There’s an old saying that there’s only two season’s in ski country: Winter and Construction.
Well, it’s been a busy latter season for mountain resorts throughout the United States this summer as ski areas played catch-up from pandemic-related work deferrals to enhance the visitor experience. Along with a bunch of infrastructure work and maintenance across the board, sixty new or relocated lifts will be making their debuts at various resorts this winter.
Here’s a look at a dozen such projects that will make their debut for the 2022-23 winter:
- Killington completely rebuilt its K-1 base lodge, replacing the old structure with a three-story, 58,000-square-foot edifice, making it half again as roomy as its predecessor. The new lodge, built with an open-floor plan and floor-to-ceiling windows, will have guest services on the ground floor, an upscale food court/seating area featuring farm-to-table cuisine on the second floor and a full-service bar on the top floor.
- Windham Mountain replaced its Whiteway triple with a high-speed Doppelmayr quad. The new lift offers enhanced access to the resort’s beginner playground below the Wheelhouse Lodge as well a quicker route to the East Peak Express.
- Stowe’s venerable Mountain Triple has been replaced with a Doppelmayr 6-pack lift, increasing uphill capacity to its popular beginner and intermediate terrain by 100 percent. The new Sunrise lift also eliminates the sometimes treacherous hike up to the old lift’s loading platform.
- Jackson Hole upgraded its Thunder triple, which for the past 28 years admirably served the resort’s central hub, to a Leitner Poma high-speed quad. The new lift will cut the ride time to such classic runs as Tram Line, Tower 3, Laramie Bowl and Thunder Bumps almost in half, from 7 minutes to 3.6 minutes.
- Grand Targhee has, for the first time in 20 years, added new lift-serviced terrain with the construction of the Colter Express on the resort’s eastern edge. The new Dopplemayr 6-pack, which tops out on Peaked Mountain, provides access to 600 acres of intermediate and advanced terrain previously only available by the resort’s snowcat operation.
- Alta has gotten rid of nearly three-quarters of a century’s service by replacing the 23-year-old Sunnyside triple and the 50-year-old Albion double — which ran side-by-side — with a high-speed 6-pack that not only provides easier access to the resort’s beginner-friendly area but also gets more proficient skiers and boarders to the Supreme and Sugarloaf lifts more quickly.
- Aspen transformed the Buttermilk base area by constructing a new 9,000-square-foot skier services building and renovating and rebranding the Mountain Lodge restaurant. Also new to the Aspen area this winter is the Roaring Fork Express, which will provide ground transportation, via daily shuttles and on-demand charters, to and from Denver International Airport and Eagle County Airport.
- Steamboat has completed the first leg of its new Wild Blue gondola by providing access this winter to its mid-station, which is adjacent to Bashor Bowl and the new Greenhorn Ranch learning center.
- Telluride has its first new lift in 14 years with the addition of the Plunge Express, a Doppelmayr 6-pack that replaces the Lift 9 triple and cuts the ride time from 12 minutes to 7.
- Crystal Mountain completed the first phase of its 5-year, $100 million infrastructure overhaul with the addition of more parking spaces and the construction of the 2-story, 25,000-square-foot Mountain Commons, which will greatly enhance the resort’s skier services.
- Palisades Tahoe will become one of the largest mountain resorts in the country — at around 6,000 acres — with the debut of the Leitner Poma-built Base-to-Base gondola this season. The eight-passenger conveyance will allow guests easier and quicker access to Olympic (née Squaw) Valley and Alpine Meadows from their respective base areas over KT22 ridge and officially unite the two Alterra resorts. Palisades Tahoe also re-aligned the Red Dog lift and turned the venerable triple chair into a high-speed 6 pack.
- Northstar hopes to relieve a major choke point at the midsection of the resort’s front side by replacing its old Comstock Express quad chair with a Doppelmayr 6-pack.