BRETTON WOODS, N.H.
Omni-owned Bretton Woods, N.H., will open a new summit lodge and event facility in the first quarter of 2020. The 16,000 sq. ft. structure sits about 150 vertical feet below the summit of Mount Rosebrook, with a spectacular view of Mt. Washington, and will be accessed from the resort’s new gondola. Tucked neatly into the ridgeline, the facility has a convex design by architectural firm Bull Stockwell Allen. This boasts floor to ceiling windows for an unobstructed view of the Presidential Range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The lodge takes its aesthetic cues from the natural environment and will display luxury finishes. The bottom level of the facility includes a restaurant, coffee shop, retail, bathrooms, and a range of skier services. The top floor serves up a 230-person ballroom and enough outdoor seating for 150 people. This year-round, multi-use space will host weddings, events, and more. Construction has been a two-year project. The foundation was laid last year before work was put on hold in November. Work re-launched in mid-April, and the building’s steel frame was going up by early June. New Englandbased general contractor Engelberth Construction is managing the project. Director of ski operations Chris Ellms notes that the project’s footprint on the land has been relatively light. The resort did have to dig fairly deep to create a mountaintop well for the lodge’s water supply, but there was minimal blasting to level the ledge, and existing work roads are being used to access the site.
HIDDEN VALLEY, MO.
Hidden Valley Ski Resort opened a brand-new $2.5 million Terra Nova ZipTour on May 31. Work on the dual zip line tour began in October 2018 after Hidden Valley, a Peak Resorts property just outside of St. Louis, won its often-contentious battle for permit and zoning approval. It’s Hidden Valley’s first summer attraction since shuttering its golf course in 2008. The ZipTour has four spans, ranging in length from 305 feet to 2,805 feet. Crews strung a total of 12,400 feet of 3/4-inch galvanized wire rope between eight concrete towers. The towers were built using 550 yards of concrete and 56 tons of rebar. ZipTour’s trolleys allow guests to control their own speed; riders can reach speeds up to 50 mph as they zip over the resort’s tubing hill, across West Mountain, and down its now-defunct golf course. Terra Nova built the landing and launch platforms, but all other work was done in-house. “The guys we have here are awesome,” says general manager Greg Gavrilets. Director of outdoor operations Bret Waterhouse led the crew, who worked straight through winter and one of the wettest springs on record to have the ZipTour ready for late May. The wet spring proved challenging—rain resulted in nearly seven lost work days, and significant gravel had to be put down to make the access roads viable. Otherwise, the installation sites were accessed using existing work roads, and little clearing was needed to make way for the towers and spans.
OBER GATLINBURG, TENN.
Ober Gatlinburg added summer tubing to its activity lineup in June. The $170,000 project was built with a Neveplast surface on the winter tubing area, utilizing an existing conveyor lift to access four 250-foot lanes. Construction and planning began in February. Some minor changes were made to the winter tubing zone to accommodate the installation: a midway point was added to the conveyor lift for loading, and the area was slightly re-graded to clean up rocks and other imperfections from the slope. Neveplast comes in tiles that can be broken down into square-foot sections. Ober purchased four pallets of tiles (1,250 sections per pallet) for the installation. The upslope side of the tiles is screwed into a metal track, which is affixed to a Neveplast ground cover. The downslope side of the tile floats freely; this helps avoid any tile snags when the surface expands in the summer heat. To protect guests and enhance the look of the tubing facility, artificial turf is placed alongside the lanes and in the spectating area. The resort bought 14,000 sq. ft. of reclaimed artificial turf from Artificial Grass Recyclers; the turf came from a college football field. Installation was relatively quick. Once the Neveplast tiles and ground cover arrived from Italy, it took just 24 hours with the help of Neveplast representatives to assemble the track. Then, it took another week for Ober’s crew to install the artificial turf that surrounds the lanes. The resort anticipates summer tubing to be popular. It’s in a prime location right next to the resort’s mountain coaster, with access to restrooms, food and beverage, and retail. Based on its projections, Ober Gatlinburg hopes to see a return on its investment by the end of September.
MT. WASHINGTON, B.C.
Construction is underway on a $3.5 million, 7,589-foot-long ZipTour by Terra Nova. It will be the largest zip line attraction on Vancouver Island, with four spans, each with dual, side-by-side zip lines, ranging in length from 1,643 feet to 2,372 feet. Riders will descend a total of 1,400 vertical feet at an average grade of 14 to 24 percent. ZipTour’s unique trolleys allow riders to control their own speed throughout the descent. Dean Prentice, GM of the resort, expects “this will be an iconic ride for us.” Construction began in earnest last fall, when crews poured three out of the four foundations and towers for the bottom two lines. Terra Nova is the lead on the project, but Mt. Washington crews and local contractors have done all of the tree felling, rock hammering, road maintenance, and other site prep for the installation. As of early June, concrete had been poured for the last tower of the lower lines. Existing work roads were used to transport concrete to the sites of the lower four towers. Helicopters will fly in the concrete for the towers of the upper two spans this summer. The largest tower, which is at the bottom of the fourth span, required 181 cubic yards of concrete. As often happens in the mountains, construction was subject to some unique environmental concerns. Mt. Washington is home to a key population of endangered Vancouver Island marmots, and the resort works closely with the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation to support the species’ growth. To that end, crews have been especially careful not to disrupt any of the marmot dens on the mountain. This spring, there were concerns about active marmot hibernacula at the top of span three. Luckily for the project timeline, it proved not to be the case. The ZipTour will open in two phases. In mid-July, the lower two dual spans will open; they run from the top of the Hawk Express to the final landing on the roof of the Bradley Learning Center in the base area. The full tour is on track to open in early August.