Last week, I had pleasure of attending the Colorado Ski Country USA media event in NYC. There's nothing quite like throwing back a few, let's call them, après ski beers and swapping stories with the peeps from CSCUSA. After all, we are All About Après. Colorado is an awesome state and the skiing is top notch. Not to mention, they have some of my favorite après ski bars and restaurants in the country. With all that in mind and with the snow flakes already making an appearance last weekend out there, here is all that is new with the member resorts in Colorado Ski Country.
CSCUSA Member Resorts Announce New Investments and Events for 2017-18 Season
Press Release: Colorado Ski Country USA
DENVER – Sept. 12, 2017 – Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts will open for the 2017-18 ski season with new events, offerings, investments and capital improvements to continue providing a world-class skiing and riding experience for in-state, out-of-state and international guests.
“Ski resorts in Colorado ski country are dedicated to continuing to improve the guest experience, adding new facilities large and small and upgrading behind the scenes infrastructure for the 2017-18 winter season,” said Melanie Mills, President and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA.
Visitors to CSCUSA resorts will experience new chairlifts, new terrain, new lodging and dining options among other improvements across the state. Below is a summary of the many upgrades and events at CSCUSA resorts that guests will enjoy during the 2017-18 ski season.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
With one of the only terrain expansions in the country, Arapahoe Basin is adding 468 new acres over two years with the expansion into the Beavers and Steep Gullies. For the 2017-18 season, 371 acres of most difficult and extreme terrain will be open; guests will need to hike back to the Pallavicini chair. In summer 2018, a four-person lift will be installed for the 2018-19 season, and two more intermediate trails will be added in the Beavers.
The rental shop is undergoing a remodel this summer to help guests get out on the slopes quicker during busy days. The resort will also launch a new website in October 2017, free device charging stations and free public wifi throughout the base area and at Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.
Aspen Snowmass will host Olympic qualifying events when the U.S. Grand Prix stops in Snowmass January 10–January 14, 2018. U.S. Snowboard Team and U.S. Freeski Team athletes will be competing to punch their tickets to February’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
Snowmass will celebrate its 50th Anniversary all season long including $6.50 lift tickets on December 15, 2017. This was the original price for a lift ticket on opening day in 1967. Celebrations will also include a 50th Anniversary Golden Gala, monthly firework displays and other festive events.
The Breathtaker mountain coaster will open at Snowmass Mountain in December 2017. The mountain coaster will drop guests more than 400 vertical feet on a mile of turning track and be open year-round. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.
Cooper’s new mountaintop yurt lodge will be open all season. With delicious food, drinks and a large deck with stunning panoramic views, it’s a great spot to stop for a bite to eat. Cooper will also host four Moonlight Mountaintop Yurt Dinners on the first Saturday of each month from January through April 2018.
The resort will celebrate its 75th Anniversary with a birthday party on New Year’s Eve with cake, balloons, a torchlight parade & more. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.
Copper Mountain will host Olympic qualifying events December 6-10, 2017 when U.S. athletes compete in the halfpipe and big air events during the U.S. Grand Prix. Visitors can enjoy a new lift and lodge, the Kokomo Express Lift and Koko’s Hut. The lift will serve beginner terrain in the West Village, while the lodge will offer seating, casual dining and more, complete with a large outdoor deck and sweeping panoramas of Copper Mountain and Tenmile Range.
Copper will also debut the Rocky Mountain Coaster in fall 2017. With an overall length of 5,800 feet and a vertical drop of 430 feet, the mountain coaster will be a thrilling year-round experience for guests. Throughout the season, visitors will be able to leave their passes in their pockets as Copper is adding RFID technology to eight mountain access lifts.
The Center Village will welcome three new restaurants: Toast & Co., a laid-back space for savory breakfast, brunch or evening libations, Downhill Dukes, where the menu features dog friendly items, and Ten Mile Tavern, an inviting restaurant and taproom featuring rustic modern interior décor, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, walk-up bar and elevated patio space for guests to gather. For more information, visitwww.coppercolorado.com.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort
For the 2017-18 season Crested Butte is enhancing the guest experience for beginners by re-grading the teaching terrain and introducing a new adult beginner area. Guests looking for a break from the slopes can enjoy a slice from the new pizza oven at Paradise on Crested Butte.
A new program, CB North Face Guides, will help expert skiers and riders navigate the extreme terrain of the resort including the famed North Face. Crested Butte will host its annual Christmas Eve celebration, an evening complete with a torchlight parade and Santa Claus coming down the mountain in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat. For more information, visit www.skicb.com.
Echo Mountain Resort
New to Colorado Ski Country USA, Echo Mountain will open for the 2017-18 season with improved access to tree skiing areas at the resort. There will be wider trails to accommodate beginner skiers and riders and a new magic carpet in the beginner area to aid with lessons and those just learning how to ski or snowboard. For more information, visit www.echomountainresort.com.
Eldora Mountain Resort
Eldora is introducing the brand-new Alpenglow Express six-person high speed detachable lift. This lift will cut a 15-minute ride down to four minutes, making it easier to ski more vertical each day and helping powder hounds catch early morning turns before heading back to the office. The Indian Peaks Lodge will also have free wifi and a new snowcat will provide a better grooming experience. For more information,visit www.eldora.com.
This winter Granby Ranch is expanding its cross-country skiing trails and adding to its programming, including new snow school lessons with Chris Anthony, an international competitor in both alpine racing and big mountain skiing. From more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.
Hesperus Ski Area
Hesperus will install additional lights to increase night skiing terrain for the 2017-18 season. The ski area will re-open the rope tow and install a new yurt, to provide additional indoor space for guests. The rental shop will be expanded and reconfigured for a more customer-friendly experience. For more information, visit www.ski-hesperus.com.
Loveland Ski Area
To celebrate its 80th year of operations, Loveland will offer snowcat skiing in Dry Gulch for the first time this season. Loveland will also continue the popular Mountaintop Matrimony event on Valentine’s Day. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.
This winter Monarch will launch a new and improved website and feature improved cellular service at the mountain. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.
Powderhorn’s mountain operations team has been working hard this summer to increase and improve glade skiing acreage at the resort. Powderhorn will also host its annual New Year’s Eve fireworks and torch light parade to welcome in the New Year. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
Photo Credit: Scott DW Smith
Brand new for the 2017-18 season, Purgatory Resort will have a mountain coaster, which will be accessible from the base area and operate year-round. The coaster will be 4,000 feet in length with a 300 foot-vertical drop, and will feature eight switchbacks and one loop, giving guests another fun activity snow or shine.
Purgatory is also expanding its terrain with new intermediate and expert trails on the back- and front-sides of the mountain, and will add new gladed tree skiing. The triple chairlift, Needles Lift 6, will offer a new mid-way loading zone to provide an easier way to access terrain for ski teams, terrain park users, and skiers or riders who want to take laps on the frontside of the mountain.
The resort will feature new snowmaking infrastructure including increased pumping capacity and more energy efficient snow guns. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.
Guests at Silverton will be able to celebrate powder days of 50 inches or more with ski area provided snorkels throughout the season. Silverton has also revamped its season pass offerings to include an Unguided Spring Pass with 10 new partner mountains for only $149. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com.
Photo Credit: Larry Pierce
Steamboat has made significant improvements to its gondola for the 2017-18 season, installing new grips, hangers, terminal equipment, electronic controls and other infrastructure to the resort’s main access point. These renovations will provide a faster, smoother and more efficient experience for guests.
The Outlaw Mountain Coaster, which will operate year-round, opened September 8, 2017. The mountain coaster will descend more than 400 vertical feet with a riding length of more than 6,000 linear feet, making it the longest mountain coaster in North America. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.
Sunlight Mountain Resort
New for the 2017-18 season, Sunlight is building on its popular Ski, Swim, Stay Package by adding two new lodging partners in nearby Carbondale, Colorado.
Sunlight is also holding elections for its Mini-Mayor, adding to its snow grooming equipment and continuing the Slope & Soak 4-pack package. Also returning for the 2017-18 season, Sunlight is relaunching the acclaimed Sunny 700 with new handcrafted Sunny 700 skis made by Meier Skis. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.
Telluride Ski Resort
Celebrating its 45th Anniversary, Telluride is continuing an ongoing multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment in snowmaking upgrades and technology. In 2017-18 this will include expanding the grooming fleet and investing in a new dual-purpose project that serves as a golf course practice facility in the summer months and a 15-acre terrain-based learning area during the winter ski season.
Telluride will also continue refurbishing the Peaks Hotel, the resort’s largest hotel, including upgrades and refinements to the hotel’s spa. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.
Winter Park Resort
This winter, Winter Park will expand and improve the Winter Park Express, the train service between Denver’s Union Station and Winter Park Resort that was reintroduced last year. The addition of three First Friday trips will give guests a total of 27 round-trips to choose from. Prices on select departures have been lowered to $29 one-way, providing additional cost savings for those looking to travel to the slopes by train.
The Winter Park Village will feature a renovated rental shop and a new retail location, reducing wait times on busy rental days. There are two new snowcats to increase grooming efficiency, 4,500 new feet of snowmaking pipe and 15 new snow guns to improve early season snowmaking.
A new trail from the top of the Zephyr Express Lift to the Mary Jane Trail will allow easier access from the Winter Park side of the mountain to the Mary Jane side. For more information, visitwww.winterparkresort.com.
Wolf Creek Ski Area
Wolf Creek will open the 2017-18 season with the Lynx Lift, a new covered, conveyor lift that will service beginner terrain, but also help intermediate and advanced skiers access the Elma and Alberta lifts. The Lynx Lift will include an interpretive center featuring the endangered Lynx that has been reintroduced to the area.
The ski area will expand its snow making capacity with new high-efficiency fan guns and add a new snowcat for grooming operations. A new point-of-sale ticketing system will make the ticketing and lesson purchasing process quicker for guests and allow season pass holders to go direct to lift. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.
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Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing Colorado’s 23 ski & snowboard resorts. CSCUSA is the global voice of the Colorado ski industry. The Association’s primary functions are concentrated in marketing, public policy and public relations. Information about CSCUSA and its members can be found at www.ColoradoSki.com, on Twitter @ColoradoSkiUSA and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ColoradoSkiCountryUSA. This release and other press information can be found in the online press room athttp://ColoradoSki.com/Media.