Denver, CO-based Alterra Mountain Co. said it will invest $181 million in capital improvements across its 14 North American mountain destinations for the upcoming year.
Marquee 2019/20 projects aimed at enhancing the guest experience include new high-speed lifts at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Winter Park, direct to lift access at Deer Valley Resort, an expansive renovation of the Bobbie Burns lodge at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures and an upgrade of Steamboat’s gondola.
This year’s $181 million plan includes $32.3 million towards improved gondolas and lifts, a $27.1 million investment in innovation to offer customer-friendly technology, $8.3 million towards state-of-the-art snowmaking, $6.2 million dedicated to expanded dining experiences, $6.3 million in summer activity investments, and nearly $10 million in planning efforts to unlock future potential terrain and lift expansions, base area developments, new dining facilities, and four-season activity offerings.
These capital projects are part of an ambitious improvement plan totaling more than half a billion dollars through the 2022/23 season, focused on elevating the guest experience at all destinations, after an initial $170 million investment for the 2018/19 season.
“Alterra Mountain Company’s unique year-round mountain destinations offer skiers, riders and summer visitors of all ages from all over the world special, memorable experiences, and each aspect of our business plays a part in bringing the guest back year after year and inspiring a lifelong love of the mountains,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “We are committed to investing in everything from lifts to snowmaking to creative dining experiences, and technology that weaves it all together for a seamless visit.”
Significant improvements for the 2019/2020 season include:
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will replace the Hot Wheels lift at Alpine Meadows with a new high-speed quad with an extended second leg to the ridge, granting skiers and riders quicker access to the Alpine and Sherwood areas. New surface lifts at High Camp at Squaw Valley will improve connectivity with High Camp facilities and enhance the beginner experience.
Deer Valley Resort, UT: Deer Valley Resort will have direct-to-lift access for winter 19/20 after an investment in RFID technology. This will streamline and speed up the on-mountain experience, and Ikon Pass holders will no longer have to visit the ticket window, giving skiers more time on the mountain.
Steamboat, CO: Steamboat is planning a $15 million replacement of its gondola this year. The new gondola will follow the same alignment, taking skiers and riders out of the base area and up to the Thunderhead Lodge, and will significantly reduce ride times. In addition, new level-walk-in cabins will boost uphill capacity by nearly 30%, up to 3,600 skiers per hour, providing skiers and riders more time on the mountain.
CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, BC, Canada: The beloved Bobbie Burns lodge in British Columbia will experience a $6.4 million ($8.4 million CAD) renovation, the largest infrastructure project that CMH has undertaken since 2002, with a complete redesign and modernization of existing guest rooms. In addition, the construction of a new wing will increase the number of single rooms, bringing the lodge capacity to 37 guests in winter, and enable CMH to offer a four-person private heli-skiing program starting in December 2019. Nearly $1 million ($1.2 million CAD) will be spent on run development throughout CMH’s heli-ski tenures. For summer 2019, guests will be able to navigate canyon ledges and glacier-fed waterfalls on the new Zillmer Canyon Via Ferrata, launching at CMH Cariboos.
Mammoth Mountain, CA: Mammoth Mountain will undergo a $10 million second phase renovation of its busy Canyon Lodge, focusing on expanded restaurants and skier service improvements. The popular Mill restaurant will also undergo renovations, adding 50+ seats to the dining area. Significant upgrades to snowmaking will bolster Mammoth’s reputation for early-November openings, and supplement its natural snow and high-elevation advantages with greater early-season coverage.
Winter Park Resort, CO: Winter Park Resort will replace the Sunnyside lift at Mary Jane, currently a fixed triple lift, with a new Leitner-Poma detachable high-speed six-pack, increasing uphill capacity by 800 people per hour and reducing the ride time from eight minutes to 3.8. The new lift will improve skier transit out of Parsenn Bowl and through the Lunch Rock area. Winter Park will also reinforce its summer activities by adding new bike trails, rope courses, and climbing walls.
Tremblant, Quebec, Canada: A $4 million snowmaking upgrade and expansion will contribute significantly to greater consistency of early-season openings with high-quality conditions, building upon Tremblant’s reputation as the premier ski destination in the region and preparing the destination for future planned expansions. Phase II of a major $7 million renovation of the Grand Manitou at Tremblant will include refreshes to dining spaces and other interior and exterior renovations.
Stratton, VT: Stratton’s debut in the world of mountain biking will begin with the construction of a completely new mountain biking park and trail network, complete with green, blue, and black trails, as well as various features.
Snowshoe, WV: Alterra Mountain Company is increasing its investment in mountain biking, constructing new bike trails and features at Snowshoe, which is consistently ranked among the top mountain biking destinations in the region. Snowshoe will play host to the final round of the 2019 Mountain Bike World Cup in September 2019.
Big Bear Mountain Resort, CA: Big Bear Mountain Resort will expand its bike park, increase parking capacity for guests, and make notable improvements in skier services and dining facilities to the base area.
Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada: To offer unique outdoor family experiences, an elevated forest adventure course, including tree houses, bounce nets, and slides, will be constructed for family summer fun.