Utah Improvements At a Glance
SAM Magazine--Utah, August 31, 2006-- Three consecutive record breaking seasons for skier days in Utah have afforded ski areas the capitol to continue adding new features and making improvements. From new lifts to more terrain to North America's first ski area tunnel, Utah's ski resorts will welcome visitors with a host of new amenities for both winter and summer. SAM will cover many of these improvements more in-depth in Construction Site, but in the meantime, here is a glimpse at what Utah areas will offer visitors for the 2006-07 season:
Lodge Completion: This summer Alta completed the detailed finish work in the Watson Shelter, including hanging a selection of art reflecting the resort's past and present. Crews have re-vegetated the landscape surrounding the lodge.
Behind the Scenes: Many of Alta's other projects include upgrades to its maintenance shop and improvements to the spring system at Alf's Restaurant.
New Lifts/More Terrain: The Canyons will expand its intermediate and advanced terrain with the opening of the new Dreamcatcher quad. This will add more than 200 acres of glades and trails, maintaining The Canyons' status as one of the largest ski and snowboard resorts in the country.
Tombstone Lift Upgrade: The Tombstone quad is being replaced with a 6-pack chairlift in order to alleviate any congestion problems and provide faster access to more of the resort.
New Lift: Replace the existing Sterling triple chairlift on Bald Mountain with a high-speed detachable quad.
Lodge Enhancement: Expand the Snow Park Lodge to include new bathrooms on the slope-side of the building as well as enhancements to the employee cafeteria.
Expanded Terrain: New glade skiing will be added off of the Sultan chairlift.
New Lift: A new triple chair has been installed for the 2006-07 season that will provide guests with an additional way to access the mountain. It will also open up three new intermediate runs. The resort also retrofitted the gearboxes in all of its detachable chairlifts.
Expanded Snowmaking: 14 new snowmaking guns have been installed to produce more snow in the pre and early seasons. The new guns not only allow the resort to open more terrain during the early season but they also allow the resort to produce snow more efficiently. These snowmaking guns will reduce the resort's energy output this upcoming season by more than 1.2 million kilowatt hours, which is equal to not driving 2.5 million miles or planting 275,000 trees.
Additional Grooming Equipment: Three new snowcat machines have been purchased to enhance the resort's commitment to on-mountain grooming. The "Signature Runs," groomed advanced runs, provide the intermediate skier and rider the opportunity to access more of the mountain.
New Terrain Park Features: Named "Terrain Park of the Year" for two years in a row by Transworld Snowboarding magazine, Park City Mountain Resort will add new rails, funboxes and jumps to its four terrain parks. The resort receives input on the design of its parks from the Park City All Star team including Olympic gold medalist Shaun White and X-Games champion Tanner Hall.
New Lift: After 30 years, the double chair lift at Hidden Lake will be replaced with a high speed detachable quad. Hidden Lake Express will follow the same path as its predecessor, but the travel time on the lift will be cut in half to approximately 8 minutes. The lift is 6,000 feet in length and rises 1,300 feet. The lift capacity will double to 2,400 persons per hour. The lift is manufactured in Salt Lake City by Doppelmayr CTEC.
New Quad: The Peruvian lift will be taken out and replaced with a new high-speed quad. While the base will stay near the original base shack, the top station will be located below the steepest Chip's Run pitch, an approximately 2,600-vertical-foot rise. This 8,000- linear-foot lift transports 1,800 people per hour, providing an eight-minute ride. Should wind conditions prevent Tram operation, this lift will allow for continued skier access to Peruvian Gulch and Mineral Basin. At the top of the lift, a 600-foot tunnel with a conveyor lift will provide access to Mineral Basin. This lift makes Snowbird's intermediate terrain more accessible to skiers and snowboarders.
Tunnel: The first of its kind in North America, Snowbird's new 600-foot tunnel houses a conveyor lift that will transport skiers and riders from Peruvian Gulch into Mineral Basin. Located at the top of the new Peruvian Express high-speed quad, the 12-foot high, 10-foot wide tunnel provides a four-minute ride to intermediate terrain in Mineral Basin. The new tunnel and lift makes intermediate terrain more accessible to skiers and riders by eliminating many switchbacks and the steepest pitch of Chip's Run. It also provides an efficient way to reach Hidden Peak without the use of the Tram.
Snowbird Snowcam: Tracking the current storm is now as easy as looking online at Snowbird's new SnowCam. The SnowCam provides live shots of the current storm's snow accumulation. This features a snow measuring board sporting the Snowbird logo and a ruler with 4-, 8-, 12- and 16-inch gradations. It is mounted on a winch that allows it to be raised or lowered to the surface of the snow. The whole scene is lit so you'll be able to see the snow falling at any time of the day or night. Check it out at www.snowbird.com/snowcam.
Lodge Renovations: Snowbird's flagship property, the Cliff Lodge just completed a $5.6 million renovation. Features include upgraded lodging rooms with new furnishings, flat screen televisions, bedding, bathroom tile, fixtures and artwork. In addition, the spa level rooms now offer Tempur-Pedic beds.
Improved Grooming: Solitude continues its mission to provide some of the best groomed terrain in Utah by purchasing another new snow cat for this season.
Off Piste: For off piste terrain enthusiasts, the Queen Bess area north of the Honeycomb lift will offer great powder skiing this winter.
General Upgrades: Clean up efforts are under underway for the physical plant to offer visiting families an affordable, enjoyable experience.
Improvements for Beginners: Better grading and drainage will mean guests no longer have to drive across a stream or ice flow. Beginners will have an easier time parking and finding the way to the rental shop where their ski day begins. Adjustments will be made to the grading of the beginners hill.
Ski School Yurt: Wolf Mountain is working on plans to feature a yurt to house a "children's drop-off ski school."
Terrain Park Expansion: The terrain park will be expanded to create a longer run. This is being done out of earth so that "Wolf's Lair" can double as a mountain bike free-ride park in the summer.
Increaded Snowmaking: Wolf Mountain continues to invest in snowmaking and grooming to offer a high quality grooming program for the family intermediate target audience.