Crystal Mountain, WA is changing its pass sales policy because of limited parking due to overcrowding. Photo: The Seattle Times
Crystal Mountain Resort, WA is announcing that it will be limiting ticket sales on weekends and holidays starting January 18, 2020. But why?
As of this season, Crystal Mountain has been suffering from a massive influx of skiers and riders - more than ever before, the resort claims - which is leading to dramatic overcrowding of the ski resort. As a result, parking at the mountain is filling up earlier and earlier each day leading to severe delays. Many are blaming the Ikon Pass as a direct cause of the resort's overcrowding arguing that Crystal Mountain's partnership with the mega-pass is playing a significant role in its recent overcrowding issue. Yet, Crystal urges that there is a larger context at hand.
Crystal's roads and parking infrastructure really just can't handle all the recent traffic. As a result, the guest experience has been impacted and many are upset. Traffic is taking hours for people to get to the mountain and some are even having to turn around from the mountain when they can't even find a place to park. That's why Crystal Mountain decided it was time to act. The ski resort's president and COO, Frank DeBerry said in a press release yesterday:
"Starting this Saturday, January 18, we will discontinue selling walk-up full day tickets at the ticket booths on weekends and holidays in order to hold skier visits to what our roads and parking infrastructure is designed to handle. We will monitor this closely and make adjustments as we continue to learn how this will impact our guests and the mountain."
Crystal Mountain said that they would still honor all Ikon Pass holders on weekends and holidays as well as those who have already purchased any advanced ticket product such as 5-pack vouchers, advance single day tickets, and so forth. They will also offer a limited amount of advance tickets online for weekends and holidays but will limit the available quantities of day tickets.
"Our belief is that this will have the effect of capping total numbers of skiers to a level that our roads and parking infrastructure can accommodate while still providing a premium experience," said DeBerry.
Excellent conditions at Crystal Mountain this season is only fueling the resorts overcrowding issue. Photo: Crystal Mountain
However, limiting pass sales on weekends and holidays is not the only measure the ski resort is taking in retaliation to the recent overcrowding. Crystal mountain is also expanding its parking this summer 2020; they are implementing new public transit programs with luxury coach routes running from Seattle, Tacoma, and Enumclaw; and they are adding carpooling initiatives to reward those who can carpool with four or more people. These new projects all serve to free up some of the limited parking opportunities at the ski resort, and maintain the premium guest experience that Crystal Mountain has always strived for.
In this day and age, where word of big storms and fresh powder travel faster than ever before, more people are skiing and riding it than ever before, leading to bigger, scarier crowds. That's why Crystal Mountain is stepping up to the plate and addressing this issue. They will just have to strive a little harder to maintain that same level of satisfaction guests have enjoyed they since the mountain's inception.