SNOWMASS VILLAGE - The Aspen Skiing Co. made its seasonal update to the Snowmass Village Town Council on Oct. 8, announcing news for the winter season and giving a review of summer performance.
Steve Sewell, manager of Snowmass mountain, said the company is most excited this winter about the expansion of Burnt Mountain. A federal judge's ruling last week will allow Skico to finish thinning some trees and brush in order to open 230 additional acres of terrain on the mountain, according to The Aspen Times.
Sewell acknowledged it was "no secret" that skiers have already been traversing the area, but he said the expansion helps direct people back into the ski area.
Sewell also mentioned the Elk Camp Restaurant as a highlight, which is on schedule to be completed by Thanksgiving. The restaurant will also be open in the summers. It will be good to "start the season next year with a complete restaurant and not bring all those folks into a construction zone," Sewell said.
According to Sewell, this summer saw twice the number of both people riding the gondola with bikes and number of cycling lessons. This was the third year that the company operated the Elk Camp Gondola in the summer.
"We're trending in the right direction," Sewell said. "Our summer program is growing up here."
Gravity Logic, the company that designed the new Valhalla downhill trail in the Elk Camp area, has created a 10-year plan for trails on the Snowmass ski area. The plan still lacks Forest Service approvals, but Sewell said the consultants think 12 to 15 trails could be added in the Elk Camp and Alpine Springs areas of the mountain.
"We need to be able to give our guests something new, something different," Sewell said.
Sewell also highlighted the summer events Skico partnered with the town on, including the Master of the Mass and 12 Hours of Snowmass cycling competitions. He expects participation to grow next summer.
"Our summer events are just as important to our branding and our brand recognition as our winter events," he said.