Big bucks spent in Colorado ski country | AspenTimes.com

Big bucks spent in Colorado ski country

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The Aspen Skiing Co. is one of the big spenders among the Colorado resorts making capital improvements for the 2008-09 season, according to a state ski industry trade association.

Colorado Ski Country USA reported Thursday that nearly all of its 22 member resorts are making some type of investments for the winter. The Aspen Skiing Co. and Winter Park are both spending more than $35 million on various projects.

The Skico’s projects are spread across its four ski areas. The main projects are at Snowmass, where a new 7,800-square-foot restaurant is being constructed on Sam’s Knob and Sneaky’s Tavern will be added to Base Village.

The new Sheer Bliss detachable quad chairlift will reduce riding time to part of the Big Burn to nine minutes, about half of the old lift’s time.

At Aspen Highlands, the Skico is adding a run in Deep Temerity called Canopy Cruiser. At Aspen Mountain, the Skico reconstructed the Silver Queen Gondola plaza to reduce steps and make it easier loading the lift.

At Buttermilk, the Skico is constructing a new Olympic-sized superpipe. It will be more than 500 feet long with walls towering 18 feet overhead and measuring 22 feet from the center of the pipe.

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Winter Park Resort is undertaking a base makeover much like the Base Village at Snowmass. The resort is adding 30,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and residential space to The Village of Winter Park. Construction is estimated at $30 million, according to Colorado Ski Country.

Winter Park also is building the $5.8 million Village Cabriolet to transport people from a free parking lot to the heart of the village.

Other highlights outlined by Colorado Ski Country include:

– Arapahoe Basin will add 300 parking space connected to the ski area base via a tunnel under Highway 6.

– Copper Mountain added the 19,000-square-foot Woodward at Copper training facility, also known as The Barn. The multi-million dollar facility will allow Camp Woodward to bring its innovative instruction methods to the slopes of Copper.

– Crested Butte expanded expert terrain off the Headwall lift into the Teocalli Bowl area. The Treasury Center building at the base area was redesigned and the Outpost building will be used as a day lodge.

– Echo Mountain resort is enhancing its tree and feature terrain. New acreage will be opened in the Westside Glades. The Burton Staircase will integrate an urban feature into the natural mountain environment. The staircase adds a 24-stair set featuring a 12-inch box, a four-inch steel rail and a center log with “dual hubba ledges” to add elements of street riding.

– Monarch Mountain will add 200 acres of advanced terrain to the Snowcat area. Other changes within the ski area boundary will open up new trails or expand existing ones.

– Powderhorn will add two expert runs on the mountain’s west end.

– Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort will open Purgatory Lodge in the heart of Purgatory Village at the ski area base. It will include skier services, fractional ownership units, a day lodge and the exclusive Durango Mountain Club.

– Steamboat is adding 200 parking spaces and replacing snowmaking guns.

– Telluride spent $4.4 million, including the addition of Revelation Bowl, located on the back side of Gold Hill. The variety of terrain will be served by the new Revelation lift. Two restaurants also were added.

– Wolf Creek spent $1.5 million, including the expansion of the Raven day lodge.

Colorado Ski Country’s capital improvement list doesn’t include projects at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone. Vail Resorts pulled out of the state trade association over strategic differences during the summer.

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