In The Spotlight
A reimagined K-1 base lodge with an expanded footprint is in store for skiers and riders at Vermont’s Killington Resort for the 2020-21 season. The Beast of the East also has plans in the works for a new four-person, fixed grip chairlift for the 2019-20 season to replace the existing North Ridge Triple. And once again, Killington is pumping more resources into their snowmaking systems. All upgrades are pending permit approval.
Construction of the new K-1 base lodge will begin later this spring, with plans for it to open during winter 2020-21. Once complete, the new three-story lodge designed by Breadloaf will be over fifty percent larger than the existing lodge (going from 37,000 sq. ft. to 58,000 sq. ft.) and include a full-service bar, upscale fine china dining, additional space, and unobstructed 180-degree views of the Vermont mountain landscape.
The building will feature many of the characteristics that make the Peak Lodge such a desirable destination for Killington visitors, including an open floor plan featuring mixed seating arrangements, floor-to-ceiling windows, a grand fireplace, and an upscale food court set to offer fresh, farm-to-table cuisine.
Phase one of construction will start May 2019, in front of the existing K-1 Base Lodge, on grade with the K-1 Express Gondola. During summer 2020, the existing base lodge will be removed and phase two of the new building will be completed.
The new North Ridge chair, manufactured by Leitner-Poma, will improve access to highly sought-after intermediate terrain as well as for snow hounds looking for the early season turns. The North Ridge chair is often the first lift to turn in the Northeast.
These improvements set the stage for generations at the resort and come on the heels of the new experiences and other improvements unveiled during the 2018-19 season, including the Woodward Peace Park, the new Snowdon Six Express bubble lift, the return of South Ridge lift service, three tunnels to improve flow at busy trail intersections with a fourth slated for construction this spring, K-1 Express Gondola improvements and new RFID ticketing.
“We’re transforming the way guests will experience and enjoy Killington for years to come,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “On its own, the K-1 base lodge rebuild is transformative for Killington. But building on last year’s investments, and combined with the other infrastructure enhancements and new experiences, these upgrades set the tone for future generations to enjoy Killington resort. Killington is undeniably the Northeast’s hub for year-round adventure.”
Snowmaking upgrades for the 2019-20 season include the replacement of snowmaking pipelines, the purchase and deployment of 120 low energy tower snowguns and new, semi-automatic water and air hydrants, which will significantly decrease the time it takes to start up snowguns on a ski trail.
With 220 inches of snow in just in February alone, California’s Bear Valley Resort - nestled between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite - is primed for the spring skiing and riding season.
Bear Valley, this week's SnoCountry/Pepsi Resort of the Week, offers a total of 10 lifts and more than 75 trails spread across 1680 acres, with a 1900-foot vertical drop. Lifts include a new six-pack high-speed lift that debuted this season, along with a high-speed quad lift, two triple chairs, four double chairs.
With easy access from all areas of Northern California, including South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Reno, Nev., springtime is the best time to experience all the 52-year-old resort has to offer. Tuesday’s offer possibly the best deal in the industry with two lift tickets for just $99. Plus, emergency responders, teachers, and students receive 50-percent off window rates off when they visit Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
The Bear Valley Resort story began In 1952 when the Orvis family purchased 480 acres of property in Bear Valley. William and Grace Orvis also built a large log cabin and lived in Bear Valley during the summer months while their cattle grazed on the lush meadow, an activity that occurs still today.
The first development occurred in 1955 when the Orvis family subdivided 20 acres on the north side of Highway 4 into 60 lots with roads and water supply. Residential progress largely happened due to the demand by friends and family.
Bruce Orvis Sr., son of William and Grace, always envisioned a winter sports complex for the area. In 1963 he acquired 400 acres of Forest Service land to the north of the Orvis property through a land exchange. He then put together a ski area package for Mt. Reba under Forest Service permit and promoted a new highway from Camp Connell to the ski area. After years of convincing, road construction began on Highway 4 to access Bear Valley the same year. After he acquired title to the land north of the Highway he developed the 400+ lot subdivision, the Bear Valley Lodge and other installations as we now know them.
At the time, Lodges, condominiums, parking areas, tennis courts, and an airstrip, sewer system and water system, etc. were also developed along with the Mt. Reba Ski Bowl complex. The area opened its lifts to winter visitors in the winter of 1967-1968. That first season saw 596 inches of snow blanket the resort. But the 1994-95 season still holds the record with 602 inches of snow. Today for the 2018-19 season, Beaver Valley Resort has received 442 inches of snowfall.
Most resorts have a bunch of bars to choose from when it comes to apres-ski, but if you want to find the down-home, braggin' rights kind of bar, just follow a local.
They may not be fancy, and they probably don't have umbrella drinks. But the renowned “locals bar” at any resort will give visitors a taste of the local culture – and local beverage. Here are a few that SnoCountry found:
It's a very short walk from the bottom of Magic Mountain to the Black Line Tavern, renowned for its live music, vast deck with grills, and selection of craft beers. Locals like Cheese and Ale Fondue, made with Vermont-brewed ale.
Locals with a gourmet jones finish their day at Smuggler's Notch or Stowe with a short drive into Stowe proper and a stop at Sushi Yoshi Stowe. The sushi appetizers and Asian Beginnings get the evening going in this northern Vermont town.
If you hear music after a day on Lutsen Mountains, it's likely coming from Papa Charlies. A top music venue in Minnesota, Charlie's draws in a very local crowd. The menu features Midwest favs like cheese curds and pulled pork.
Taos Ski Valley has been a locals' hill for 60 years. Despite new high-end ownership, Tim's Stray Dog Cantina stays true to its roots: Blue-corn Green chiles fresh daily, killer margaritas and array of New Mexican brews. Sit at the bar and hear all the local gossip.
At the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon, there's nowhere better to end an Alta powder day than the Peruvian Bar in the Alta Peruvian Lodge. “P-Dog” is where the hot-skiing locals head to drink and carouse amongst each other – and the one-up each other with massive powder runs.
A short jaunt from the gondola base at Mammoth Mountain, the Clocktower Cellar beckons. With more than 160 whiskeys and 26 beer taps, the shot-and-a-beer crowd loves the place. Not on a diet? Try a Tot-Cho: Tater Tots, cheese Sauce, bacon, sour cream, pico de gallo, green onion and jalapenos.
Not far from Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Timberline Lodge and Mt. Hood Meadows, the Rathskeller dominates the apres-ski scene in tiny Government Camp. Lots of pizza and rows of Oregon- and Northwest-brewed tap beers await. Don't bother trying to avoid a local: They get there early and stay late.
Waterville Valley will host their first elite level race since the 1991 World Cup, bringing the nation’s top ski racers to New Hampshire with the U.S. Alpine National Championships March 23-26. Directly following, the U.S. Junior National Championships happen March 27-29.
The nation’s top ski racers will descend upon Tommy’s World Cup, named after the late Tom Corcoran, for slalom, giant slalom, and the new parallel slalom events. Waterville Valley has hosted 11 World Cup Races, but this will be the biggest race that the resort has hosted since the White Circus visited in 1991 when Julie Parisien won the World Cup giant slalom.
The White Mountains resort has a history of commitment to world-class events and athletes. Waterville Valley’s Stacie Sullivan shared with SnoCountry.com the resort’s rich racing past.
Thirty years prior to Waterville Valley’s foundation, the Black and Blue Trail Smashers (BBTS) Ski Club was founded in 1934. The hearty souls were so committed that they climbed Mt. Tecumseh with saws, axes, and shovels to clear narrow ski runs by hand. Today, BBTS is one of the oldest ski clubs in the USA.
Fast forward to the summer of 1964 when former Olympic ski racer, Tom Corcoran, came to the White Mountains to establish a ski area of his own. One of Corcoran’s old acquaintances, Sel Hannah of Sno- Engineering Inc. based out of Franconia, NH had done a feasibility study for Mt. Tecumseh. The two arranged a flyover Waterville Valley and Corcoran instantly knew that he had found his resort.
Just two years later, in December of 1966, Waterville Valley opened for its first season. The following year, Corcoran and John Fry created the first amateur junior racing program. In 1968 eight ski areas signed on to take part in the inaugural season for NASTAR racing, with the first pacesetter trials taking place at Waterville Valley.
In 1969 Waterville Valley formed the first freestyle instruction program, making the resort the birthplace of freestyle skiing. The following year, Corcoran and Doug Pfeiffer, organized the first National Open Championships of Freestyle Skiing on the Sunnyside trails.
In 1971, legendary freestyle skier, Wayne Wong, traveled to Waterville Valley from Vancouver at the age of 21 on $200 of sponsorship money to compete in the World Cup Freestyle Finals on True Grit. Following that event, Wong became Waterville Valley’s head freestyle coach in 1973 and still has close ties to the resort. By the 1990s, Waterville Valley fully embraced the sport of freestyle skiing by building the second freestyle terrain park in the North East.
In 1969 Waterville Valley formed the first freestyle instruction program, making the resort the birthplace of freestyle skiing. The following year resort founder, Tom Corcoran, and editor of Skiing Magazine, Doug Pfeiffer, organized the first National Open Championships of Freestyle Skiing on the Sunnyside trails.