Alterra Now Facing Its Own Class Action Lawsuit Due To Shortened Season

It has been about a week since a lawsuit against Vail Resorts, Inc. had been filed due to the shortened season caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The lawsuit suggests that Epic Pass holders are due a refund on unused days. Now, a similar lawsuit has been filed against Alterra Mountain Company and its Ikon Pass.

A man named Robert Kramer, a regular at Mammoth Mountain, CA, has sued Alterra Mountain Company and is also seeking class-action status, alleging that the ski season that he paid for was supposed to be much longer than it turned out to be. This is according to a report from BusinessDen.

Similar to the lawsuit brought against Vail by Brian Hunt of California, this lawsuit against Alterra once again stands on the idea that a season is guaranteed. Kramer's lawsuit claims that the season goes into June or July at Mammoth Mountain, CA and with that being a possibility that it is unfair for these companies to not offer refunds.

“Defendants did not offer a refund (or even partial refund) on passes,” the lawsuit said. “Defendants kept all of skiers’ money. With hundreds of thousands of pass holders, this amounts to tens of millions (or more) in unjust profits.”

As news of this latest lawsuit begins to make the rounds, Alterra Mountain Company has already announced new deals on the Ikon Pass in response to the shortened 2019/2020 season, including double renewal savings of up to $200 for pass holders buying a new pass for the 2020/2021 season, an extended time period to get some of the lowest prices of the season on a pass, which now runs to May 27, 2020, and a new payment plan. There was also the announcement of the new Adventure Assurance program.

“In addition to the double renewal discounts provided for the shortened 19/20 winter season, we are now offering Adventure Assurance, the ability to defer a 20/21 Ikon Pass to winter 21/22, for any reason, with no fee,” said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “We understand skiers and riders may feel unsure about the future and it may be difficult to commit to adventures still months away. We hope this new option enables them to feel the confidence to purchase today, or whenever they are ready.”

Will Alterra decide to use a straight refund on its pass products due to this new lawsuit? That remains to be seen. Will this lawsuit, or the one against Vail, hold up in court? As with many lawsuits, that will depend on the lawyers, judges, and juries that participate in the court case. Should it hold up in court? As the basis of the lawsuits is on a season being guaranteed, absolutely not. Yes, there is still plenty of snow at a good number of the mountains covered by the Ikon and Epic passes, however, the resorts are not open to take advantage of it, which is not the fault of the company. This is also similar to normal closing in which there is still snow on the mountains. In any case, many mountains on these two passes were open as early as the first weeks of November, giving between four and five months of skiing and riding. If one was not able to use their pass in that time, that's on them. Also, those who are buying those passes are well aware that no season is guaranteed. The snow could have stopped just as easily as the states closed the resort in response to COVID-19.

Photo: Stratton Mountain Resort, Stratton, VT. An Ikon Pass Destination - Credit: Stratton Mountain Resort/FB


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