Over the summer, there was plenty of coming and going at Monarch Mountain, as crews installed a new conveyor and renovated the base lodge, technicians gave the resort’s computer system a much-needed upgrade, and owners dropped a reported $1.5 million on those and other improvements.

But for regulars at this Continental Divide area, the news that is likely to be most worthy of loud applause is the paving of the parking lot. Monarch’s parking areas was known for getting a bit muddy. On busy days, it could be as challenging—if not more—to get in and out of your parking space without mishap as it was to dive off the lip into Curecanti Bowl.

Also new at Monarch is a 450-foot covered conveyor in the Snowflake beginner area for novice skiers and riders. On the beginner’s Tumbelina Lift, the awkward midstation got the axe over the summer. Mountain operators said they found it added more confusion than necessary for already-nervous beginners.

On the equipment side, Monarch purchased a custom-cabin snowcat for its snowcat tours in the Milkwood and No Name Bowl areas. The rental shop got 200 new sets of skis, boots and bindings, and brought in more high-end demo skis and snowboards.

Speed was an issue with the on-the-mountain computer system, so officials report putting in $50,000 to accelerate lesson, rental and ticket processing.

The Main Lodge got work over the summer as well, including new entrances, flooring, fixtures, tile and partitions, a remodel to the bathrooms, and several new coats of paint.

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