Colorado Ski Country USA reports spending |

Colorado Ski Country USA reports spending

Daily Staff ReportVail CO, Colorado

Colorado ski areas that belong to the Colorado Ski Country USA trade group are putting more than $100 million into capital improvements for the upcoming 2008-2009 season, according to a Thursday report from the organization.Of ski areas releasing improvement costs, the Winter Park Resort owned by the city and county of Denver and managed by Intrawest ULC of Vancouver, B.C., in Canada estimates it will spend nearly $36 million on two major projects.Winter Park expects to spend $30 million on a major expansion of its base village, including adding 30,000 square feet of new retail, restaurant and housing space. A $5.8 million new cabriolet will transport people from the parking lot near the Vintage Hotel to the village heart.The Aspen/Snowmass area envisions spending $35 million on upgrades this season, including new terrain at Aspen Highlands and Snowmass. That resort area of western Colorado includes the Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass ski areas.The Steamboat Resort in northern Colorado and Telluride resort in the southern part of the state each plan to spend roughly $4 million this season on improvements.Several resorts including Copper Mountain, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort and Sunlight Mountain detailed improvements, but not costs.Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: SKI) ski areas including Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Keystone arent included in the CSCUSA data, because Vail Resorts pulled out of the trade group earlier this year. The ski resort owner, based in Broomfield, was CSCUSAs largest member.Based in Denver, Ski Country was started in 1963 and currently has 21 member resorts.Major capital improvements for 2008-2009 at Colorado ski resorts include: * Arapahoe Basin ($1.2 million) New terrain, 300 additional parking spaces, pedestrian tunnel under Highway 6, Black Mountain Lodge sun deck, snowmaking capability. * Aspen/Snowmass New quad chairlift called the Sheer Bliss, gondola plaza at Aspen Mountain, Olympic-size superpipe at Buttermilk Mountain, two new restaurants at Snowmass. * Copper Mountain New innovative instructional practices at its Camp Woodward training facility. * Crested Butte Mountain improvements include adding terrain off the Headwall lift, expanded features at DC Terrain Park and new intermediate terrain park. Elevation Hotel & Spa, will complete a $25 million upgrade; hotel will include 250 rooms plus spa and fitness center. * Echo Mountain Enhancing tree and feature terrain in Westside Glades. Mountain improvements also will include expanding the LC1 beginner learning area and installing a Magic Carpet surface lift. * Monarch Mountain ($600,000) Expanding terrain, enhancing guest services and adding to its rental equipment. Mountain changes include a childrens terrain park called Tilt, and 200 acres of new terrain for advanced skiers in Snowcat area. The resort is working with the U.S. Forest Service to get a new lift to serve No-Name Bowl. * Powderhorn Adding two new trails on mountains West End area, and new Magic Carpet surface lift. * Purgatory Resort is deep into its 25-year mountain master plan with several new villages under construction and finished. Mountain improvements will include a new high-speed quad lift in the Legends Area, and replacing Chair 4. Legends also is getting new tree trails, plus more beginner and intermediate access routes. * Steamboat Resort buying $250,000 in new rental skis, improving snowmaking system and expanding The Meadows parking facility by 200 spaces. * Sunlight Mountain New base development project to make resort more year-round. * Telluride New terrain, called Revelation Bowl, on back side of Gold Hill, as well as two new restaurants. * Winter Park The Lofts at Winter Park, a 14-unit condo project, is being built above the village; 200 units at the project were finished in the spring of 2008. Winter Park also has bought $250,000 new rental skis and gear. * Wolf Creek ($1.5 million) Mountain improvements, plus expansion of Raven Day Use Building at the top of Raven Quad.

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