While we were enjoying those warm summer days, those wonderful folks who bring us a winter of skiing and snowboarding were busy with upgrades. They’ve added new lifts, carved out plenty of additional terrain for all ability levels, added on to their rooming fleets, opened new restaurants, increased snowmaking firepower, and brought on new lodges and hotels, spiffed up base facilities, increased parking, and improved technology.
We’ll focus on those lifts, added terrain, and amenities for this article. Consider it a snapshot of what’s new and waiting for you in the Rocky Mountain region during the winter of 2021-22.
We’ve got lift-off
Snowbasin: A high-speed detachable 6-Pack lift will replace the Middle Bowl fixed-grip triple lift. Ride time will be cut in half. But the big news is an announced plan to build a new base area village, including a 300 room Club Med to open for the 2024 season.
Sundance: A new high-speed lift will whisk visitors to the mid-mountain summit opening up new terrain not previously accessible. A fixed-grip lift and 3 magic carpets will operate in the beginner area.
Breckenridge: Look for a new detachable chairlift on Peak 7 that will improve skier access to the beginner and intermediate terrain on Peaks 6 and 7.
Crested Butte: A new Skytrac Triple Chair will replace the Peachtree double chair in the beginner terrain.
Howelson Hill: The new Barrows triple chair replaces the old double at this historic mountain in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Keystone: A 6-Pack lift will replace the Peru Express increasing out-of-base traffic and improving circulation.
Purgatory: Existing lifts have been modernized with new electric motors and digital drives.
Steamboat: A re-alignment of the gondola is part of the resort’s “Full Steam Ahead” improvements.
Beaver Creek: A new doppelmayer detachable quad servicing the McCoy Park Learning Zone with a second quad providing egress to the top of Strawberry Park and the Upper Mountain Express Lifts are on tap.
Vail Resorts: Talk about “epic.” Vail Resorts announced it will install 19 lifts across its “empire” to be ready for the 2022-23 season. The list includes 12 high-speed lifts, a gondola, and 6 fixed grippers.
Big Sky: The resort will debut the Swift Current 6, a D-Line (latest ropeway technology), 6-person chair with a bubble, and ultra-wide heated seats. It’s a key part of the resort’s massive mountain upgrade called Big Sky 2025.
More room to ski or ride
Alta: The Corkscrew Trail on the Collins side has been widened to enhance the experience on this popular run.
Brighton: The terrain isn’t new but now you can ski it under the lights. With additional snowmaking and lighting in Snake Creek, you can ski or ride well into the evening.
Nordic Valley: Plan to play on four new trails along with additional snowmaking on them.
Beaver Creek: 250 new acres of lift-served, welcoming ski terrain for beginners and intermediates has been developed. McCoy Park, a new learning area will become a relaxing zone for families with 17 natural, groomable glades.
Copper Mountain: Go west skiers and riders. The new Western Territory (yes, on the west side of the mountain) is dedicated to kids, beginners and families.
Sunlight: Beginners and intermediates will take off into the new Grouse Glades where a $1 million dollar snowmaking system covers 60 acres.
Sun Valley; Technically it opened mid-winter 2021, but now you can experience it all. Bald Mountain’s lift-served terrain has been expanded by 20 percent —380 acres of new terrain on the southern flank. A bowl, spaced trees, and steep chutes await.
Grand Targhee: Skiers and riders will benefit from improved snowmaking capabilities on the lower elevation terrain and an expanded grooming fleet.
New places to eat and snooze
Brian Head: The ski resort team will manage the Best Western Premier Brian Head Resort & Spa, less than a mile from the ski area’s Navajo Lodge.
Deer Valley: The Snow Park Restaurant has been “reimagined” with new lunch and apres-ski dining experiences where you can build your own meals. The Snow Park Lodge and base area is about to start on a multi-year complete revision. The Goldener Hirsch, the Austrian-inspired luxury hotel at Silver Lake Village, has been expanded by 40 new condominiums. The Chateaux Deer Valley is the middle of a $2.6 million transformation.
Eagle Point: The Canyon Collection is available for rent offering new lodging standards in the heart of the village. Their first new condos at the resort in 20 years.
Sundance: The Lookout has been “re-invented” from the original Creekside Cafe with sweeping views and a modern BBQ menu.
Park City: The town welcomes the Pendry Park City, a modern take on a traditional alpine lodge with 152 guest rooms and suites and a rooftop pool.
Arapahoe Basin: Get set for gourmet Colorado sausages for lunch at the Steilhang Hut with a full wraparound deck.
Cooper: You can dig into an array of light fare and drink up the beer at the new Timberline Trading Post and Tap Room.
Echo Mountain: The Brothers Grill has new menus and the pizza truck has moved to a more convenient location.
Loveland: Spread out in the Loveland Lodge where the cafeteria seating has been tripled.
Winter Park: Lots of foodie action here including scratch-made chicken dishes at Bradleys at the Base; popular front-range restaurant Shoney’s Bar and Grill is opening in the village, while season ticket holders can get stoked for the day with coffee and burritos at Ten Buck Huck.
Schweitzer: Plop your tired head after a day on the slopes at the brand new Humbird. The location of the new hotel and restaurant anchors the existing lodging and village shops around a re-designed village core.
Taos Ski Valley: A brand new Eis Haus Skating Rink is central to the renovated plaza and is available to all aqges and abilities afternoons and evenings. A dinner snowcat Sleigh Ride is set for Friday and Saturday evenings to the Bavarian mid-mountain restaurant.
Grand Targhee: There is increased parking and a new skier services facility in The Village featuring retail, rental and repairs, along with the Jon Reveal Ski & Sports School. The facility is steps from Tamarack’s full spectrum of dining offerings. The first stage of remodeling of the Teewinot Lodge will be ready for guests this winter, with the entire job (room by room) done by the start of the 2022-23 season.
And behind the scenes
Alta: Four Wyssen Towers are installed in the East Castle area for avalanche control making for safer and more efficient openings on the Supreme Lift and groomed terrain of Rock and Roll and the Big Dipper.
Park City: the Electron Solar Project comes online which will provide renewable energy for 100 percent of the mountain’s usage by 2023.
Snowbird: Power Systems came online in July. It is a complex network of facilities around the mountain to produce heat and electricity. Wyssen towers are installed in Mineral Basin for avalanche mitigation.
Sunlight: There’s a new website with an online store, new ticketing, season pass, and lift ticket scanning software.
Grand Targhee: Getting onto the slopes will be easier than ever thanks to new Axess ticketing technology which allows guests to use kiosks for day pass pickup, and RFID gates at base area lifts for quicker uphill access.