14 Ski Resort Construction Projects Opening for Winter 22-23

Updated: Nov 7

Inflation, labor shortages, supply chain issues be damned — ski resort construction is on pace to be the most since we began chronicling major construction projects at North American ski resorts two years ago. Vail's Epic Lift Upgrade, a $320 million capital project, is the company's largest single-year investment into the mountain experience and a major contributor to this season's construction volume. Below, we highlight 14 transformative resort construction projects scheduled to complete in time for Winter 2022-23.

*As of early November, all projects are on or close to schedule to open this season. We've added November updates to each project below.

The number of new chairlifts arriving for this season is the most in recent memory. Image courtesy of Sunday River.

> Related Post: 8 Transformative Ski Resort Projects for 2023 & Beyond


14 transformative projects for Winter 2022-2023 (click the resort name to jump to a specific project):


  1. Snowbird, UT. New tram cars.

  2. Palisades Tahoe, CA. Building a new gondola to connect the Olympic and Alpine base areas

  3. Steamboat, CO. Completion of Master Plan, Phase II with a reimagined base area.

  4. Keystone, CO.Development of new skiable terrain and lift infrastructure in Bergman Bowl. (Delayed)

  5. Sunday River, ME. Installation of the new Jordan 8 — the fastest lift in North America.

  6. Whistler Blackcomb, BC. Replacement of several lifts including a new 8-person Creekside gondola. (Delayed)

  7. Vail, CO. Expanded access to the back bowls with two new lifts.

  8. Breckenridge, CO. Increasing lift capacity from the Peak 8 Base Area by 70%.

  9. Deer Valley, UT. New Burns Express lift to expand terrain access for beginners.

  10. Stowe, VT. A new 6-pack doubles capacity and eliminates a hike at Mountain Lift.

  11. Magic Mountain, VT. A new quad summit chair is the latest major upgrade for the independent resort.

  12. Mount Snow. Upgrading uphill capacity with two new high-speed lifts.

  13. Northstar, CA. Doubling uphill capacity with a new 6-pack Comstock lift.

  14. Heavenly, CA. Upgrading North Bowl lift to increase capacity and alleviate congestion.

 

Vail's Epic Lift Upgrade

The Epic Lift Upgrade covers 19 new lifts across 14 Vail-owned resorts for the 22-23 Season

Vail is investing $320 million into 19 new lifts across 14 Vail-owned resorts, all in time for the 22-23 Season. Vail's major objectives are to significantly reduce wait times and increase uphill capacity. The project includes 12 new high-speed chairlifts, a new high-speed gondola, 6 new fixed-grip chairlifts, new lift-served terrain and an expanded restaurant. We've included details on 8 of the largest Epic Upgrades below.


*On November 4, Vail announced that lift improvements at Whistler-Blackcomb will not be ready for opening day on November 24. The new Big Red Express chair should be spinning in early December, but the Creekside Gondola's completion date is currently unknown.


*On August 4, Vail announced that the planned 555-acre expansion of Keystone's lift-serviced terrain will not be ready in time for the 2022-23 season (see Keystone section for details).

1. Snowbird, UT – New tram cars

A modern update to the country's most iconic tram ride
The new blue tram car is ready for action! Courtesy of Snowbird.

November Update: The new Red Tram was successfully installed as of November 5 and is ready for Snowbird's opening day on November 30.


Snowbird began operations of its new Blue Tram Car on July 16. The new car features floor-to-ceiling windows, a roof-top balcony and 3x3' glass floor panels that offer extraordinary mountain viewing opportunities during the summer.


Two generations of tram cars will run next to each other this summer only. Courtesy of Snowbird.

After 50 years and over 790,000 miles of service, this past Spring, Snowbird announced that it would retire its iconic red and blue tram cars at the end of the season. Initial plans called for two new cars to be installed by June 2022. Plans, however, hit a snag when the new red car fell during installation and was damaged it beyond repair. For now, Snowbird has reinstalled the old red tram to function as a counterweight. Its controls are not compatible with the new system. Doppelmayr is committed to having a new Red Tram ready in time for the 2022-23 winter season.


> View our insider guide to Snowbird here


2. Palisades Tahoe, CA – Base-to-base gondola

Connecting the Olymipic and Alpine base areas
Planned route for the new gondola to connect Palisades and Alpine Meadows.

November Update: Work has continued on both the Base-to-Base Gondola and the Red Dog chair. Both are on track to open in mid-December.


The base-to-base gondola a Palisades Tahoe is on track to open in time for winter 2022. Towers for the new gondola are in place, and work continues at each base area to round out the project. The 8-person gondola will transport 1,400 riders per hour from Olympic Village to the Alpine base area (or vice-versa) in 16 minutes. Riders will have the option to disembark at the K-22 mid-station to access K-22's legendary terrain.


The resort is also replacing the historic Red Dog Triple with a new, detachable 6-pack chair. The Red Dog was one of the resort's original chairlifts and used during the 1960 Olympics. The new Red Dog is on track to open this Winter. Follow live updates on the construction here.


> View our insider guide to Palisades Tahoe here


3. Steamboat, CO – Master Plan Phase II

A completely reimagined base area for a Colorado icon
The reimagined Steamboat base area. Courtesy of Saunders Construction.

November Update: Work has continued as scheduled on Phase II of Steamboat's master plan, and each project is due to be complete in time for opening day.


The second phase of Steamboat's gargantuan Master Plan is set to complete for Winter 2022-23. This phase includes the opening of a brand new Greenhorn Ranch Learning Center, the Range Food & Drink Hall, and Skeeter's Ice Rink. The Rink will transition to an events lawn during the summer months.


The lower leg of the Wild Blue Gondola is also on track to open this Winter. The lower leg will offer access from the base area to the mid-station at Greenhorn Ranch in just 5 minutes. Wild Blue is the longest 10-person Gondola in North America.


In addition, the Christie Peak Express has shifted to a new base location between Steamboat Gondola and Wild Blue Gondola. For more on Steamboat's extensive Master Plan, click here.


> View our insider guide to Steamboat here

4. Keystone, CO – Bergman Bowl expansion & upgraded Outpost Restaurant

Building a high-speed 6-pack to service 555 acres of new terrain in Bergman Bowl (Delayed)*
Development of Bergman Bowl offers a major expansion to beginner and intermediate terrain. Courtesy of Keystone.

*The Bergman Bowl expansion will no longer open for the 2022-23 season. A third party construction crew built