And for avid skiers, finding out what new offerings the great ski resorts have each year can be just as exciting as opening Christmas presents. Free lance travel writer Walter Roessing has put together a list of what the ski resorts in the western mountains have been up to. Posted in his "Powder Play" column of the Dallas Morning News, Roessing gives you the information you have been waiting for.
A 'bubble enclosed' quad chairlift with heated seats has been added at the Canyons Resort in Park City. The Canyons Resort is No. 1 in improvements, with the largest on-slope construction project in a decade. The large expansion for the 2010-11 ski season includes two new high-speed quad chairlifts, redirection of the resort's existing gondola, the addition of 300 skiable acres, and unveiling of the Canyons Ski Beach complex.
Opening in February at Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Mountain Resort will be an 18,000-square-foot restaurant that's adjacent to the gondola summit at 9,157 feet. The dining area will offer 500 indoor and 250 outdoor patio seats. The daytime restaurant will overlook the ski runs served by the Tamarack Express six-passenger chairlift, which provides access to multiple slopes in California and Nevada.
Among Squaw Valley improvements are the expansion of its day-night mountaintop (8,200 feet) Kids Zone, including more acreage for the ski school, a snow fort, miniature terrain park and chairlift. Renovation at the mountain base has been completed on the two-story Children's Center, which is adjacent to the Papoose snow-play turf and tubing hill.
Copper Mountain is increasing snowmaking 25 percent and expanding free parking. Eldora has a new Magic Carpet lift named Tenderfoot, designed to help first-time skiers up the mountain. A remodeled main day lodge has given Wolf Creek a fresh look.
Monarch upgrades include a new base terminal for the Garfield chairlift and a summit unloading ramp for the Pioneer quad. Monarch says its Starbucks coffee shop on the main lodge's top floor is "the world's highest in elevation."
- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
A new thrill-packed public program was launched this month at the Whistler Resort Riding Center, the site of bobsled, luge and skeleton events in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Guests can experience a ride on a high-speed, piloted four-man bobsled or a solo skeleton spin down the world's fastest, most technical course.