Two thousand sixteen just might go down as the year of the alpine roller coaster. From coast to coast and everywhere in between, ski resorts are looking to alpine coasters to expand their summer offerings.
It makes sense that summer offers ski areas a way to bring in more visitors, and in many ways summertime in the mountains is far more approachable than winter. People who might never strap on a pair of skis or a snowboard could enjoy playing mini-golf at the base area or taking a relatively mild ride down a mountain coaster. And mountain coasters are a family-friendly activity that's easy to market to visitors of all types.
So which resorts are cashing in on the coaster craze? Here's a list:
- Jackson Hole's Snow King just built the Cowboy Coaster.
- Killington Resort opened the $2 million, 4,800-foot-long Beast Mountain Coaster in summer 2015.
- Snowmass is looking to build a 4,400 foot coaster ride that would last 4 minutes.
- Vail will debut the new $25M Epic Discovery adventure center this summer, and it will include the Forest Flyer, an alpine coaster that runs on raised rails down the mountain.
- Heavenly is also getting a Forest Flyer.
- Steamboat Ski Resort just announced that owner Intrawest will be investing millions in summer amenities, including a mountain coaster and mini golf coast.
- Copper Mountain is in the midst of trying to get approval for an alpine coaster.
On top of all of these new mountain coasters, don't forget the resorts that already have them: Park City, Snowbird, Okemo, and more. Tell us, Curbediverse, what do you think about roller coasters on your ski hills? Let us know in the comments.