Clark County, Nevada- Most people in the country don’t think of Las Vegas as a place for skiers and outdoorsy people, and that’s for many good reasons. Sin City is known for many things: its casinos, strip clubs, restaurants, and shows. Being in the brutal heat that can give you hyperthermia makes you want to sprint into an air-conditioned casino, not do outdoor activities.

However, only a one-hour drive outside Las Vegas, Lee Canyon feels like you’re on another planet. For decades, it has become a place for Vegas locals to chill out and escape the heat. Its high base elevation, 8510 feet, leads to a decent amount of snowfall. This past season, 215 inches of snow fell, which makes me envious as a New Englander.

Mountain Capital Partners acquired the ski resort last year and spent a lot of money adding a new terrain pod. With increasing visitation, they’re starting to focus on what comes next.

8 News Now-Las Vegas traveled up to Lee Canyon to interview Dan Hooper, who’s the General Manager of the Nevada ski resort. Dan Hooper explained to them that their visitation has skyrocketed:

“Definitely a lot of new skiers but then also people who are lapse skiers and haven’t skied in the last few years which resulted in us seeing a 3 times growth year over year in our midweek visitation…Our summer business has three times the volume that it was in 2020.”

Over the past year, Lee Canyon made $7 million in capital improvements. This included adding a new fixed-grip quad chairlift to service three beginner runs, a new magic carpet and novice trail, 450 new parking spaces around the Ponderosa base area, and a mountain biking park

Lee Canyon confirmed to 8 News Now that future expansions, meaning new trails and lifts, are planned. Their most recent master development plan includes new trails and a lift to the looker’s right of the Bluebird chairlift. If built, this would add novice and intermediate trails. A fixed-grip quad chairlift would service the terrain pod. Prior expansion plans included more terrain pods across Lee Canyon. Their primary focus right now, though, is the successful implementation of their mountain biking park, which will be going into its first full season this summer.

For more information about Lee Canyon’s rise, check out the video from 8 News Now below.

Image Credits: Lee Canyon, Leo_Visions (Header Image)

Video Credit: 8 News Now — Las Vegas

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