A new, two-story, glass-enclosed lodge will open at 11,000 feet on Hidden Peak in the winter of 2015-16. The 23,196-square-foot building will replace the current warming hut and ski patrol building that has greeted tram riders for the last four decades.
The resort began construction on the new lodge months ago. Building at high altitude is always an adventure; the biggest unforeseen obstacle here has been the spring weather. After the lowest snowfall and snowpack ever, the area experienced one of its wettest Mays to date. To expedite construction, the resort assisted its contractor, Layton Construction, with a helicopter shuttle of materials prior to getting the summer service road plowed. In addition, the resort “slung” several loads under the tram, including a small excavator. The site’s remote location has been a second ongoing obstacle. It’s not possible to drive trucks to the job site, due to limited space. So the resort runs a daily construction transport tram at 7 a.m.; spring tram maintenance, which has to be completed prior to opening for summer foot passengers, then shuts the tram until 11 a.m. So meticulous planning of daily operations has been crucial.
Once completed, the facility and its 360-degree views will offer a 10,080-square-foot outdoor deck, cafeteria seating for 192 people, and private dining rooms on the second level for 180 people. All of this will be available for private functions, weddings, and meetings year-round. The lodge will also once again house ski patrol, as well as expanded bathroom facilities.
MOUNT SNOW, VT
Mount Snow is undergoing a massive, $30 million overhaul of its snowmaking system, dubbed the West Lake Water Project. Funded by an EB-5 visa program, construction includes a 120-million-gallon water storage pond for snowmaking, three pump houses, and the installation of pipelines, as well as trail upgrades and a new lift.
The resort currently has 20 million gallons of water available for snowmaking. West Lake will increase storage six-fold, enabling the area to open more trails early in the season and increasing snowmaking capacity to 11,800 GPM.
The new West Lake pond will be located on private property the resort already owns in the town of Wilmington, approximately 4.5 miles from the base of Carinthia, where the main booster pump house will be. The first of the three new pump houses, the West Lake pump house will deliver water into West Lake from Cold Brook, a nearby stream, and from there to the main pump house at Carinthia. From here the water will be divided between the lower system, Carinthia, and the summit feed. The final pump house is located approximately one quarter of the way up the main face of the mountain. From the Cold Brook out-take to the third pump house located on the main face, the water will travel a total of six miles before it reaches any snowmaking hydrants. In total, 28,500 feet of new pipelines will be installed, ranging in size from 24 inches to 48 inches in diameter.
Additional components of the project include an intake structure in Cold Brook, on-mountain snowmaking upgrades, a new beginner lift, and other infrastructure improvements.
The area’s development plan also includes construction of Carinthia Ski Lodge, a new three-story service building located at the base of Carinthia. With approximately 36,000 square feet, the lodge will house a restaurant, cafeteria, two bars, and coffee counter. Skier and rider services will include a rental shop, lift ticket and snowsport school sales, retail and convenience store, and a kids activity room. The Carinthia base area will also be the focus of future planned hotel accommodations and recreational facilities to be built as part of Mount Snow’s master plan.
SNOW KING, WY
Snow King is currently undergoing the largest capital improvement project in the mountain’s 75-year history. The $9.5 million investment includes a new lift, mountain coaster, ropes course, and two new base lodge buildings, as well as extensive grading to make the beginner terrain more accessible from the base area.
The 35-year-old Rafferty lift is being replaced with a new fixed-grip Doppelmayr quad chair, and was scheduled to open to the public in June. The bottom terminal is the first of its kind: a bottom drive, bottom tension mono-pod fixed grip quad terminal. The new lift will double the uphill capacity for the resort’s alpine slide and treetop adventure course. It also extends an additional 1,000 linear feet, and an additional 311 vertical feet, past the old terminal, for a total length of 2,877 feet and 866 vertical feet.
The new 3,300-foot Wiegand mountain coaster is scheduled for completion by Aug. 15. It has a 1,700-foot uphill track, as well as anti-collision technology.
The area’s new treetop adventure park, designed and installed by Outplay Adventures, has a projected fall opening. After extensive public comment and collaborative efforts with the USFS, this will be the first course of its type to be built on USFS ski area land. It uses a special compression system to secure the platforms and cables to the trees, without any drilling required. The aerial adventure park will include six courses with 94 elements consisting of climbing walls, bridges, Tarzan swings, moving skateboards, and zip lines. The course will cover approximately three acres of forest on the mountain.
The area’s two new lodge buildings are being designed and engineered by local firm CTA Architects. The multi-story structures will house restaurants and bars, as well as ski school facilities, and are scheduled to open in December.
Killington’s $3.5 million investment this summer includes a $2.2 million alpine mountain coaster, expanded beginner mountain bike trails, Skyeride, a ropes course, ATV tours, and more. The new summer attractions will be located in the Snowshed base area, the resort’s new summer epicenter for outdoor activities.
The Snowshed Express Quad will serve the expanded, redesigned mountain biking terrain, intended for all ability levels. This spring’s additions represent phase two of a five-year mountain bike park expansion plan. The plan includes new bike trails to the Snowshed area that will be accessible from two separate lifts.
Additional attractions include a 4,800-foot alpine mountain coaster, a four-story ropes course with 42 obstacles above a 5,000-square-foot maze, a 1,200-foot Skyeride that seats two guests at a time and rises more than 200 feet in the air, Segway tours, and ATV/UTV mountain tours.
The resort’s retail and bike shop at the Snowshed Lodge will also see improvements. More than 50 new bikes from Scott and Kona will be added to the rental fleet. The shop is also adding youth sizes and accessories such as shoes and gloves. A new BOGS Hiking Center will offer hiking shoe rentals, hiking socks, trekking poles, and more.
The projected completion date was June 26 for all except the alpine coaster, which is set to open Aug. 1. The coaster will operate year-round.
BRISTOL MOUNTAIN, NY
Bristol Mountain is making two major investments this summer for resort guests, including the first cable wakeboarding park in the Northeast.
The new Roseland Wake Park was scheduled to open in late June. Located on the 26-acre Muar Lake, the park will feature a five-tower, 2,000-foot loop and a variety of water features including jumps, rails, and boxes. The park will host up to nine riders at a time; they are towed around the lake at 18 mph by a towbar attached to a moving cable suspended from the 30-foot towers. Riders are spaced 100 to 200 feet apart.
A Lil Bro Learn to Ride Center uses a two-tower system for those learning to wakeboard, water ski, kneeboard, or wake skate. A $49 Learn to Ride package will be available as the park opens. The park will also feature a full-service rental and retail shop. Group discounts, season passes, a camp, and birthday parties will also be offered.
Later this summer, the resort will open a new guided zip line canopy tour with more than 5,000 feet of zipping. Tours will accommodate up to 12 per group.