While most of us have been taking the summer off from skiing, the ski resort elves in Colorado have been busily making all sorts of improvements for the coming year. So all you good little ski boys and girls, take a look at some of the new things you can enjoy when the snow starts to fly:
- A new, high-speed, 6-passenger chair is replacing Chair 2 (The Avanti Express). This will reduce wait times and improve reliability. A loading conveyor and gates will improve efficiency and increase capacity by up to 30 percent, according to the resort.
- They’re offering a new app: EpicMix Time. This provides guests with crowd-sourced, real-time liftline wait times across 55 lifts and gondolas.
- Red Tail and Centennial trails, two of the most popular intermediate runs on the mountain, are being equipped with 23 fully-automated fan guns.
- New snowmaking pipe is going in on the Lost Horizon and Barton Breezeway trails (Peak 6). This will help the resort open for the early season.
- The ticket office is being remodeled into a complete guest services center. The season pass office is being expanded to accommodate a higher volume of guests, and the ski area is establishing a call center to handle snowsports reservations and guest inquiries over the phone.
- The High Alpine lift at Snowmass Ski Resort is being replaced and realigned.
- Snowmaking equipment is being installed on two existing trails, and there are additional trail and glade construction projects.
- Guests to Aspen Highlands will enjoy a remodel of the mid-mountain Cloud Nine restaurant. The $1.1 million restoration will also include kitchen enhancements.
COOPER (SKI COOPER)
- Katie O’Rourke’s, an Irish-themed pub with a full wait-served menu and plenty of microbrews, is being expanded. This will nearly double the current size of the pub, adding about 450 square feet of seating area.
- Sherpa, Copper’s award-winning geo-targeted mobile application, is being updated. Sherpa tracks a user’s runs, speed and vertical feet covered during their day on the mountain. New for the 2015-16 season, Sherpa offers trail recommendations. The app looks at data from a user’s previous skiing or riding patterns and recommends new terrain based on that user’s habits.
- There are several new food and beverage options, including Starbucks Coffee, Mahi Fish Tacos and the relocated Belgian Bean.
- A culinary outlet is being built at the Ten Peaks area. The new restaurant and bar will have a 2,400-square-foot deck and a 700-square-foot bar area, providing views, drinks and food. In addition, the WoodStone Grille will have a new look and new menu.
- Chair 2, the main chairlift at the base of Loveland Basin, is being re-aligned. The original chairlift will be shortened to drop skiers and snowboarders off at the base of Chair 6. The newer upper section will serve the Bennett’s Bowl and Ptarmigan Roost areas.
- A new yurt in the base area will house the mountain’s cat skiing operations. The area in the lodge used by large ski groups is also being expanded.
- The Flat Top Flyer will be unveiled. This is a Poma high-speed quad chairlift that replacies the Take Four lift. The new lift, whose initial capacity is 1,800 riders, will cut ride time in half to approximately six minutes while offering comfortable seats and footrests for lift riders as they ascend 1,600 vertical feet.
- A new high-speed detachable quad chairlift will replace the original Legends Lift 8 located on the backside of the ski resort. This will take skiers and riders to the summit of Purgatory in just five minutes.
- Additional terrain is being added in conjunction with the lift project, including two advanced trails to the west of the new high-speed quad.
- Snowmaking equipment will be installed at the bottom of Lift 8, providing more consistency and better coverage at the bottom terminal.
- The resort’s demo fleet of K2 ultra-fat Powabunga powder skis is being upgraded and expanded.
- Restaurant interiors are being remodeled, and the kitchen upgraded.
- The retail shop is being expanded.
- Gondola Joe’s is being expanded to offer more space for eating in, and the Four Points Lodge is receiving upgrades to the back of the house. The Rendezvous Lodge is receivinge a facelift with a new exterior design and interior upgrades.
- RFID technology is being incorporated into its lift tickets, multi-day passes and season pass products using the QuickTrax card.
- New tower mounts are being added to Hoot Brown Park, the resort’s largest terrain park. These will allow the resort to easily relocate snow guns from other areas of the mountain for improved snowmaking within the park. The park is also getting a few new custom made features.
- RFID technology is being introduced into its lift tickets, multi-day passes and season pass products using the QuickTrax card, which will be reusable over multiple seasons and can be reloaded online or over the phone, allowing guests to bypass the ticket office.
- The Race Hutch building is being completed. This is integral to the operation of the Wolf Creek Fun Race Series.
- Improvements are being made to the ski and snowboard rental department with the introduction of a fleet of premium demo skis, snowboards, boots and an online reservation system.