With snowmaking operations underway at three of Summit County’s four ski resorts, ski industry stakeholders gathered at the Ski Area Chief Operating Officer (COO) Summit on Friday, October 14. at the Keystone Conference Center to discuss expectations for the 2022-23 ski and board season and beyond.
As part of the summit, the COOs of Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Copper Mountain Resort, Keystone Ski Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort all shared the stage to showcase how last season went and what’s in store for this season.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge Ski Resort Vice President and COO Jody Churich announced that Breckenridge and Keystone will help launch a Summit County-wide childcare program, which aims to help address the lack of after-school programs and summer childcare offerings at Summit. In partnership with the Summit Foundation and local community partners, Beckenridge and Keystone Resorts have donated $750,000 – over three years – to the Summit School District, which will help launch the child care program. children.
The long-term goal of the program is a coordinated effort to provide equitable and affordable opportunities for working families throughout the county.
Churich also had several updates regarding the start of the season.
“We are now in snowmaking season, and the plan is to fire the snow cannons on Monday (October 17),” Churich said.
Once the snow cannons start spitting powder, the ski resort will begin preparing for its opening day on Nov. 11.
Ahead of opening day, the ski resort will host its beloved winter launch event, Wake Up Breck, on Nov. 10.
Churich also announced plans for the ski resort to replace 5-Chair with a high-speed quad chair next summer.
“We took down our spring structure and the children’s castle,” Churich said. “All of this is in preparation. We plan to install a 5-Chair high speed quad chair, which will put us in all the high speed lifts in all of our base areas.
Keystone Ski Resort
Keystone Ski Resort Vice President and General Manager Chris Sorensen wrapped up the COO Summit with updates from Keystone.
The first update was on the Bergman Bowl project, which came to a halt this summer after sensitive areas of the alpine tundra, where minimal impacts were allowed, were bulldozed.
Sorensen did not have a significant update to give, but said Keystone takes full responsibility for the damage caused and the ski resort has continued to work closely with the US Forest Service to restore damaged areas.
“We are optimistic that Bergman Express will arrive next summer,” Sorensen said of the planned chairlift. “We created and executed a restoration plan that is one of the most comprehensive plans the US Forest Service has ever seen. I am happy to say that we already have native growth in some of the affected areas. »
In the meantime, Keystone will once again offer guided snowcat tours in Bergman and Erickson bowls, allowing guests to explore terrain not yet serviced by ski lifts.
Finally, Keystone plans to open Kindred Resort which will be a 24,000 square foot retail space that will include two restaurants, large event space, a ski school, rental store and more.
“Kindred Resort will offer a ski-in ski-out residence as well as a RockResorts hotel,” Sorensen said. “It will bring unique features and gear to Keystone.”
Kindred Resort will be located just behind the River Run Gondola and recently opened the project on October 14.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
At the Arapahoe Basin ski area this season, the Kid’s Club will return, allowing families to enroll their children in the program for the day while parents ski or ride their bikes.
Over the summer, the A-Basin team upgraded the triple chair, Lenawee Mountain Lift, to a removable six-pack. The newly named Lenawee Express lift will help transport visitors from the mid-mountain to the upper areas of the resort’s arrival areas. The elevator is expected to open in mid-November.
The ski area — along with several other Summit County ski resorts — will also focus on public transportation this season by encouraging guests to carpool, use the Snowstang, or use the Summit Stage bus system.
COO Alan Dorénavant felt that many parking issues at ski areas – like A-Basin – can be solved through carpooling or using public transportation.
copper hill station
Copper Mountain Resort will celebrate its own anniversary this season. It started its operations 50 years ago in 1972.
As part of the 50th anniversary season, Copper aims to hold events nearly every weekend throughout the season. Events will include concerts, ski and snowboard competitions and a 50th anniversary celebration on December 3.
In terms of projects, Copper is working on a new neighborhood in East Village called Born Mountain Club which will include single family homes and townhouses.
“Our development has continued and they have completed the preparatory work for the project,” said Copper President and CEO Dustin Lyman. “The new development will include a new snow machine, a new boutique hotel, slopeside accommodations and a members club with dining options that will be open to the public. Once completed, Born Mountain Club will be a unique and enhanced addition to our Copper community.
Copper Mountain will open to the public on November 14.
Loveland Ski Area
Even though the Loveland ski area is just outside the Summit County line, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Goodell shared his views on several new offerings at the slopes in Loveland. this season.
The first update was the Lift 6 upgrade to a Poma fixed handle triple chair that will make it easier to transport skiers up the mountain to service intermediate terrain as well as the terrain park in the area.
Goodell also highlighted the expansion of Loveland Valley Lodge. The pavilion expansion will help parents and athletes participate in alpine ski racing and will house the ski and riding school, rental shop, sales office and ski patrol.
The 2022-23 winter season will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Upham family’s ownership of the mountain property. The Uphams have owned the Loveland ski area since Chester “Chet” R. Upham Jr. purchased the ski area with his wife in 1972.