Red Lodge Mountain, Montana watched as a wildfire came within inches of the resort this summer. But the new owners who purchased the resort last fall plodded through extensive upgrades even as flames licked its boundaries.

Most of the lifts received a boost with new drives, motors, wiring, and maintenance. Last year, cantankerous older components caused a mountain-wide mechanical failure at opening. All doubles-Grizzly Peak, Miami Beach, Midway Express, and Willow Creek-also received renovated seats with new pads.

For beginners, a new magic carpet replaced the Mighty Mite handle tow in the learning zone. Three chairlifts also received new coats of paint.

Summer trail crews also removed trees, shrubs, and rocks from most of Lower Mountain. They also cleaned the slopes of Lazy M and Latigo.

Snowmaking was also expanded into Chicken Trail and Hancocks, which will allow snow to be blown onto Lower Continental, too. The resort purchased 17 new automated guns to aid snowmaking.

Crews also spruced up the Red Lodge base area with new paint. The rental shop turned over their line of gear, purchasing new skis, bindings, boots, and snowboards. The Bierstube got a new deck, and new furnishings were moved into the Bierstube and Main Lodge.  New recycle centers have also been placed around the base area.