PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. -- Crystal Mountain is changing its ticket policy after a busy weekend that ended with some skiers and snowboarders turned away because of overcrowding.
On Saturday and Sunday, traffic getting into the parking lots at the resort were backed up for miles. Parking lots were full before 9 a.m. Resort officials even tweeted to let people know if they hadn't passed Enumclaw by 7:45 a.m., there would not be parking spots available until night skiing opened around 2 p.m.
In a letter to the community, Crystal Mountain President and COO Frank DeBerry, said:
"The past three weeks have not felt the same as before. Crystal Mountain Boulevard was a mess and we ran out of parking earlier and earlier each day. We are especially regretful to those who attempted to ski or ride with us and were turned around or were severely delayed."
Starting January 18, the resort will stop selling walk-up full day tickets on weekends and holidays. They will only offer a limited amount of advance tickets online for weekends and holidays. The number of tickets is based on snow forecast, mountain conditions and road conditions.
They will still honor Ikon Pass holders, as well as advanced ticket products like 5-pack vouchers.
Also, to make up for the past weekend, Crystal Mountain says if you bought a ticket for Saturday, Jan. 11 in advance and were turned away, you can use it any time over the rest of the season.
The resort is also adding more mobile messaging to warn skiers when lots are full and adding five buses in Enumclaw for free shuttle service to the mountain.
DeBerry says the popularity of the Ikon Pass may have been one of the biggest causes of overcrowding. The Altera Mountain Company bought Crystal Mountain in 2018, adding it to the Ikon Pass that can be used at 41 ski resorts worldwide.