Afton Alps, Mount Brighton To See $20 Million In Improvements By New Owners
Vail Resorts has announced they will spend around $20 million this summer improving the two Midwest ski areas they bought in December, Afton Alps near the Twin Cities and Mount Brighton in the Detroit suburbs.
Vail plans to invest nearly $10 million in enhancements and upgrades at Afton Alps this summer to dramatically improve the guest experience next winter. Snowmaking will be significantly improved allowing Afton to open earlier, extend the season and provide a more consistent, high-quality snow surface throughout the season. Plans also call for creating state-of-the-art terrain parks with extensive new features and rope tows and to modernize the base area facilities.
Spending the same amount in Michigan, planned improvements to Mount Brighton include improved snowmaking and additional runs for both beginners and advanced skiers and snowboarders. New rope tows will make easier access to smaller hills and terrain parks, which will also be upgraded.
Brighton’s seven chairlifts will also receive a face-lift, and a new quad chairlift will be installed this summer.Vail's Kate Lessman said the investments will focus on the infrastructure and that there are no plans as of now to raise staffing levels at the sites.
Afton currently offers nearly 50 trails, 20 lifts and five terrain parks. It’s one of the larger ski areas clustered around the Twin Cities. Brighton offers 26 trails, 18 lifts and a terrain park. Both offer an 18-hole golf course for summer activities. Vail also will be including the two Heartland ski areas in their “Epic Pass” deal that allows skiers or snowboarders to ride at any Vail Resort throughout the snow season.
This marks the first time Vail has invested in ski properties east of Wyoming. They currently operate ski resorts in Colorado and the Lake Tahoe area. See related story on all improvements planned for Vail Resorts.
Photo: Mt. Brighton (Ann Arbor News); Afton Alps