The word is out that Aspen Snowmass is making many improvements for skiers and riders heading to the popular destination next winter. According to reports, the on-mountain improvements will be tackled this summer and will cost nearly $8 million dollars.
A recent press release explains that the improvements will include a faster chairlift, additional tree skiing and even more snowmaking. The Aspen Skiing Company is responsible for replacing and realigning the High Alpine lift with a new high-speed lift that cuts the ride time in half. This means what used to be an 11 minute ride is now only 5.6 minutes. The company also announced in the press release that they will implement additional trail construction as well as expand snowmaking by installing new equipment on existing trails. Snowmass general manager Steve Sewell explains the project in more detail, stating that “with the realignment and the additional trail work and glading, our guests will have a vastly improved experience in the High Alpine pod on Snowmass.” He also explained that this new alignment will allow Snowmass guests to ski from Rock Island, AMF and the Cirque without having to drop to the lower mountain to access the High Alpine area. Additionally he said that skiers and riders now have easier access to Upper Green Cabin without a long flat traverse. He notes that this is especially important for snowboarders. All in all, Sewell concluded that “this will improve the upper mountain circulation.” It should be noted that there will be no change in access to the Hanging Valley as well as the uphill lift capacity.
If approved next year’s Aspen home rentals will mostly likely be full the entire skiing season. The city received the required approval of the United States Forest Service this past week after an uncontested 45-day objection period. Construction will go forward, but be confined to Snowmass Ski Area’s current boundary which is Forest Service-administered. It is noted that the projects will not impact Snowmass’s summer resort activities.