With summer at a close, Vermont is looking to make some statewide snowmaking upgrades before ski- season starts. Guests to Vermont’s ski country can expect some equipment improvements alongside a range of new deals, eateries, amenities and events. Check out what some of the top resorts have in store:
Okemo Mountain Resort is replacing its Northstar Express Quad chairlifts with the new Sunburst Six, a bright orange, retractable, transparent dome with heated seats. Also, Operation Snowburst returns for a second season of snowmaking improvements with the addition of 100 new, energy-efficient HKD tower guns.
Snowmaking enhancements continue at Mount Snow with the arrival of 645 brand new low-energy snow guns;. Also making its debut this winter is Smart Snow; a snowmaking control system, the same one used for the snowmaking operation at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Thousands more feet of snowmaking pipe have been replaced and a number of trails have been electrified so high output fan guns can be operated on them.
Stowe Mountain Resort’s snowmaking operations have been supplemented by a three-year $9.8 million dollar snowmaking expansion. Totals for the 3-year project include; over 100,000 feet of new snowmaking pipe, almost 20 miles worth, 615 HKD SV10 tower guns, 150 Ratnik Baby X2 land frames, 20 SMI Super PoleCat snow towers and 8 HKD Turbo snow towers. Stowe has also completely renovated its summit Gondola on Mt. Mansfield and improved family lift service on lower Spruce Peak with a new Quad chairlift and two new carpet surface lifts.
Stratton Mountain Resort continues its $7million uprgradfe with 58 new gondola cabins, 350 HKD snowguns, two new snowcats, new glades, buses and bullwheels,
Sugarbush Resort continues to invest in improvements at both Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen. This year, the resort spent more than $1 million on both mechanical and electrical upgrades to the lifts. The resort also invested $1.8 million in snowmaking equipment. The resort also replaced one of its winch cats with a new Pisten Bully 600. Parking for busy days has been expanded to create 450 new parking spaces. Permitting continues on a new Valley House lift.
Bromley Mountain’s snowmaking system will be completely and efficiently up to date for the Winter 2014/15 season. Mountain Operations has taken full advantage of Efficiency Vermont’s Great Ground Gun Round Up, and traded in all the old guns for new efficient tower guns. Beginners to the sport are invited to join the Bromley Ski & Snowboard School for free on three dates this winter: December 21, 2014, January 19 or March 15, 2015. Participants will receive a Learning Zone lift ticket, specially designed beginner rental equipment for the day, and access to instruction in the Learning Zone from 10:30am until noon. Also new is the Super Duper Ski Package which includes: 6 all-day Kidsrule Mountain Camp lessons, a free pair of Elan Starr skis with Quick Trick bindings, a coupon for discounts on boots, poles and accessories at the Bromley Shop by Potter Brothers, plus a Bromley Full Season Pass. This package is $599 for kids ages 5-14 and has limited inventory, on sale August 1.
Young skiers and riders can take advantage of the Ski Bum Pass at Bolton Valley. Starting at just $129 if purchased before October 31st, this pass is for anyone between the ages of 18-25. ($129 price is for the Value Pass with Sunday – Friday access. Get an unlimited All Access Pass for just $159). Botlon is aloso offeing a late service with lifts spinning until 10pm, where tickets will be just $20 starting at 7pm.
After more than two years in construction, the Hermitage Club’s new 80,000 square foot, Club House is due to open for the 2014-15 season. The development will offer members new dining options, a fitness center with lap pool and hot tubs, full treatment spa, day care, retail, upscale locker rooms and more.
Vermont’s Haystack Mountain is starting its $5 million infrastructure upgrade with the new Stag’s Leap Lift which connects the lower mountain with the upper for the first time and offers a mid-station unload with access to more than 24 acres of learning terrain. Snowmaking expansion and energy efficiency initiatives continue with an additional 17 new Techno Alpin fan guns, an additional new 110 HKD Impulse Tower guns, 25 new Evo Rubis towers and additional 70 new Ratnik land guns.
Each summer, including 2014, Magic Mountain repairs old snow making lines in order to expand snow making. In addition, each year Magic expands the “off-piste” opportunities by clearing out new glades.
The Woodstock Inn & Resort is to partner up with Tubbs Snowshoes, creating The Tubbs Adventure Center: a hub for testing, recreating and pairing vacations with class gear. The snowshoe programming will feature tours and special moonlight events complete with a private chef experience at the resort’s cabin in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Hist.