This season Vail Resorts is debuting a major expansion to its U.S. portfolio thanks to an agreement to acquire Peak Resorts, Inc. The move gains Vail 17 new ski areas near a number of major metropolitan areas. The newly added resorts include Mount Snow in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Attitash Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire; Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River Mountain in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. The deal is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval at press time.
Vail Resorts is also rolling out several improvements at its Colorado properties this season. Following a number of snowmaking upgrades, Keystone Resort is aiming to open as early as October, while Breckenridge is adding new slopeside guest service facilities at the base of Peak 8. Vail Mountain is also eyeing a pre-Thanksgiving opening date thanks to snowmaking upgrades of its own, while Crested Butte Mountain Resort is replacing its Teocalli Lift with a new, fixed-grip quad chairlift, increasing capacity by 50 percent.
Also in Colorado, Aspen is welcoming a new W Hotel this winter. W Aspen and The Sky Residences at W Aspen is the brand’s second alpine property, as well as its first in North America. Formerly the Sky Hotel, the 88-room property will aim for the vibe of a modern-day chalet, with a split-level Living Room (the brand’s take on the traditional hotel lobby) and a 16,000-square-foot outdoor patio. It will also have a 12,000-square-foot rooftop bar and pool overlooking Aspen Mountain.
In Utah, Alta Lodge and the Alta Ski Area are launching a new, women’s specific program this winter for their Ski Adventures lineup. The Women’s Skills Camp, running December 12-16, aims to help intermediate and advanced skiers develop and hone their technical skills. Participants will receive four nights’ lodging and meals at Alta Lodge, three days of coaching from Alta’s Alf Engen Ski School, demo skis and lift tickets.
This season in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, guests can stay at the new Adara Hotel, a 41-room boutique in Whistler Village. A five-minute walk from the lift, the pet-friendly hotel offers complimentary ski, golf, bike and luggage storage, a year-round outdoor pool and a year-round outdoor hot tub with mountain views.
Looking further ahead, a new all-inclusive resort from Club Med is slated to open in Charlevoix, Quebec, in December 2020.
Around the World
After more than 10 million euros of investment and renovations, Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel in the French Alps, is set to launch December 13. A few days later, Airelles Collection will open the new Mademoiselle Val d’Isere resort. Skiing continues to grow in popularity in Japan, according to Ski.com, which is expanding its guided trips there and to British Columbia’s Powder Highway. Now calling the offering “To The Mountains Tours,” these trips of groups of four to six people plus a guide are available to FIT travelers, and they allow guests to set their own itineraries for the week.