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Feb 22nd
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Home Things to Do Winter Fun Colorado’s Winter Resorts Adding Lifts for Ski, Snowboard Season: Part Two

Colorado’s Winter Resorts Adding Lifts for Ski, Snowboard Season: Part Two

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A number of Colorado Ski Country USA's (CSCUSA) member resorts are conducting major investments to improve the guest skiing and snowboarding experience.

Resorts are adding new lifts, updating lodging and base areas, improving park and pipe profiles, and expanding into new terrain. Some are adding family and youth experiences and finding ways to help beginners better enjoy the sport.

In Part Two of our 2010-11 Colorado ski and snowboard report, we detail what's new at
Eldora, Loveland, Monarch Mountain, Powderhorn, and Winter Park.


Eldora is investing in the skier experience this season with a focus on introducing new skiers and snowboarders to the sport by improving learning facilities. In addition, Eldora continues to emphasize and enhance the day-in, day-out quality of it's snow surface.

For the 2010-11 season, the resort is installing a new conveyor lift, otherwise known as ‘magic carpet', to help get first-time skiers up the mountain before they are ready to try a traditional chairlift. The new lift will replace the existing lifts Tenderfoot 1 and Tenderfoot 11. The new magic carpet will simply be called "Tenderfoot."

For skiers of all levels, Eldora recently added two new Snow Cats to their fleet of groomers to improve the quality of the snow surfaces. One of the Snow Cats is a Winch Cat by Piston Bully.

To cater to more experienced skiers and riders, Eldora is making a substantial effort to improve glade skiing and snowboarding through thinning and tree removal on expert terrain.


Loveland has made a significant improvement to its commitment to the overall guest experience by replacing their ticketing and point-of-sale system throughout the ski area. For the 2010-11 season, the resort is updating to a fully-integrated system that will facilitate a seamless guest transition throughout all departments.

Additionally, Loveland is working to upgrade and expand its snowmaking systems in its dedication to providing a quality early-season riding experience.

Monarch Mountain

Enhancing the family experience tops the list at Monarch Mountain. The ski area is investing $1.2 million in area improvements for the 2010-11 season, following a record breaking 2009-10 winter season.

A new base terminal for the Garfield Chair Lift leads the list of this season's improvements. A new and improved loading station, drive units and hydraulics will create an entirely new base terminal at Monarch Mountain's most popular chair.

The new base terminal will allow Garfield to run more efficiently with fewer stops for skiers and riders getting on and off the lift. The Pioneer quad chair lift will see a new unloading ramp at the top, helping ease the unloading process. Both Garfield and Pioneer lift mazes will see new lane dividers to facilitate the flow of maze traffic.

Food, Beverage and Base Lodge Upgrades

The "highest Starbuck's in the free world" will get even higher. Starbuck's will be relocated to the top floor of the main lodge so customers can easily enjoy a snack or beverage with family and friends. A new deli will inhabit Starbuck's former location at the mid-level corridor. The deli will be ideal for guests looking to get a quick sandwich, salad, snack and a drink and get back out on the slopes.

Last years installment of the "Hydration Station" on the top level of the main building was such a success, two additional ones will be installed for this winter. The Picnic Room on the lower level of the main lodge and the Rental/Lesson center building will now have Hydration Stations.

Rental/Lesson Center Equipment Additions

Rental and Lesson Center guests will appreciate the addition of 600 sets of new Head rental skis, boots and bindings. These will be complemented by new snowboards and demo skis. New boot dryers will be added to the rental shop and the reservation counter will be remodeled to speed up the delivery of reserved equipment.

Kids are "kings" at Monarch Mountain, so several improvements and upgrades are aimed at the younger generation. A new Yurt for the junior mountain program will be used for registration and as a warming hut for the older offspring. The Children's Center will be remodeled to better serve the younger tikes.

Beginners will find a new gentler access point paralleling Romp which will make it easier to ski or ride to the terrain on the west side of the mountain. Tilt, the popular kids' terrain park, will acquire several new "features", keeping it fresh and fun.

The "Organic" K2 Terrain Park will also have several new "all natural" features and a new log entrance (all features and the entrance are made from downed trees at the area). The addition of a new Prinoth Bison Snowcat will let allow the cat drivers to groom more terrain and lay down Colorado's only "all natural" corduroy for skiers and riders to enjoy.


Powderhorn is investing in creativity as Joe Pope, terrain park manager, is focused on building features for a new natural terrain park to open this season.

An expert in natural feature construction, Pope is the mastermind behind the unique terrain park at Sleeping Giant Ski Resort in Wyoming. At Powderhorn this winter, guests will find beginner to advanced natural features located in three terrain parks on the mountain.

The new features will be built from Aspen deadfall and other wood. A pre-season rail jam and kickoff party will be held in November, giving park riders their first taste of the new features.

Winter Park

While still developing the recently completed Village at Winter Park, the 2010-11 season will reveal investments in infrastructure and raising the level of guest service throughout Winter Park Resort.

Enhancements include the purchase of two new snowcats, additions to the ski, snowboard, and bike rental fleet, trail maintenance, new mountain web cameras, and upgrades in IT and on-mountain infrastructure.

A significant project for 2010-11 includes paving 822 marked spaces at The Vintage Hotel parking lot to improve guest experience as they walk from free parking to the Village Cabriolet. Attention will also be given to updating the resort's radio system with technologically advanced radios, in turn improving internal communication and with emergency management personnel.

Dining Facility Improvements

The Lodge at Sunspot, atop Winter Park Mountain and the premier dining property, will be receiving a facelift both inside and out. Stonework, entry doors, environmentally friendly deck and exterior stain, and new carpet and furniture will be completed in preparation for The Lodge at Sunspot's 20th anniversary in 2012.

Pine Beetle Mitigation

Pine Beetle mitigation is another major on-mountain investment. Along with capital, Winter Park and local water provider stakeholders were awarded a grant from the Colorado Community Forest Restoration Pilot Grant Program to improve forest health.

The objective is to decrease fire hazard, encourage new tree growth for a healthy, stable watershed, and reduce safety hazards to skiers and mountain bikers. Environmentally, Winter Park is increasing efforts in recycling programs for guests and employees, composting, and reduction of water waste.

Coming up in Part Three: what's new at Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort, Silverton Mountain, Steamboat, Telluride and Wolf Creek.

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