2006/7 Resort improvements
Mountain High is home to three separate mountains and this summer the popular winter resort invested more than $2 million to upgrade its West base facilities. Changes include remodeling the Big Pines base lodge, enlarging the on-snow portion of the base area, and tripling the square footage of the existing sundeck. This project added roughly 500 more seats to the highly-trafficked facility and opened the on-snow area creating a welcoming effect that guests are sure to love. Other changes include a new fire pit, new stage site for concerts and shows, and a new surface lift to move introductory guests up to the Winter Sports School.
Says Karl Kapuscinski, President and CEO, “We were very busy this summer. This project has been on the drawing boards for some time, and it’s great to finally see it come to fruition. With an expansion of this size, guests are sure to see a difference when they visit the resort this winter.”
The increased size of the base area was made possible by moving the Coyote and Roadrunner chair lifts approximately 100 feet up the mountain. This project cost $250,000 and took Mountain High’s lift crew approximately 4 months, but it gave the resort the area it needed to enlarge the deck and expand the loading areas. These two lifts serve as one of the last remaining double/doubles in the country, meaning they are two separate lifts, each with their own loading areas and terminals, that use the same towers and support system. Guests will enter in the same area but now, with wider mazes and more milling area, passengers will have a much easier time accessing the mountain.
Between the lift and the remodeled lodge lies the new deck which is now three times bigger than before. Guests will be thrilled by the increase in seating plus its many amenities such as a new barbecue, patio bar, fire pit, equipment check, and entertainment center for events and concerts. Guests can sip a cup of gourmet coffee, put their feet up by the fire, or log on to the internet through Mountain High’s free Wi-Fi access. Inside the lodge, the sport shop and restaurant are getting a face lift, and the ticket windows are being completely redone with new platforms, windows, and awnings.
Mountain High also put a significant amount of effort into its North Resort this year where a new 340 foot moving carpet has been added to the North Pole Tubing Park, and work continues on the base lodge. Over $100,000 is being invested in the North Resort alone to provide families and beginners with and exceptional winter experience.
Overall, more than $2 million was invested at Mountain High this summer and resort operators are sure guests will love the improvements
Terrain Park improvements
Mountain High will unveil its new line of jibs this winter giving the resort the largest inventory of rails and funboxes it has ever had. Features include everything from 4’x20’ boxes for beginners all the way up to a 60 ft long, 8ft high gateway box for experts. The majority of these jibs have been painted by Steve Lopez, most recently known for his work at the Block Hotel in Tahoe, and include a series of custom artwork not found at any other resort in the country. On the mountain, a new trail has been added, creating an exhibition area for talented riders, and several other trails have been regraded to better suit the park. More than ever, Mountain High is promoting its terrain park as its #1 draw, and this year the resort has increased its staff to 24 daytime park crew and 12 builders to ensure its success. So focused are they on terrain building that the resort doesn’t even employ traditional grooming staff unless they have park experience.
Says Justin Montoya, Faultline Terrain Park Manger, “I just want some snow. Give me some snow, turn me loose, and we’ll have an incredible season.”
Topping Mountain High’s list of new features is the Richter Scale, a 3 foot wide box that rises 17 feet into the air. Riders can transition up and down it, air off the top, or stall at the peak for greater effect. This one-of-a-kind feature cannot be found at any other resort in the world, and both skiers and snowboarders are sure to have a blast on it. Next is the new 60-foot Gateway Box. This feature is made up of three separate 20-foot boxes giving riders an endless number of possibilities including gapping the sections or hitting each piece individually. Other jibs include a new 60-foot C-Box improving on the original C-Box designed in 1991, and two 20-foot convex U-Boxes, adding a new twist to the traditional flat box.
The Wedge, a well-known run widely recognized as a jib park, has been regraded to accommodate an intermediate jump line filled with 30- to 40-foot tables, hips and spines. This trail will hold four to five such features with the possibility of several showcase jibs to the far left. This will reduce traffic on Borderline and give intermediate riders a new choice for jumps and tricks. Less than 500 yards beneath the Wedge lies Mountain High’s newest trail, the Pocket. This short, upper intermediate run sits directly beneath the Blue Ridge Express, making it the perfect place to show off. It will house some of the resort’s more advanced features and provide countless hours of entertainment for guests on the lift. In the middle of the West Resort lies Lower Chisolm, one of the area’s main trails. This summer snowmaking guns that infringed on the popular run were moved off towards the sides giving terrain builders the opportunity to place two lines of features down the trail instead of one. This proverbial widening of the run will also reduce congestion and provide a better experience for guests when snowmaking is in operation.
Overall Mountain High’s terrain park program has taken a giant step forward. With the inclusion of new features and one of the most creative park crews in the business, Southern California skiers and snowboarders will experience the cutting edge of park innovation this year.