Here in Colorado, several ski area operators have invested heavily in upgrades. Breckenridge has added a much-anticipated Peak 6 terrain expansion, which increases the already huge resort’s skiable acreage by 23 percent, including 400 acres served by two new lifts and an additional 143 acres of hike-to terrain.
Copper Mountain has updated with a newer, faster version of the old Storm King chair (circa 1985) that will increase the number of skiers per hour to 1,000. Also in the planning stages, pending approval by the Forest Service, is a new platter lift to connect the top of the Sierra lift with the top of the Mountain Chief lift, providing faster, easier access to Union Peak, Copper Bowl, and West Ridge.
And Vail is offering a new, faster six-pack lift at Mid Vail to take the place of the 1985 Mountaintop Express, one of the busiest lifts on the hill.
Beaver Creek and Steamboat have the lunch crowd in mind with new dining options. At Beaver Creek, a new 500-seat restaurant will be located at Red Tail Camp at the bottom of the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships’ downhill courses. And Steamboat will be opening The Four Points day lodge in December on the spot where the iconic Four Points Hut stood since 1967. At an elevation of 9,716 feet, the 13,000-square-foot lodge will offer seating for 200 and a gourmet food court.
Arapahoe Basin invested $1 million on a remodel of the 6th Alley Bar & Grill and a base-lodge expansion. Loveland is adding its first on-mountain eatery at the remodeled Ptarmigan Roost Cabin.
Back east at Killington, Vt., the highly anticipated Peak Lodge will open around Christmas. This day lodge has been under construction since 2011 and will feature a multilevel restaurant .
To the north, Red Mountain, B.C. is undertaking one of the largest North American resort expansions in four decades, Red Mountain opens Grey Mountain, adding 997 skiable acres and bringing Red’s total to 2,787. And Whistler Blackcomb has added two new lifts. The Harmony six-pack replaces a quad chair on Whistler, while Blackcomb’s Crystal Express high-speed quad takes the place of an old fixed-grip double in the Crystal Zone. The Crystal Express will increase lift capacity in that pod by more than 50 percent.