During the past decade, western ski resorts have been remaking themselves into year-round destinations, adding new chairlifts, ski slopes, golf courses, and full-service spas. That transformation has been spurred by new ownership--in the past three years some dozen western resorts were purchased by developers, and their aggressive resort village construction programs are well under way. It should come as no surprise that Salt Lake City and its nearby ski resorts have been in round-the-clock construction mode in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Roughly 1,500 hotel rooms and more than 120,000 square feet of conference space will become available in the Salt Lake area this year, with an additional 1,000-plus rooms due to open in 2001. There's also more meeting space coming on line elsewhere in western ski country. In Colorado, a 15,000-square-foot facility in Telluride opened in 1999, the first all-new conference center in the Rockies in a decade, and Keystone is doubling its capacity to 100,000 square feet of meeting space.
CALIFORNIA/NEVADA Lake Tahoe hotel news * The Hyatt Regency Resort Lake Tahoe is undergoing a $47 million renovation and adding a 12,000-square-foot spa, to be completed by the end of 2000.
* A huge lakeside complex, due to begin construction this spring, will include a 540-room hotel and a conference center in Heavenly Valley, which straddles the border of the two states.
* In December 2000, Heavenly Valley is opening the 194-unit Grand Summit Resort Hotel at the base area on the Nevada side. The hotel will include several thousand square feet of meeting space.
important info No. Lake Tahoe Resort Association * (530) 583-3494; Fax: (530) 581-8774
Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority * (530) 544-5050; Fax: (530) 544-2386
Total Hotel Tax: 10% on the Nevada side, 12% in Washoe County, Calif.
COLORADO Aspen/Snowmass hotel news * Wildwood Lodge, in Snowmass Village, has just completed renovating its 150 rooms and suites and public areas. It provides free shuttles from the Aspen airport and to the ski area. Together with the Silvertree Hotel and Snowmass Village Conference Center, more than 35,000 square feet of meeting space is available. The Silvertree Hotel has 410 rooms and suites and 200 condominiums.
important info Colorado Ski Country * (303) 837-0793; Fax: (303) 837-1627
Aspen Chamber Resort Assn. * (800) 262-7736; Fax: (970) 925-9008
Snowmass Resort Association * (970) 923-2000; Fax: (970) 923-0896
Total Hotel Tax: 8.2%
Copper Mountain hotel news * Copper Mountain's new owner, Canadian real-estate developer Intrawest, is investing $500 million in a new base village area for this resort in the Front Range, less than one hour from Denver. Copper Springs Lodge opened last summer with 108 units. The adjacent Copper Station day lodge offers 10,265 square feet of meeting space. Four additional lodging units are scheduled to open this year with 220 guest rooms and suites.
Steamboat hotel news * The Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel and Conference Center will open in summer 2000, with 412 hotel rooms, a 6,374-square-foot grand ballroom, and additional rooms for small meetings.
Telluride hotel news * The Lodge at Mountain Village, which opened in 1999 as a Wyndham Resort, includes 128 one- to three-bedroom units, 10 cottages, a health club and spa, an outdoor pool, and two 600-square-foot meeting rooms. Guests have access to The Peaks Resort & Golden Door Spa.
important info Telluride Conference Center The 23,000-square-foot, $9.5 million Telluride Conference Center opened last summer with a performing arts theater, a grand ballroom, six breakout rooms, and 2,000 square feet of mezzanine and lobby space for exhibits. Meeting rooms have multiple data-port configurations and high-speed access.
Total Hotel Tax: 10.5% in town of Telluride; 12% in resort village
Vail/Beaver Creek/Keystone hotel news * Ritz-Carlton is building a 240-room, five-star resort hotel just steps from the main chairlift of the Bachelor Gulch section of Beaver Creek. Plans feature five meeting rooms totaling 4,500 square feet and a 7,800-square-foot ballroom. Construction is due to be completed by December 2001.
* A 49,000-square-foot, $11.25 million expansion at Keystone Resort includes a 20,000-square-foot ballroom. When the project is finished in June 2000, Keystone will have more than 100,000 square feet of meeting and function space.
important info Vail Valley Visitors Bureau * (970) 476-1000
Fax: (970) 476-6008
Vail Valley Tourism and Convention Bureau * (800) 775-8245
Fax: (970) 476-6008
Total Hotel Tax: 9.9% in Vail; 9.73% in Beaver Creek
MONTANA Big Sky Resort hotel news * The $45 million luxury Summit Lodge at Big Sky Resort opens in March with 213 hotel rooms and suites just 300 feet from the base area lifts, including the gondola. It adds 3,000 square feet of meeting space to the 43,000 square feet of space in the adjoining Yellowstone Conference Center.
important info Big Sky Chamber of Commerce * (406) 995-3000; Fax: (406) 995-3054
Travel Montana * (800) 548-3390, (406) 444-2654
Fax: (406) 444-1800
Total Hotel Tax: 7%
UTAH Salt Lake City hotel news * The classically styled Grand America opens in November 2000 with 777 deluxe rooms, 420 luxury suites, and 80,000 square feet of meeting space.
* Also opening next November is the $35 million, 350-room Marriott City Center, the chain's second hotel downtown.
* A 1923 bank building on Main Street has been turned into the 225-room upscale Hotel Monaco, opened last July.
important info Salt Lake City CVB * (800) 825-2822; Fax: (801) 355-9323
South Towne Exposition Center December 2000 is the anticipated opening date of this new conference facility with more than 250,000 square feet of meeting space.
Total Hotel Tax: 8%
Park City/Deer Valley hotel news * The Canyons Grand Summit Resort Hotel and Conference Center, opening this month in the base village, is the largest in the Park City area, with 358 rooms and suites and 13,500 square feet of meeting space. There's an additional 150 luxury units at the adjacent Sundial Lodge, also opening in January.
* The new, rustic-styled Lodges at Deer Valley has 44 rooms, 51 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, and 7,000 square feet of meeting space.
* The Park City Marriott has completed a $10 million renovation to its 199 guest rooms, public areas, and 10,000 square feet of conference space. The downtown property was formerly the Olympic Park Hotel, a Park City landmark.
* New to Park City is Island Outpost, with 70 guest rooms, 52 cottages and 4,200 square feet of meeting space.
important info Park City CVB * (800) 453-1360; Fax: (435) 649-4132
Total Room Tax: 10.25%
Insurance Meeting Planners Say Sentry Insurance in Stevens Point, Wis., recently took an incentive group to The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs for an early spring meeting. Skiers day-tripped to Breckenridge, less than one hour away, and others played golf or tennis or took advantage of the resort's spa, says Lil Hanson, the company's corporate conference manager. "Western ski country is a great place for meetings," she comments. "The scenery is gorgeous, the service and accommodations are wonderful, and it satisfies the non-beach people."