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Aspen and Vail have also been challenged by the loss of bed base during the last 20 years, although both resorts are now taking measures to add new beds.
Telluride is also trying to redefine itself more carefully as a destination-oriented boutique resort. The rebranding of Telluride now focuses on the “exceptional experience” available to visitors. To that end, the owners are putting more money into on-mountain restaurants and other peripherals to the ski experience.
The ski area itself has a capacity to accommodate 10,000 people a day, but it averages 3,000 a day.
Snowmass aims for million club
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. – Call it extreme makeover. The Aspen Skiing Co. is in the midst of a giant re-do of the Snowmass ski area.
The most immediate functional change is a $13 million gondola that is to debut in mid-December, the largest single part of $46 million in upgrades to the skiing infrastructure at Snowmass, explains The Aspen Times.
But an even bigger change is underway at the base of the mountain, where a project called — what else — Base Village is the mother of all hard-hat zones. When complete in four years, the project will add roughly 1,100 bedrooms to Snowmass Village — and perhaps make Snowmass competitive once again with the newer kids on the resort block, particularly Colorado’s Beaver Creek and Utah’s Deer Valley.
While Ajax, the mountain immediately adjacent to the town of Aspen, is the Aspen Skiing Co.’s best-known product, much of the terrain is too difficult for easy intermediate skiing. For the masses, Aspen has Snowmass.
But from a million skier days more than a decade ago, Snowmass has skidded to less than 800,000 skier days most years. This re-do is expected to reverse that slide, putting Snowmass back into the million club within possibly four years. Vail and Breckenridge are firmly in the club, and so are Mammoth and Steamboat. Others sometimes hitting the million mark have been Keystone, Copper Mountain, and Winter Park.
Crested Butte drops ban
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – The Crested Butte Town Council has withdrawn its ban of new real estate and other offices on the ground floor of the Elk Avenue business district. The council adopted the ban in August, but in response to opposition had allowed existing uses to be grandfathered. Faced with a special election initiated by citizens, the council backed away entirely, reports the Crested Butte News. The goal was to retain the retail vitality of the town core. Vail and Aspen have such bans.