This Winter, New England and Eastern Canada have witnessed several major ski resort updates worth talking about. Here’s the scoop.
With an additional $43 million of improvements for the 2013/2014 ski season, Jay Peak once again leads the pack in New England. Over the past three years, the northern Vermont ski resort has spent more than $200 million to build the 176-room Hotel Jay, open the largest indoor waterpark in Vermont, and add an indoor skating rink for ice skating and hockey games. New this year is the Stateside Hotel and base lodge with restaurants and locker rooms, a rental center, 84 new mountain cottages, and a complete revamping of the resort’s entrance.
Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros, owners of Jay Peak, purchased nearby Burke Mountain in 2012. Expect to find a flurry of changes at Burke over the next two years. Phase I (a $98 million investment) will see construction of two hotels modeled after the lodgings at Jay Peak, including the 116-suite Hotel Burke.
Killington plans to unveil their $7 million Peak Lodge this December. Sitting atop the highest lift-served peak in Vermont, at 4,100 feet, Peak Lodge will feature exquisite views of the snow-capped Green Mountains. Also new in Vermont is Okemo’s new 2,200-feet long intermediate glade.
The big news in New Hampshire skiing this year comes from Waterville Valley, which was just granted a long-term special use permit by U.S. Forest Service to undergo its first major expansion in more than three decades. Over the next few years the terrain will be developed on Green Peak, and will include construction of about 44 acres of ski trails, glades and a high-speed detachable quad chairlift.
This summer in Henniker, Pats Peak installed a new triple chairlift as part of their Cascade Basin Expansion. The new area consists of 4 new ski trails as well as a new glade. Over at Bretton Woods, further expansion was completed at the recently opened Mount Stickney area. Nordic terrain was added offering cross-country skiers early and late season snow at higher elevations.
These past few years in Quebec have seen more $300 million of improvements to Le Massif, the mountain with the largest vertical drop east of the Rockies. Owned by Cirque du Soleil co-founder, Daniel Gauthier, Le Massif now can be reached via train from Quebec City and neighboring Baie-Saint-Paul, where Gauthier recently debuted his Hotel La Ferme. The views of the St. Lawrence Seaway from the slopes of Le Massif are mesmerizing. After skiing, try rodeling, a luge-like sport already popular in Europe where you zip down the mountain on a 45-minute sled ride. Exhilarating!
What improvements are you most excited for, both in New England and across North America? Let us know in the comments!