Winter is coming. It’s on the brain of anxious Game of Thrones fans but ski resort operators have been waiting for this since the last flakes fell in the Spring. Resorts have a slew of new buildings, features and services they’ve been working on for the 2012/2013 season. Now that new snow is falling, they get to roll them out, shiny and new. The beneficiaries? Undeniably, skiers and riders. Here are few highlights of capital improvements Liftopia employees have been tracking.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, California
After the merger last year, the new super resort spent about $15M on lodge improvements. This year, they spent a whopping $24M and added two lifts at Squaw (both serving the High Camp/Gold Coast areas), a mile-long terrain park at Alpine Meadows, and improved snow-making at both resorts.
Snowmass is adding 230 acres of skiable terrain to Burnt Mountain, making it the second largest ski area in Colorado. Rounding out the $15.5 million in improvements, Aspen/Snowmass is also adding some interesting slope side amenities, including the world’s highest champagne bar and complimentary yoga. Namaste.
Deer Valley, Utah
Still determined to have the world’s best groomers, Deer Valley announced $8 million of spending this year, mostly dedicated to snowmaking and snow cats. They are also replacing Deer Crest chair with a high-speed detachable quad.
Jay Peak, Vermont
Resort-wide, Jay Peak plans to spend $30 million on improvements. Two lifts, a new learning center and a new summit restaurant will be featured. They’ve also announced a total of $170 million in investments over three years. Yowza!
Red Mountain, British Columbia
Red added a new mountain! Over two years, they’re adding 1,000 skiable acres. This is part of an eight year project to support the new area, an investment of $50 million. 360-degree skiing around the peak should keep skiers and riders busy.
Resorts learned an important lesson last year: Snowmaking can be valuable! We hope Mother Nature keeps the snow guns dormant this season, but it’s good to know many resorts are investing in this key resource for 2012/2013 season. What’s new at your favorite resorts?