We’ve compiled an alphabetical index of what’s new in ski country—worldwide—this coming season. Updates range from spankin’ new state-of-the art lifts and energy-efficient snowmaking equipment to high-alpine zip lines and scrumptious new restaurants. Scroll down to see if you’ll be experiencing some “newness” on your ski vacation this year.
This summer the contemporary Aspen Art Museum moved its home in an old hydroelectric plant into $45 million edifice designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. The intriguing building design features a glass box wrapped in a basket-weave lattice made out of paper, resin and wood veneer. Showcasing the gorgeous mountain views, the gallery’s layout first draws visitors to a rooftop sculpture garden by a glass elevator, where they can catch a glimpse of Aspen Mountain.
This winter, the St. Regis Aspen is offering something new for dogs, dog owners and dog lovers: skijoring lessons, which is cross-country skiing with the assistance of your furry friend. If you don’t have a canine companion you can take an Aspen Animal Shelter dog out for some fun!
Aspen’s only AAA Five Diamond, Five Star hotel, The Little Nell, recently completed renovating all six of their signature suites with world-renowned interior designer Holly Hunt at the helm. Featuring natural colors like whites, grays andblues and leathers and wood, the suites now offer sophisticated mountain ambiance. Other updates include Fila D’Oro linens and custom art hand-selected by Aspen Skiing Company owner, Paula Crown.
Beaver Creek, Avon, Colorado
Just in time for the 2015 World Alpine Championships, Beaver Creek’s new high-speed, state-of-the-art Centennial Express Lift (Chair 6) will increase uphill capacity by 35 percent through the use of alternating gondola cabins and six-person chairs. The 2015 World Alpine Championships, which will be held February 2 -15, will mark Vail and Beaver Creek’s third time hosting the event. Other “new stuff” at Beaver Creek for the 2014/15 season includes the kid-appeasing Candy Cabin, an old-fashioned candy store on the mountain, and Beaver Creek Cookie & Crepe Company in the village. Guests can now order their favorite cookie time treats to take back to their hotel and enjoy whenever they please!
Breckenridge has spent the summer replacing the Colorado SuperChair at Peak 8 with a high-speed six-person chairlift, which will increase uphill capacity by 30 percent.
Buttermilk, Aspen, CO
Renowned for its excellent ski school and kid-friendly slopes, Aspen Snowmass’ Buttermilk ski area has invested $10 million into its new kids’ center, The Hideout, a 7,500-square-foot children’s ski school center at the base of the ski area.
Park City, Utah
Purchased by Vail Resorts earlier this fall, Park City Mountain Resort is now on the Epic Pass and shares an interchangeable lift ticket with neighboring Canyons ski resort. Canyon’s new Cloud Dine, a 316-seat restaurant, is projected to open Dec. 1, 2014.
Courmayeur’s new Funive Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) cable car is due to be completed in the spring of 2015. The project includes replacement of cables, towers and cable cars as well as four completely new stations, the base Pontal D’Entrèves, Pavillon du Mont Frety, Nuovo Torino and Punta Helbronner, which will be the highest station on Mont Blanc when construction is finished. The cable cars will rotate 360º as they travel to Punta Helbronner’s elevation of 3,500 meters. A tunnel and elevator will also be installed to access Punta Helbronner from Nuovo Torino.
Crested Butte, CO
Crested Butte just announced they will open 40 new acres of expert terrain beyond Teocalli Bowl, accessed from the High Lift. This new area is called Teo 2 and will be open to skiers and snowboarders this season once the resort has ample snowpack. The resort’s famous intermediate glades in the East River area received some upkeep over the summer.
Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
Indulge in brick-oven cuisine and varied bar, beer and wine selections at Deer Valley’s new restaurant, The Brass Tag. The Brass Tag is conveniently located in the Lodges at Deer Valley, in the Snow Park area. Renowned Deer Valley Resort executive chef Jodie Rogers and sous chef Ryan Swarts oversee The Brass Tag’s delicious menu offerings, which include gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.
Les Trois Vallées, France
The 2014/15 season will mark the first full season of operation for the world’s highest zipline. Situated at 3,230 meters (10,597 feet), Les Trois Vallées’ zipline spans 1.3 kilometers (.8 miles), connecting one peak to another and offers passengers breathtaking views at 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour). Les Trois Vallées domain includes the Courchevel, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires and Val Thorens ski areas and is the largest interconnected ski area in the world. This seasonVal Thorens will offers skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to nab some GoPro drone footage to the tune of $66 for a 10-minute session (pilot included). The resort will also feature scuba ice diving on the Lac du Lou for the first time—for those brave enough to take an icy plunge—and an Olympic biathalon experience at St.-Martin-Bellevue.
In December 2014, United Airlines will launch two new routes from Denver and Las Vegas into Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH). The added service marks the carrier’s first flights into the area not originating from California.
Okemo skiers will enjoy a new $6.9 million chairlift, which is designed to keep out the New England chill with an orange bubble cover and heated seats.
Red Mountain, Rossland, B.C., Canada
Snowmass, Aspen, Colorado
Guests of Snowmass‘ popular ski in, ski out Crestwood Condominiums will enjoy an upgraded Skier Service Center. The slopeside facility will feature increased space and more boot storage and retail space.
Squaw Valley, California
Squaw Valley is in the process of removing more than 5,000 dead or dying trees in the Red Dog area for the 2014/2015 season. Squaw is estimating that the tree removal will open up about 100 acres of additional world-class glades.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steamboat Ski Resort is adding two additional nights of night skiing after great success with the program in the 2013/14 ski season. Night skiing will be in operation Thursday through Monday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hours are subject to change during the spring. Steamboat/Hayden Airport (HDN) has expanded new flights from Washington Dulles and San Francisco and expanded service from Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle.
In partnerships with Efficiency Vermont, a statewide environmental program, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, Stowe Mountain Resort is in the midst of a three-year $9.8 million snowmaking expansion, which includes 100,000 feet of new snowmaking pipe, 615 tower guns and 28 new snow towers. Energy savings in the state are expected to top $2 million annually.
Sunday River, Maine
This season skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of Sunday River’s 50 acres of new expert terrain, four gladed areas and a new double-black run below the newly updated Spruce Peak Triple Chairlift, which is a part of the resort’s $5 million in improvements. Other updates include 60 new energy-efficient snow guns.
Sun Peaks, B.C. Canada
Taos, New Mexico
New this year, the Kachina Peak Chairlift, one of the highest in North America, will provide lift access for the first time to the celebrated Kachina Peak. The Kachina Peak terrain has previously been accessed only by those who were willing to earn their turns by hiking to the 12,481-foot summit. This new expansion increases the mountain’s advanced and expert lift-served terrain by 50 percent. In other news, Taos‘ entire base area is getting a facelift.
Guests of Telluride ski resort will appreciate $1.3 million in new energy-efficient snowmaking equipment. The resort has also has added two new snowcats to their fleet. The biggest and best news is that Telluride/Montrose Airport (MTJ) will see a 20 percent increase in destination flights starting in December 2014. American Airline flights from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to MTJ will see a 46 percent increase in seats as well as expanded first-class cabin availability. Additionally, United Airlines will increase its Newark (EWR) seat capacity by about 50 percent with the addition of Sunday service. New this year, United Airlines will introduce non-stop service from San Francisco (SFO) and US Airways will offer direct services from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).
The Lodge at Vail’s 56 hotel rooms, hallways, main stairways and lobby have been renovated or have received upgrades. The room renovations includes interior finishes, furnishings, soft goods, lighting and the installation of air conditioning. The lobby’s refresh will include new furnishings, textiles, paint, artwork and lighting designed to maintain the authentic character and cozy ambiance for which the boutique hotel is known.
Fine spirits aficionados will be delighted to learn that Vail has a new distillery. Named for the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, which trained in the Vail area before World War II, 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company began bottling its first batches this summer. Stop in at the tasting room, located on Bridge Street in Vail Village, for a taste of one or all of the distillery’s handcrafted spirits: bourbon, rye, moonshine, potato vodka and a sage-infused peach-vanilla cordial.
Winter Park, Colorado
Whitefish Mountain, Montana