Bigger is better, right? This year, we saw our favorite ski resorts complete expansion projects, finalize plans, or break new ground. Here is an update of the biggest and the boldest so you can plan your trip accordingly in the coming seasons.
Deer Valley Resort, UT
Alterra Mountain Company recently announced that Deer Valley Resort in Utah’s Wasatch Mountain Range would expand its terrain by 3,700 acres and construct an additional base village. The expansion project is set to more than double the existing skiable terrain for mountain visitors and add 16 new lifts and a state-of-the-art 10-person gondola. The project will be completed in stages over the next three seasons, with a large portion of the terrain available for ski access in the 25/26 winter months. The project completed will total the skiable terrain on the resort to 5,726 acres across ten mountains running 38 lifts. Check out the SnowBrains article for more details on the project.
Aspen Mountain, CO
Aspen Mountain is currently undergoing a new terrain expansion and chairlift called Pandora. Hailed as a “project of a lifetime,” according to VP of mountain planning Mark Keeling, the new terrain will open 153 acres of lift-accessed skiing. The project, which has been in the works for over a decade, is set to open on Aspen Mountain to skiers in the fall of 2023. The project will expand the existing skiable terrain by 20% and include a new high-speed quad lift running 1,220 vertical feet up the mountain. Check out the SnowBrains article for further details on the project.
The construction of Keystone’s new Bergman Bowl lift was put back on track this spring after The U.S. Forestry Service put the project on hold due to the unauthorized destruction of fragile alpine habitat. The White River National Forest signed off on the new lift in 2021. It was initially set to open 550 acres of new beginner and intermediate terrain for skiers in winter 22/23. However, when officials close to the project confirmed a road being used for the project was harming the precious alpine ecosystem, they put the job on hold. In the following months, Keystone has worked closely with the Forest Service to right the wrongs of their construction fouls and have added the necessary funding and resources to restore the damaged environment to the project. Skiers planning to visit Keystone this season can expect the project to be completed and an opportunity to ride the new Bergman Bowl lift to the expanded terrain.
In June of 2021, Steamboat Resort began phase one of its three-phase plan to expand resort terrain, construct new on-resort structures, and install a new gondola and chairlift for guests. Approaching the 23/24 winter season, Steamboat is approaching the finish line of these projects, and skiers visiting the resort this winter have a lot to be excited about. This December, Steamboat plans to open the upper leg of its new Wild Blue Gondola, marking the complete installation of the ambitious on-mountain project. Transporting skiers and riders from the base area to the top of Sunshine Peak at seven meters per second, it will be North America’s fastest 10-person gondola. Opening the same month and completing the final Phase of Steamboat’s plan, 650 acres of new terrain expansion will be officially open for skiers and riders searching Champagne Powder® runs.
Little Cottonwood Canyon Gondola, UT
The Little Cottonwood Canyon Gondola has been the most locally polarizing project in the ski industry for the past few years. To the relief of some and the dread of others, one proposed version of the project was approved and will begin phase one implementation in 2025. If funding is secured, the gondola will run from a new 2,500-car park at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon and transport riders on a 30+ minute ride to Snowbird and Alta Ski Resort. The project is estimated to cost $1.4 billion and won’t have the final phase completed for another 25 years. The project is backed by UDOT and Snowbird and Alta Resorts, who expect a solution to help shuttle more visitors up the canyon during winter.
There is much to be excited about this winter season for skiers and riders alike. New terrain and new infrastructure at our favorite resorts mean new adventures and new memories on snow. The sport’s growing popularity demands new technologies and more room for all of us to play around on blower pow days. Excited to see you all out there!