This upcoming ski season, ski resorts in the Rocky Mountain region will see a number of changes, including improvements like updated chairlifts, terrain expansion, and more. Keep reading for some of the latest and greatest updates to ski resorts in the Rockies.
Starting in Colorado, Steamboat, the winner of our 2022-23 Visitors’ Choice Awards, is set to launch the second leg of its Wild Blue Gondola, North America’s longest and fastest 10-person gondola. This expansion connects the Greenhorn Ranch Learning Center to Sunshine Peak’s summit, granting access to newly equipped snowmaking areas. Also, expect the Mahogany Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon expansion to open, featuring a high-speed quad for lift access to once-gated hike-to terrain. The Range Food & Drink Hall will serve up cashless dining and new vendors, including Sunshine Bowl Ramen, Pioneer Pie, Twister Tacos, and more.
Farther south, Aspen Snowmass Ajax welcomes a new terrain pod in 2023-24 called Hero’s. It boasts a high-speed quad, offering access to advanced and expert terrain, expanding the ski area by over 150 acres, the first major addition since 1985. Explore 26 new trails through fresh chutes and glades in high-elevation terrain.
Off the I-70 stretch, Copper Mountain presents The Aerie, a 25,000-square-foot mid-mountain lodge with a full-service restaurant, bar, and events room offering a 270-degree mountain view. Snowmaking improvements and an expanded Far East parking lot are also part of the updates. Breckenridge is transforming its Peak 8 base area with a new high-speed quad, the FIVE SuperChair, an upgrade that will enhance the visitor experience by speeding up the commute to Five Peaks. The chairlift will also operate in the summer, providing access to the resort’s popular alpine slide. Over at Keystone, it’s introducing a high-speed six-passenger lift as part of the Bergman Bowl expansion, now accessible after a brief delay. This lift services 550 acres of terrain that was previously hike-to-only.
North of Denver, Winter Park unveils the Wild Spur Express, a new six-person high-speed lift replacing the Pioneer Express. It features a mid-station for quicker laps and adds new dining options and a gear shop next to the resort’s gondola. For those in Fort Collins, the new Hoedown Hill ski area opens in late November in Windsor, Colorado. This small but welcome revival covers 12 acres of beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain, along with a terrain and tubing park.
In Southwest Colorado, Purgatory Resort has made improvements to Poet’s Glade to clear out more space for skiers and made some renovations to Dante’s Lodge and Powderhouse. Finally, Wolf Creek is set to add a new beginner lift, the Tumbler quad, a fixed grip lift that will expand terrain accessible to beginners.
In Montana, Big Sky Resort‘s new Lone Peak Tram, capable of transporting 75 people at once rather than 15, is on schedule to make its debut this winter. The Tram will climb almost double the altitude (4,612 feet) in a 4-minute trip and take off a bit lower than its predecessor. Tram tickets must be purchased separately from season and day passes, and the cost will fluctuate between $10 and $40, depending on snow conditions, weather, and visibility.
Whitefish Mountain Resort has installed a second conveyor carpet in its beginner area (accompanied by an overhead cover on each conveyor carpet to keep snow off the standing surface), as well as expanded parking lots and added a new ticket pickup spot to reduce wait times on busy days. An express ticket pickup trailer will be stationed in the Base Lodge parking lot to service guests who purchase lift tickets online before their visits. The Base Lodge Bar has also undergone renovations.
Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, embarks on an epic transformation in 2023-24. It’s set to double its skiable terrain by adding 3,700 acres, along with 16 new lifts, including a 10-passenger gondola. This multi-season project promises to enhance the resort’s offering across 10 Wasatch Back mountains. A new village via U.S. Route 40 will make access more convenient, featuring more than 800 hotel rooms, 1,700 residential units, 250,000 sq. feet of retail and commercial space, and a 68,000-square-foot recreation center, ensuring more food, drinks, and job opportunities.
Under new ownership, Powder Mountain in Northern Utah is gearing up for major updates in 2023-24. The Sundown base will welcome a new ski school building, including rentals and a retail shop. A magic carpet will aid beginners while the tow lift is retired. Snowmaking infrastructure will make its debut and the “Launch Pad Yurt” near the village chair will offer a wide range of non-alpine winter activities, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobile tours, and moonbike tours (100% electric snow bikes). Powder Mountain also opens access to 500 acres of backcountry terrain with tight chutes and open bowls, accessible only by a snowcat ride with two guides for each group.
Snowbasin, a neighboring resort, has completed construction on a new high-speed chairlift, expanded parking, and added a spacious new patio for 2023-24. The DeMoisy Express, a six-person high-speed lift, doubles Snowbasin’s uphill capacity. A heated cobblestone patio expands the base of Strawberry Gondola and DeMoisy Express, offering 5,000 square feet of seating and dining options. Additional parking adds 124 stalls, increasing the resort’s capacity for visitors to explore rideable terrain outside of Ogden, Utah.
Back over in the Wasatch Range, Brighton Resort will debut its first six-person chairlift, which will be called Crest 6. The lift will include a conveyor belt for easy loading and a terminal monitor for resort news and updates. Using Doppelmayr technology, the lift will carry 2,400 guests per hour to the top in less than a five-and-a-half-minute ride. It’s the first D-line in Utah. Brighton will also debut the Sidewinder, a new mid-mountain dining option above Snake Creek lift.