Stevens Pass Ski Area, WA, Upgrading Lift and Launching New App for Winter 2023/24

Gregg Frantz | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Stevens Pass, Washington. Photo Credit: Stevens Pass

Labor Day Weekend is approaching quickly which means it is that time of the year when we all try and get that last cookout or outdoor activity in before the summer ends. The holiday weekend may represent us saying goodbye to summer, but for winter enthusiasts it is the unofficial preparation for the upcoming ski season. There has been a lot of off-season news throughout the ski industry and there is a lot to look forward to this winter. Many ski resorts in the United States have announced their opening days for the 2023/24 season already.

Stevens Pass is one of the ski resorts that have made upgrades during the off-season by adding a new four-seat chairlift and also adding the MyEpic app for passes or lift tickets. The resort is located about two hours east of Seattle and is at the crest of the Cascades Range on Cowboy Mountain and Big Chief Mountain. Stevens Pass is known for offering a true PNW mountain experience and provides great powder and off-piste terrain for guests to check out.

Vail Resorts owns Stevens Pass and in the past, it has come under criticism from season pass holders for the resort being run poorly. One addition this season that should improve guest experiences is the construction of a new four-seat chairlift. It will replace the 1964 vintage two-seat Kehr’s Chair, which is named after Bruce Kehr, who helped construct the resort’s first rope tow in 1937. The new Kehr’s Chair should help mitigate the long lift lines and will shorten the time it takes to ascend to the top of the mountain. The new lift at Stevens Pass is part of Vails Epic Lift Upgrades program which invests in capital improvements throughout its resorts across the country.

On the Epic Pass website, the following was posted regarding Stevens Pass’ improvements:

“The iconic Kehr’s Chair will be replaced with a new fixed grip quad ahead of the 2023/24 season. The new chair brings modern upgrades and comfort while also increasing uphill capacity. Kehr’s Chair has historically provided access to advanced terrain off Big Chief Mountain, where guests can choose to take intermediate or advanced trails back to the base area or can continue to Double Diamond to access a diverse network of trails on the backside.”

Stevens Pass is also adding another way to help reduce wait times and long lines by launching a new app for season passes and lift tickets this season. It is another part of Vail Resorts’ investment in the MyEpic app which will allow skiers to access their passes or lift tickets through their smartphones. This will allow them the ability to skip the ticket window, or for their passes to come by mail, and does not require them to use an RFID card.

The resort is also going to limit the number of skiers or riders on its busiest and peak days which should also help with the long lift lines. The resort is usually busier on the weekends and is a great place to visit during the week if you want to have a wide-open mountain to yourself. Stevens Pass offers no on-mountain lodging which provides a challenge for skiers and riders who are traveling long distances. That is why the resort is not anticipating limiting daily lift tickets throughout the week but will monitor guest capacity during the weekends.

Stevens Pass announced that it is planning to open on December 1, which is weather and conditions permitting, according to its website. Hopefully, the addition of the new four-seat chairlift and the launch of the MyEpic app will increase overall guest satisfaction this upcoming season. Remember: the last chance to purchase the discounted Epic Passes is September 4th before prices increase.

Trail Map 

Stevens Pass Trail Map. Photo Credit: Stevens Pass

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