Vail Mountain Snowmaking Expansion Project, Re-imagining Early-Season
During summer 2019, Vail Mountain will begin construction on the first phase of a multi-year snowmaking expansion project that will result in a more predictable opening date, high-quality conditions during the early- and mid-season, and more reliable conditions through mid-April. The resort will improve its existing snowmaking system and expand snowmaking on the upper-mountain, resulting in 192 acres of new and enhanced snowmaking infrastructure for the 2019-2020 winter season, and allowing the resort to open terrain accessible from both Vail Village and Lionshead Village base areas. For 2019-2020, new snowmaking capabilities will be implemented on Swingsville Ridge, Swingsville, Meadows, and Ramshorn, located in the Mid-Vail area of the mountain; Bear Tree, Cold Feet, a portion of Upper Lion’s Way, and Lodgepole in the area of the Avanti Express Lift (#2); Coyote Crossing, Practice Parkway, and Ledges in the Eagles Nest area; and beginner enhancements in the Gopher Hill Lift (#12) area.
“We’re excited to be able to move forward and begin construction this summer on the first phase of this plan, which will provide a more predictable opening date, high-quality conditions during the early- and mid-season, and more reliable conditions through mid-April,” said Greg Johnson, Vice President of Mountain Operations for Vail. “As always, we are grateful for our continued partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and applaud their diligence and thoughtfulness in their evaluation of this proposal.
“For early-season operations, our strategy will be to begin by making snow in the Mid-Vail area in order to open the Mountain Top Express Lift (#4), followed by the Avanti Express Lift (#2) and Born Free Express (#8) for access out of and back to both Lionshead and Vail Village,” said Johnson. “This means a significant portion of the front side beginner and intermediate terrain will be open earlier, enhancing both the guest experience and the early-season resort economy in both villages.”
The resort’s system currently has the capacity to make snow on 452 acres. This approval allows for an increase of 262 acres over the course of a multi-year roll-out.