Think ski resort employees hibernate in the summer? Think again. Besides basking in the beauty of the Green Mountains and celebrating the sun with music, beer, mountain biking, and swimming, resorts are also hard at work improving the slopes, building new lodges, running summer camps and hosting weddings. Here is a run down of what’s new at Vermont ski resorts this summer and what they are working on for next season.
Jay Peak Resort today released its summer schedule and it’s a busy one. In addition to summer camps for foodies and adventurers alike, concerts, weekly barbeques and farmers' markets, the resort will continue its ambitious revitalization initiative.
Projects include a new 80,000-square foot base lodge, rental center and hotel at the resort’s Stateside area, 84 new mountain cottages, and a complete revamping of the resort’s entrance. The new base facility will open in December.
In addition to the Stateside projects, construction of a new wedding and event space is already underway. The Barn, as it is being called, will be a 2,000-square foot facility located between the first tee and ninth green of Jay Peak's championship golf course. It’s slated to open this July.
Burke Mountain will see significant developments and improvements over the next three years estimated at $108 million. Proposed projects include four new slope-side lodging facilities at both the Mid Burke Lodge and the Sherburne Base area that will include new services for skiers and riders and additional resort amenities. Plans for the first phase are ongoing and are on track for a mid summer ground-breaking for the first hotel complex located at the Mid Burke Lodge Area.
New for this summer, Splashville, a splash pad water playground designed for youngsters 6 and younger joins the three-tiered pool and 140-foot waterslide at Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s Notchville Park. Filled with features such as water misters and sprays, pulsating fountains and a cheerful yellow duckie waterslide sized for youngsters, Splashville will delight and refresh little ones and their parents on summer days. Lounge chairs on the deck provide comfortable vantage points for parents to watch their children as they play. With family needs and convenience in mind, a bathhouse and picnic pavilion are located within a few steps. Splashville's addition to the eight pools and four waterslides enjoyed by families at Smugglers' establishes the resort as a summer water play destination for all ages. (www.smuggs.com/skivts; 855-581-5906)
Construction continues this spring and summer on Sugarbush's new slopeside living development, Rice Brook. The Rice Brook residences, which are comprised of 15 townhomes and condominiums altogether, are scheduled to be completed by late fall of 2013. Framing of the interior and exterior walls is well underway for all three buildings. This is expected to be the first of three phases, with additional homes and mixed-use space to follow in the next phases.
Killington Resort and Pico Mountain are revving up for next season with their largest capital investment program since Powdr took over. Total expenditures made for this coming season (2013-14) will be $9,766,500 at Killington and $1.3 million at Pico for the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge; a total of almost $11,000,000 dollars!
Improvements investments include:
- $5.1 million on the NEW Peak Lodge Facility
- $2,000,000 on pipeline infrastructure
- $200,000 on new Snowsports uniforms
- $240,000 on new ski & snowboard rental fleet additions
- Nearly $1 million for three new groomers
- Glade trail improvements and additions, will add to a 200+ trail count at both Killington and Pico, all skiable on the same lift ticket
- Numerous projects for lift and snowmaking infrastructure. Snowmaking: snowmaking pipe installation, pump rebuilds, and additional hydrants. Lifts: K-1 Gondola upgrades to include maze deck and boiler upgrades and refurbishments; other lift projects include seat pad replacements, lift drives and other lift components
- New food and seating venue at Pico Mountain
- $1.3 million on the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge at Pico Mountain
Romance is in the air during the summer at Okemo Mountain Resort, and Okemo's Jackson Gore is a popular spot for weddings. Starting this summer, a new wedding garden will welcome brides and grooms, and all their wedding guests. On a flat plot of land where the old Ranta Farm’s barn once stood, an expanse of manicured lawn is surrounded by moss-covered stone walls. Perennial blooms dance in the light mountain breezes.
“Couples fall in love with our Wedding Garden when they see it,” said Okemo Banquet & Conference Sales Manager Lynn Anthony. “It’s easy for them to picture themselves in this quintessential setting with all the amenities of The Jackson Gore Inn, including an ideal reception venue, just a short stroll away.”
Magic Mountain will again be making improvements to its snowmaking system which resulted in expanded trail coverage last season. Magic will be improving system capacity and efficiency in order to get more snow on the hill sooner and faster. Magic's customers this season noted improved trail conditions and grooming, and summer upgrades will focus on continuing these gains. In addition to snowmaking, Magic will perform maintenance to insure smooth operations from December through April for both bottom-to-top lifts servicing Magic's 1700 vertical feet of heart-pounding terrain. And, of course, in late summer, Magic continues its tradition of calling on its army of volunteers to help clear glades and trail in preparation for the new season. There will be three volunteer weekends in all stretching into the fall.
This summer, Mount Snow plans to make significant upgrades to its snowmaking system infrastructure, including the replacement of almost three miles of snowmaking pipe which will improve production as well as efficiency.
Get out and ride! Trapp Family Lodge is excited for mountain biking in Vermont this summer. The Trapp Family Lodge is looking forward to sharpening chains and taping shovel handles as they prepare for mountain bike trail expansion in 2013. The trail expansion will link up local iconic trails like; Hardy’s Haul, Kimmers, Tapline and Pipline. Once finished, riders will be able to descend or climb nearly 1500 feet while riding some of the most epic trails in Stowe, Vermont. www.trappfamily.com.
Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe will unveil the “new” Topnotch this July, with the final chapter of the much-anticipated multimillion-dollar renovation to this legendary luxury resort well underway. This concluding stage to the property’s dramatic renaissance will bring an impressive new lobby bar and restaurant, guest reception space, outdoor terrace areas with unobstructed views of Mt. Mansfield, a new exclusive and picturesque wedding/event venue, a remarkable new arrival experience, fully renovated meetings and events facilities and renovated guestrooms.