What Is The Biggest Ski Resort in the USA?

Skiing & Snowboarding are such popular sports and really offer a great break from the Winter blues. Ski season in the USA generally lasts from about mid November to mid April depending on the resort & weather conditions. All ages can really enjoy this sport & you’ll see tiny kiddies through to octogenarian ski clubs on the slopes. There are so many ski resorts in the USA that it can be hard to choose which one to visit. Yes there are the big names like Vail & Aspen world-famous resorts, known throughout the world as great ski areas & deservedly so.

But do you know which is the biggest ski resort in the USA? Major changes are afoot and the biggest ski area in the USA is now Park City Mountain Resort.

Ski resort operating giant Vail resorts took over Park City, after it was already running next door Canyons ski resort. These 2 fantastic ski resorts are being combined to make one giant ski resort called Park City Mountain Resort. Major investment is adding a new “interconnect” gondola to connect the 2 resorts between the Silverlodge lift in Park City & the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. In addition to this new lift there will be major upgrades to Kingcon chairlift changing it to a 6 person high-speed detachable chair & increasing capacity. The Motherlode lift is being upgraded to a 4 person high-speed detachable lift from the old fixed grip chairlift, making it much easier to access the slopes.

From the new interconnect gondola it will be possible for skiers & riders to unload at the top of Pine Cone Ridge (snow conditions permitting) & ski or board down to Thaynes Canyon. There are also going to be new runs from Pine Cone Ridge down to the Canyons Iron mountain area.

So if you love skiing there will be so much to ski at this one mountain. The new ski resort will have 7300 acres of terrain, bigger than Vail and have a great variety of runs from green beginner, through to blue intermediate pistes & black expert areas. The total combined lifts will stretch for nearly 23 miles & the vertical rise will amount to 34,400 feet. Altogether there will be 17 peaks to swoop down, after checking out the views from the top of course. The 14 bowls will be paradise in the powder & after all this area of Utah, USA does get 355 inches of snowfall on average per year, so chances of some epic freshies are high. Over 300 ski runs will be marked & over 150 park features for those who love to strut their stuff in the terrain parks. 8 half-pipes including the super pipe will also be ideal for those who love to get big air.

The whole resort is being called Park City Mountain Resort and will still be connected to the Town of Park City & historic Main Street via the Town lift. The old canyons village is being re-named canyons base area at Park City, but the ski runs rising out of the village will all be part of Park City Mountain Resort.

London Travel Plans

Local Authorities now require that a Travel Plan (otherwise known as a Green Travel Plan) be submitted with a planning application for many types of development in order to ensure that the new business or facility actively looks at ways of minimising traffic impact.

This will usually aim to reduce single occupancy car journeys by staff travelling to work. In some cases a customer travel is also included within the document.

London Travel Plans required by Local Authorities within the Greater London Area must be written in accordance with Transport for London and the Mayor of London’s specific Travel Plan Guidance.

There are also a group of west London Boroughs who deal with Travel Planning together under an umbrella organisation called Westtrans and Travel Plans in those Boroughs are dealt with by Westtrans officers.

All London Boroughs are aiming for the same result’ to cut traffic and congestion within the city and reduce the need for parking by encouraging staff (and sometimes customers) to use public transport, walk or cycle. The art when writing a Travel Plan is to demonstrate you are helping to achieve these goals without committing your client to expensive measures both short and long term.

This requirement has been in place for a number of years now and the content and quality of Travel Plans, particularly in London, are now given much more scrutiny than in the past. Often within London, a developer is seeking to reduce parking on their site or in some cases provide no parking at all and in these situations a bespoke, practical and well written plan can be key to achieving planning permission.

The challenge in all cases is to balance the commercial demands of the business whilst formulating a robust and detailed plan which is frequently key to securing planning permission. For example I recently dealt with a new hotel with zero on-site parking. This meant that both staff and guest travel to the site needed to be actively addressed through a range of specific measures to discourage car travel.

In contrast I recently dealt with a hotel which had free on site parking. In this instance I had to devise a travel plan which demonstrated active steps to reduce the demand for those parking spaces over the initial period of 5 years.

Both sites were covered by the same overall London-wide policies but the individual site issues dictated that the plans were very different. In both instance I managed to reach a solution which met my client’s commercial needs and satisfied the Local Authorities’ requirements.

The different approach and requirements in each case demonstrates that a template is a misnomer. In my opinion the templates that are available are likely to result in clients being signed up to costly and impractical measures. In terms of cost, as the plans are monitored for at least 5 years, the management costs going forward can also be significant if not considered at an early stage.

In my experience travel plans prepared at the application stage are all too often a standardised document which is not fully considered, with the result that developers inadvertently agree to a range of measures in order to get planning approval. Those measures may be inappropriate, expensive to implement and difficult or costly to monitor.

The examples cited above demonstrate the importance of producing a plan which is specific to the site and to the end user, not least to prevent the added cost of having to re-writing the document. In both of these cases the original developer obtained agreement to a draft which, if implemented, would have resulted in significant costs for the end-user.

In order to meet the requirements of the client and to satisfy the Local Authorities it was necessary to re-write the documents in a way which delivered practical and value for money measures for my client but also satisfied the requirements of the Local Authorities. I like to think that my experience in this area helped to achieve a result which all were happy with.

Evans Jones offer more than 10 years experience of working with commercial developers

Green Travel Plan Advice

A Green Travel Plan should deliver economic, practical and easy to manage measures both now and in the future. The majority of individuals that usually require a green travel plan are commercial developers and businesses. A plan should typically be:

 

  • economic to implement ‘day one’
  • cost effective for future management
  • include practical, well thought out measures that work

 

What’s the difference between Green and Workplace travel plans?

A Green Travel Plan (also typically known as a Workplace Travel Plan) is an obligation imposed by local authorities through the planning process typically by way of panning condition attached to a planning consent or by a S.106 agreement. It may also be introduced as a requirement during the application process.

In addition a Travel Plan is often a requirement of a BREEAM assessment process.

The Green Travel Plan sets out a suite of actions and measures intended to promote travel to the site by sustainable transport methods such as bicycle, bus or train rather than private car.

So I have a Green Travel Plan, what happens if I don’t follow it?

Most local authorities will require occupiers to monitor the effectiveness of the plan to ensure measures are being implemented and targets set in the plan are being met. The aim should be to demonstrate ongoing improvement.

Some local authorities now have sustainable travel officers whose sole duty is to promote sustainable travel and to monitor plans to ensure compliance.

Ultimately the local authority does have the power to take Enforcement action against you if you are not implementing and monitoring your plan. The council has the power to issue of a breach of condition notice to require you to comply with the requirements which could ultimately lead to prosecution and fine if you still fail to comply.

What Actions and Measures do the plans typically include?

They are sometimes produced to include high cost and complicated measures such as staff showers, public transport information and ticketing systems, subsidised public transport, cycle parking and staff loan schemes. Whilst it’s important to be mindful of the commercial necessity to obtain a consent, more simpler and cost effective measures should be considered as well, such as; free internet access to travel guides; website links to local travel information; car sharing schemes and on site maps of bus and train stations.

A plan should be produced to minimise the cost to the clients of delivering their plan whilst balancing this against the local planning policy requirements and need for a consent in a timely manner.

What will my Green Travel Plan cost?

Every plan is different based on the local policy requirements, the site constraints and the commercial pressures. Each should ideally be produced on a site specific basis. It is important to appreciate that a well considered and written plan allied to skilled consultants negotiating terms with the local authority will save you more money than you will ever spend on preparing it. Conversely, one poorly written will cost you money ‘day one’ and for many years to come as you continue to spend money and management time on costly and unwieldy measures.

Which Is the Best Ski Resort in Colorado, USA?

Breckenridge Ski Resort

· Breckenridge is a picturesque Victorian mountain town

· Main Street is lined with boutique shops, independent coffee shops, bars & restaurants

· Breckenridge is well-known for its nightlife and offers a range of restaurants from affordable to fine dining of every genre.

· Everything is close together in Breckenridge and you can walk nearly everywhere or take the free shuttle if it’s chilly or uphill!

· The slopes, lifts and ski school at Peak 9 come right down into town just by Main Street.

· The gondola runs from the centre of town up to Peak and 7 and onto Peak 8

· Peak 7 has mostly blue runs, perfect for intermediates

· Peak 8 has a newly built base area & is home to a variety of green, blue and black runs

· Peak 9 has some good beginner runs, plus other terrain

· Peak 10 has some fantastic tree & mogul skiing

· The Imperial Super chair is the highest chairlift in North America and accesses some fantastic black diamond and double black runs

· Peak 6 is being opened this year with new runs & 2 new lifts

Vail Ski Resort

· Designed in an alpine style Vail has 2 main pedestrian base villages “Vail Village” & “Lionshead Village” with gondolas rising up from each.

· The pedestrian villages have a large variety of shops (including the obligatory fur coats), restaurants & bars to stroll around, plus ice rink & fountains, although Vail village is livelier at night.

· Golden Peak base area is 5-7 minute’s walk from Vail Village and is home to the main children’s ski school (there is ski school in Lionshead too).

· There is also some accommodation in East Vail, a less expensive residential area about 15 mins bus ride from the slopes. West Vail also has some larger homes.

· Vail is the largest single resort in the USA and is famous for its 7 legendary back bowls with fantastic powder after a snowstorm. There is so much terrain though in Vail it takes a while to cover it all and mid-Vail is an area which shouldn’t be overlooked.

Aspen / Snowmass Ski Resort

· Aspen / Snowmass is known as the “power of 4″ and consists of the 4 mountains of Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk & Aspen Highlands, all interconnected by bus.

· All 4 resorts are on the same lift pass and Aspen being Aspen you can even arrange for your skis to be transferred to a different mountain for the next day’s skiing so they’re ready & waiting for you.

· Aspen town itself is well-known for its sophisticated, lively & varied nightlife

· Aspen has a plethora of restaurants, bars, designer shops, art galleries to choose from, plus has an ice skating rink & even a rugby field right in the middle.

· The rich & famous often frequent Aspen, so people watching is a sport in itself here

· Aspen mountain has a gondola from the middle of town and consists of blue runs and above but is not really for beginners.

· Snowmass has the most skiing of the 4 areas, but is a little quieter especially at night.

· Snowmass is great for families with its new ski school & childcare centre “The Treehouse” & has tons of ski in, ski out accommodation, making getting to the skiing very convenient.

· Snowmass is a huge ski area, covering every type of terrain. It even has a people mover lift which the locals call the “skittles” to take you from the base area to the mall area part way up the mountain

· Buttermilk is the beginner mountain and home to the X-games, Aspen Highland has advanced & expert including hike to terrain.

Beaver Creek Ski Resort

· “Not exactly roughing it” is their slogan and that pretty much says it all

· Guests skiing in Beaver Creek are spoilt by the escalators taking you up to the slopes so you don’t have to walk up the steps, the chaps unloading your skis from the ski bus and the complimentary freshly baked cookies at 3pm each afternoon.

· On the same lift pass as Vail Beaver Creek is only about 20 minutes away

· Beaver Creek has a quiet sophistication and is slightly more reserved than the flashier Vail. It is home to the rich & famous and ex-presidents and celebrities have their homes here.

· Beaver Creek Village is compact and designed around the ice rink and has a high standard of restaurants, boutique shops, galleries & bars.

· It has some good ski in, ski out accommodation including The Osprey, Beaver Creek, which is the closest hotel to a chairlift in North America.

· Bachelor Gulch is the second base area at Beaver Creek with the Ritz Carlton Hotel and its outdoor pool at the bottom of the slopes & other ski in, ski out accommodation.

· The third area of Beaver Creek ski resort is Arrowhead. The town of Avon 10 minutes outside Beaver Creek has more affordable accommodation and has a gondola which goes up to Beaver Creek Landing, from where skiers can take another lift to access the Beaver Creek ski area.

· Beaver Creek seems to groom its intermediate slopes non-stop, plus is host to the “Birds of Prey” world cup race, which is ski-able but not for the faint-hearted!

Steamboat Springs Ski Resort

· The historic town of Steamboat is about 10 minutes drive from the main ski area.

· The town has a western feel to it with shops selling cowboy boots & hats, amongst the sophisticated restaurants

· The strawberry hot springs are natural mineral springs, just a few minute’s drive from Steamboat and are a must after some strenuous skiing.

· The ski area has 6 peaks of world-class skiing, including some fantastic glade skiing.

· Steamboat coined the name “Champagne powder” and is incredible on a powder day

· The base of the ski area is developing more and more each year and there is now the main area around the gondola and Ski Times Square just a little further along.

· There are some top-notch ski in, ski out places to stay at the base with every amenity you could imagine.

· Steamboat is pretty family friendly & offers free children’s lift passes with an adult pass, a nice touch.

Winter Park Ski Resort

· Winter Park is a down to earth town, more low-key than many of the other ski resorts and thus good value for money.

· They say that the only time you see a fur coat in Winter Park is when it’s on the animals!

· The town is where most of the shops, bars & restaurants are, set along its main street and has quieter nightlife, some late night bars, but no clubs as such.

· The base area is about 10 minutes drive or bus from town and is the closest resort to Denver.

· Winter Park Resort is known as Colorado’s favourite, is where many Coloradans learnt to ski and is still very popular with local residents

· A skiers mountain Winter Park has the most consistent snow year after year, 30 feet or so.

· Winter Park Resort consists of the main base area at Winter Park with its beginner area, intermediate & advanced runs, Mary Jane, famous for its epic moguls, Vasquez Ridge a quieter area, with blue and black runs, Parsenn Bowl, above treeline with intermediate & advanced skiing & the Cirque for expert skiers. If you’re into tree skiing, there is some fantastic natural terrain on Eagle Wind.

Older posts »