Yesterday, Teton Pass Ski Area, Montana, announced it would forego operations for the rest of the 2023-2024 winter. The resort only managed to open for four days of skiing and riding this season.
Due to the season's limited operations, Teton Pass will carry over all pass and pre-purchase tickets to next winter.
The closure was explained in detail via a letter written by Teton Pass' owner, Charles Hlavac.
First off, the obvious.
Montana's having a rough go at it this winter. "We are simply experiencing the lowest levels of moisture ever recorded at our site in 55 years of recording data!" Hlavac wrote. As of yesterday, Teton Pass' river basin—Sun, Teton, and Marias Rivers—was the driest in the state at 42% of median snow water equivalency.
But there was more behind the decision.
Hlavac explained that ski resorts "gamble" each winter when the frontload costs—payroll, fuel, food, etc...—they intend to pay off with future revenue as the snow starts falling. The dice in the equation didn't favor Teton Pass this winter.
"The financial hole we have dug is large, and we don't think we could operate our way out of it even if the snow showed up," Hlavac noted. "The correct decision from a truly non-emotional business perspective is to 'cut off the limb, to save the life'."
So, yes, enough snow could fall for Teton Pass to operate later in the winter or early spring, but it'd be too little too late.
That Teton Pass sees comparatively little ski business in the spring doesn't help. "When the weather turns nice in the valley, we see a decline in visits," Hlavac wrote.
To read the complete letter, click here.
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