Vail Mountain, known for having some of the most expansive terrain in the country, is continuing its investment in lift infrastructure. The 2024 Master Development Plan (MDP), which replaces the previous 2018 plan, highlights the collaboration between Vail Mountain, SE Group and the Forest Service. It’s essential to understand that these plans are conceptual and do not signify approval for specific projects, but they indicate Vail’s ambitious ideas for the future.

vail resorts unveils master plan for terrain upgrades

Currently, Vail Mountain accommodates around 19,900 skiers per day, and its uphill lift capacity is 24,000. The goal is to maintain this capacity threshold while enhancing guest experience through improved movement, reduced congestion and shorter lift wait times. The MDP aims to increase lift network capacity by about seven percent to serve approximately 25,420 guests, ensuring a quality skiing experience.

A significant aspect of the plan focuses on improving guest flow from base areas. This involves replacing the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Lionshead and extending the Riva Bahn Express to Two Elk Lodge, among other projects. Additionally, a new lift named Trans Montane is proposed in Vail Village, while the West Lionshead lift and Born Free Express #8 in Lionshead are also set for upgrades.

Out-of-base egress improvements include transitioning the Cascade Village #20 lift to a detachable quad and introducing new lifts in the Back Bowls area. These upgrades aim to improve accessibility to various terrain while reducing congestion and wait times.

Additionally, several chairlift replacements and upgrades are planned for the upper mountain, including Avanti Express #2 and Mountaintop Express #4. The MDP also includes proposals for snowmaking enhancements, new lodges and summer activities across Vail Mountain.

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