LOON MOUNTAIN, NH
InnSeason Resorts, a developer of vacation resorts in New England, has begun construction of a new resort at Loon Mountain. Dubbed RiverWalk at Loon Mountain, this will be InnSeason’s third resort in Lincoln and its largest investment in a resort in New England to date.
The resort will be located at the base of the South Peak of the resort on the banks of the Pemigewasset River. Guests will have easy access across the river to the mountain via the resort’s shuttle service. The first phase of the development is set to be completed by January 2016.
InnSeason plans to bring back the feel of the “grand hotels” of the early-20th century Northeast with its design of RiverWalk. Phase One will encompass 145,000 square feet, making available 80 units of hotel room, time-share and full-ownership properties. Phase Two will comprise a footprint of 300,000 square feet and will include 170 units.
Amenities will include a full service spa, fitness center, restaurant and lounge, game room, heated all-season pool, one-of-a-kind skating rink, Owners Club and personal storage lockers.
HYLAND SKI AND SNOWBOARD AREA, MN
Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area is nearing completion of its new, 36,000 square foot chalet building, started earlier this summer. Hyland’s ultimate goal with the new chalet is to help alleviate guest congestion and confusion as they arrive at the area. The new building will better orient guests in a logical progression, leading them from arrival, through the building, and on to the slopes. The design makes it easier for guests to locate and book tickets and sales, ski lesson programs and rentals. It provides enhanced food service and a large dining area. In all, it utilizes the latest design features to create flexible year-around spaces.
Equally important was solving ongoing parking and transportation issues. The solution is a multi-faceted parking area on the ground level of the building that creates a more guest-friendly arrival experience.
Both of these projects stem from the resort’s primary goal of relieving physical and operational challenges that existed in an aging and overcrowded facility. Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area has operated at or above capacity on a regular basis during the winter season. Overcrowding of the facilities, including the Chalet, parking, and roadways were all identified as issues that needed to be addressed.
Panorama Resort is finishing up a variety of projects this fall, including a new quad chairlift, glading, the new clubhouse at Greywolf, and the new home construction on Trappers Ridge.
The two sections of new glading for the 2014-15 season are all within the ski area boundary, but were previously too tight to ski. They offer more than a dozen acres of advanced to expert tree-skiing terrain. The Extreme Dream Zone area, from the Zone 2 entrance to the Café, Latte, and Mocha Chutes, opens up 6.75 gladed acres, while Taynton Bowl was gladed in the area below the ridges of View of 1000 Peaks and Heli High, which creates another 7.75 acres.
Construction began on the Clubhouse at Greywolf earlier this summer. It opened in September, though some landscaping and paving remained to be completed. The clubhouse provides underground cart and club storage, full-service locker rooms, a 2,000 square foot Pro Shop, and expansive outdoor patios. Green touches include the use of local Douglas fir beams in the interior, as well as high-efficiency furnaces, water heaters and appliances throughout.
Trappers Ridge is the resort’s newest residential neighborhood. Phase 1 construction began in early July and was sold out almost immediately. The ski-in/ski-out custom homes will be accessed via the Silver Platter and Panorama’s brand new chairlift for slopeside convenience.
The base of Buttermilk has undergone phase one of a two-phase renovation which is intended to raise the guest experience to the level of the Aspen/Snowmass brand. Access to the base area has been vastly improved with new parking lots and transit connections.
Most notable in phase one is the resort’s new 7,500 square foot children’s facility, The Hideout, which replaces the Powder Pandas’ 2,800 square foot facility. Guests can now easily drop off children curbside for their programs in The Hideout. The facility offers drop-in care for children 2.5 to 4 years old, though it is not a licensed daycare, and serves children up to age 12 in lesson programs.
Outside, the Magic Carpet area has been slightly enlarged to provide a better overall teaching experience. In addition, a small outdoor playground area attached to the building will mix play with early skills practice for the youngest guests.
Inside, spaces are set up to accommodate specific age groups. The youngest guests, “Cubs,” have a room designed just for smaller children: windows are set at low height to offer views outside; a playhouse provides a cozy spot for imaginative play for children ages 2 to 4. Older children will find other play structures and forts scattered about the building, including a “tent” room and a large public playroom which serve to provide engaging environments when the children are inside. The playroom leads children up to a lookout tower where they can watch the action on the Magic Carpet and keep an eye out for parents.
The building was designed by CCY Architects of Basalt, and borrows many ideas and concepts from the innovative Treehouse children’s center at Snowmass. The interior finishes and play structures were designed by Studio K of Chicago and pay homage to the various forts, structures and hideouts present on Buttermilk’s kids ski trails.
SKI HEARTH FARM, NH
This 640-acre farm, long owned by ski pioneer Sel Hannah and, more recently, by Olympian Bode Miller, is now the property of Davis Mangold, a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and an avid cross-country skier. Mangold is turning it into the country’s newest cross country ski area. It was set to open Dec. 26.
Mangold is investing $750,000 on trail design and building, base facility modifications, rental fleet, grooming operations, and equipment. The 23-kilometer trail network will have guests exploring low river valley fields and adjacent wooded hills. Another five kilometers of trails are dedicated solely to snowshoeing. The trails were designed by Morton Trails as well as Thom Perkins, former longtime head of the Jackson (N.H.) Ski Touring Center, who is helping to develop the project.
The trail system will be one-way, allowing skiers to enjoy a more peaceful outdoor experience, and there will be a specially-designed teaching area easily accessed from the base available for newcomers learning cross-country skiing.