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With the resort season winding down, thoughts turn to 2021-’22. Alterra Mountain Company is ahead of the curve, already announcing planned upgrades at its resorts.
The Denver, Colo.-based company announced today that it will be focusing its capital improvements on four major U.S. resorts: Deer Valley, Utah; Steamboat, Colo.; and Calif.’s Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Alterra’s investment in the four resorts sits at $207 million, which is no chump change.
“Alterra Mountain Company has exceeded our initial five-year goal to invest over half a billion dollars into our destinations, in just four years,” said Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory. “We continue to be committed to infusing meaningful capital into on-mountain enhancements, base area development, and advanced technology that will elevate the mountain experience for all who visit.”
Two of the upgrades will be on tap for skiers to enjoy when the flakes start to fly next winter, while the other two are longer-range visions set to debut in the 2022-’23 season or beyond. Here are the plans:
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Calif.
In addition to the highly anticipated name change, due out any minute now, the iconic Lake Tahoe resort is also getting the much-heralded base-to-base gondola, construction of which will begin this summer. The $60 million lift will feature eight-passenger cabins with 360-degree views, and will shuttle skiers between the Squaw and Alpine bases in 16 minutes—it’s currently a seven-mile drive.
The northern Colorado resort’s upgrades will span several years, and the most exciting of the bunch is the 650 acres of new expert terrain proposed for Pioneer Ridge—an addition that will increase the resort’s skiable acreage by 20 percent. The plan still needs to be approved, but if it is, it also includes the construction of a new gondola, called Big Blue, which will also access the re-developed Bashor learning area.
Big plans are also in play down at the Gondola Square base, long in need of reengineering. A hefty portion of the $135 million in capital improvement will go toward the reimagining of Gondola Square to transform it into a year-round, amenity-rich plaza to anchor the resort experience. New restaurants, après options, retail, and entertainment are all part of the package, which will be unveiled for guests during the 2022-’23 season.
Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
The southern California resort’s main lodge will get a major facelift following the close of the 2022-’23 ski season. This will not only add much-needed skier amenities but also a host of new lodging, dining, and shopping options to create a more communal village experience, which the resort has long been lacking.
Deer Valley, Utah
The Wasatch resort known for its superb customer service and amenities will see its Snow Park base get a much-needed makeover for the 2022-’23 season, pending state and local approval. Snow Park, which comprised the original resort of the same name when it opened in 1947, will get more of everything across the board: lodging, updated dining outlets, more après-ski options, additional skier services, and even a dedicated ski beach similar to the beach at the mid-mountain Silver Lake base. The Snow Park parking situation will also get a much-needed update and expansion.
Resort Guide 2021: Deer Valley, No. 2 in the West