TOP NEWS OF THE NEW SEASON
Vail Resorts’ $1.06 billion acquisition of Whistler Blackcomb, located in Whistler, British Columbia, is expected to be finalized by the time you read this, and leads off the news for the 2016-17 season. The acquisition will provide greater resources to support the resort’s Renaissance project, the most transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb’s history. The $345 million project will take place in three phases, adding year-round attractions and activities, along with major on-mountain winter and summer improvements, such as The Annex (a 30,000-square-foot indoor action-sports training center).
Big Sky Resort, located in southwest Montana, announced a major plan for progressive improvements over the next decade with its Big Sky 2025 initiative. Starting this season and led by an investment of more than $150 million in resort improvements, the phased project includes development of one of North America’s most advanced and effective chairlift networks, in addition to elevated lodging, curated fine dining and luxury shopping experiences.
Colorado’s Telluride Ski Resort joined The Mountain Collective—a collaborative pass program that provides access to some of North America’s best ski mountains, including Aspen Snowmass, Lake Louise and Stowe Mountain Resort.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming is adding a Doppelmayr gondola program, scheduled to open mid-December. The new Sweetwater Gondola will increase capacity out of the base area and, with expansions in the coming seasons, provide access to a new and enhanced ski school facility in the Solitude midstation area. The Sweetwater Gondola will be located between the Bridger Gondola and the Teewinot High Speed Quad, and it will terminate just uphill of Casper Restaurant.
At Vail Mountain Resort in Colorado, the Sun Up Lift will be replaced by the Sun Up Express (a four-passenger lift that debuts this winter). Delivering skiers to intermediate and advanced terrain, the new lift provides better access to the legendary back bowls of Vail.
Mammoth Lakes in California is now home to a Tesla Supercharger station in its downtown area. With stations already in place along U.S. 395 in Lone Pine, Calif., and Inyokern, Calif., the resort is now easily accessible for Southern California electric-vehicle drivers.
ELEGANT NEW SKI HOTELS & RENOVATIONS
The Pines Lodge, A RockResort, located slopeside in Beaver Creek, Colo., unveils a significant renovation to its 60 hotel rooms; internal corridors; lobby; and award-winning restaurant, Grouse Mountain Grill. The upgrade maintains the hotel’s unique European charm while introducing a mountain-modern luxury theme. Pines king corner rooms from $299 per night
This winter, Fairmont Chateau Whistler in British Columbia introduces its 600-square-foot Alpine Suites. The elegantly designed accommodations boast luxury king-size beds and dual-sided fireplaces. The suites are located on the highest floors of the hotel, offering gorgeous views. Fairmont Gold rooms from $586 per night, Alpine Suites from $594 per night
Colorado’s The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort revealed renovations that transform the look and feel of the iconic hotel. Updates include new seating and carpeting in all 36 hotel rooms and a renovated workout facility. Rooms from $349 per night
Moose Hotel & Suites, the newest independent four-star hotel in Banff, Alberta, is located minutes from downtown. The hotel’s Rooftop Health Club offers an indoor swimming pool, an exercise room, two outdoor hot pools, a sauna and mountain views. Rooftop one-bedroom suites from $266 per night, rooftop two-bedroom suites from $380 per night
The newly renovated Coachman Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., sits at the base of Heavenly Mountain Resort (skiheavenly.com). The renovated 1960s-era hotel now features the finest beds and Frette linens, Apple TVs, year-round hot tub access and cozy outdoor fire pits. Three-bedroom suites from $499 per night
The Cliff Lodge at Snowbird, located in Snowbird, Utah, was remodeled as part of a $35 million resortwide capital improvement plan. During the 2016-17 season, The Cliff Lodge will unveil redesigned and redecorated areas surrounding the main entrance—including valet, guest check-in and common areas throughout the hotel. One-bedroom suites from $1,099 per night
The Stein Eriksen Lodge, located in Park City, Utah, and crowned World’s Best Ski Hotel by the World Ski Awards, will open the Stein Eriksen Residences in time for this ski season. The Residences comprise 54 total units (15 homes and 39 condominiums) that can be rented like hotel suites. Rooms from $250 per night, Stein Eriksen Residences from $2,500 per night