The Park City / Canyons Merger after one Year

Park City Mountain Resort

Photo by Park City Mountain Resort

One of the busiest companies in the ski and snowboard industry in the past two years is Vail Resorts. One of the biggest moves for them was to purchase Canyons Resort in the summer of 2015 and merge the resort with neighboring Park City Mountain Resort to create the largest single ski and snowboard resort in the United States with 7,300 acres, 336 trails, 41 lifts, 8 terrain parks, one super pipe and one mini pipe. Those are some big numbers and makes it sure that there is something there for any type of skier or snowboarder.

Park City Mountain Resort

Photo by Park City Mountain Resort

After the purchase, Vail Resorts got right into things by investing $50 million in one season into the newly combined resort. This was one of the largest capital improvements in ski industry history. The main feature of the improvements was a new eight-passenger high speed two-way gondola from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. The company also upgraded the King Con Lift from a four-person to a six-person, high-speed detachable chairlift as well as upgrading the Motherlode Lift from a fixed-grip triple to a four-person, high-speed detachable chairlift. Both of these upgrades made huge improvements to increasing lift capacity and creating a better experience for everyone on the mountain. Also included in the improvements was a new Snow Hut Restaurant and improvements to some of their restaurants and expanding snowmaking capabilities.

With such a massive change, there was no doubt there were going to be some challenges. The largest seemed to be a shortage of staff to handle the popularity of the mountain. Some people found themselves waiting a long amount of time to buy lift tickets or other lines. So far this year, this issue seems to have been resolved. With such a large resort spanning multiple areas (over 6 miles wide), it’s easy for people to get caught on the wrong mountain on the end of the day. I have to admit that this once happened to me. One wrong turn on an unfamiliar mountain caused me to head for the wrong base. But, Park City Mountain Resort has this handled in two ways. First, there is staff on the mountain to help guide you where you need to go at the end of the day. Also, if you do get caught, there is an excellent shuttle service that can move you where you need to go within Park City.

Park City Mountain Resort

Photo by Park City Mountain Resort

So far, the expansion seems to be very popular. The largest ski resort in the United States gives skiers and riders access to 336 trails. This gives them a huge variety of terrain to explore and the new gondola connecting the two mountains provides some amazing views where you feel like you can see forever. Overall, with the merging of the two mountains, the beauty of the town, and the massive investments into the resort, it appears that Vail Management has turned Park City Mountain Resort into one of the top three resorts in North America.

Photo by Park City Mountain Resort

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