Lee Canyon railAfter two decades as Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, the closest winter resort to Las Vegas has returned to its original name, Lee Canyon, to both acknowledge the past and forge into the future.

“Despite changing our name to Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort in 2003, locals and longtime guests still refer to us as Lee Canyon,” said the resort's Kevin Stickelman. “After 40 years what Lee Canyon stood for was a part of DNA: an unpretentious year-round family outdoor recreation area. And that’s who we are today.”

As part of Powdr Corp.’s eight-resort group since 2003, the Nevada day-trip area has spent money in the past four years on mountain and base upgrade. Fourteen new trails have opened, two new quad lifts have replaced older chairlifts, snowmaking capacity is higher, and a renovated base lodge, retail and rental shop all have improved things at the resort.

A 2011 Forest Service-approved master plan calls for expansion of skiing and riding terrain, and 10 new lifts, spread out over a decade. Currently, the mountain boasts nearly 200 acres of lift-served terrain, with another 250 acres reached by hiking to a ridge that tops out with 11,289-foot Lee Peak.

The resort has long linked its success to the attraction of Las Vegas, about an hour’s drive away. Many come to Las Vegas dressed for the warm desert climate, so Lee Canyon specifically rents winter apparel along with ski and snowboard equipment.

With the Powdr affiliation, the resort’s M.A.X. Pass includes five free days at 22 other resorts across the country. Lee Canyon also has partnered with  Eagle Point in southern Utah with reciprocal day tickets.

Photos: Lee Canyon's famed terrain park is ready for new season (Lee Canyon/Facebook); Powder at Lee Canyon is a big draw so close to Las Vegas (Lee Canyon)

Lee Canyon powder