Bird's-eye view of slope at Winter Park Resort
Winter Park Resort

What's New at the Ski Resorts of Utah and Colorado? We Have the Scoop

By Violet Baron
Visitors will find a host of new things to see and do at Colorado and Utah’s ski resorts this season, with activities ranging from indoor training facilities to outdoor arts festivals. Watch the weather before you book—snowfall in recent years has ranged from superb to subpar—but for those who love the world of après ski and family fun, there is a good deal to look forward to.
The Copper Mountain resort area spectacularly lit up at night
Copper Mountain
Copper Mountain, Colorado
When the dusting is thin, guests can play indoors at Copper Mountain’s Woodward Copper Barn, an action sport training facility redesigned in 2013. After a half-million dollar renovation last year, the facility boasts a surface with smooth floor material with ramps primed for skateboards, freestyle racing bikes, and mountain bikes built for downhill riding. The Barn is also designed to allow beginner skiers space to practice, with 2- and 4-foot ski jumps—landing in foam pits—and a “pump track,” built for bikers to roll continuously (pumping the body) without pedaling.

When the snow does come through, Copper Mountain has a new app that could make your schussing even more exciting. Skiing downhill is a moment-by-moment experience; with every inch of trail you leave behind only your ski tracks. But what if you could leave your mark on a mountain—communicate your musings and warnings with the next person to slide that way? That’s the idea behind Copper Mountain’s Sherpa 2.0, an app for smartphones that now allow users to leave voice markers for other users, who will be able to hear those notes as they pass certain areas on the slopes. This version is open-source, meaning that tech-savvy users can modify the app to their liking.
Crested Butte's Mountaineer Square at night
Crested Butte Mountain Resort/Tom Stillo
Crested Butte, Colorado
The list of winter sports is ever-expanding, with fringe sports like snow-biking and tubing gaining more adherents each year. Crested Butte is working to accommodate more of these new or newly popular sports the resort is reopening its tubing hill, so kids and families can again slide down—night or day— from the top of Mt. Crested Butte on inflated donut-shaped rides. The resort will also build a new “magic carpet” conveyor to transport tubers to their summits with greater ease. And for snow bike enthusiasts, it will have ten fat-tired ones available to guests and specially crafted for pumping through the frosty elements.
A gondola slides down to a night-lit town of Telluride
Telluride's Night Gondola
Telluride, Colorado
Maybe it’s not the sport that defines the ski resort experience, but the culture around it: the charms of a ski town. This year Telluride is aiming to perfect that experience by bringing guests a fuller après ski experience: the town’s hugely popular summer music series will perform an encore wintertime, with the likes of ex-Hasidic reggae artist Matisyahu headlining at Telluride’s Convention Center.

Telluride is also adding what they describe as a “fire festival inspired by the art of Burning Man.” The Telluride Fire Festival will take place on the weekend of January 16-18 2015, and it will include free fire art displays and dance performances, as well as free lessons in fire art.

For those serious about excelling on the slopes, Telluride is creating more ski clinics, including an innovative “Ski, Ride, Yoga” camp that combines ski instruction with yoga classes (in a studio before and after you schuss, not on the slopes!).
X-Games at Buttermilk Terrain
Aspen Snowmass
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
What do kids do when parents are out on the slopes? Aspen Snowmass has got an answer, with the “Hideout,” opening this winter. The $10 million children’s center on Buttermilk Mountain will house a ski school and play area for children 2-12 years old.

Aspen has also signed on with the Winter X-Games until 2019, and the Aspen Winternational FIS Ski World Cup, an alpine ski racing tournament, will be returning there this Fall. The downhill skiing mountain is now accessible by ski lift to more beginner and intermediate skiers, and renovations also include a 4-lane tubing hill on Snowmass Mountain.
Winter Park Resort ski slope
Winter Park Resort
Winter Park Resort, Colorado
Winter Park Resort, 75 years old in 2014, will be debuting a multi-million dollar on-mountain day lodge called Lunch Rock Restaurant. The Resort’s biggest investment in years, this 16,000-ft will sit at the top of Winter Park’s Mary Jane Mountain. The indoor restaurant and bar and the 150-seat deck outside will all be Colorado-themed, with state micro-brews and a menu sourced with Colorado dishes. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the elk.
Dawn breaks over Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort,
Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
Vail Resorts, owner of 11 resorts across the U.S. and 3 more internationally, purchased Park City Mountain Resort this year. This means that PCMR guests can use the Epic Pass, which allows unlimited access to any of Vail’s resorts for a value equivalent to 5 days of lift tickets.

The new ownership also means that PCMR is included in Vail’s “EpicMix” app, a Sherpa-like program for iPhone and Android that allows users at any Vail resort to share photos, provide real-time updates, and earn badges based on their progress at the slopes. This season the fifth-generation app, EpicMix Guide, gives users a step-by-step guide to the mountains based on their personal input. Now who needs an instructor when you have a smartphone?
Sundance Film Festival theatre facade
Courtesy of Sundance Institute
Sundance Resort, Utah
Sundance is offering package deals to combine skiing with a visit to the famous Sundance Film Festival, held from January 22—February 1, 2015. The Epic Package allows access to 8 festival screenings as well as 2 festival credentials, while the Epic Premier Package adds on dinners and massages at the resort.

The littlest skiers have something new to look forward to at Sundance Resort: a winter Kids Camp, where children can learn to ski or snowboard and take nature lessons while Mom and Dad are off at the slopes.
Sun shines on virgin slopes of Cherry Peak Resort
Cherry Peak Resort,
Cherry Peak Resort, Utah
Likely to draw locals and those who like a challenge, the brand-new Cherry Peak Resort is the first to open on private land in 33 years. The resort is in the Logan area of Utah, near the Great Salt Lake. It offers a new alternative to the 9 resorts clustered together by Park City, and will have three beginner and five intermediate ski runs.