Every summer the world’s ski industry collective splurges hundreds of millions of euros/dollars/francs/yen (and various other currencies) on upgrades for the coming ski season.
Summer 2017 has been no different, and in our main magazine you can read of big new lift projects and terrain expansions for the Grand Massif, Ischgl, Val Thorens, Meribel and Zell am See amongst others.
Here are some of the bigger projects due to open in the next few weeks:
La Rosiere’s Ski Area Gets Bigger
La Rosiere will have pistes on a whole new mountainside this winter, which is quite exciting news as very few ski areas in the Alps open totally new areas nowadays. The village has also built a new fun track for kids that’s more than 1km long, with modules, gongs and tunnels, and themed with the famous La Rosiere Saint Bernard mascot.
Livigno Adding Two Gondolas in Major Upgrade
Livigno ski area in Italy is currently installing two consecutive gondola lifts, with a combined total length of 3km and a vertical rise of 900m separated by three completely new stations.
The new Doppelmayr lifts are being built during Livigno’s relatively short and unpredictable summer – the village is usually open for snowsports from November to May.
Davos Changes T-Bar to Six-Seat Chairlift
Davos in Eastern Switzerland has upgraded the 45-year-old Furka T-bar lift in the resort’s Parsenn region to a high-speed six-seat chairlift. The lift will climb 380 vertical metres over its almost 1.6km length, and transport up to 2,500 people per hour, shortening the journey time by around five minutes.
Fast New Lift for Megève
The classic French ski resort of Megève will see the first results of a promised €80m investment in its ski area promised by its new lift operator, according to the long-time British specialist tour operator there, Stanford Skiing.
“The lift companies in Megève and St. Gervais have announced the long overdue revamp of the Chamois gondola from the centre of Megève and the replacement of the rickety old chairlift on the Epaule of Mont Joly with a fast six-man chair,” said Stanford Skiing’s Elizabeth Cahir.
Two New Quads for Niseko
Niseko will see two new quad chairlifts open this December, both especially benefitting beginner skiers but with advantages for more advanced skiers too. Grand Hirafu’s Ace Family Pair Lift will be replaced by a high-speed quad lift with double the per-hour lift capacity. In addition, Niseko Annupuri has announced the construction of a new ski lift – the Dream Quad Lift #1 – specifically for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
Breckenridge Ski Resort Upgrades Falcon Chair
Breckenridge ski area in Colorado has built a new Peak10 Falcon SuperChair, upgrading the old quad lift to a six-seater and expanding Peak 10’s uphill capacity by 25% for the 2017/18 ski season.
New €18m Gondola For Val Gardena
The Dolomiti ski area of Val Gardena will unveil a new €18m 10-seater gondola to whisk skiers and boarders to the resort’s highest peaks this winter. The new Piz Seteur gondola with heated seats is at Selva di Gardena and replaces a 20-year-old quad chairlift to give improved access to the popular Sellaronda ski circuit – a 42km tour around the Sella peaks.
A New Black Slope For Cortina
The iconic ski town of Cortina d’Ampezzo will have a new black run this winter. The new Scoiattolo slope will drop 238 vertical metres over its 905m length and have an average gradient of 27%, but at its steepest section this will increase to 55%. The new run is part of a total €70m investment in the wider Dolomiti Superski region for the coming season.
Les Arcs Add €10m Heated-Seat Chairlift
The Pré Saint-Esprit lift at les Arcs, built 37 years ago – long before Arc 1950 was created – is being upgraded to a six-seater high-speed lift. Part of the price tag comes from the fact that the new lift will have heated seats, a pull-down bubble protection cover and will require an all-new base building, partially buried in the ground for minimal environmental impact.
Switzerland’s New Super Ski Region Nears Completion
Long-running plans to connect the two Swiss ski resorts of Andermatt and Sedrun are nearing completion with the two ski areas connected by lifts and runs in one direction this winter as three new lifts are completed. The full inter-connection in both directions should be finished in time for winter 2018/19 with another four lifts due to be added in summer 2018.