On September 24th, Ski Utah unveiled the capital upgrades for numerous ski resorts. Skiers will see some new lifts, new trails, snowmaking improvements, night skiing expansions, sustainable energy projects, and more. Here’s a ranking of the changes, in the matter of importance.
Honorable Mentions: Beaver Mountain is installing a yurt to create a starting point for beginner skiers, Brian Head added snowmaking and a new snowcat, and now runs the Best Western Premier Brian Head Resort & Spa, Cherry Peak updated its snowmaking equipment, Deer Valley renovated their Snow Park Restaurant and bought new snowcat groomers and snowmaking equipment, Powder Mountain joined the Indy Pass, and new hotels are opening in Park City and Heber Valley.
10. Eagle Point: “Eagle Point has laid down infrastructure to expand snowmaking capacity to extend to the Skyline Lift area, providing snow coverage to some of the more popular runs for beginners and ski lessons. The Canyonside Collection is now available to rent and represents a new lodging standard at Eagle Point, right in the heart of the village. These brand new condominiums contain all the modern amenities a family needs, with luxuriously appointed and spacious designs, panoramic views, and private hot tubs completing the modern mountain lifestyle. These are the first new condominium builds at the resort in 20 years. ” They also joined the Indy Pass over the offseason.
9. Park City Mountain Resort: The addition of a solar panel complex will diversify Park Citys energy consumption. “This October, the Elektron Solar Project will break ground- an 80 MW solar project that will provide renewable energy for 100 percent of Park City Mountain’s electric usage by 2023. This investment in renewable energy is part of Park City Mountain and Vail Resorts’ Commitment to Zero sustainability initiative to achieve zero waste to landfill, zero net emissions and zero net impact to forests by 2030.”
We’ll have to wait until next year until the big-time improvements, but the two lifts sound like they’ll be worth the wait.
8. Woodward Park City: “Improvements for the 2021-22 winter season include new features in the 10,000 sq. ft. indoor concrete park; the development of a stage within the parkour zone providing a space to host events including film premieres, athlete speakers, live music performances and more; and a micro clubhouse to serve Woodard’s smallest action sports athletes, ages 1–6. The micro clubhouse will include a small trampoline, foam pit, bouldering wall, and more activities for our youngest enthusiasts…This winter, Woodward Park City introduces Ride With Woodward lesson programming offering group and private lessons for first-timers through advanced park riders. Ride With Woodward lessons take advantage of Woodward’s terrain that is designed for progression from the Start Park through the network of Progression Parks.”
7. Snowbird: “The 2021-22 season marks Snowbird’s 50th anniversary. Guests are invited to celebrate all season long with activations and limited-edition merchandise. Snowbird Power Systems came online in July 2021. Snowbird Power Systems is a complex network of facilities that produce electricity and heat to operate the resort efficiently and reliably. The main component consists of a cogeneration plant which uses natural gas to produce electricity while recycling naturally occurring heat waste to warm the resort. Through Snowbird Power Systems, Snowbird is able to produce between 90-100% of the mountain’s energy needs right up in Little Cottonwood Canyon while saving the equivalent carbon emissions of removing 789 personal vehicles from the road a year. “
Wyssen towers have also been added to Mineral Basin to manage avalanches in what is some of the most challenging terrain to open on the mountain during powder days. They also revealed that the bird will be releasing a new product this month… Interesting!
6. Solitude Mountain Resort: The only thing Ski Utah mentioned was a wage increase to $15, but just last week, Solitude announced they’ll be expanding their hours to 8-4 on weekends, and 9-5 starting in March. It’ll also be part of Ikon Pass Early Track programs, which will allow pass holders to use the lifts before they open up to the public. The program will run once a month.
5. Alta Ski Area: Alta drew some controversy over the spring and summer regarding Nina’s Curve and Schuss Gully, and widening Corkscrew. Click here to check out the trip report we did to see the changes up close. Four Wyssen towers (used for avalanche mitigation) are currently being installed in the East Castle area, a new snow fence is being added onto Devils Castle Road, allowing for easier openings for the Supreme lift and Rock and Roll and the Big Dipper groomed runs.
4. Nordic Valley: After the biggest expansion in Nordic Valley’s history last season onto the Nordic Express terrain, four new trails have been added to the area, as well as improved snowmaking on the trails. New bathrooms have also been added to ease congestion.
3. Brighton Resort: Brighton, unlike other Boyne Resorts, have kept their changes under the radar this offseason. Snake Creek, the terrain located in between Great Western and the Crest Express features some of the most underrated terrain on the mountain. Lights for night skiing have been added to these trails, along with snowmaking equipment. This will let the terrain open up earlier, and gives one of the best night skiing operations in the country even more terrain to shred. A Piston Bully 600E+ Hybrid diesel-electric snowcat was also purchased during the offseason.
2. Snowbasin Resort: The most dramatic changes goes to Snowbasin. This season will see the Middle Bowl Express, a six-pack chairlift that will be replacing the old fix grip triple. The Maples and Canyon Rim parking lots have been expanded by 435 stalls due to the increase in demand.
And then there is the recently announced base village that will start construction next summer. “Phase one features a new Ridgeline chairlift, expanded beginner terrain, parking, and hotel with completion planned by December 2024. Construction of the resort village is planned to commence by 2025, with additional retail, residential, and resort amenities to be added over the span of many years. East West Partners, North America’s most experienced mountain resort developer, and international planning firm Ecosign are engaged with Snowbasin in planning and coordination of development activities.”
1. Sundance Mountain Resort: In terms of upgrades, no one is going as big this offseason as Sundance Mountain Resort. Five lifts are going in: a high-speed quad that is replacing Ray’s and will go to the mid-mountain summit, a fixed-grip quad for guests returning from the backside, and three magic carpets that have been added to the new look beginner area. Other improvements include a snowmaking expansion with new equipment and a reservoir, a night skiing expansion, a parking lot expansion, new RFID technology for direct lift access, and the replacement of the Creekside Cafe with the lookout, which will feature a modern BBQ cuisine.
Click here for a trip article that we did back in August detailing the projects.