What’s New at Vail Over the Last Five Years
If you haven’t visited Vail over the last five years, you may be surprised to see the changes. Some call it a renaissance, others “much needed” improvements. While many classic spots such as The Lodge at Vail and the Red Lion are still here, Lionshead has undergone a complete transformation, and the Vail Village base area has been dramatically improved. Solaris Plaza and many other hotels have been upgraded. Lift upgrades include Chairs 10, 14, 4, 5, 12, and Gondola One. So while Vail still has a familiar look and feel, both the town and mountain have undergone changes to keep pace with Vail’s international reputation for excellence. Scroll through the images to learn more!
Lifts, lifts, and more lifts
Vail has replaced six chairlifts since 2007. Gondola One, which replaced the Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) out of Vail Village, gets the most attention with its heated seats and Wi-Fi – but don’t forget the others, which offer increased uphill speed, reducing wait times and ride times.
- Highline Express Lift (#10) – 2007, brings skiers to some of the most coveted mogul terrain at Vail
- Sourdough Express Lift (#14) – 2007, is prime learning terrain, offering wide open grooming and fewer people (advanced and experts generally go elsewhere) on the Front Side, plus access to Two Elk Restaurant
- High Noon Express Lift (#5) – 2010, replaced an old fixed grip triple and cut ride times in half for the Sun Up and Sun Down Bowl access lift
- Gondola One – 2012, replaced the Vista Bahn with increased uphill capacity to Mid-Vail and inspired a redesigned Vail Village Base area and Mid-Vail Station (pictured
- Mountain Top Express Lift (#4) – coming 2013, replaces a four-passenger chairlift with a new six-passenger chair (six-pack), reducing wait times at a vital mountain junction. It also offers features a loading gates with a right angle load and a loading conveyor system – a system that has been widely used at European resorts for years and is shown to reduce the number of lift stops and slows, thereby increasing the efficiency of the lift.
- Gopher Hill (#12) -coming 2013, replaces a two passenger learning area lift with a three passenger chair, allowing instructors to bring 2 children with them on the lift
Redefining mountain dining with The 10th at Mid-Vail
Opened in 2011, The 10th sits at the base of the run Look Ma, and offers a sit down dining experience complete with a changing room, cozy slippers for your chilly feet and incredible views of the Gore Range. Never has the midday meal been looked forward to as much as the skiing day. Learn more at www.the10thvail.com.
The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort, and Lionshead
Probably the most prominent and major change of the last five years, The Arrabelle and Lionshead makeover opened in January 2008 and took more than two years to complete. If you have not been to Lionshead since much of the base area was rebuilt, you will barely recognize it. With paved pedestrian streets that lead to a skating rink, close lodging options, and the Lionshead Children’s Ski & Snowboard School, this is a perfect area to take the young ones on a family ski trip. Featured in the development is The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a 5 star property. And don’t worry, even with all these changes you’ll still find old haunts like Bart & Yeti’s and Garfinkel’s!
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail – Vail’s most exclusive address
Home to Lindsey Vonn and situated in Lionshead a short distance from the slopes, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail bring a world renowned brand to the base of Vail. Opened in 2010, it offers both real estate and rentals for those looking for a top of the line experience.
Solaris Plaza, Vail Village
A private development not affiliated with Vail Resorts (Vail’s parent company), the Solaris development in Vail Village adds a town square feel and ice skating to the heart of Vail Village. The site of many open air concerts and events, the Solaris is home to Matsuhisa, Bōl, and CinéBistro (sushi, bowling, and movie theater respectively).
Lodging upgrades, too many to mention
A quick list of lodging properties that have undergone major renovations the last 5 years:
- The Sebastian (formerly Vail Plaza)
- Four Seasons, Vail (new in 2010)
- The Lodge at Lionshead
- The Lodge at Vail, a RockResort
- …and so many more.
With signature events like Snow Daze and Spring Back to Vail serving as Vail’s mainstays, last year we also added the Burton U.S. Open – the world’s greatest snowboarding event. Held this year from March 3-8, 2014, the Burton US Open and Vail will host over 100 of the world’s best riders like Shaun White, Mark McMorris, Kelly Clark, Torah Bright, Jamie Anderson, Iouri Podladtchikov and more, for four days of progressive Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions.
With so many improvements and upgrades, if you haven’t been to Vail in the last 5 years, you haven’t been to Vail.