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8 Transformative Ski Resort Projects for 2023 & Beyond (Part 2)

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Ski resorts across North America are investing in massive terrain expansions, base area redevelopments, and substantial lift and infrastructure upgrades. In just a few years, you may not even recognize your favorite resorts.

Steamboat Resort plans to build a skating rink in their new base area. Image Courtesy of Steamboat.

Last summer, we published our list of 7 Transformative Ski Resort Projects Currently Underway. We have the latest updates on three of those projects, plus five exciting new ones.

Here are 8 transformative projects that will significantly change resorts across North America (click the resort name to jump to a specific project):

  1. Steamboat, CO. Working on a 3-Year Master Plan to re-design the base area, build the fastest gondola in North America and open 600+ acres of new skiable terrain.

  2. Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows, CA. Building a gondola that runs between Squaw Village and the Base of Alpine Meadows.

  3. Sugarloaf, ME. Undergoing a 450 acre terrain expansion including a new lift, new trails, and a mountain bike park.

  4. Mayflower Mountain Resort, UT. Construction of a new resort on the back side of Deer Valley.

  5. Deer Valley, UT. Replacement of the Snow Park Lodge with a new lodge and additional services.

  6. Mammoth Mountain, CA. Redeveloping the Main Lodge and Base Area to create a "Gateway to the Sierra".

  7. Taos Ski Valley, NM. $300-million master plan including a frontside to backside gondola and other major lift upgrades.

  8. Keystone, CO. More than 500 acre expansion into the Bergman and Erickson bowls.


Steamboat Resort, CO – 3-Year Master Plan

Expansion of terrain by more than 15 percent and construction of North America's longest 8-person gondola

Status: In progress

Target Completion Date: Phase One – Winter 2021, Full Project – Winter 2023

Ten-years in the making, Steamboat's 3-year, $135mm Master Plan, to revitalize the mountain and base area is underway. Project highlights are outlined below. Keep up to date on the latest developments here.

  • Complete redesign of the Gondola Square base area. The redesign includes a new lower gondola terminal building, reconfigured entryways, a massive ski beach, and an ice rink. Preparations have begun to demolish the old gondola building and transform the base area ahead of the 2021/22 season.

  • 650 acres of new skiable terrain in the Pioneer Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon areas. This expansion will make Steamboat the second largest ski area in Colorado. Some of the terrain in the Pioneer Ridge area may open for the the 2021/22 season, but the expansion is still pending approval

  • Building the longest 10-person gondola in North America. The Wild Blue Gondola will run 3.16 miles from the base area to the top of Sunshine Peak. The gondola will feature a mid-station adjacent to Bashor Bowl. The new gondola will increase base area lift capacity to 10,000 riders/hour from 6,000. Work is underway to move the lower terminal of the gondola to a new location in the base area for Summer 2021.

  • New mountain top restaurant for the Sunshine Peak Area. This restaurant will be located near the terminus of the Wild Blue Gondola and expand dining capacity in the popular Sunshine Peak area that is currently a point of congestion.


Squaw/Alpine, CA – Base-to-Base Gondola

Building a gondola to connect the Village at Squaw with the Alpine Meadows Base Area

Status: In progress

Target Completion Date: TBD

Planned route for the new gondola to connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows

Squaw Alpine began construction on the highly anticipated base-to-base gondola with tree-cutting this past May. The 8-person gondola will transport 1,400 riders per hour from the Village at Squaw Valley to the Alpine Meadows 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. Follow live updates on the construction here.


Sugarloaf, ME – West Mountain Expansion

A 450+ acre expansion with new ski terrain, a new lift, and an expanded base area

Status: In progress, delayed due to Covid-19

Target Completion Date: 2025

The crown jewel of Sugarloaf's 2030 Master Plan, this 450+ acre project includes a new high-speed lift, more than 10 new trails, a tubing park, a lift-serviced mountain bike trail network and new real estate development. The West Mountain trail expansion will increase Sugarloaf's beginner and intermediate terrain and alleviate congestion at the Whiffletree and Super Quad lifts.

The resort has already implemented RFID scanning technology at all lifts to cut down on wait times.


Mayflower Mountain Resort, UT

Construction of an all-new ski area on the backside of Deer Valley

Status: Phase 1 in progress

Target Completion Date: TBD

With the potential to become the first new full service resort in the United States in 40 years, the proposal for Mayflower Mountain Resort envisions 1,000 skiable acres, 18 ski lifts lifts, up to 825 hotel rooms, a 68,000 square foot recreation center, and up to 250,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. The plans also call for a significant residential component, eventually composed of 1,500+ units. Extell's Gary Barnett is the developer and the Park Record reported that the project would receive up to $250 million in MIDA-approved bonds, a fraction of the $3.2 billion of spending anticipated over the next 5 years.

The proposal has run into a myriad of roadblocks, but preliminary infrastructure work has begun and ground was recently broken on the first major piece of the project – a 442-room, 625,000-square-foot hotel featuring 100 rooms reserved for the United States Air Force.

There is still quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding this project, so be sure check back for updates.


Deer Valley, UT – Snow Park Lodge Redevelopment

New base area with food, beverage and après options, additional accommodations, and a ski beach

Status: Breaking Ground 2022

Target Completion Date: TBD

Deer Valley's Snow Park Lodge and base area are about to get a major upgrade with additional accommodations and skier services, new restaurant and après options, an additional ski beach and an upgraded mountain transport network. The architecture of the new base will be “inspired by the mountains” and is expected break ground in 2022.


Mammoth Mountain, CA – Main Lodge Redevelopment

Creation of the "world's best" ski beach, boutique dining and retail experiences, luxury lodging and residential ownership options

Status: Permitting phase, due to break ground in 2023

Target Completion Date: TBD

Alterra has announced a complete redevelopment of the main lodge at Mammoth, where they aim to create a “Base Camp to the Eastern Sierra”. The new base area will feature the “world’s best” ski beach, state of the art services, an Adventure Concierge Center, an array of boutique dining and retail experiences, luxury lodging and a variety of residential ownership options.


Taos Ski Valley, NM – Renaissance

Revitalization plan for a new gondola, lift upgrades, new restaurants and greater summer programming

Status: Planning phase

Target Completion Date: TBD

Taos announced a $300 million revitalization plan to implement over the next decade. Highlights include:

  • Proposal for a new four-season gondola to link the frontside and backside base areas, significantly decreasing travel time and alleviating congestion

  • Several lift upgrades

  • New backside restaurant

  • Expanded summer programming including greater mountain biking capacity and the construction of a ‘Via Ferrata’ trail.

Stay tuned for updates.


Keystone, CO – Bergman and Erickson Bowl Expansion

Building a high-speed detachable lift, 16 trails, and over 500 acres of new, skiable terrain

Status: Planning phase

Target Completion Date: TBD

Keystone has received US Forest Service approval to expand their lift-accessed terrain into the Bergman and Erickson Bowls. The expansion would feature a new high-speed, detachable lift, 16 new trails, and over 500 acres of skiable terrain.


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