A California skier miffed at his shortened ski season has sued Denver-based Alterra, claiming that he and thousands of other pass holders are entitled to some sort of refund.
Villa Park resident Robert Kramer, a regular at Mammoth Mountain in California, sued Alterra in federal court in Denver this week seeking class-action status, alleging that the ski season he paid for was supposed to last months longer.
Alterra, which owns 15 resorts, closed all its mountains on March 14 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit claims that the season goes as long as May at resorts such as Winter Park, and into June or July at Mammoth Mountain in California.
“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.”
Alterra has said in previous news reports that it sells more than 250,000 Ikon passes annually priced at between $650 and $1,000 per pass. The company said it does not comment on pending litigation.
Other companies faced with an abrupt closure have tried different tacks. Some local gyms, such as yoga chain CorePower, refunded customers who paid their monthly dues and then weren’t able to access gyms because of the shut-down orders. Other gyms kept members’ dues with no refunds. And then got sued.
Alterra this week started marketing pass renewals with a discount of $200 on $1,000 Ikon passes and $100 on $700 passes if purchased by the end of May. That’s double the renewal discount last season. In a press release the company said the price cut was a gesture of “gratitude” to customers.
Kramer is attempting to form a class for a class-action lawsuit that includes all pass holders.
“The core benefits of the Ikon Pass and Base Pass were substantially the same; unlimited access to Ikon resorts, with limited additional ski days at other destinations … Both groups seek the same type of relief: compensation for the early termination of pass benefits,” the lawsuit reads.
The case was filed by Gregory Dovel from the firm Dovel & Luner.