The largest ski resort management company in the Southwest welcomes its first Pacific Northwest resort
Mountain Capital Partners (MCP) and Willamette Pass Resort announced they have agreed to enter into a joint venture for the operation of Willamette Pass Resort in Oregon. This collaboration marks the 10th resort for MCP, the Southwest’s largest ski resort management company, and the collective’s first Pacific Northwest ski area.
For more than two decades, MCP has strengthened its position in the Southwest, acquiring, building, developing and successfully growing nine resorts in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Texas.
While Willamette Pass Resort’s location introduces a new geographical region to the company, the skiing is fantastic and the opportunity to carry on the tradition of Willamette Pass made the decision an obvious one, said MCP managing partner, James Coleman. “Over the last 22 years, we’ve focused on growing skiing in the Southwest region, but our company's purpose, Give People the Freedom to ski, knows no boundaries,” Coleman said. “Willamette Pass Resort's unique terrain, incredible snowfall, operations that often extend late into spring, and its authentic community of local PNW skiers and riders will be a perfect addition to our family of resorts.”
Located 66 miles southeast of Eugene, Oregon and operating on Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, Willamette Pass Resort is known for steep terrain (including its marquee trail “RTS”, one of the steepest runs in Oregon); the resort’s high-speed, six passenger detachable chairlift, the biggest and fastest chairlift in the state; and its annual average of 430” of snow.
Founded in 1941, the resort has been family owned and operated for generations, offering guests access to 29 trails and 5 lifts across 555 skiable acres, and an additional 20 kilometers of cross country skiing. When the Wiper family purchased and began operating the resort in 1982, many noteworthy improvements were introduced under the leadership of Tim Wiper, including the base lodge, snowmaking system, back side expansion and the renowned six-passenger Eagle Peak Accelerator chairlift.
MCP looks forward to building upon and growing that success in close collaboration with Wiper and his team, Coleman said. “Tim is a pioneer, not just for Willamette Pass Resort, but for our entire industry. He has championed so many firsts: the first six-person, high-speed detachable chairlift and magic carpet in Oregon; the Northwest’s first snowmaking system and express rental program, and more,” Coleman said. “Willamette Pass Resort is a success today thanks to Tim’s vision and bold willingness to try new ideas no one else was doing. Our team is thrilled to partner with him and his entire team to bring even more successes to this great mountain community.”
“Since this resort’s founding in 1941, this has been a family business and, together with our incredible staff, we’ve put in this work for one reason: our love for skiing,” added Wiper. “Mountain Capital Partners clearly shares our undeniable passion for this sport, and they are the right partner to not only lead Willamette Pass Resort into the future but also work together with us to carry on our remarkable legacy.”
The Willamette Pass Resort leadership team and all support staff will remain in place, and MCP expects to bring meaningful upgrades to resort operations starting this winter, including a new season pass lineup that’s headlined by MCP’s flagship product, the Power Pass. All Power Pass and Power Pass Select guests will enjoy unlimited access to Willamette Pass Resort for the 2022/2023 winter season. Power Kids, the no-strings-attached-FREE season pass for kids ages 12 and younger, will include access to Willamette Pass Resort in addition to MCP’s 8 additional ski areas and bike parks.