Colorado’s ski resorts improve their mountains
With the ski season slowly getting underway, skiers and riders will get a treat from numerous improvements at many of the ski resorts in and around Colorado.
Colorado has seen a steady increase in the number of people that visit the mountains each year. In order to keep up with demand, resorts made improvements both on the mountains and in lodging.
“We have seen a record numbers of skiers in the last three years, so we have to continue to introduce new things to keep everything new and dated,” said Ryan Whaley, communications coordinator for Breckenridge Resort.
Breckenridge is opening a new gondola connecting the downtown area to the base at peak eight. The mountain has also revamped its terrain park system, redesigning the mountain in order to have all three parks accessible from one area.
“It used to be that the terrain parks were scattered all over the mountain,” said Amy Kemp, senior manager of communications at Keystone Resort. “Presenting them in one section will really enhance the experience for young riders.”
Slightly closer to campus, Arapahoe Basin has increased its terrain by 80 percent, adding 400 acres and 36 more runs to the backside of the mountain.
“I’m excited. A-Basin is a really good place for locals, and CU is close enough where the students are considered locals,” said Michael West, an environmental studies junior.
This December, Winter Park will open North America’s highest, fastest six-person chairlift, at 12,060 feet. Winter Park added two intermediate trails and over 100 acres of new glades. Resort officials said it has invested nearly $8 million in on-mountain improvements.
Winter Park’s plans to build an entire pedestrian village, complete with restaurants, parking and lodging. It is projected to open in December of 2008.
Moving west to Vail, faster quads have replaced two chairlifts. Chairs 10 and 14 will hasten service to the China Bowl, Blue Sky Basin and Two Elk restaurant.
“That will really change the guest experience, especially for CU riders who want to get in as much skiing as possible each day,” Kemp said.
Up north, Steamboat Springs has invested $16 million in improvements. The mountain will have installed snowmaking upgrades and improved the base and parking areas. The resort added a new six-person chairlift.
A handful of other mountains – Copper, Echo, Monarch and Telluride – all have added new ski terrain for this season.
While many CU students have already headed for the mountains, others are excited to find the new surprises that will line the trails of their favorite resorts.
“I’m stoked with all the improvement,” West said. “When it eventually cools off, all the mountains will be saturated with snow.”
Conact Campus Press Staff Writer Derek Schimmel at email@example.com