It’s shaping up to be another busy summer of construction across Colorado ski country.
A year after each joined several other resorts in adding to their fleet, Copper Mountain and Winter Park on Monday announced new chairlifts coming to their slopes for the 2019-20 season.
Copper Mountain replaced its two “workhorses” this winter — American Flyer and American Eagle — and for next, the resort off Interstate 70 plans to unveil a three-person, fixed-grip lift that will take skiers and riders up previously-exclusive Tucker Mountain.
Expert terrain there has so far been only accessed by snowcat on weather-permitting weekends. Next season, once enough snow covers the 273 acres at 12,200 feet, the plan is for capable skiers and riders to be able to enjoy the chutes and glades every day.
At Winter Park, regulars on the Mary Jane side will board a new Sunnyside Lift, the staple since 1989. The three-person lift will be replaced by a high-speed six-pack, what operators estimate will increase uphill capacity by 800 people per hour, the resort said in a news release. To increase efficiency this season, Winter Park replaced the Zephyr Express with the resort’s first gondola.
Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Wolf Creek were other ski areas that introduced new lifts this winter. In an interview heading into the season, their trade group representative with Colorado Ski Country said the capital projects signified a thriving industry.
Both Copper Mountain and Winter Park are in the middle of multi-million dollar improvements set for the next several years. Also for next season, Copper expects to debut an expanded terrain park. Construction continues at mid-mountain, where a new lodge will replace Solitude Station.
Winter Park, meanwhile, is investing in its mountain bike trails to the tune of $250,000, promising to enhance the downhill fun at Trestle Bike Park. New ropes courses and a climbing wall are planned for this summer as well.