The relentless corporate consolidation of the snow industry in North America continues as Alterra buys Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, which adds Canada’s #2 Heli operator to their existing ownership of mighty CMH, which is already far and away the largest heliski outfit on the planet.
Alterra are also of course the company behind the mighty IKON Pass, which unlocks 50+ great ski destinations round the globe (including Buller & Thredbo downunder), and provides the most serious rival to Vail Resorts and their Epic Pass/resort network.
Following the passing of legendary founder Mike Wiegele in 2021 his wife Bonnie and daughter Michelle have continued the business. But having seen at very close quarters how close the family relationship was – I once scored the last seat on the chopper and got to be tree buddies with Mike himself during the 1991 Powder 8’s Championships (ha, ha, no in case you asked I was not competing!), when Bonnie opted out at the last minute because she had to do something so I got an afternoon of fast lapping with five of the Powder 8 teams plus “team” me and Mike ahead of the event. Basically I would arrive at the chopper last by a country mile and they would throw me in – it was my 2nd heli day ever.
So we are pleased for them that the sale has gone through and Bonnie can have a well earned retirement.
“Mike and I were always committed to an enduring future for the business. A future that would honor our commitments to mountainsafety and stewardship, to an exceptional powder skiing experience, to our committed guides and staff, and to the relationships we have formed with partners and guests from around the world. The sale to Alterra ensures MWHS will continue to be one of the most unique powder skiing experiences in the world for the next 50 years” she says.
This announcement is the result of a process initiated by MWHS to find a future owner who will continue to operate Wiegele World as ‘business as usual’ and closely align with the values and principles that have guided MWHS operations for the past 53 years.
For MWHS, this is an evolution that ensures Wiegele World will continue to offer exceptional powder skiing experiences in the Cariboo, Monashee and Rocky Mountain ranges and the highest level of hospitality at its lodges and chalets.
How it pans out “moving forward” as the saying goes we will see. But the rise and rise of the mega snow corporations continues unabated.
How good is skiing with Mike Wiegele Heli? Rob Aivotoglou has been taking small groups of Aussies there for years – he loves it.