It looks to be a busy summer at resorts owned by Denver-based Alterra Mountain Co. as the firm begins to catch up on much-needed improvements both on and off the mountain.
During the busy winter season, one of the best ways to reduce the stress and heighten the enjoyment of a ski vacation is to stay right on the slopes – at a ski-in ski-out lodge.
Some of the prime powder steeps on Park City Mountain will be closed until further notice because a private landowner and Vail Resorts have not reached a new lease agreement.
There’s no shortage of luxurious hotels in the West that will indulge your every need. SnoCountry took a look around and came up with a quintet of the hotels that coddle and pander with the best.
Just like for skiers and ‘boarders, golfers want to squeeze in that last day of the season. Even as most U.S. resorts are turning on their snow guns and warming up the snowcats, many still keep the golf course open for those late-season die-hards.
Resorts all over the West put gravity mountain biking on the top of the summer attractions. Those who crank up the lifts in the off-season put on bike racks and bring riders to great heights.
The days have lengthened, the sun is higher in the sky and the wildflowers are out, as Utah’s winter resorts put on their summer best and welcome the offseason.
Happy boarders at Mount Sunapee. (Mount Sunapee)
One of the absolute best reasons to rise and shine early for your trip to the mountains is the sweet reward of laying down some tracks in freshly groomed corduroy. The zip of your edges into those fine lines makes the first turns of the day often the most satisfying. While finding a powder day is never guaranteed, these resorts are known for their grooming finesse. So grab your coffee, boots and boards and head out for first chair.
Deer Valley is first Utah mountain Colorado-based consortium (Deer Valley/Facebook)
An Aspen-based consortium of ski and snowboard resorts has added Deer Valley to its portfolio.
Banking into a berm at Snowbird. (Snowbird/Facebook)
Summertime means getting the mountain bike into the hills where it belongs – and Utah resorts stand ready with lifts running to get bikers to the top.
Cold beer at Mangy Moose in Jackson (Mangy Moose/Facebook)
A long day carving the corduroy, tracking freshies in the powder or hucking off the cliffs deserves a reward when the lifts closed down -- at the many apres-ski bars that dot across the ski and snowboard landscape.
A cold beer, a hot toddie or a classic cocktail can put the final buzz on the end of a joyful day on the slopes. So, SnoCountry.com went looking for some of the most iconic and popular bars nears the slopes, and came up with the following:
Mangy Moose, Jackson Hole. Classic Western bar is first stop after day on slopes. Taxidermies abound, as do afternoon bands and raucous customers.
Red Parka, Glen, N.H. Pub located among White Mountain resorts kicks off at 4 p.m. weekdays, 3 p.m. weekends with home-style food and lots of beer.
The Rack, Sugarloaf. A mile down from the slopes, beers are $2 for early arrivals. BBQ specialty, and locals flock for cheap Pabst beer.
St. Regis Bar & Lounge, Deer Valley. Hop the leather-upholstered funicular out of the village area for quick, 90-second ride to mountaintop watering hole. Like all at the Utah resort, drinks are upscale – with locally brewed vodka a specialty – but sunset glass of champagne is free.
Snorting Elk Cellar, Crystal Mountain. Get there early to this popular hangout in the basement of Bavarian-style lodge near the parking lot. Always packed by 4 p.m. with local brews, no wait service and no TVs.
Moody’s Bistro Bar and Beats, Truckee. Located between Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Northstar, Moody’s has transformed from a white-linen eatery into a rowdy, loud music, pizza-eatin’ apres-ski bar.
"Bury the Butte." (Crested Butte/Facebook)
Starting in the Sierra and moving across the Wasatch to the Colorado Rockies, a dozen Pacific-laden storms unleashed their largesse in January to set up skiers and snowboarders for the rest of the season.
California kids enjoy programs just for them at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. (Snow Summit/Facebook)
Parents always want to find a safe, entertaining activity for their children before they head off to find the powder or hit the bumps.
Resorts across the country offer special kids lessons, amusement parks and treasure hunts. Here’s a few that caught the eye of SnoCountry.com editors:
Snow Summit has built a new 3,000-square foot Summit Kids Center at the base of the Southern California mountain to house rentals, lift tickets and ski school just for kids.
In Utah, Deer Valley has a trail map just for kids, and its children’s center doubles as a ski school and licensed day care center for those as young as two months old.
Family-focused Keystone runs kids-only group lessons, and keeps ‘em busy with tunnels at its Kidtopia and on-mountain snow fort.
Northstar California Resort on Lake Tahoe is renowned for its tubing hill, bungee tramp and build-your-own-s’mores at aprés ski fire pit.
Smugglers' Notch puts kids in lessons with their own age, from 2-1/2 old on dedicated slope and nursery school. Night School for Boarding runs 4 to 7 p.m. for beginners to get comfortable in a terrain park. Teen Alley’s music, games and movies awaits, too, at the northern Vermont mountain.
The trails at upstate New York’s Holiday Valley are full of surprises for kids – a secret snow fort, “snow monsters” galore, and a rock hunt that teaches Seneca Nation of Indians history. Race a friend, and finish off day with rides down mountain coaster till 6 p.m.
At California’s Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, the Badger Pups Program aims at kids 4 to 6 with two beginner lessons. Or enroll them in the all day Kids Camp on weekends and holidays.
At Winter Park in Colorado, all kids get free rides on the Galloping Goose lift, which serves the bunny hill at Mary Jane. The resort also has the "Family Easy Start" program that allows families to learn together for one price.
Sun Valley puts bear prints all over the mountain for kids to find, runs build-a-snowman contests and hosts youthful ice skaters right at the base of the Idaho resort.
It'll be skiers only at Alta Ski Area after latest ruling from federal court. (Alta)
A final round of appeals by a group seeking to force Alta Ski Area to admit snowboarders has failed, leaving the Utah resort as one of three U.S. mountains that only skiers can enjoy.
It’s time to buy a tube of sunscreen and floppy hat, tune up the mountain bike and dig out the Birkenstocks: Summer in the Utah mountains is just around the corner.
Just three skiers-only resorts still remain, after a federal appeals court confirmed that Alta Ski Area could prohibit snowboarding on land it leases from the U.S. Forest Service.
Despite some serious dumps in March, all good things must come to an end. In Utah, that means a pretty good season will mostly wind up by mid-April.
A check of any snow forecast for Utah during the holiday season, and you’ll see nothing but snow, snow, more snow – and plenty of festivities.
Recreation during the summer in the mountains above Salt Lake City is still within an hour’s drive of the city – and the resorts continue to add more things to do.