Vail Resorts have announced a massive $320 million spend on new lifts for 19 of its 34 resorts ahead of the 22-23 season. It’s believed to be one of the biggest lift construction commitments in history.
Vail say their largest single-year investment into the mountain experience to date is designed to materially reduce wait times and increase uphill capacity.
The projects include a new high-speed lift and gondola out of Whistler Blackcomb’s Creekside; New high-speed lift in Vail’s Back Bowls; the company’s first (and North America’s second) high-speed 8-person chair in Park City and enhancements to Keystone’s Bergman Bowl with 550 acres of new lift-served terrain.
Vail Resorts and their rivals the Alterra Group both announced $200m+ spend for summer 2020 shortly before the pandemic hit, with many of these projects taking place a year later. This time Vail is announcing a 50% greater spend about six-months earlier than this type of announcement is usually made.
Altogether there will be 12 new high-speed chairlifts, a new high-speed gondola, 6 new fixed-grip chairlifts and new lift-served terrain.
Resorts to benefit so far include Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Park City, Keystone, Breckenridge, Stowe and Mount Snow with more to be announced in December 2021 and March 2022.
“Our teams have been hard at work identifying significant opportunities to improve the guest experience and have produced an initial list of exciting lift upgrades, a restaurant expansion and projects that expand access to incredible terrain for next season, with more to be announced,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, adding, “At some of our mountains, this means new high-speed lifts that will double how fast we can move people out of the base areas, and at others, the projects are all about making it easier for people to explore different sections of the mountain.”
Among the more significant development announced so far Keystone Resort’s Bergman Bowl will get a new high-speed 6-person chairlift, increasing lift-served terrain by 555 acres including 16 new trails, and providing access for novice and intermediate guests and provides expanded entry to expert terrain in Independence and Erickson Bowls.
Park City Mountain’s new Silverlode lift will be Vail Resorts’ first-ever high-speed 8-person chair and the second in North America after Big Sky’s lift. The new Silverlode lift will replace an existing 6-person chair, will increase uphill capacity by 20% and reduce wait times at a critical spot to circulate guests on mountain.
At Stowe Mountain Resort the replacement and extension of an existing fixed-grip triple to a high-speed 6-person lift will increase uphill capacity by 100%, eliminate the steep hike to the base of the lift, improve reliability on windy days and offer beginner and intermediate guests with better access to lower-level terrain choices.
Vail Resorts’ total investment over the last 15 years is expected to reach approximately $2.2 billion.