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The Ultimate Guide to What's New at Ski Areas in 2014-2015

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Whether you ski New England or the Rockies, ski areas have been busy this summer spending cash and trying to improve everything from parking lots to grooming. There are new lifts (like Taos Ski Valley's lift up Kachina Peak), loads of new snowmaking, and even new on-mountain restaurants (like Winter Park's Lunch Rock Restaurant). We've prioritized substantial capital investments at well-known resorts, meaning that a new $25,000 snow gun at a tiny snow hill in Michigan didn't quite make the cut. Also, we're still waiting for announcements from ski areas in Tahoe and the Northwest, but we'll be updating the map soon. So without further adieu, here's how 32 ski areas are upping the ante in 2014-2015. Did we miss something? Mention it in the comments or send us an email.


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Sunday River Ski Resort

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Sunday River Resort is spending $5 million in capital improvements, including an upgraded Spruce Peak Triple chair and 60 new energy-efficient snow guns. But the best news it that the resort has also added 50 acres of new, expert-only terrain: four glades and a double black diamond beneath the Spruce Peak Triple lift. Photo from Sunday River Ski Resort

Okemo Mountain Resort

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This winter Okemo Mountain Resort will debut a fancy new $6.9 million chairlift that will whisk skiers 1,670 feet up the hill in a bright orange bubble with heated seats. Unlike a gondola that requires skiers to take off their gear, people can leave their skis and snowboards on while riding 6.4 minutes up the high-speed, six-pack bubble chairlift. Rendering from Okemo Mountain Resort

Sugarbush Resort

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Sugarbush is spending $4.5 million this year, with over $1 million going towards mechanical and electrical upgrades on chairlifts. Skiers can also expect new snowmaking equipment, improvements to the grooming fleet, and 450 new parking spaces. Photo from Sugarbush Resort

Gore Mountain Ski Resort

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This season, Gore Mountain is debuting a new high-speed detachable quad that will replace the Adirondack Express triple. They've also invested in 22 new high-efficiency tower snow guns. Photo from Gore Mountain

Stratton Mountain Resort

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Stratton Mountain Resort spent $7 million this past summer on upgrades, including 58 new gondola cabins and $1.2 million worth of new snow guns. This season the resort will also debut two new intermediate gladed trails beyond the western boundary for a total of 125 acres of gladed terrain. Photo from Stratton Mountain

Stowe Mountain Resort

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Stowe Mountain Resort is in the midst of a three-year, $9.8 million dollar snowmaking expansion. Skiers can expect over 100,000 feet of new snowmaking pipe, 615 HKD SV10 tower guns, 150 Ratnik Baby X2 land frames, 20 SMI Super PoleCat snow towers and 8 HKD Turbo snow towers. Photo from Stowe Mountain Resort

Angel Fire Resort

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Angel Fire will be opening a new beginner's terrain park called the Railyard off of the popular green trail Headin' Home and the resort is also moving the nighttime terrain park to Exhibition. The new location will maximize the mountain's best snow and be open both day and night on weekends and holiday peak periods. Photo from Angel Fire

Taos Ski Valley

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In an effort to become a year-round mountain destination, Taos Ski Valley is pumping loads of cash into their property. A new lift up iconic Kachina Peak will cut out a 45 minute hike, rise 1,100 vertical feet in five minutes, and top out at a lung-busting 12,450 feet. Altogether this will increase the mountain's lift-served advanced and expert terrain by 50% and provide some jaw-dropping views to boot. Photo from Taos Ski Valley

Wolf Creek Ski Area

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This winter Wolf Creek will debut the Elma Lift, a refurbished fixed grip triple chair. While serving mostly beginner and intermediate terrain, the lift will provide another way to get back from the Alberta lift area, eliminating the long traverse across the mountain on Park Avenue. Photo from Wolf Creek

Durango Mountain Resort

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Durango Mountain Resort is debuting a new Burton Riglet Park that will anchor a new learning facility for kids 3-6 years. The resort is also adding more snowmaking. Photo from Durango Mountain Resort

Telluride Ski Resort

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Guests at Telluride Ski Resort will appreciate $1.3 million in new snow making equipment this year, including high efficiency snowguns and a gravity water line that reduces energy consumption. The resort has also added two new snowcats and upgrades to the Coonskin chairlift (lift 7) and Sunshine Express (lift 10). Photo from Telluride Ski Resort

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

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Crested Butte is installing a new magic carpet lift for the tubing hill, improving its free ski storage service, adding ten snow bikes to its rental fleet, and glading the terrain in the East River area and off of the Teocalli Lift. Photo from Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Buttermilk Mountain

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Aspen Skiing Co. is going all out at Buttermilk with a $10 million kids' center currently under construction at the base of Buttermilk. The 7,500-square-foot children's center will be called the Hideout and will serve as the headquarters for the ski school. Rendering courtesy of Aspen Snowmass

Beaver Creek Resort

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Beaver Creek is replacing the existing Centennial Express Lift with a new high-speed combination lift. It will increase uphill capacity by 35% and use alternating gondola cabins and six-person chairs. The ski area is also upgrading their snowmaking system with 34 new snow guns. And sweet tooths rejoice: there's a new gourmet old fashioned candy shop on the mountain (called Candy Cabin) set to debut at the top of chair 12 this year. Photo from Beaver Creek

Breckenridge Ski Resort

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This season marks 30 years of snowboarding at Breckenridge Ski Resort and the ski area will debut an upgraded, six-passenger Colorado SuperChair. Skiers will also appreciate a new restaurant, the Overlook, on Peak 9. Photo from Breckenridge Ski Resort

Arapahoe Basin

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Arapahoe Basin is building a $2.3 million, 7,100 square foot Kids Center that will house snow sports check-in, dining areas, kids rentals, and a new first aid room. The new building will be partially powered by solar energy. Photo from Arapahoe Basin

Loveland Ski Area

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Loveland ski area is adding a second magic carpet surface lift at Loveland Valley and a new warming hut (called Ginny Lee Cabin) off of Chair 8. Skiers will also notice new snowmaking upgrades and a remodeled cafeteria at Loveland Basin. Photos by Dustin Schaefer/Loveland Ski Area

Winter Park Resort

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Winter Park has being working on the largest on-mountain building construction in more than 25 years, and this year the Lunch Rock Restaurant will open. With 16,000 square feet the restaurant will have seats for hundreds. Rendering from Winter Park Resort

Steamboat Ski Resort

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After the success of its inaugural season of night skiing last year, Steamboat Ski Resort is adding two additional nights under the lights. Night Operations will now be available Thursday through Monday evenings from 5:30-8:30pm and from 6-9pm during spring. Grooming will also be improved across the mountain with a new Bison Sherpa winch and the resort is also upgrading their snowmaking system and their mountain cameras. Expect an influx of visitors with new flights from San Francisco, Washington Dulles, and expanded service from Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and Houston. Photo from Steamboat Ski Resort

Park City Mountain Resort

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As everyone knows at this point, Park City Mountain Resort is now owned by Vail Resorts, and it only cost the industry giant $182.5 million. And while there won't be any new lifts for the 2014-2015 season, PCMR is on the Epic Pass now and skiers should expect substantial upgrades in 2015-2016. Photo from Park City Mountain Resort

Deer Valley Resort

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Deer Valley has upgraded their already extensive snowmaking system, buying four portable full-automatic SMI fan snow guns, and replacing 20 ultra-efficient stick guns and 2,000 feet of pipe. They also purchased five new Prinoth snowcats and 34 new EPA-approved Ski-Doo mountain snowmobiles. Photo from Deer Valley

Canyons Resort

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Construction is currently underway on the new Cloud Dine building atop Dream Peak at Canyons. The old Cloud Dine was a temporary structure, while the new building will be a permanent, 316-seat restaurant scheduled to open December 1. Photo from Canyons Resort

Cherry Peak Resort

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On the heels of the state's third-best ski season in history, Utah is now adding a 15th ski area to their lineup of snow-filled oases. The new ski area, called Cherry Peak Resort, is located on the Utah-Idaho state border near Richmond and hopes to open Thanksgiving 2014. And although this is no Vail-in-the-making, the tiny resort will offer $42 lift tickets, night skiing, and three chairlifts serving 1,265 vertical feet. Rendering from Cherry Peak Resort

Nordic Valley

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New owners of Nordic Valley (formally called Wolf Mountain) are upgrading trails, renovating the skier services barn, and adding 700 to 800 vertical feet to the current 1,000-foot ski hill. Head over here for more info on their long-term plans. Photo from Nordic Valley

Snowbasin Resort

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Snowbasin added 3 Prinoth snowcats this year to improve the ski area's grooming. The resort also invested in new snowmaking equipment with 30 new Rubis Evo snow guns, an energy efficient gun that produces high quality snow. Photo from Snowbasin

Brianhead Resort

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Brian Head Resort is replacing the existing Giant Steps lift reducing the ride time to the top of Giant Steps Mountain from 12 minutes to just 5 minutes.

Eagle Point Resort

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Eagle Point Resort is installing a new surface lift for advanced and expert skiers/riders. The new Tushar Peaks Surface Lift will serve Southern Utah’s steepest black diamond runs: Delano Drop, Satisfaction, Donner’s Descent, Missing Linc, Runaway Carter and Vertigo. Photo from Eagle Point Resort

Sun Valley Resort

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While the resort is in the midst of an extensive renovation of the Sun Valley Lodge (set to open June 2015), skiers can still expect on-mountain upgrades this season. The ski area has added 25 new acres of glade-skiiing in the Frenchman's area of Bald Mountain. It's also easier than ever to get to the resort, with new direct flights from Denver International Airport added to already existing flights from San Francisco, Seattle, LA, and Salt Lake City. Photo from Sun Valley Resort

Whitefish Mountain Resort

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Skiers can expect about $2.4 million in improvements this season, including the completion go the Flower Point Project. The new Flower Point Chair is a fixed-grip triple that will open up access to about 200 acres and four new runs. The resort is also updating the Base Lodge, adding a new parking lot, and purchasing two new snowcats. Photo from Explore Whitefish

Sun Peaks Resort

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By adding more than 500 acres of new terrain, Sun Peaks Resort will now be the second largest ski area in Canada this year. The resort has also partnered with Whistler Blackcomb to offer discounted skiing. Photo from Sun Peaks Resort

Red Mountain Resort

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Red Mountain Resort in British Columbia is debuting a new Legacy Training Center for ski racers looking to maximize their time on snow. Red has spent over $1.5 million on snowmaking so that racers can begin skiing in early November and the ski area is also opening 195 acres on Mount Kirkup that will accessible via snowcat.

Whistler Blackcomb

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SKI Magazine just named Whistler Blackcomb as the #1 overall resort in North America and this year skiers will see $12 million worth of upgrades. The Whistler Village Gondola will get new fancy cabins (worth $6 million) that can sit eight passengers on bench seating. There will also be new RFID technology at the lift access gates to shorten lift lines and beginner skiers can enjoy a new terrain based learning trail. Photo from David McColm/Whistler Blackcomb

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

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Almost $4 million worth of changes are coming to Washington's Crystal Mountain this year after an avalanche wiped out the High Campbell lift last season. That lift is being replaced by a new double lift that are heavier and less affected by wind. The resort is also replacing the old Quicksilver lift, originally built in 1965, with a newer quad. Photo by Brianna Stoutenburgh, posted by Crystal Mountain

Summit at Snoqualmie

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The Summit East hill of the Summit at Snoqualmie is getting the new Rampart quad chairlift, the fourth lift installed in the last six years at the ski area. The new lift will use the now-popular conveyor-loading system and is part of $3.5 million in improvements this year.

Panorama Mountain Village Resort

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This British Columbian gem near Calgary is adding a new quad lift for beginners and new beginner and intermediate runs this season.

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort

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There aren't many new lifts or developments at the Oregon ski resorts, but Mount Hood Meadows will debut a more accessible Shooting Star terrain park this season. The resort has installed a new rope tow at Shipyard that will allow guests to run repeat laps of the rail park.

Homewood Mountain Ski Resort

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There aren't many on-mountain capital improvements in Tahoe this year, but one of the biggest announcements was Homewood's new snowcat terrain. The terrain will be off of Ellis Peak and accessed by snowcat and guided groups of no more than 10 people. Homewood will also debut the Foundation Bowl, an urban-style terrain park at mid-mountain.

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort

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Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort has invested $5 million to construct the Solstice Plaza, a new 30,000 square foot deck and 9,000 square foot base area facility that houses a new retail shop, demo center and restaurant.

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Sunday River Ski Resort

Sunday River Resort is spending $5 million in capital improvements, including an upgraded Spruce Peak Triple chair and 60 new energy-efficient snow guns. But the best news it that the resort has also added 50 acres of new, expert-only terrain: four glades and a double black diamond beneath the Spruce Peak Triple lift. Photo from Sunday River Ski Resort

Okemo Mountain Resort

This winter Okemo Mountain Resort will debut a fancy new $6.9 million chairlift that will whisk skiers 1,670 feet up the hill in a bright orange bubble with heated seats. Unlike a gondola that requires skiers to take off their gear, people can leave their skis and snowboards on while riding 6.4 minutes up the high-speed, six-pack bubble chairlift. Rendering from Okemo Mountain Resort

Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush is spending $4.5 million this year, with over $1 million going towards mechanical and electrical upgrades on chairlifts. Skiers can also expect new snowmaking equipment, improvements to the grooming fleet, and 450 new parking spaces. Photo from Sugarbush Resort