Oregon ski areas are introducing new terrain, snowmaking upgrades, more dining options and general improvements ahead of the 2018-19 ski season. As we ramp up for the changes, all eyes are turned toward the skies in anticipation of the coming snowfall, with new offerings focused on everyone from hardcore skiers and snowboarders to first time beginners.
Here’s a rundown of improvements visitors can look forward to at the state’s many ski resorts.
Mt. Hood Skibowl is improving visitors’ on-snow experience with the addition of a new SnoFlake machine, this all-weather snowmaking system will allow the resort to make snow in above-freezing temperatures, guaranteeing that there will be tubing (and cosmic tubing) in time for the holiday season and through the end of winter.
Skibowl, which boasts some of the steepest terrain on Mt. Hood, has also added a new Prinoth 400 Sherpa Winch Cat to its grooming fleet. This new snowcat is equipped with a built-in cable winch, allowing the resort to groom even the steepest slopes; visitors will find corduroy groomers in places they’ve never seen before. Adventurous skiers and snowboarders exploring Skibowl’s 300-acre outback region can also expect to discover new lines thanks to tree thinning carried out this past summer. And finally, visitors will have an easier time navigating the Westside parking lot thanks to an increased parking capacity of 150 spaces, as well as widened travel lanes.
Timberline Resort and Ski Area purchased the iconic Summit Ski Area in Government Camp this past July. Summit Ski area includes a 2,300-foot long chairlift providing access to approximately 3.5 miles of trails and the nearby Snow Bunny snow play and tubing area. Plans are to continue to operate Summit Ski Area as a family-oriented mountain resort, focused on accessibility and affordability. Summit will continue to offer ski and snowboard rentals, lessons and snow tubing, with an improved food and beverage offering and lodge upgrades ahead of the upcoming ski season. Look for more updates to come.
Hoodoo Ski Area in Central Oregon has tripled the available night skiing terrain, adding permanent LED lights to runs off Ed Chair. Visitors can now rider under the lights on 23 different runs with over 500 acres of terrain. With this increased terrain, Hoodoo has also added Thursday night skiing, which means visitors can ski and ride under the stars from 3:30–9:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday from December 22, 2018 through March 31, 2019.
Mt. Bachelor is celebrating its 60th anniversary season this year, look out for numerous events throughout the season including a huge party on December 19, 2018 with details to be announced. Mt. Bachelor has expanded its overnight experience for RV guests with the addition of new electrical hook-ups. Mt. Bachelor is one of several Oregon ski areas offering overnight RV parking for guests. The resort is also expanding its spring program with more events and services to ensure Mt. Bachelor continues to be the best place to ski or snowboard in late-season.
Southern Oregon’s Mt. Ashland kicks off the season with the final touches on the $1.7 million lodge renovation that was unveiled last year. The ski area also improved and expanded the available glade skiing this past summer and is looking forward to introducing new terrain park features. Mt. Ashland partnered with the only other STOKE-certified ski area in the country, Diamond Peak, to offer four free days at both ski areas for season pass holders. Visitors can take advantage of an enhanced shuttle schedule providing convenient transportation to the ski area while reducing their carbon footprint. And there are now a total of four live-streaming webcams for guests to access to see real-time conditions at Mt. Ashland.
Mt. Hood Meadows has introduced a newly structured season pass program featuring the Value Season Pass with the option to add peak days. Additionally, Mt. Hood Meadows increased the number of free ski days All Access pass holders receive at partner ski areas this season to 29 days. The partner resorts include nine different independently owned and operated ski areas in the West.
Mt. Hood Meadows has also moved to a Dynamic Pricing ticketing system this season with prices reflecting the day’s demand, similar to airline tickets. The Meadows website will display the pricing for these age groups in advance. Meadows implemented dynamic pricing as a valuable tool to address the peak day challenge.
Finally, skiers and snowboarders at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort in Eastern Oregon have a new option for gearing up this season, The Trailhead in Baker City, Oregon offers a new affordable season lease program allowing skiers and snowboarders to lease hard goods packages for the entire ski season. Prices start at $200-230 for ski and snowboard packages; $150-180 for juniors. Participants have the option to simply return the gear at the end of the season or purchase it.