New York Ski Areas Taking the Skier Experience to the Next Level this Ski Season
Ski Areas Making Millions in Investments to Enhance the Skier and Rider Experience
Jamesville, NY: Ski areas in New York are investing in their mountains to improve snowmaking and grooming performance as well as making the ski and riding experience better for all. You’ll see why New York State has the best snowmaking in the world!
SKI NY’s Passport Program for 3rd and 4th Graders has returned and is now accepted seven days a week at over 20 participating ski areas. With this program kids can get a free lift ticket with an adult purchase, and they can use the program up to two times at each participating ski area. A few ski areas will accept the program anytime too! A $41 processing fee does apply. Go to iskiny.com for more!
Scott Brandi, President of SKI NY, noted that “The 2021-2022 season presents many capital improvements to our skiers and riders. Some upgrades are more obvious than others, some you don’t see as they may be new snowmaking pipe or kitchen equipment others such as new lifts, groomers and automated snowmaking systems are front and center. Running a ski resort requires constant re-investment and we are proud of the improvements presented for this ski season. New York boasts more ski areas than any other State in the nation and we serve over 4,000,000 skier visits per year. We are looking forward to skiing and riding with you! See you on the slopes!”
Here’s a roundup of what’s new in skiing and riding in New York.
Belleayre Mountain, Highmount: At Belleayre Mountain to expand and enhance snowmaking they have built a brand new state-of-the-art pumphouse which will contain all their electric air compressors and four pumps for snowmaking. Belleayre also added a new electric compressor to their fleet as well. They have also added 13,000 feet of new snowmaking pipe across their mountain. The new pipe will allow the mountain to pump water up the mountain using two main lines and will down feed to the individual trail lines increasing efficiency. They are also replacing older snowguns with 235 HKD Impulse tower guns. They will allow their snowmaking team to make snow more efficiently. Find out more at belleayre.com.
Bristol Mountain, Canandaigua: Bristol Mountain has added the AXESS Smart Gates at all their lifts to enable direct to lift access using their Bristol Gateway Cards. They also added a new trail accessible from the Galaxy Lift called Polaris. This trail connects the lift to their Upper North Star trail. Bristol Mountain has increased their snowmaking capabilities by creating “Lake Bristol” at the base of the mountain and added new snowmaking capacity to Upper North Star. Bristol has also developed a new equipment and learning center which will improve access to the mountain for new skiers and riders. They also added a new eatery called “Northern Bites” and they will open their Rocket Lodge patio for walk-up service with additional chairs and tables added too. Bristol also improved their rental skis and snowboard fleet and replaced their Nordic equipment from Madshus. They also did a make-over on the Sunset Lodge locker room with new paint and carpet. Find out more at bristolmountain.com.
Catamount, Hillsdale: Catamount has added two new lifts including a lower mountain quad chair and a new summit triple. These lifts replace older lifts with more capacity. Extensive upgrades to Catamount’s snowmaking system were done, with more pumping capacity, water storage, pipe replacement and additional snowguns on several mountain areas. Catamount is planning a new snowtubing park featuring a new Magic Carpet lift and lights for night tubing. In their base area, food and beverage operations have been re-imagined with an innovative new line-up of culinary venues set to welcome hungry skiers. New grooming equipment, additional ski and snowboard rentals, a seasonal locker room and technology upgrades round out their enhancements designed to elevate the overall resort experience. Find out more at catamountski.com.
Cockaigne, Cherry Creek: At Cockaigne they have improved lift operations with the installation of a new VFD drive on their lift #1 which makes it a smoother and speedier ride. They have also improved snowmaking, lighting on the hill for night skiing, drainage and more. Cockaigne also added an RV camping park for ski & stay capabilities and made a new Snowmobile Drag Race Park. Cockaigne has also added a new concessions venue as well. Find out more at cockaigne.com.
Gore Mountain, North Creek: Gore Mountain has added two new quad lifts and performed a redesign of the mountain’s terrain and increased their snowmaking capacity. They have also upgraded snowmaking on an easier trail for a smoother ride into the Base Area of the mountain. They also added new energy-efficient tower guns equipped with the latest snowmaking technologies and they installed them on their Echo trail which is used for their FIS-certified racecourse. Additionally, two grooming machines were added to their fleet for the upcoming season and a new highspeed fiber line is being run to the mountain which will improve their internet connection for guests and staff alike. Gore also widened another trail as well. Gore Mountain will be hosting the Winter World University Games in 2023 which is an 11-day international festival and competition. Find out more at goremountain.com/the-mountain/improvements/.
Greek Peak, Virgil: Greek Peak is pushing forward on the technology front with their implementation of an RFID ticketing system called “Go Pass” which is an RFID card that will replace a traditional pass and ticket. It features a reloadable card that will allow skiers and riders to bypass the line and head to the lift. Greek Peak has been working on construction of a new campground as well as a new upscale wedding venue too called “The Lookout at Hope Lake”. They have also improved the parking lot and added $100K of snowmaking improvements on their Poseidon Trail. Find out more at greekpeak.net.
Holiday Valley, Ellicottville: Holiday Valley has made over $6.1 million in improvements. They have been busy on the construction of the new “Yodeler Express” lift which is a state-of-the-art high speed detachable quad chairlift that replaces their old, fixed grip Yodeler Quad that was built in 2001. The new lift was purchased from Doppelmayr USA, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Including installation, the cost of the new Yodeler Express is $4 million. The new lift, which services all levels of skiers and snowboarders, will be easier for beginners to load and unload, resulting in more efficient lift operations.
The lift will be able to transport 2400 people per hour up 2000 feet to the summit. Holiday Valley is one of the few ski areas in the country that installs their own chairlifts, giving them first-hand knowledge of the mechanical aspects of the lift as well as the intricate electrical work and computer operations. The new Yodeler Express will be the fourth high speed chairlift, and along with 7 fixed grip quad chairs and 2 conveyor lifts, Holiday Valley has a total of 13 lifts. The new lift has a slightly altered alignment with the top of the lift moving west of its old location. This change will allow a lower tower height at the unloading area and make it easier for skiers and snowboarders to navigate to the various slopes at the top.
Holiday Valley has also been busy on additional projects including cleaning out Holiday Valley’s glades (tree skiing), upgrades to their snowmaking system and purchase of new terrain park features and a new shuttle bus. Weather permitting, Holiday Valley plans to open for the 2021-22 winter season on Friday, November 26. Find out more at holidayvalley.com.
Holimont, Ellicottville: Holimont introduced Lift Service Mountain biking with 8 trails providing more than 7 miles of riding. They have trails from beginner freeride pedal access to blue and black technical downhills and everything in between to include roots, rocks, and other organic features as well as berms, jumps, and drops including some wooden features. Lift Access on Saturday and Sunday and Pedal Access any day of the week with more than 35 miles of Singletrack Managed and Developed by Western NY Mountain Bike Association a chapter of IMBA. Holimont also centralized their Learning and Teaching Area to Lower Meadow with an extensive regrade of the slope to create a productive learning and teaching area with access to and from the base of the Exhibition Express Chair. This will be serviced by a 650’ Conveyor lift. Find out more at holimont.com.
Kissing Bridge, Colden: At Kissing Bridge they have purchased a new groomer and expanded their snowmaking system. They also have made paving and building improvements as well as installed new outdoor ticketing kiosks. Find out more at kbski.com.
Labrador Mountain, Truxton: Labrador Mountain has added a new restaurant and kitchen renovation in the Puffin Bird. They have also added new snow guns, lighting, and a groomer too. Labrador also hired Michael Cabrey as their new outside operations manager. Find out more at skicny.com.
Mount Peter, Warwick: Mount Peter has built a brand new 5,000 square foot rental facility with state-of-the-art boot drying racks. They have also implemented a new software system and a new ticking center to make the ticket and rental buying process quick and easy for their guests. Mount Peter has also invested in additional Ultra Tech Snowbright Lights for night skiing and riding and USSS nighttime events. Find out more at mtpeter.com.
Oak Mountain, Speculator: At Oak Mountain they have replaced their old Bunny Hill T-Bar with a new Sunkid surface conveyor lift to allow beginner skiers to easily go up the beginner slope. They have also added new skis and snowboards to their fleet. Oak Mountain also doubled their snowmaking pump capacity by adding a second pump and a new snowmaking automation system from Technoalpin. In addition, they have also installed 70 new Technoalpin snow guns on several their trails. Oak Mountain also bought a new PistenBully 400 groomer too! Find out more at oakmountainski.com.
Plattekill Mountain, Plattekill: Plattekill has completely repainted their triple chair and replaced old chairs with stainless steel ones on their Double Chairlift. They also installed 2000 feet of snowmaking pipe on their Plunge trail and added 30 new Ratnik air/water tower snowguns as part of their 5-year snowmaking infrastructure upgrade. Plattekill also has new automated snowmaking compressor allowing for increased energy efficiency and automation. They also have an all-new online webstore that will allow guests to purchase tickets rentals and book lessons all in one place with the ability to save skiers money by booking ahead. Plattekill also renovated and remodeled their Rental Shop facility, increasing capacity by 50% to allow for better guest experience. They have also added new ski and snowboard rentals to their inventory. Find out more at plattekill.com.
Snow Ridge, Turin: Snow Ridge has made several improvements including new siding on their rental shop and new bathrooms in the wax house. They also added new windows and walls in the outdoor bathrooms. Snow Ridge also put in a new outdoor seating area on their patio and a new Air BnB space to allow the public the chance to wake up and walk to the chairlift. Snow Ridge has also added five new trails for a total of 31. They have also upgraded the Little Mountain Chair Lift and trails and purchased a new PistenBully groomer for improved grooming of their slopes. Snow Ridge also added two new Technoalpin fan guns and 2 new HKD air/water stick guns for even more snow making Find out more at snowridge.com.
Song Mountain, Tully: Song Mountain has opened a new restaurant called “Heuga’s Alpine Restaurant and Bar”. They have also purchased a new groomer and created a new maintenance barn. Song Mountain has also added new snow guns and lighting as well. Find out more at skicny.com.
Thunder Ridge, Patterson: Thunder Ridge has added a new novice to intermediate trail with snowmaking and added a brand-new groomer. They have also purchased new fan snowmaking guns and put in a new septic system. Thunder Ridge has also been painting their lodge and outbuildings as well as expanding their Race Room. They have also put in a new braking system on their carpet lift for greater capacity. Find out more at thunderridgeski.com.
Titus Mountain, Malone: Titus Mountain has put in two new trails. Along with the trails they have two more ski-in ski-out rental properties for a total of 11 which are capable of being able to sleep up to 90 people on the mountain. Titus has also added more Deluxe “Skibanas”. They note that they are larger and have a little bar area, as well as a few more upgrades than the “Skibanas” they introduced last year. Find out more at titusmountain.com.
Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington: Whiteface has performed snowmaking renovations, including new snowmaking systems, piping, pump houses and more efficient LowE snow guns. Whiteface also purchased a New SkyTrac Quad which replaces the old Bear Chair. Whiteface has also built the new “Legacy Lodge” which includes a 2,000 sq/ft heated stone deck. Find out more at whiteface.com/mountain/improvements.
Windham Mountain, Windham: Windham has spent over $4 million dollars on improvements for the coming winter. Windham is planning to improve the experience at their resort with shorter lift lines, modern amenities and more. Windham is continuing expansion of their automated snowmaking system on three trails to allow for quicker start-up and recovery from freeze and thaw cycles. Windham has also purchased a brand new PistenBully 600E+ to help reduce Windham’s carbon footprint. They have created a new kids Base Camp facility for enhancing the lesson experience and create new skiers. Windham has also installed a new “Magic Carpet” conveyor to replace an older one that services their Whisper Run beginner terrain. Their new “Magic Carpet” includes an overhead canopy to provide cover from the weather along with improved reliability. Windham has also installed a new “Montana Crystal Rock Ski and Snowboard Tuner” for tuning up skis and snowboards and a favorite of competitors. Windham also redesigned their website and expanded their wedding venue at the top of the mountain to accommodate more guests. Find out more at windhammountain.com.
Willard Mountain, Greenwich: Willard has created a new front staging area at the main lodge and added a new learning area at the bottom of the hill with snowmaking. They also put in two new Sun Kid carpet lifts for servicing their beginner terrain and tubing center. Find out more at willardmountain.com.
Woods Valley, Western: Woods Valley has been continuing their lodge renovation with a new lobby and a new and expanded rental shop. Woods Valley also has put in their new Snowsports school expansion along with a new dining area and huge fireplace with a bar and patio. Woods Valley has created a scenic view from their Drop Off trail of the local area including Lake Delta. Find out more at woodsvalleyskiarea.com.
Ski Areas of New York, Inc. is dedicated to the continued growth of the New York snow sports industry by working on behalf of its membership to promote fair legislation, develop marketing programs, create educational opportunities and enhance the public awareness of snow sports throughout the State and region. Connect with ISKINY online at www.iskiny.com, www.facebook.com/ISKINY, and www.instagram.com/i_ski_ny/.
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