Keystone and Breckenridge ski resorts announced Monday morning plans for a new batch of improvements to existing on-mountain amenities for the 2017-18 ski season.
In a joint news release, the two Vail Resorts, Inc.-owned properties declared intentions of upgrading a lift chair at each ski area, as well as an expansion and renovation of Labonte’s Smokehouse BBQ restaurant at the base of Keystone’s North Peak. Because each operates on federal lands by permit, all are subject to U.S. Forest Service approvals.
Breckenridge’s hope is to increase the capacity of Peak 10’s Falcon SuperChair, serving guests with advanced terrain on the resort’s southern-most peak, to a six-person lift. The idea of the 25-percent expansion would be to boost skier and snowboarder flow to allow each to get more out their respective ski day.
“Breckenridge has seen many large projects over the last six years,” John Buhler, COO of Breckenridge Ski Resort, said in the release, “and we’re ecstatic to continue with a new Falcon SuperChair for winter 2017-2018.”
Meanwhile, Keystone aims to update the Montezuma Express Lift — the main access point to Dercum Mountain’s beginner and intermediate terrain — also with a six-person chair. Expanding guest circulation by 25 percent for more efficiency is also the resort’s goal. The enlargement of Labonte’s, from a large outdoor seating area with picnic tables and a small warming hut to a 150-seat indoor facility, reimagines the on-mountain dining venue while attempting to maintain its signature outdoor “ski beach” that guests know and love.
“We are committed to continually reinvesting in the mountain experience across Vail Resorts,” Mike Goar, vice president and COO at Keystone, said in the release, “and are confident that these upgrades will elevate the guest experience at Keystone and Breckenridge.”
Additional details on the design and White River National Forest approval process for these proposed improvements will be available in the coming months.