What's New on Colorado's Slopes

Faster lift lines, French-made gondolas and a taco snowcat

It’s an exciting time to travel in Colorado. Things are constantly changing and improving due to popularity and demand, including at Colorado’s ski resorts.

So what’s new on the slopes this winter? Here are a few things I know:

Winter Park Resort

Gondola. Photo courtesy of Carl Frey & Winter Park Resort.

The big news at Winter Park Resort this season is the new Gondola. This is great news for Coloradans who consider this to be their “home” ski area, many of whom grew up skiing at this resort.

Gondola. Photo courtesy of Carl Frey & Winter Park Resort.

The brand new, French-made gondolas each accommodate up to 10 people and whisk riders to 10,700 feet above sea level in just 5 minutes. The Gondola, 75 gondolas in all, represents a big shift at this much-loved ski resort.

The Gondola increases the uphill capacity at Winter Park Resort by 3,600 people an hour and cuts the wait time by 15 minutes during peak times. Even on a Saturday morning, as skiers and boarders clamor to board the Gondola at the base, the line goes super fast. I saw the Gondola in action earlier this month and rode it a number of times, and I can personally attest that it’s a game changer for Winter Park Resort.

Gondola. Photo courtesy of Carl Frey & Winter Park Resort.

A real perk for nonskiers is that the Gondola is free to foot traffic after 4 p.m. This allows everyone the opportunity to see the top of the mountain and indulge in food, drinks and views at Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge.

Copper Mountain

American Eagle at Copper Mountain. Photo by Curtis DeVore.

Getting into the gondola craze, the American Eagle at Copper Mountain is a high-speed lift that includes a combination of both 6-person chairs and 8-person gondola cabins. This increases uphill capacity at Copper Mountain by 40 percent.

American Flyer Grand Opening Bubble Chairs. Photo by Curtis DeVore.

They also have the American Flyer, the World’s longest bubble chair.

Copper has a manageable village and is popular with skiers who enjoy the incredible black runs. In addition to skiing, Copper has an excellent tubing hill, offers snowshoe tours, a coaster and more.

Steamboat Resort

Photo courtesy of Larry Pierce & Steamboat Ski Resort.

On-mountain dining has gotten even better this year at Steamboat Resort. The base area of the resort features the new Timber & Torch. As the centerpiece of Gondola Square, this new restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and of course, aprés ski at its indoor and outdoor bars. With 24 beers on tap, the bistro environment and live music are a welcome addition to the resort.

Photo courtesy of Larry Pierce & Steamboat Ski Resort.

Also new to Steamboat Resort this season is the Taco Beast, a roaming on-mountain snowcat that serves up fantastic street tacos. It operates Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Follow @TacoBeastSBT for updates and current location.

Lastly, visitors can enjoy free skiing on Sundays at historic Howelsen Hill. For more information, go here.

Categories: The Heidi Guide