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September 2015

Construction Site :: September 2015

Major summer improvement projects include summit and base lodge additions, bike parts, and of course, lift installations.

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Schweitzer Mountain began construction earlier this summer on a $3.8 million summit lodge at the top of the resort’s Great Escape Quad. The planned 8,000 sq. ft., two-story building was designed by Sandpoint-based architect Tim Boden, and will feature 360-degree views of the area. The main floor of the building will become the new base for ski patrol dis-

patch and much needed restrooms on the summit. The second floor will host a restaurant and full service bar, with indoor and outdoor seating for up to 180 people. Additionally, the building will include options for accommodating private functions like weddings. The lodge’s completion date is set for fall 2016.

Stratton wasted little time after the 2014-15 season wrapped up as crews immediately began work on a $9 million renovation of the ­resort’s iconic base lodge. A second floor is being added to the east and west wings, adding another 350 seats and approximately 4,000 square feet.

The lodge will feature native stone, hardwoods, and barn-style board and gates, as well as Vermont-crafted energy efficient lighting from Hubbardton Forge. Other renovations include a larger kitchen to serve the expanded Grizzly’s restaurant, which will also feature a new outdoor deck, while the main floor will receive a new serving area, coffee shop, flooring and upgraded architectural details. The base lodge improvements are set to be completed for the 2015-16 season, with a grand opening scheduled for November.

Nearly four years after the purchase of Powderhorn Mountain Resort by Gart Capital Partners and Andy Daly, the resort has begun the first of many capital improvements as part of a $5 million investment plan to upgrade the slopes for winter and summer recreation.

This summer, crews began installation of a Leitner Poma high-speed quad chairlift along the same alignment as the current Take Four lift. This will be the resort’s first detachable. The bottom terminal will be lowered by approximately eight feet to create much easier access to the lift loading area. The new chairlift will be ready for opening day in mid-December for the 2015-16 season.

Summer improvements include a master plan for the bike park and building at least two new trails this summer, one intermediate and one expert. These will be ready for lift-served downhill mountain biking in summer 2016. Powderhorn plans to add two or three trails per year until the resort reaches full buildout, which could see 50+ miles of trails. Since the top of the area is on the Grand Mesa, the largest and highest flattop mountain in the world, Powderhorn’s trails will connect to the existing trail network on the Grand Mesa National Forest.

The area is also installing 8,000 feet of new snowmaking infrastructure that will increase snowmaking coverage by 75 percent. Crews are using ductile iron pipe manufactured in Austria, and are converting from an air/water system to a water-only system utilizing fan guns and sticks with on-board compressors. This is just the first phase of a snowmaking expansion in which the water supply will eventually be located at the top of the mountain from a system of existing reservoirs. This will allow for a gravity powered system that will require very little pumping, making it potentially one of the most efficient snowmaking systems in North America.

Additional resort improvements include upgrades to the area’s food and beverage operations and lodge facilities.

$50 million in capital improvements began this summer as Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons become one. Connecting the two resorts will result in the largest single ski area in the country, with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain.

The new 8-passenger Quicksilver Gondola, a Doppelmayr, will span more than 8,000 feet and connect Park City’s Silverlode lift base (and Miners Camp) to the Flat Iron Lift at the former Canyons in just under 9 minutes. The gondola will feature a mid-station, with ski access into the Canyons side of the mountain on three new runs and gated access into Thaynes Canyon on the Park City side. The former Snow Hut Lodge at the base of the Silverlode Lift, and next to the Park City terminal for the new Quicksilver, is being replaced with the new Miners Camp, which will boast 500 indoor seats and a large outdoor deck, as well as state-of-the-art food servery.

In addition to the Quicksilver Gondola, the King Con and Motherlode lifts at Park City are being upgraded by Doppelmayr. The King Con will go from a quad to a six-pack detachable. The Motherlode will go from a fixed-grip triple to a quad detachable, using chairs from the old King Con lift.

Mt. Bachelor spent much of the summer developing the resort’s bike activities, adding new trails and opening a second chairlift, the Sunshine Accelerator. The skills park in the base area has been expanded, too. The Sunshine Accelerator offers immediate access to trails from the skills park, in particular the new, easier First Timer Line. A new connector trail from the top of Sunshine Accelerator to the easier section of lower Lava Flow trail gives novice riders a second downhill option. Mt. Bachelor is also expanding the downhill trail network off the Pine Marten lift for intermediate, advanced and expert riders. The final sector construction of Cone Run, Way Out and Last Chance trails was expected to be complete by August 1.

Crews are also hand-building a double black diamond trail this summer with guidance from local professional riders. This trail will drop nearly straight down the Pine Marten lift line across lava rock and natural terrain features, and is aimed exclusively at experts who desire an extreme technical challenge.