We’re just now feeling the first hint of fall in Austin, but snowflakes are already flying at ski resorts across the western United States. That means it’s time to check on what’s new for the 2021-22 ski season.
Chairlifts started turning at Arapahoe Basin in October, and a slew of resorts are planning to open lift lines this month. Just last week I chatted with one of my favorite industry experts in Colorado, who spoke to me while bundled up in a flannel shirt, watching flurries drift past his window.
I’m ready for the 2021-22 ski season.
I can’t wait to head to the mountains again. Last year I managed to fit in a couple of quick ski trips, including one to Solitude, Utah, which I’ll be writing about for our December issue.
In the meantime, we’ve rounded up news about some of our favorite resorts, for what we hope will be a slightly more normal skiing and riding season this year. Remember, contact individual resorts before you go to make sure you understand all Covid-19 protocols.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, opened Oct. 17
Arapahoe Basin celebrates its 75th year of operation this year. We’re most excited about a new, on-mountain German warming hut called Steilhang Hut, which will serve sausages, warm pretzels, strudel and German beer, with views of the East Wall and Continental Divide from a wraparound deck. For more information, go to www.arapahoebasin.com.
Aspen Mountain, opens Nov. 25 for 2021-22 ski season
The Silver Queen gondola gets an upgrade, and the Aspen Mountain Club has been remodeled. For information, go to www.aspensnowmass.com.
Breckenridge, opens Nov. 12 for 2021-22 ski season
At Breckenridge, anyone who purchases an Epic Pass this year gets a 20 percent discount on group lessons all season long. Even better? All season pass prices were reduced 20 percent for the 2021-22 ski season to encourage more folks to hit the slopes. For information go to www.breckenridge.com.
Cooper, opens Dec. 8
The new Timberline Taproom and Trading Post features a sawmill theme and lots of Colorado beer and light fare. Guests can also enjoy a new, streamlined rental and retail space. For information, go to www.skicooper.com.Ski LeBlanc heads down a snowy run at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado. Pam LeBlanc photo
Copper Mountain, opens Nov. 22
Copper Mountain is unveiling a beginner-friendly section of the mountain dubbed the Western Territory, where new skiers, kids and families can learn about the region’s history and heritage while they ski. The resort has also added two new family-friendly adventure zones and a handful of new trails –– all that and free parking in the Alpine and Far East lots. For information, go to www.coppercolorado.com.
Echo Mountain Resort, opens Nov. 26
Expect new menu items at Brothers Grill. The pizza truck has a new, more convenient home, too. Remember you’ll have to purchase tickets in advance this year. For information, go to www.echomountainresort.com.
Eldora, opens Nov. 19 for 2021-22 ski season
You won’t need parking reservations for the 2021-22 ski season, but single occupancy vehicles must pay $10 to park on weekends and holidays in accordance with Boulder County’s sustainable-transportation priorities. Visitors can skip that hassle by taking the free round-trip shuttle from downtown Boulder. For information, go to www.eldora.com.
Granby Ranch, opens Dec. 11
Granby Ranch has expanded its snowmaking capabilities, tripling the coverage area to 115 acres. For information, go to www.granbyranch.com.
Howelsen Hill, opens Nov. 28 for 2021-22 ski season
Look for a new triple chair to replace the old double at Barrows chairlift for the 2021-22 ski season. A new ticket office and concession area will open, too. For more information go to www.steamboatsprings.net/131/Howelsen-Hill-Ski-Area.
Loveland Ski Area, estimated opening Oct. 31 for 2021-22 ski season
Loveland will offer snowcat tours in Dry Gulch, just east of Lift 8, for the first time this season. The Loveland Valley Lodge has tripled its cafeteria seating capacity and the rental shop has expanded. For information, go to www.skiloveland.com.
Monarch Mountain, estimated opening Nov. 25Chris LeBlanc prepares to ski a run at Monarch Mountain in Colorado. Pam LeBlanc photo
Monarch has added 200 parking spaces and introduces a new dining operation called Shredders for the 2021-22 ski season. For information go to www.skimonarch.com.
Powderhorn Resort, Nov. 26
Powderhorn gets improvements to its snowmaking system, and introduces a new coffee shop, Sunrise Coffee & Pizza. For information, go to www.powderhorn.com.
Purgatory Resort, opens Nov. 20 for 2021-22 ski season
Purgatory gets improvements to its snowmaking system too, plus new snow groomers, upgrades to its existing lifts, and some fresh on-mountain glading. If you’re renting equipment, look for a new fleet of Burton snowboards. For information, go to www.skipurg.com.
Schweitzer, estimated opening Nov. 24 for 2021-22 ski season
The largest ski resort in Idaho gets its first ski-in/ski-out boutique hotel, the 31-room Humbird. It also joins the IKON pass. On-mountain enhancements include a new yurt dining option, improved internet connectivity, an upgraded ticketing system with RFID technology, and more lift capacity. For information go to http://www.schweitzer.com/.
Silverton, heli ski season opens Nov. 25; guided season Dec. 30
Silverton will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its chairlift with events and celebrations to be announced throughout the season. For information, go to www.silvertonmountain.com.
Steamboat, opens Nov. 20 for 2021-22 ski season
Steamboat unveils a newly expanded base area, a streamlined arrival process, and the realignment of the gondola. Plus, Routtie’s, a barbeque restaurant in Torian Plum Plaza, returns. For information, go to www.steamboat.com.
Sunlight has expanded its lower parking lot and added six new electric vehicle charging stations. For information, go to www.sunlightmtn.com.
Telluride Ski Resort, opens Nov. 25Telluride is located in a box canyon on the western side of Colorado. Pam LeBlanc photo
Look for 40 new acres of beginner and intermediate terrain and a $1 million upgrade to the snowmaking system at Telluride. And Texans, take note. You can now book daily direct air service from Houston on American Airlines. For information go to www.tellurideskiresort.com.
Winter Park Resort, Nov. 17
New dining options at Winter Park include Ember at Snoasis, Bradley’s at the Base, and Stoney’s Bar and Grill in the Village. The resort is also offering guided skiing and riding experiences at sunset. For information go to www.winterparkresort.com.