What’s New at Your Local Ski Resort?

What’s New at Your Local Ski Resort?
We’ve seen the $100 lift ticket barrier busted years ago and we’re still taking bets on when they’ll break the $5 Snickers wall; the smart money is on sooner rather than later. What do you get for all these increases?

Breckenridge
Breck is the only major Colorado resort to add new terrain this year, with Peak 6 adding two lifts accessing 400 acres of tourist friendly (i.e. flat and boring) acres along with 143 acres of hike-to-steeps. No news on alleviating the long lift lines, expensive parking or incessant wind. The wind might not be fixable with today’s technology but maybe the parking prices?

Arapahoe Basin
A-Basin is still working on Fed approval to add lift access to an adjacent area known as the Beavers. This is not in any way similar to Breck’s Peak 6 and will be some steep, hairy fun. They have spent $1 million on a base lodge remodel and expansion which has been needed since, oh, about 1960.

Beaver Creek
B.C. is adding a new 500 seat restaurant at Red Tail Camp situated below the Birds of Prey area in anticipation of the FIS World Alpine Ski Championships in 2015. “Fine dining meets fast casual” is how their Facebook page describes it. “Bigger bucks for the same food,” is what I say. So much for always getting a seat at the Talon bar after the usual near-death experience of Grouse Mountain.

Copper Mountain
Copper has spent $7 million on replacing the Storm King lift with a new surface T-bar and a new West Ridge Platter surface lift reaching the upper portions of the resort. They also have a new app called “Sherpa” that delivers trail tips, directions and hopefully info for stranded lift riders. Not to pick on Copper but they had a power outage in 2012, and I have been stuck twice on two different lifts there before. I did get a free lift ticket for my troubles, so hopefully the new app will help me plan my next stranding.

Vail
The lines at chair four at Mid-Vail have been a bottleneck for years so Vail is replacing the 4 person chair with a six man Mountain Top Express. This should not only help the daily lines but will help rush the crazies up on the last day of the season for the 4 at 4 party. Vail Resort has also added ski resorts in Switzerland, France and Austria to their Epic Pass package. Now that’s three more countries I can’t afford to ski in.
Steamboat
The Boat has added a new 13,000 square-foot, $5 million plus Four Points Lodge at the terminus of the 4 Points chairlift, and is due to open in late December. The spot began as a ski patrol shack in 1967 and is soon to be the perfect spot to load up on liquid courage before attacking Storm Peak. They have also recently won approval and will be adding night skiing to the lower part of Mt Werner. If you‘ve ever tried night skiing, you may yawn now.

Let it snow, if not, we’ve got you covered
Durango Mountain Resort, Eldora, Telluride, Ski Granby Ranch and Sunlight have all spent big bucks adding new snowmaking equipment. That’s good news to you early-bird skiers, bad news for the price of that Snickers Bar.

by Michael Ryan

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