Anything up for 2017/18?

Yup.  It's a six pack for the old Northwoods Express Lift.  With luck this addition will swallow up the afternoon crowds either exiting the bowls or trying to get one more ride in before closing over on that part of the mountain.

What's new for 2016/17?

Great news for back bowl lovers.  That oldie and slowie #17 lift at the bottom of Sun Up Bowl that came here from Beaver Creek is finally being replaced.  It's the last of the lame duck "attached" lifts to be replaced on Vail Mountain.  Now we are blessed with nothing but upgraded, high speed detachables everywhere.

New for the 2015/16 winter season.

An upgrade to six persons per seat for the Avanti lift.  Always a chokepoint on the mountain during busy periods, this six person detachable should help improve that part of the experience.  Now..........if we could only replace the fixed grip triple known as # 17 coming out of Sun Up Bowl, the mountain would pretty much be taken care of for a long, long time.


What's new for the 2013/14 Vail ski season.

A new six person high speed detachable chairlift that replaces the old four seater known as the "Mountaintop Express".  It has a few quirks, so might be worth watching this video:


Chair #12 at Golden Peak has been upgraded to a three person from an old double.  It should help the congestion for the beginner skier area especially since the instructors can now take two kids at a time on the lift instead of just one.

2011/12 Season Changes


(Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts)

Biggest news for the current winter is the completion of the new "10th" restaurant at the base of the Look Ma run in the Mid Vail area.  A high end sit down full service lunch experience is long overdue on this mountain. and with luck, the quality will be good enough to attract plenty of repeat customers.

Update on the restaurant.  We tried it on 12/13 and had a very enjoyable lunch.  Here's a video of the experience

OK.  For a 2016/17 update, things aren't always as good here as they were when it first opened.  Some inconsistencies in the food quality by a variety of chefs, service changes to lunch only, etc.  Be prepared to spend a lot of time here at a meal.  Service too is a bit spotty.  More later on in the season.

A "hidden" upgrade was a substantial amount of snowmaking pipe laid in the Lionshead area - mostly up the Born Free run.

For 2010/11 winter is of course the replacement of that old triple chair in Sun Down Bowl with a detachable high speed quad lift.  

It makes the backside much more friendly and usable on powder days - despite protests to the contrary from a minority of hard line locals who resent any changes being made to the mountain.

Also, the foundation work for a large new sit down restaurant at Mid Vail is being finished up before the season starts.  That restaurant should be up and running by the following season. (See above.)

Some additional snowmaking pipe is also being installed to upgrade that capability.  In retrospect the new snowmaking program at Gold Peak was one of the better upgrades last season as it allowed the terrain park to be opened far earlier than normal and also gave our race program a head start on the season.

For historians below is a quote from an article regarding the resort's master plan that was published a couple of years ago.  It might be interesting to follow the theme as time passes.

"What: Vail Resorts’ master plan. It considers the company’s plans for Vail Mountain over the next seven-10 years, but it isn’t a binding document.
Things that are considered in the master plan:

• A faster Chair 5

• A new, 500-seat fine-dining restaurant at Vail’s mountaintop.

• Expanded snowmaking capabilities.

• An expansion onto Golden Peak for better race courses.

• A new lift in Sun Down Bowl

• A replacement for the Vista Bahn that might go up to the top of the mountain.

• A gondola out of Ever Vail that would go to Eagle’s Nest.

The plan is a “road map,” and not set in stone, officials said. The projects need approval from the U.S. Forest Service, which owns Vail Mountain’s land.

Bill Jensen, chief operating officer for Vail Mountain, said the company could start seeking approvals for the new Chair 5 in the next month, and the chair could be done in one to three years.

After that, the company might seek to build the second lift in Sun Down. It would help skiers circulation around the mountain from the west to the east, and it might alleviate crowding at Chair 11, Jensen said.

“We see it as a very effective improvement in flow across the mountain,” Jensen said.

Slower, fixed-grip lifts are disappearing from the mountain. This summer, Chairs 10 and 14 are being replaced with a high-speed quad. Chair 1 out of Vail Village was removed last year.

One ride to PHQ considered
Over the next several years, the company also plans to build a 500-seat, fine-dining restaurant just west of Chair 5 at Vail’s mountaintop and expand its snowmaking coverage.

It also plans to extend its race course to the top of Golden Peak proper, which still bears the scar of a never-used lift line that was cut when the resort first opened.

The expansion would give Ski and Snowboard Club Vail more space for its kids as well as internationally sanctioned downhill and super-G venues, said Aldo Radamus, executive director of the ski club.

“The club has grown by a factor of about four since the time that Golden Peak was originally dedicated to race training,” he said.

Vail Resorts already has approval for a new gondola that will rise out of Ever Vail, the development planned for West Lionshead, up to the bottom of Chair 26.

The company is considering making the gondola go from Ever Vail all the way to Eagle’s Nest, Allender said.

Also, Vail Resorts might make the Vista Bahn do a left turn and go all the way to the top of the mountain, whether as a four-seater, a six-seater or a gondola, Allender said.

There is discussion about taking it to the top,” Allender said.