The 2013-14 winter ski and snowboard season is barely in the rearview mirror, but core enthusiasts and resort operators are already looking ahead to winter 2014-15.
With seven days to go in the spring season pass selling period, Vail Resorts is announcing many new resort improvements for its guests for next winter, including multiple express chairlifts and restaurants, room renovations and a one-of-a-kind snowmaking upgrade designed to automatically refresh snow surfaces throughout the season.
Vail Resorts anticipates spending approximately $85 million to elevate the guest experience for 2014-15, which brings its five-year resort investment total to $492 million.
“At Vail Resorts, we place the highest importance on offering an unparalleled guest experience, and investing nearly $500 million over the last five years is evidence of that,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer for Vail Resorts. “We’re very strategic about the projects we undertake and their overall impact on the guest experience at each of our 10 resorts. Each one of these projects is a game changer for the guests of that particular resort.”
Projects underway and planned this summer for the 2014-15 winter season include:
- Beaver Creek Chair 6 Combination Liftand Snowmaking Upgrades – The new combination gondola/six-passenger express lift replaces Centennial Express, Beaver Creek’s primary portal. With one gondola cabin for every five chairs, the new combination lift offers a guest-friendly loading option for beginners and Ski and Snowboard School, and all guests will benefit from the 35 percent increase in uphill capacity. In addition, 34 new, fully-automated, state-of-the-art snowmaking guns will line Gold Dust and Lower Larkspur trails to automatically refresh the snow surface conditions throughout the season. This one-of-a-kind system ensures, regardless of natural snowfall, the resorts’ guests will always be skiing or riding on the freshest snow available every day.
- Breckenridge Colorado Super Chairand Peak 9 Restaurant Renovation – On the heels of launching Peak 6 last season, the ski industry’s most significant terrain expansion in the last decade, upgrading the Colorado Super Chair from a quad express to a six-passenger express will provide a 30 percent increase in capacity for Peak 8’s primary and most-used lift. It will help disperse skiers to the surrounding peaks and provides a faster route from Peaks 6 and 7 to Peak 9, where an entire interior remodel of the existing Peak 9 restaurant, along with a new kitchen will provide a warm, welcoming, high-quality guest experience at the resort’s most scenic dining location, sitting at 11,274 feet.
- The Lodge at Vail Renovation– Vail’s most historic hotel, The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort, will undergo significant renovations to 56 hotel rooms and the lobby for the 2014-15 winter season, including contemporary mountain interior finishes, furnishings, soft goods, lighting and the installation of air conditioning. The lobby’s refresh will include new furnishings, textiles, paint, artwork and lighting designed to maintain the boutique hotel’s authentic character and cozy ambiance. The property will remain open for business during the renovations, starting in August and completing in December.
- Canyons Cloud Dineand Snowmaking Expansion – Heading into its second year of operating Canyons, Vail Resorts is replacing the temporary Cloud Dine structure with a permanent, 316-seat restaurant, a 41 percent increase in seating capacity. Cloud Dine is the only on-mountain restaurant serving the Dream Peak and Iron Mountain lift pods. Upgrading Canyons’ pump station will increase snowmaking efficiency by 25 percent and will enable top-to-bottom skiing and superior early-season snow surface conditions.
The Bass and Cumming Families announced today that they have entered into a partnership for the future operation and development of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. The partnership will provide continuing direction and funding for major capital improvement projects, including a new restaurant and skier services building atop the Aerial Tram, a Four Diamond remodel initiative for the Cliff Lodge, and the future renovation of the Snowbird Center.
“This partnership will enable Snowbird to achieve more rapid growth and even greater benefits for our guests in keeping with our founding perspective and philosophy of providing a year-round destination mountain resort for the enhancement of body, mind, and spirit, with our ever present emphasis on environmental protection and sensitivity,” said Richard D. Bass.
In addition, Bass feels extremely fortunate to have the Cumming Family join in Snowbird’s future, owing to his inability to live and work at Snowbird’s altitude because of his advancing age.
“I look forward to working with the Bass Family and the team at Snowbird in providing world-class experiences on and off the mountain,” said Ian M. Cumming, an original investor in the Inn at Snowbird. Cumming owns a home at Snowbird and his family has a long history of skiing at Snowbird. “We are very happy to be involved at a place that has so many fond memories for our family,” said Cumming.
“Partnering with the Cumming Family ensures a bright future for Snowbird,” said Snowbird CEO and President Bob Bonar, one of the first employees when Snowbird opened in 1971. “Snowbird’s commitment to providing exceptional skiing and year-round hospitality, entertainment, and guest service will only greatly increase as we go forward.”
Snowbird’s current management team, led by Bob Bonar, Tom Jones and Jerry Giles, will remain in place. The partnership is between the Bass and Cumming Families and does not involve Powdr Corp. Mr. Cumming will own a majority share of Snowbird. Dick Bass will remain as Chairman of the Board.
Measuring at 50 feet wide by 50 feet long, the Monster Energy Air Bag covers the entire surface area of a jump allowing users to attempt new tricks, with an airbag landing, before taking it on a snow landing.
Single Jump / Unlimited Day Pass
The Monster Energy Air Bag is open to adult and youth skiers and snowboarders of intermediate-advanced ability. A lift ticket is required to participate.
- Dates: May 3, 4, 10 and 11
- Times: 10am to 2pm
- Prices: $10 for a single jump or $30 for unlimited day use; unlimited day use ticket includes a FREE Monster Energy drink; tickets available at the base of the jump
Coaches with Mammoth’s Snowboard and Freeride Teams will be offering traning camps to help hone in on your jumping. Camp Sessions are open to the public. Enrollment includes one hour private jump session, individualized instruction, daily video review and unlimited use of the Monster Energy Air Bag.
- Dates: May 10-11
- Camp Schedule: 9am to 10am private air bag session; 10am to 3pm on-snow traning and air bag session; 3pm to 4pm video review session
- Prices: $200 per person; call 800.MAMMOTH to book today!
Team Training is also available. For more information on the please contact Ben Wisner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760.934.2571 ext. 3144.
*Lift ticket and helmet required. Weather and conditions permitting.
With over a foot of new snow falling in Breckenridge since Sunday - and more in the forecast – spring skiing is at its best as Breck’s Spring Fever Festival enters a fourth week of events, offering more of the Bud Light Concert Series and plenty of Easter festivities!
The Bud Light Concert Series continues on Friday and Saturday with two festival powerhouses: Colorado’s Yonder Mountain String Band on April 18 and Blues Traveler on April 19 to close out the concert series for the season. Both shows are free to the public and the entertainment is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. on a specially-constructed stage facing One Ski Hill Place, a RockResort, at the base of Peak 8.
Sunday will be a family-filled day of Easter events, starting with a sunrise service on Peak 9, then an on-mountain Easter egg hunt on Peaks 8 and 9. This year, Breck is using compostable Easter eggs for the Easter egg hunt and a new prize redemption process will help reduce waste by making sure fewer eggshells and candy wrappers are left on the mountain.
Vail Mountain will host its annual interdenominational sunrise service on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 6 a.m. inside at Eagle’s Nest. The Eagle Bahn Gondola will open to the public at 5:30 a.m. to transport guests from Lionshead.
Free baked goods and beverages will be provided. In addition, there will be two afternoon Easter services outside at Eagle’s Nest: one scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Simonton Deck also known as the Holy Cross observation deck, and one at 2:30 p.m. on the Marketplace deck.
For those planning to attend the Easter sunrise service, the Town of Vail is offering free parking for vehicles that enter the Lionshead parking structure after 5 a.m. and depart prior to 10 a.m. Upon departure, attendees should inform the booth attendants they were at the service.
For the sunrise service, the gondola ride is complimentary and guests are not permitted to bring skis or snowboards. Following the service, guests will be asked to download the gondola. Guests will need a lift ticket or scenic ride ticket for the 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. service.
For more information about Vail Mountain, call the Mountain Information Center at (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245) or visit www.vail.com.
Easter is coming up. Enjoy spring skiing with the Easter Bunny all weekend long at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, take part an Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast Buffet at Mt. Norquay as they wrap up the season, or show up for Easter Skiers Church on the slopes of Sunshine Village followed by an Easter Egg Hunt.
Last Minute Easter Weekend Deals
Enjoy fantastic spring skiing conditions this Easter weekend with these blackout free, ski and stay deals.
MOUNTAINEER LODGE FROM $109 PER PERSON
Enjoy Easter or the extended ski season at the Lake Louise Mountaineer Lodge: 3 nights and 2 days skiing from $109, per person, per night.
TWO DEALS FROM FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS
The Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel has two deals for the Easter holidays:
• Spa Deal: Enjoy 3 nights, 3 days skiing, plus complimentary spa access to the award winning Willow Stream spa (one pass per adult) starting at $160 per person, per day.
•30% OFF: take your time with 3 nights and 2 days skiing from $134 per person, per night Resort Closing Dates: (subject to change)
Season End Dates
All dates are subject to change.
- Mt. Norquay: April 21 (sorry, we accidentally put April 24 last week)
- Lake Louise Ski Resort: May 11
- Sunshine Village: May 19
Extended Hours for Spring Skiing:
- Sunshine Village has extended hours on many lifts to 4:30pm and Jack Rabbit for ski out until 5:00pm
- Lake Louise has extended the front-side lifts to 4:30pm on Saturdays. Enjoy the extra skiing!