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  • Article: What's New at Utah Resorts for 05/06?

    A Flurry of Upgrades Grace Utah Ski Areas

    Photo courtesy Park City Having just notched the best season in Utah's 69-year history, area resorts aren't resting on their laurels. They continue to hone, polish, create, add, build, renovate and revise their equipment, amenities, facilities, products and programs. Utah's 13 powder playgrounds have invested millions of dollars in on-mountain improvements this summer, from adding new lifts and lodges to expanded programs and terrain parks. Here's what's new this season:

    BELOVED ALTA LANDMARK REPLACED: Skiers will find a new mid-mountain day lodge next winter at Alta. Watson Shelter, a favorite spot for lunch by local skiers and out of town guests alike, has been removed and replaced by an all-new Watson Shelter slated for completion this fall.

    The new Watson Shelter is being built near the Angle Station of the Collins Lift (installed summer 2004). Like the original, most of the materials for construction are granite and wood. The shelter's footprint is nearly 5000 square feet. The building will have three levels with plenty of deck space for outdoor dining. It will offer an "Alta logo" ski shop, generous restroom facilities and an extensive cafeteria. The Watson will also preserve the Collins Grill experience and offer an area for private dining.

    WIDER RUNS & PREP WORK FOR 2006-07: Crews have been working hard at the Beav this summer to widen existing runs off of Marge's Triple as well as creating several new runs in the area. The resort is also prepping for next year's major project of replacing Harry's Dream chairlift by pouring footings for the new towers.

    BASE LODGE IMPROVEMENTS: A facelift of base lodge restrooms including new vanities will greet guest visiting Beaver Mountain this season.

    NEW SNOWCAT: Beaver's new $200,000 Piston Bully snowcat guarantees dreamy and creamy cruising on their groomed runs for 2005-06.

    NEW EQUIPMENT: Brian Head Resort purchased two new snow grooming machines for the upcoming winter season including a brand new 2006 Camoplast br350 and a 2004 Bombardier br350. The machines are faster, have the latest technology, can cover more acres per hour, and have more horsepower to push snow than previous machines creating improvements in area grooming as well as freestyle terrain and parks.

    EXPANDING FREESTYLE TERRAIN & PARKS: Under new park management, the Park Crew has great expectations and fresh ideas to improve and expand the existing freestyle terrain. Next year's park will have beginner and intermediate boxes, rails, and jumps on the Navajo lift as well as beginner, intermediate and expert terrain parks at Giant Steps. With the addition of the new snow cats, steeper angles can be cut and formed to enhance the expert freestyle terrain.

    WINTER SPORTS SCHOOL: New for 2005-06, Brian Head offers a "Get Better" lesson for only $20 to guests regardless of their ability - beginner to expert - giving skiers and snowboarders of all abilities the opportunity to improve their skills with a qualified instructor at a very affordable price.

    GROOMING: Brighton Resort added two new Park Bully snow cats for even better grooming. With over 85 years combined experience, Brighton's cat drivers know each aspect of the runs and the best way to produce the finest surface for both skiers and snowboarders. Only their most experienced drivers groom their terrain park and half pipe. They are very picky, since they are the first ones to ride their work each morning. Year after year, Brighton's employees' devotion to the sport continues to ensure a great day for their guests.

    INCREASED SNOWMAKING: Brighton added two SMI Pole Cat tower guns to their snowmaking arsenal over the summer providing an earlier opening to their Terrain Park.

    GAZ EX AVALANCHE CONTROL: To continue to ensure the safety of their guests, Brighton installed cutting-edge avalanche control equipment produced by the Gaz Ex Company. This amazing system needs no explosives or fuses. Controlled remotely from the ski patrol office, the system affords increased safety for Brighton personnel who will no longer need to enter avalanche danger zones while carrying explosives. A device remains on-slope which releases controlled explosions just above the unstable snow surface creating a sympathy effect and simultaneous shock wave, increasing the efficiency over traditional methods of hand-thrown charges. Using this method, avalanches can be triggered in all weather conditions and from a safe location, away from the blast site.

    NEW PASSES FOR UTAH LOCALS: Utah's young adults who are not in college can now get a screamin' deal with the new "No Brainer Pass" at The Canyons. This season pass product is for skiers and snowboarders ages 18 - 25. A "No Brainer Pass" costs $399 if purchased before Nov. 14.

    400 MILLION DOLLAR EXPANSION PLAN: In the next 3 years, The Canyons Resort will continue its master expansion plan that will total more than 400 million dollars in improvements both on and off the mountain. Improvements will include new lifts, additional terrain, new lodging facilities, a golf course and continued development of The Canyons Resort Village. This vision is the result of the combined efforts of the many landowners at The Canyons Resort and American Skiing Company.

    NEW BEGINNER TERRAIN PARK: First time terrain park skiers and riders can feel comfortable in The Canyons' new beginners terrain park located off of Saddleback Express. The park will cater to first-time park users and will compliment The Canyons Ski & Snowboard School Terrain Park Clinics that are now available as well. The advanced terrain park will remain in its previous location, off of Sun Peak Express.

    NEW SULTAN CHAIRLIFT: Part of $8 million in improvements for 2005-06, Deer Valley has replaced and extended the Sultan chairlift on Bald Mountain with a high-speed detachable quad. The new lift offers 1,000 additional linear feet, bringing its vertical drop to 1,760 feet. Extending the lift opens 75 additional skiable acres which includes a new intermediate run and approximately 65 acres of glade skiing.

    EXPANDED SKI CORRAL: Look for an expansion of the Silver Lake Ski Corral, Lodge Deck and Village Plaza in 2005-06. The Ski Corral has been added on to the Silver Lake Lodge and will be expanded to hold 2,000 pairs of skis. The Silver Lake Lodge deck will be increased by 1,200 square feet with the heated Village Plaza being expanded by 2,200 square feet. ADDITIONAL RETAIL AND RENTAL SHOP SPACE: Deer Valley's Rental Shop and Signatures store will take over the existing Royal Plaza Conference Center which is located adjacent to the Silver Lake Lodge. The Rental Shop will be expanding inventory by 15 percent and will be open daily during the winter season from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

    NEW EQUIPMENT & SNOWMAKING: Deer Valley has replaced four snowcats, 12 snowmobiles and 10 snowguns with new equipment. Expanded snowmaking has also been added around the new and improved Sultan chairlift.

    NEWLY RENOVATED LEGENDS BAR AND RESTAURANT: Legends, the spot for après ski, has been relocated to the plaza level of the Legacy Lodge. The new Legends will boast excellent drinks and food making it the perfect place to relax after a long day on the mountain.

    BIGGEST SUPERPIPE IN NORTH AMERICA: Park City Mountain Resort purchased a new pipe cutter that gives a new definition to "super" in the Eagle Superpipe. With 22 foot walls, the superpipe will be the largest in North America. Park City Mountain Resort will also add new rails and funboxes to its four terrain parks.

    NEW GROOMING AND SNOWMAKING EQUIPMENT: Last season Park City Mountain Resort introduced grooming on several of its advanced, black-diamond runs. These "Signature Runs" helped to open up more of the mountain to the intermediate skier. Park City Mountain Resort has added two new snowcats, including a winch cat, to its fleet, allowing it to continue its commitment to on-mountain grooming. The resort also added 10 snowmaking guns providing more efficient snowmaking.

    HIDDEN LAKE TERRAIN PARK: New for 2005-06, The Hidden Lake Park offers features for more advanced park riders. Located on Hidden Lake trail, the park contains handrails, tabletops, a spine hit, and a quarterpipe. It will be open for normal daytime operation hours, seven days a week and groomed nightly.

    SHESKIS EXTREME: Advanced and expert skiers can sign up for the Black Diamond women's clinics. SheSkis is Powder Mountain's women's only program taught by women. Learn to ski bumps, powder and the backcountry. Weather and conditions permitting, a helicopter ride to the backcountry will be available for an additional charge. Dates for this clinic are Jan. 31, Feb. 7 & 14. Sign up for the entire session or just one day.

    NEW CREEKSIDE LODGE: A new day lodge in Gad Valley, the Creekside Lodge, will greet skiers and riders for the 2005-06 winter season. The two-story lodge houses the Creekside Cafe, a ticket office, a Mountain School office, retail space and locker rooms. The kicker - a 3,000-square-foot deck offers skiers and riders the ultimate in post-powder lounging after a day on the slopes.

    IMPROVED GAD VALLEY PARKING LOT: Snowbird's Entry 1 parking lot received a makeover this summer. The main entrance from the parking lot to Gad Valley will be by the new Creekside Lodge (approximately where the old bathrooms were). The two-level, paved parking lot includes stairs and a green strip in the middle to allow easier access to cars and the slopes. For added convenience, UTA will add a bus stop in Gad Valley.

    SNOWBIRD EXPEDITIONS: The dream of Dick Bass, the first person to summit the tallest mountain on each of the world's seven continents, has been to create a renaissance center for enhancement of body, mind and spirit. This dream becomes a reality this year as Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort launches Snowbird Expeditions, a program offering participants hands-on mountaineering instruction and guidance from the world's foremost experts. David Breashears, a world-famous climber, author and cinematographer, designed these expeditions to combine the optimum blend of intense athletic activity, technical climbing instruction, mountaineering skills, world-renowned healthful cuisine and restorative spa treatments. Visit for more information.

    CLIFF LODGE RENOVATIONS: Summer of 2005 marks the beginning of renovations to Snowbird's flagship property, the Cliff Lodge. Lodging rooms will be upgraded with new furnishings, bedding, tile and bathroom fixtures. In addition, most spa level rooms will provide flat screen televisions and Tempurpedic beds.

    TUBING: Snowbasin will have six lanes of lift-assisted tubing for the 2005-06 winter season. Three lanes will be for the beginning tuber with the other three designed with "more fun" in mind.

    TRANSPORTATION FROM SALT LAKE CITY: In conjunction with the Grand America and Little America Hotels, Snowbasin will be providing transportation to and from Salt Lake City for their skiing guests. LOCAL'S ONLY PASSPORT: For Utah resident's only - 10 days of skiing for just $430 with a valid Utah driver's license. One passport per person, one pass redeemed per day. Non-refundable.

    MOONBEAM CHAIRLIFT: Solitude installed a new fixed-grip quad for 2005-06, replacing the Moonbeam II lift and allowing skiers to get to beginner and intermediate terrain much easier from the parking lot. The new quad allows for easier unloading (due to a gentler off-load ramp) for beginners and makes the mid-mountain intersection much less congested. Moonbeam base visitors are sure to enjoy the efficiency of moving people out of the area during high traffic times, including lunch and the start of the day.

    MOONBEAM DAY LODGE: The new lodge-style facility is designed to not only be functional and complement the mountain, but to blend with the architecture of the European-styled Solitude village. The 12,000 square foot lodge sits adjacent the Moonbeam Center and is home to a new rental shop, lockers, indoor and outdoor food service, an après ski bar, heated patio, a rooftop sun deck and a spacious and inviting sitting den, which will make up roughly one-third of the new facility. The new lodge fills a void at Solitude in providing more amenities, and simply, a comfortable place for relaxing, to day guests. Solitude remains committed to providing a quality experience for each skier or rider on the mountain.

    NEW TICKETING SYSTEM: Continuing the tradition of Solitude's cutting-edge ticket and pass technology they have upgraded their ticketing system to give skiers and riders the ability to purchase tickets online and go directly to the lifts. Other new features include online tracking of vertical and lift ride data. Solitude Axess Cards must be purchased for an additional $5 (when purchasing a single day ticket) in order to access the full range of capabilities offered by this unique ticketing system.

    FITNESS CENTER: A year-round fitness center will be located in Sundance's yurt facility near the Screening Room. Guests can enjoy personal and private exercise, yoga or quiet time before venturing outside.

    HOME BASE LEARNING METHOD: Sundance's Ski and Snowboard School will incorporate a unique learning method and technique called "Home Base," that makes learning fast, simple and more fun. In the past, this program was only available in Sundance's special Performance Skiing Labs. It has now become a part of every ski or snowboard learning experience. The method is state-of-the-art with each guest experiencing a new level of performance in a short period of time.

    BEAR CLAWS CABIN: Sundance's mountain-top lodge will receive some fine tuning to further enhance this very special mountain dinning experience. From Bear Claws Cabin, visitors have 360 degree views that rival any European vista with slopes that are manageable for most levels of skiers and boarders.

    NEW OWNER AND NAME: Formerly called Nordic Valley, the latest addition to this Ogden Valley ski area is the name!

    IMPOVED FACILITIES: A general clean up including repairs of equipment and buildings top the list for Utah's newest ski area. Wolf Mountain's facilities improvement schedule includes demolition of some of the old buildings, recontouring and grading of the parking lot and reworking the entryway.

    NEW GROOMER: A Bombardier groomer, greatly increasing the consistency of Wolf Mountain's snow quality, will provide perfect corduroy for 2005-06. THE WOLF PASS: Already on sale at Wolf Creek Resort, the pass provides year-round access to Wolf Creek's Recreation Center including a fitness center, racquetball courts, game room, summer-long access to the pool, tennis & volleyball courts and unlimited day or night skiing at Wolf Mountain.

    Archived articles relating to KidzResorts:

    Or visit Ski Utah's website here .

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