Vail Resorts has released further details on the $10 million worth of improvements for the Afton Alps Ski Area set to debut this winter as part of Afton’s 50th anniversary season. Vail announced the acquisition of the Minnesota resort back in March.
“The construction projects we’re implementing this summer are designed to re-imagine every aspect of the guest experience at Afton Alps while keeping the longstanding Midwest ski experience Afton is known for,” said Joe Yasis, general manager of Afton Alps. “We think our guests will be delighted with the big improvements like the new terrain park, significantly enhanced snowmaking and new base area facilities. These improvements will set a completely new standard for Midwest skiing and riding. It’s where Epic begins.”
• Snowmaking Improvements: A complete overhaul and expansion of snowmaking at Afton Alps will provide a high-quality snow surface, greater base depth and an expanded season due to the ability to make snow twice as fast with existing water resources. The ski area will add to the current fleet of snowmaking equipment with 22 new, energy-efficient snowmaking guns and 50 low-energy tower snow guns. Afton Alps is also constructing a new snowmaking pump house, installing larger diameter pipes capable of pumping water twice as fast when temperatures permit.
• New Guest Services Facility: The guest services facility at Afton will be completely renovated to include a new ski school center, ticketing and pass sales office and a customer service center.
• New Terrain Park by Snow Park Technologies: Snow Park Technologies, builder and designer of Winter X Games courses and features, will work with the Afton Alps terrain park crew to create new features and designs.
• New Terrain Park Village: At the base of the terrain park overlooking all of the new features, Afton Alps will create a new terrain park village with indoor and outdoor spaces to relax or warm up, enjoy new food options and watch the park action. Additionally, two new rope tows will be installed in the terrain park for faster and easier access to park features.
• New Lift Ticketing and Scanning System: The new lift ticket and scanning system will be completely electronic and provide Afton Alps guests with a seamless transaction experience and faster access to the lift for both season pass holders and single day lift ticket skier and snowboarders.
• Vail Resorts EpicMix Technology Installation: Afton Alps will install Vail Resorts’ EpicMix RFID technology, allowing skiers and snowboarders to earn digital pins for their accomplishments, track vertical feet and share them socially through Facebook and Twitter with family and friends.
• EpicMix Racing will also be launched at Afton Alps this winter, a social application that enables skiers and riders of all abilities to track their vertical feet, earn digital pins for on-slope accomplishments and even race against Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn using their NASTAR race time to earn gold, silver and bronze medals. Race times, digital medals, overall leaderboards and leaderboards with just family and friends will all be available on both the EpicMix website and mobile application.
New Pass Options
Afton Alps’ passholders also have the opportunity to purchase Vail Resorts season passes that allow them to ski as much as they want in Afton and at Vail’s eight resorts out West (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, Canyons Resort in Utah, and Heavenly, Northstar California and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe).
• Epic Local Pass ($529) Unlimited and unrestricted skiing at Afton Alps, as well as at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with some restrictions at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. The pass also includes a total of 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek with holiday restrictions. A discounted rate is also offered for college students at $479 (proof of 12 credit hours is required).
• Epic Local Child Pass ($269) New this year, children ages 5-12 can receive unlimited access with no restrictions at Afton Alps, as well as unlimited access to resorts out West, including Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with limited restrictions at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood with the Epic Local Child Pass. The pass also includes a total of 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek with holiday restrictions.
• Epic Pass ($689 adults, $359 children) Unlimited skiing or riding at Afton Alps, as well as at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe at $689 for adults and $359 for children (ages 5-12). No restrictions.
• Afton Alps Pass ($399) Unlimited access to Afton Alps with no restrictions. A discounted rate is also offered for seniors at $269 and college students at $269 (proof of 12 credit hours in the 2013-2014 school year is required). Discounts are available for families and groups of four people.