August 12, 2013

Afton Alps Begins Construction on $10 Million of Resort Improvements

Afton snowboarder

Afton snowboarder (Photo credit: Mr.OutdoorGuy)

Afton Alps Begins Construction on $10 Million of Resort Improvements for its 50th Anniversary Winter Season

 

  • Entire Guest Experience “Re-Imagined” with New Terrain Park Base Area Facilities, Expanded Terrain Park and Improved Snowmaking
  • Epic Season Pass Provides Unmatched Value and Access to Afton Alps and 10 Iconic Western Resorts

AFTON ALPS, MINN. – Aug. 12, 2013 – To a “heavy metal” soundtrack of backhoes, cranes and bulldozers, Afton Alps Ski Area broke ground on massive resort improvement projects designed to re-imagine the entire guest experience for the 2013-2014 ski and snowboard season and Afton Alps’ 50th anniversary. The $10-million investment committed by new owner Vail Resorts represents the most significant one-time influx of capital improvements in Afton Alps’ history, and clearly sets it apart amongst its competitors in Minnesota’s local ski area landscape. 

“The construction projects we’re implementing this summer are designed to re-imagine every aspect of the guest experience at Afton Alps while keeping the longstanding Midwest ski experience Afton is known for,” said Joe Yasis, general manager of Afton Alps. “We think our guests will be delighted with the big improvements like the new terrain park, significantly enhanced snowmaking and new base area facilities. These improvements will set a completely new standard for Midwest skiing and riding. It’s where Epic begins.” 

Afton Alps list of improvements include:

  • Snowmaking Improvements: A complete overhaul and expansion of snowmaking at Afton Alps will provide the region’s highest quality snow surface, greater base depth and an expanded season due to the ability to make snow twice as fast with existing water resources. The ski area will add to the current fleet of snowmaking equipment with 22 new, energy-efficient snowmaking guns and 50 low-energy tower snow guns. Afton Alps is also constructing a new state of the art snowmaking pump house, installing larger diameter pipe capable of pumping water twice as fast when temperatures permit.
  • New Guest Services Facility: The guest services facility at Afton will be completely renovated to include a new ski school center, ticketing and pass sales office and a customer service center.
  • New Terrain Park by Snow Park Technologies: Snow Park Technologies, builder and designer of Winter X Games courses and features, will work with the Afton Alps terrain park crew to create one of the region’s most innovative terrain parks including cutting edge new features and designs.
  • New Terrain Park Village: At the base of the terrain park overlooking all of the new features, Afton Alps will create a new terrain park village with inviting indoor and outdoor spaces to relax or warm up, enjoy new food options, warm up and watch the park action. Additionally two new rope tows will be installed in the terrain park for faster and easier access to park features.
  • New Lift Ticketing and Scanning System: The new lift ticket and scanning system will be completely electronic and provide Afton Alps guests with a seamless transaction experience and faster access to the lift for both season pass holders and single day lift ticket skier and snowboarders.
  • Vail Resorts EpicMix Technology Installation: Afton Alps will install Vail Resorts’ acclaimed EpicMix RFID technology, allowing skiers and snowboarders to earn digital pins for their accomplishments track vertical feet and share them socially through Facebook and Twitter with family and friends.
  • EpicMix Racing will also be launched at Afton Alps this winter, a social application that enables skiers and riders of all abilities to track their vertical feet, earn digital pins for on-slope accomplishments and even race against Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn using their NASTAR race time to earn gold, silver and bronze medals. Race times, digital medals, overall leaderboards and leaderboards with just family and friends will all be available on both the EpicMix website and mobile application.

The value proposition for Afton Alps’ guests is unmatched. In addition to the ski area improvements and a whole new philosophy around guest service, Afton Alps’ passholders have the opportunity to purchase Vail Resorts season passes that allow them to ski as much as they want in their own backyard and at eight world-class resorts out West (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, Canyons Resort in Utah, and Heavenly, Northstar California and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe). Vail Resorts’ season passes offer guests the flexibility to choose which pass is right for them based on how much and where they plan to ski and ride. 

Ski or Ride Locally and Out West:

The Epic Local Pass™: Perfect for snow sports enthusiasts who want to take their annual ski vacation out West and ski unrestricted in their backyard all season long. The Epic Local Pass at $529 offers unlimited and unrestricted skiing at Afton Alps, as well as at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with some restrictions at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. The pass also includes a total of 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek with holiday restrictions. At the spring rate, the Epic Local Pass pays for itself in just over four days when skiing at the western resorts and is only $130 more than an Afton Alps Pass. A discounted rate is also offered for college students at $479 (proof of 12 credit hours is required).

The Epic Local Child Pass: Children ski and ride all next season at Afton Alps for less than the current 2012-2013 Afton Alps child Pass price and get eight resorts out West for free. New this year at $269, $5 less than last season’s child’s pass, children ages 5-12 can receive unlimited access with no restrictions at Afton Alps, as well as unlimited access to resorts out West, including Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with limited restrictions at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood with the Epic Local Child Pass. The pass also includes a total of 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek with holiday restrictions.

The Epic Pass™: Ski as much as you want, whenever you want at $689 for adults and $359 for children. 

Unlimited skiing or riding at Afton Alps, as well as at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe at $689 for adults and $359 for children (ages 5-12). No restrictions. At this spring rate, the Epic Pass pays for itself in just over five days when skiing at the western resorts. 

Ski or Ride Afton Alps Only:

Afton Alps Pass: Perfect for people who only plan to ski or ride at Afton Alps. At $399, the same price introduced last season, pass holders will receive unlimited access to Afton Alps with no restrictions. A discounted rate is also offered for seniors at $269 and college students at $269 (proof of 12 credit hours in the 2013-2014 school year is required). Discounts are available for families and groups of four people. 

For more information on all Vail Resorts season pass products, visit www.epicpass.com.

About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company’s subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company’s subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.

 

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Posted by Paul Swansen

Funny, irreverent, cynical, optimistic, dreamer and Taurus with a stubborn streak, and a fondness for Jerry Garcia Ties, thrives on working hard with smart people. A former, Radio DJ, and Program Director, Television Program Director, Public Affairs Officer, Speech Writer, Award Winning Radio Spot writer, Computer Tech, Event Producer, and Customer Service Guru is always looking for a new challenge. Communicates and plays well with others. Won't work with whiners. Wonders why no one seems to know how to load the dishwasher properly.

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