With the 2021-2022 Winter Season looming, snow sports enthusiasts begin to brush off their gear and look towards the slopes in the hope of early snow. Many Colorado ski resorts have undergone upgrades over the off-season to improve their winter experience. From new lifts to parking expansions, ski areas have documented their changes and posted their opening dates in anticipation of the coming season.
- Arapahoe Basin – Opening Mid-October
This year, the Legend will open with a new dining venue, Steilhang Hut, situated on the upper mountain. A fusion of Bavarian and Coloradan cuisine will be offered at the venue as Arapahoe Basin kicks off its 75th season in style.
- Aspen Snowmass – Opening Nov. 25th
As a part of its 75th Anniversary rebranding, Snowmass and Aspen Mountain will receive a new logo and brand identity heading into the new year, with Highlands and Buttermilk to follow next season. At the resort, patrons can visit the new Alpin Room in the High Alpine Restaurant, which showcases European Ski culture alongside a refreshed menu.
- Beaver Creek – Opening Nov. 24th
At Beaver Creek, the new McCoy Park terrain expansion encompasses 250 acres of easy and more challenging terrain flanked by beautiful aspen groves. With the expansion comes two new lifts, one high-speed quad to service the new terrain and one regular quad lift to serve as egress from the 17 new trails.
- Breckenridge – Opening Nov. 12th
At Breckenridge, a new high-speed quad chairlift named the “Freedom Superchair” will debut for the 2021-2022 season. The lift will service existing terrain on Peak 7 while helping to improve egress from Peak 6 and relieve pressure on the base of Peak 7.
- Copper Mountain – Opening Nov. 22th
Copper will be doubling down on the family experience with the introduction of the “Western Territory.” The new area encompasses a portion of beginner terrain that will include two family-friendly adventure zones alongside two new trails to help beginner skiers, kids, and families progress their snow sports ability in a fun environment.
- Crested Butte – Opening Nov. 24th
For the new season, Crested Butte will be getting an upgrade to the existing Peachtree double chairlift. The new triple chairlift extends the lift slightly above its former upper terminal while offering access to newly graded beginner runs to help new skiers gain confidence on the slopes.
- Echo Mountain Park – Opening Nov. 26th
Echo Mountain’s indoor dining venue, the Brothers Grill, will be receiving a refreshed menu for the new season. Additionally, the ever-popular pizza truck has been moved to a more convenient location allowing for easier access from the slopes.
- Eldora – Opening Nov. 19th
Parking reservations are gone at Eldora for the new season. However single-occupancy vehicles will be assessed a 10$ parking charge on weekends and holidays in line with a Boulder County transit order. To avoid this, visitors can ride the free RTD bus service between the ski area and Downtown Boulder throughout the day.
- Howelsen Hill – Opening Nov. 28th
At Howelsen, the old Barrows double chairlift will be upgraded to a new triple chairlift while the ski area’s newly separated ticket office and concession area will allow for more dining options at the hill.
- Keystone – Opening Mid-October
At Keystone, the old four-person Peru Express will be upgraded to a new six-pack chairlift, increasing the uphill capacity of the Mountain House base area by 33%. In addition, the last remaining original chairlift, Argentine, has been removed as a part of the project.
- Loveland – Opening Late-October
At Loveland, new snowcat tours will take place just East of Lift 8 and the ski area boundary, allowing a unique guided backcountry experience. In addition, the Loveland Valley Lodge has undergone a significant expansion, resulting in more space for rentals and the ski and ride school while tripling the seating area in the cafeteria.
- Monarch Mountain – Opening TBD
At Monarch, a 200 space expansion to the paradise Parking lot helps set the stage for introducing ticket scanning RFID technology, which will help the flow of guests through the chairlift loading process. In addition, a new food operation, Shredders, will offer a new dining option at the ski area for the new year.
- Powderhorn Resort – Opening Nov. 26th
At Powderhorn, upgrades to their gravity-fed snowmaking system have allowed the ski area to open sooner and close later in the season. In addition, a new shop, Sunrise Coffee & Pizza, gives guests more dining options on the mountain.
- Purgatory Resort – Opening Nov. 20th
At Purgatory, new snow grooming equipment and upgraded snowmaking infrastructure will allow for better snow conditions through the season, while tree thinning and lift modernization will ensure guests can make the most of their time on the mountain.
- Silverton Mountain – Opening Dec. 30th
Silverton celebrates the 20th anniversary of their first and only chairlift installation this season while continuing to offer the same backcountry style experience that defines the ski area.
- Ski Cooper – Opening Dec. 8th
A new restaurant, the Timberline Taproom, will showcase the diverse array of Colorado beers alongside light dining options. In addition, expanded rental space will allow for greater visitor capacity at the ski area.
- Ski Granby Ranch – Opening Dec. 11th
At Ski Granby Ranch, a large expansion of snowmaking infrastructure has tripled the area covered by snowmaking to 115 acres, ensuring a better early-season experience for visitors. Underground new fiber lines have been run, increasing connectivity across the mountain.
- Steamboat – Opening Nov. 20th
As a part of Steamboats “Full Steam Ahead Project,” the ski resort will see an expanded base area that sees the iconic Steamboat gondola sit on the plaza removed from its old interior location. The base area facelift should streamline the arrival process and allow the return of dining venue Routtie’s to the plaza.
- Sunlight – Opening Dec. 10th
This year Sunlight has invested in new ticketing and digital technology, allowing the ski area to provide a better purchasing experience on their new website. In addition, the base area parking lot has seen a moderate expansion, with the addition of six new electric vehicle charging stations.
- Telluride – Opening Nov. 25th
At Telluride, a $1 million investment has added 60 acres of snowmaking terrain to the ski area while additional beginner and intermediate trails have been cut, allowing access to more than 40 acres of previously closed terrain. In addition, the nearby Telluride Airport will be receiving direct flights from Huston and Phoenix throughout the winter, improving ease of access to the isolated resort.
- Vail – Opening Nov. 12th
At Vail, previously installed snowmaking infrastructure has led the resort to announce its earliest opening day in recent memory. If conditions hold and the opening day can be realized, it will allow an extra week or two of skiing over previous seasons.
- Winter Park – Opening Nov. 17th
For the new season, Winter Park sees a plethora of new dining options throughout the base area. In addition, this season, Winter Park is offering sunset guided skiing, and riding experiences with free sunset gondola rides from the base during Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the season.