DONNER SUMMIT, CALIF. — Sugar Bowl Resort is investing more than $20 million into widespread upgrades this summer, including a new chairlift that opens an entire new peak to lift-served skiing and riding, a new fitness and aquatic center and a ski-in/ski-out campus for Sugar Bowl Academy. These investments represent some of the largest upgrades the resort has undertaken since expanding the Mt. Judah side of the resort to include the Judah Day Lodge and slopeside parking lots. The current projects span all aspects of the resort’s operation by increasing ski terrain, upgrading off-slope amenities, and constructing a permanent slopeside home for the West’s most prominent ski academy.
Here are four projects, totaling over $20 million, that Sugar Bowl Resort will unveil this winter:
NEW CROW’S PEAK CHAIRLIFT ($3 million)
Sugar Bowl Resort is currently installing a new chairlift this summer, improving lift-serviced access to advanced and expert terrain on the west side of the resort. The Crow’s Peak chairlift, a fixed-grip Doppelmayr triple, will provide lift-served skiing and riding in the Strawberry Fields area of the mountain, just below Crow’s Nest Peak. The Strawberry Fields area is currently hike-to terrain accessed from the Disney Express Chair, so the new Crow’s Peak chair will greatly improve fall line skiing, increasing the overall terrain and vertical for skiers to enjoy. Installation of the new $3 million chairlift is underway, and the lift will be open and ready for skiers and riders this season.
The new lift’s bottom terminal is located just above the cross country trails of Royal Gorge’s Van Norden Meadow, physically bringing the two resorts, both under the management of Sugar Bowl, closer together. At nearly 1,000 vertical feet, the new lift will run to the top of Crow’s Nest Peak, with the top terminal located just looker’s left of the peak itself. The terrain enhancements will include two new groomed runs, excellent tree skiing through glades, chutes and cliffs, and also provide a wind-protected area on inclement weather days.
NEW SUGAR BOWL ACADEMY CAMPUS ($12 million) http://www.sbacademy.org
A brand new campus for Sugar Bowl Academy is under construction at Sugar Bowl Resort below the lower Mt. Judah parking lot, alongside the resort’s snowbound village. The campus, with classrooms, dormitories and training space for 75 student-athletes, will be open for the 2013/14 school year. Sugar Bowl Academy is the nation’s only ski-in/ski-out academy and consistently places alpine racers, nordic skiers, and freeriders on the U.S. Ski Team and into the nation’s best universities. Its comprehensive college preparatory curriculum and world-class ski training program already make it the premier ski team and ski academy in the West. “The new campus at Sugar Bowl Resort will definitely put us on par with the best sports academies in the world,” says Tracy Keller, head of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Academy. Academy athletes also benefit from ongoing training input and feedback from four-time Olympian, X Games gold medalist and World Cup Champion Daron Rahlves, who serves as Sugar Bowl Resort’s ski ambassador.
The new campus will be the permanent home of Sugar Bowl Academy, which outgrew its location at the former Alpine Skills International building alongside Old Highway 40. The academy used temporary buildings at Sugar Bowl Resort during the last two years to house its classrooms. The new academy campus will allow the alpine skiers direct access to Sugar Bowl’s ski runs, while the nordic team will enjoy a direct connection to the XC trails of Royal Gorge, North America’s largest cross country resort. Its location in the Village at Sugar Bowl will also give students easy access to athletic training facilities in the new Sport Haus Fitness and Aquatic Center at Sugar Bowl Resort.
SPORT HAUS FITNESS AND AQUATIC CENTER ($4.5 million)
Sugar Bowl Resort is building a full-service fitness and aquatic center within the resort’s snowbound village for use by Sugar Bowl homeowners, lodge guests and Sugar Bowl Academy student athletes. The new $4.5 million Sport Haus is being built adjacent to the resort’s Village Hall building on the Mt. Disney side of the resort. The Sport Haus will include a full aquatic center with two lap lanes, outdoor hot tubs, fitness facilities, a yoga studio, spa treatment rooms, and athletic training space. Homeowners and lodge guests will be able to swim, participate in yoga classes and enjoy other fitness programs at the facility. The facility is centrally located between Sugar Bowl’s lifts, the resort’s lodge and the resort’s snowbound homeowner village. The Sport Haus will also serve as a world class conditioning facility for Sugar Bowl Academy’s 75 student-athletes.
The fitness and aquatic facility is also an added incentive for purchasers of the new Summit Crossing homesites in the Village at Sugar Bowl. Summit Crossing’s 25 homesites are located on the trails of Royal Gorge, North America’s largest cross-country ski resort, and just steps away from the chairlifts of Sugar Bowl Resort. A new $300,000 Village Tow surface lift will be installed this summer, directly connecting the Summit Crossing homesites to Sugar Bowl’s lift system. All Summit Crossing homeowners will have full access to the Sport Haus facilities. All Village homeowners will also enjoy a newly renovated and completely remodeled $300,000 Village Services office as the central location for all homeowner needs. For more information on Summit Crossing visit: http://www.thevillageatsugarbowl.com/summit/overview.cfm
ROYAL GORGE IMPROVEMENTS (ongoing, $750,000) http://www.royalgorge.com
In its second year of Sugar Bowl Resort management, North America’s largest cross-country resort will continue to expand its offerings with new fat tire snowbiking trails and the return of the Sierra Snowkite Center, California’s first and only resort-based snowkiting school.
Royal Gorge’s 6,000 acres of cross-country skiing and 200 kilometers of trails across six distinct track systems give cross country skiers endless skiing possibilities on an impressive trail system dotted by lakes, canyons, meadows, majestic alpine peaks and eight different warming huts.
In addition to cross country skiing and snowshoeing, fat tire snowbiking will be offered on narrow, bike-specific snow trails, giving the riders of fat-tired, winter-specific bikes the feeling of riding singletrack trails through the snow. Snowbikes will be offered for rent at Royal Gorge’s Summit Station Lodge.
The Sierra Snowkite Center will return this winter with snowkiting instruction, rentals and custom snowkiting trips. The snowkite center operates out of Royal Gorge’s Van Norden Meadow, where consistent wind and a variety of terrain makes for superb snowkiting. For more information on the Sierra Snowkite Center visit: http://www.sierrasnowkite.com
Visitors to Royal Gorge this season can also expect to see improved wayfinding signage, a new mobile phone application with improved snow reporting and trail conditions status, a new and improved website, enhanced food and beverage options at the lodge and on-trail warming huts, LED signage for weather updates and events information, renovated lodge grounds, and continued improvements to the trail grooming fleet.
To learn more about Sugar Bowl Resort, go to www.sugarbowl.com. Sugar Bowl Resort, California owned and operated since 1939, was voted a Top 25 Ski Resort in North America by Outside Magazine. To learn more about Royal Gorge Cross Country, North America’s largest XC resort, go to www.royalgorge.com