In the mornings and evenings, a chill lingers in the air and the aspen leaves are starting to trade in their green duds for a more mature golden color. In other words, fall is upon us in the High Country, which means ski season is just around the corner. Each ski season brings its own set of new, exciting things: new snow, new terrain conquests, new memories and maybe even new destinations. We compiled an A-Z list of some of the new stuff at ski resorts you can count on ahead of time.
Aspen Snowmass, CO
In March 2017, Aspen Snowmass is to host the 2017 Audi FIS World Cup Finals. It’s the first time in 20 years that this competition will be held on U.S. slopes. For alpine ski racers, only the Olympics and world championships are more important than this event. These races will bring both the men’s and women’s tour to Aspen Mountain.
Winter guests at the Residences at The Little Nell will get to enjoy a soft goods remodel. Interior designer Barbara Glass Mullen of Caroline-Edwards, Inc. in Aspen led the refresh of the 26 residences and eight hotel rooms, which also extended into common areas including the corridors, entryways and owners’ lounge.
New as of last year, but not widely publicized, Aspen Snowmass introduced uphilling clinics as well as offered ski tour equipment rentals at the Four Mountain Sports store located downtown Aspen. In continuation of expanding options for uphillers, Buttermilk Mountain hosted three full moon dinners at the Cliffhouse restaurant located on top of the resort, which was only accessible via snowshoeing or skinning. These dinners were well received and are expected to continue in 2016-17.
Over the summer, Snowmass’ Gwyn’s High Alpine Restaurant underwent an extensive remodel that included an expansion of the building and facelift of the bar area, which will feature a large wood-burning fireplace, big-screen TVs and restrooms. The previous cafeteria-style café is now a market setup, which will improve the flow of food and beverage access. Other improvements includes a downstairs satellite bar and coffee station, an update to the lower level bathrooms, heightened windows as well as all new tables and chairs. Seating capacity will expand from a total of 350 to 800 seats (550 inside and 250 outside).
Banff Lake Louise, AB
New this season, the Tri-Area Lift Ticket*, provides visitors with free admission to the historic Banff Hot Springs, in addition to unlimited skiing and riding at Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village.
*Must purchase three or more multi-day tickets.
Big Sky Resort, MT
Big Sky Resort skiers and snowboarders will get to enjoy two new lift updates in the 2016-17 winter. The Lone Peak Triple, which accesses the famed Lone Peak Tram, is being replaced by a six-person, high-speed Doppelmayr chair. In addition, the 28-year-old Challenger lift will be replaced with a conveyor-loaded triple.
Copper Mountain, CO
As part of a resort-wide effort to be more eco-friendly, Copper Mountain’s Green Team secured a grant through the State of Colorado to install four Level 2 electric car charging spaces. These complimentary charging stations are located at the entrance of the Beeler parking lot in Copper’s Center Village and allow vehicles to charge within four to eight hours.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO
New this season, Crested Butte Mountain Resort is adding a Coal Breaker Coffee shop to the base area. Guests can enjoy made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, crepes, espresso and hand-scooped ice cream. Additionally, the resort has added a quarter million dollar, state-of-the art Montana Crystal Glide Finish—and automated ski and snowboard tuning machine.
Deer Valley Resort, Utah
For the 2016-17 ski season, Deer Valley Resort has invested $7.5 million in a host of capital improvements, including: text service available for seating at Royal Street Café, updating the resort’s Cadillac vehicle fleet, a new concession stand at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, snowmaking enhancements (replacing 19,960 feet of snowmaking pipes and installing 10 new snow guns), purchasing four new Prinoth snowcats, including one Beast groomer and one winch cat, purchasing a new guest shuttle bus and purchasing 21 new snowmobiles, including 10 low emission four-strokes and two new Rangers for resort operations.
Grand Targhee, WY
Photo: Grand Targhee
All summer Grand Targhee has been working to replace its Blackfoot chairlift with a new Doppelmayr fixed grip quad. The Blackfoot chairlift, which accesses more than 500 acres and 1,200 vertical feet of terrain, has been an iconic piece of Targhee history since 1974 and its retirement rings in a new era for the resort. The chairlift update will decrease the ride time by five minutes and increase uphill capacity by about 840 people per hour.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY
In mid-December 2016, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will open their new Sweetwater Gondola, which will significantly improve base area capacity. The new gondola will be located between the Bridger Gondola and Teewinot high-speed quad and transport skiers and riders a third of the way up the mountain to the Solitude area, just uphill of Casper Restaurant.
This winter, Jackson Hole is offering up not one, but TWO free ski days if you book a six-day minimum trip *starting on or before December 23. Book a package with Ski.com to take advantage of this great offer and ski for FREE on December 24th and Christmas Day. *Some restrictions apply; first day of skiing must be between 12/20/16 and 12/23/16 to qualify for free skiing with a minimum 4 day lift ticket purchase to ski free December 24 & 25, 2016.
Mt. Bachelor, OR
Photo: Mt. Bachelor
This season, Mt. Bachelor is increasing its lift-accessed terrain with the addition of a new lift on the eastern side of the ski-area boundary. The new Cloudchaser lift, a high-speed quad, will provide guests with access to 635 additional acres, increasing the resort total acreage to 4,318.
St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria
Photo: St. Anton am Arlberg
As of the 2016-17 ski season, St. Anton am Arlberg will be the largest interconnected ski area in Austria. The new Flexenbahn connects Stuben/Rauz and Zürs. Now, you can start your day in St. Anton, head over to sunny Lech and Zürs for lunch, then make your way to Warth and Schröcken, before rounding the day off with the legendary “White Thrill” run back to St. Anton in the late afternoon. Combined, the interconnected ski region features 189 miles (305 kilometers) and 87 lift and cable-car systems.
Steamboat Resort, Steamboat Springs, CO
Photo: Steamboat Resort
This ski season, Steamboat Resort skiers and riders will experience a shorter ride time—by half—on the Elkhead chairlift. The old fixed-grip chairlift, located in the Priest Creek area, is being replaced by a new Doppelmayr high-speed, detachable quad.
In addition, San Diego residents will enjoy a new nonstop flight right into Steamboat’s Hayden Airport (HDN). In other news, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines will fly bigger planes into HDN for the 2016-17 ski season. More nonstop access for guests flying from Dallas to HDN on American Airlines will be available during peak holiday periods, specifically, December 15, 2016 to January 8, 2017.
Sun Peaks, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
New for the 2016/17 season, Sun Peaks Resort will offer new inter-resort shuttle seven days a week. With service to Silver Star and Big White and the Kelowna Airport (YLW), it’s never been easier to plan an Okanagan ski-safari. This new shuttle will complement the existing Whistler-Connection shuttle running all winter long.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Photo: Limelight Hotel Ketchum
Aspen Skiing Company, parent company of Aspen Snowmass, began construction on the new Limelight Hotel Ketchum last summer and is set to open the new hotel in December 2016. The hotel will feature 99 hotel rooms, 14 for-sale condominiums with 12 lock-off units, a restaurant and lobby lounge.
The Limelight Hotel Ketchum will remain consistent with the Limelight Hotel Aspen’s signature—and very popular—amenities, including expanded continental breakfast, après-ski deals in the Lounge, adventure activities for guests and pet-friendly rooms. Similar to the Aspen, Colorado property, the Limelight Hotel Ketchum is within close proximity to downtown ships and the slopes—via the Sun Valley River Run Base Area.
Telluride Ski Resort, CO
Photo: Telluride Ski Resort
On December 20, 2016, the Mountain Village/Telluride Gondola, the most unique public transportation system of its kind in North America will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Throughout the year, there will be a number of events taking place to celebrate this milestone, including a bright red anniversary cabin on the Gondola line. This celebratory cabin, Cabin No. 20, will be the site for spur-of-the-moment contests, giveaways, mini-events and more throughout the year.
Out-of-state Telluride skiers and riders will enjoy improved flight options. Starting December 17, 2016, Great Lakes Airlines will fly direct into Telluride Regional Airport from Denver International Airport year-round. Additionally, Allegiant Airlines will be offering discounted flights from Denver to Montrose/Telluride Airport (MTJ) starting in December.
This winter, Telluride will also see increased access into Telluride/Montrose Regional airport (MTJ) with daily, non-stop service from Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) starting November 18, 2016.
Ready to experience something new this season? Our 70 Mountain Travel Experts are standing by for your call at 800-610-8911. They can answer any questions and book your complete ski-vacation package. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free, custom quote.
Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.