skiers and snowboarders it has changed for the better.

Last year, you could HEAR complaints coming down the mountain. Skiers and snowboarders decried closed-off courses, shuttered ski lifts, and chronic understaffing.

“It was hard, for sure. It was hard for the employees and for our guests last year, and we recognize that,” said resort spokesperson Amanda Bird.

She insists there have been changes.

Stevens Pass, Summit at Snoqualmie open with fresh snow

Vail Resorts, which purchased Stevens in 2018, tapped former ski coach and UW graduate Ellen Galbraith to be the new General Manager and Vice President at Stevens.

Bird says over the summer, Galbraith focused on recruiting, “by raising the wage. We’ve included employee shuttles. There are lots of benefits included.”

In March, Vail announced the new minimum wage would be $20 an hour.

Bird did not provide numbers, but says the resort is now fully staffed.

Another low point for the resort last year was when the State Patrol began towing nearly 100 cars that had parked illegally along Highway 2.

Bird says, to ease crowding in parking lots and on the terrain, “We actually are limiting lift tickets, this year, to really preserve the experience for pass holders.”

She says limits will not apply to season pass holders.

According to the resort’s website, adult “Epic Passes” range from $381 to $949 and must be purchased by Dec. 4.

Recreation in the mountains isn’t cheap. Skiers and snowboards want bang for their buck.

Bird predicts they will get that, this year.

“The culture here feels different. I think as soon as guests show up, they’re going to feel that the community is here and Stevens Pass is back to what they knew and probably better.”

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Stevens Pass vows to do better during this ski and snowboard season