Schweitzer is an anomaly in several ways. It’s one of the few large Western U.S. ski areas that sits entirely on private land, rather than public Forest Service acres. It also features one of the best lake backdrops, second only to Tahoe resorts. With its first public chairlift opening in 1963, Schweitzer also has deep roots in the Inland Northwest and a loyal following of skiers, snowboarders, and mountain visitors and residents.
This past May, it was a surprise to many when news broke that Alterra Mountain Company, owner of the Ikon Pass and 17 other ski areas, announced its intention to purchase Schweitzer. The addition of the northern Idaho powder mecca will give Alterra five of the 20 largest ski areas in the United States. Nevertheless, Schweitzer fans shouldn’t expect any major changes for the upcoming season.
Despite the changing of hands, the resort’s daily operations and its 2023/24 winter season pass offerings are not expected to change, says Taylor Prather, Schweitzer’s public relations officer. Also unchanged are plans for the first phase of Schweitzer Creek Village. That development, already underway, will include a new road and parking lot as well as a new high-speed, four-person chairlift that will replace the Musical Chairs double chairlift. A new skier bridge across Schweitzer Creek is also moving forward. When fully completed, the Schweitzer Creek Village project will also include eight new runs, a total of three new lifts and new magic carpet, as well as additional rental and SnowSports School facilities and a base lodge.
In a press release on the Schweitzer website, CEO Tom Chasse reports, “For the last 20 years, I’ve watched Schweitzer evolve into a nationally recognized destination, and our community grow more than many of us could’ve imagined. Some highlights include terrain expansion, the addition of 5 new chairlifts, the construction of Sky House and Humbird boutique hotel, as well as the recent opening of Cambium Spa.”
Chasse adds, “With room for growth and plans for future expansion and development, MKM’s decision to exit the mountain resort business puts Schweitzer in a favorable position to begin a new chapter with Alterra at the helm. I’m personally very excited to join a family of world-class destinations with passionate industry leaders who can help guide Schweitzer in becoming the best version of itself.”