Whether you ski in Colorado regularly or only once in a while, you’ll find a lot of new things at the state’s ski resorts this season. Here are a few, courtesy of information provided by Colorado Ski Country USA:
Learning, Lessons & Little Ones
Arapahoe Basin will unveil a new 7,000 square foot Kids Center in the spring of 2015. To find out more, visit http://bit.ly/A-Basin-WhatsNew2015.
Aspen/Snowmass is opening The Hideout, a new multi-million dollar 7,500-square-foot children’s center at the base of Buttermilk. It’ll offer improved access for drop off, direct access to the mountain and an interactive design. To learn more, visit http://www.aspensnowmass.com.
Loveland Ski Area is adding a second Magic Carpet surface lift. This will be open to the public and will provide access to gentle terrain perfect for first timers. For more information, visit http://www.skiloveland.com.
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort’s new Burton Riglet Park will anchor the development of a multi-faceted ski and ride terrain-based learning facility perfect for the youngest of riders, ages 3-6 years. For more information, visit http://durangomountainresort.com/.
Guest Service & Experience
Copper Mountain has reengineered Sherpa, its resort smartphone app game. Not only will guests be able to create and share their own mountain tips and favorite trails, but Copper will reward the best contributors with swag, tickets, passes and even a prized treasured spot on 2015/2016 winter trail map. Learn more about Sherpa at www.CopperColorado.com/Sherpa.
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort’s equipment rental operation will feature a new boot fitting station, snowboard demos and an upgraded rental fleet. The redesigned shop will allow guests to spend less time in lines so they can spend more time on the slopes. For more information, visit http://durangomountainresort.com/.
Silverton Mountain has purchased a new helicopter ski cargo basket to accommodate the deep snow landings. The old basket would get buried in legendary Silverton powder snow upon landing, forcing the guides to shovel snow just to get access to their skis. For more information, visit http://www.silvertonmountain.com.
Sunlight Mountain is investing in base lodge improvements that support the ski area’s commitment to sustainable business. Also new this season: newly remodeled restrooms in the base lodge. For more information, visit http://www.sunlightmtn.com.
Steamboat is expanding night operations to Thursday through Monday from 5:30-8:30 PM and from 6-9 PM during spring. A new Patrol/Maintenance Station at the top of Christie Peak Express is also being built to serve as home base for nighttime patrollers, as to provide repair and work space for lift maintenance operations. Steamboat is also moving all ticket office services into its One Steamboat Place location. A new SnowSports Privates Lounge, in the former main ticket office space in the Gondola Building, will provide convenient sales and a comfortable meeting area for guests and instructors participating in private lessons.
Ski Cooper will complete improvements in its rental shop to enhance the flow of guests renting skis and snowboards, while adding more printer stations and re-configuring the area for guests to fit boots. For more information, visit http://www.skicooper.com.
Crested Butte plans to install a Magic Carpet® lift just for the tubing hill,. The mountain is also improving its free ski storage service with the installation of new slopeside rack systems. Guests who aren’t lodging at one of the resort’s properties or renting equipment from the Crested Butte Rental and Demo Center can take advantage of the service for a nominal fee.
Crested Butte is also adding ten snow bikes to its resorts rental fleet. For those new to the sport at CBMR, a two hour instruction and guided tour around the mountain is required to ensure safe use of the equipment and knowledge of where snow biking approved routes are located. For more information, visit twww.skicb.com/snowbike.
At Loveland Ski Area, the new Ginny Lee Cabin, a day-use on-mountain structure located off Chair 8, will provide skiers and riders on the north side with a convenient place to meet friends and warm up without a trip to the base area. For more information, visit http://www.skiloveland.com.
Food & Beverage
Loveland Ski Area’s Loveland Basin is unveiling a newly remodeled cafeteria. There’ll be more food and beverage options, comfortable seating, and a cozy place for guests to take a break and take in the views. For more information, visit http://www.skiloveland.com.
Ski Cooper is offering an on-mountain mobile food service with the new Cat Trax snow-cat. In a similar vein to a food truck, the Cat Trax will serve hot food at different locations on the mountain, offering the ski area’s first on-mountain dining service. For more information, visit http://www.skicooper.com.
Steamboat’s Thunderhead Lodge at the top of the gondola received a dramatic makeover this summer. Similar to the layout of the popular Four Points bar, Thunderhead Red’s will double in size and expand to include the eastern side of the building to take advantage of the east facing views of Mt. Werner and Storm Peak. In addition, equipment upgrades throughout a number of kitchens will improve the facility’s culinary offerings.
Steamboat is also launching OpenTable, a real-time online reservation service throughout its family of restaurants this winter. With OpenTable, resort restaurants will be able to manage reservations more efficiently, streamline operations, and enhance service levels. For more information, visit http://www.steamboat.com.
Winter Park Resort’s largest on-mountain building construction in over 25 years, Lunch Rock Restaurant will be a state-of-the-art facility utilized year-round, with 150-seat heated deck, 250-seat indoor restaurant, bar, and hydration station all focusing on Colorado themes. At 16,000 square-feet, the new restaurant will be over five times larger than the previous structure at Lunch Rock, which was built in 1985. In addition to convenience and comfort, at 11,200 feet in elevation Lunch Rock Restaurant will boast amazing views of Parry Peak, James Peak, Parsenn Bowl, the Fraser Valley, and the Continental Divide. For more information, visit http://lunchrock.co/.
Terrain & Snow Conditions
New at Aspen/Snowmass beginning Dec. 19, 2014, Snowmass will feature four lanes of lift-served snow tubing at Elk Camp. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.
Crested Butte has partnered with the local US Forest Service District to identify new areas for glading. Intermediate skiers looking for more gentle gladed terrain should get ready to weave through the trees in the East River area and off the Teocalli Lift. For more information, visit http://www.skicb.com.
Eldora Mountain Resort has added two new Kassbohrer grooming machines to the existing fleet of five groomers. For more information, visit www.eldora.com.
Loveland Ski Area has invested in snowmaking upgrades at Loveland Basin and Loveland Valley to improve efficiencies and productivity. For more information, visit http://www.skiloveland.com.
Powderhorn’s mountain operations crew is widening the Equalizer trail for the 2014-15 season. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort is adding more snowmaking equipment to the front and backside of the mountain. The resort is adding 11 new energy-efficient snowmaking tower guns, and a state-of-the-art, high-output fan gun, making the mountain operations team more efficient during the early season to establish a solid base that lasts throughout the entire ski season. For more information, visit www.durangomountainresort.com.
Ski Granby Ranch is adding two new runs on West Mountain, improving access to Dean’s Glade on West Mountain, reopening the Poma Lift which gives access to Lone Pine Bowl, and adding a new gladed area off Bronc Rider on East Mountain. For more information, visit http://www.granbyranch.com.
Steamboat is adding a new Bison Sherpa, the first of its kind in Colorado, to its grooming fleet. It’ll be used to tackle some of Steamboat’s steepest terrain and portions of its terrain parks. In addition, Steamboat’s state-of-the-art snowmaking system is being upgraded this winter with more than two miles of pipe, more than 11,000 feet, across See Me, Upper See Ya, Sitz, top of Vogue to Jess’ Cut-Off and Sitz to Boulevard. In addition, two new 12 ft. by 16 ft. blockhouses at Jess’ Cut-Off and the Christie Peak Mid-Station will provide new valve stations for intersecting pipe lines in those critical areas. The new lines will significantly accelerate the resort’s ability to produce snow as tower guns can be spaced 75 feet apart to more efficiently cover the trails.or more information, visit www.steamboat.com.
Telluride has invested in new snowmaking equipment for 2014/15, for greater snowmaking capacity in the high traffic areas off of Lifts 4 and 5, accessing the beginner and intermediate areas in the heart of Telluride’s trail system. Telluride’s new snowmaking system includes 38 new high efficiency Snowlogic snow guns. These snowmaking snow guns require 90 percent less energy to operate than other models. For more information, visit http://www.tellurideskiresort.com.
Wolf Creek Ski Area is adding a new refurbished Elma Lift, a fixed-grip triple chairlift. The Elma lift will provide skiers with a way to return to the base area from the bottom of the Alberta lift and eliminate the long traverse across the mountain from Park Avenue to the base area. It will also incorporate great beginner terrain along with some excellent intermediate terrain in an area that is currently underutilized. During times of avalanche hazard reduction when the Alberta Lift opens later than the other lifts, the Elma Lift will allow the public to return to the Treasure Stoke Quad and the lower Waterfall Area while waiting for the Alberta Lift to open.
Wolf Creek is also replacing its old Race Hutch at the bottom of the Charisma trail. The new building will store all the timing equipment, fencing, poles and associated racing tools. For more information, visit http://www.wolfcreekski.com.
Anniversaries & Milestones
Several resorts in Colorado are recognizing significant anniversaries and milestones during the 2014/15 season. Winter Park will celebrate its 75th anniversary on January 28, 2015 with a weeklong series of events that kicks off with a celebration at Winter Park resort and finishes with Mary Jane’s 40th birthday party.
Wolf Creek is also celebrating 75 years this season. Along with a 75th anniversary logo, Wolf Creek will host a Retro Day to commemorate the occasion.
Additionally this winter, Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs will recognize the 100th anniversary of ski jumping at the nostalgic ski area.