There has been plenty of growth in western ski country during the past year, and more projects are on the drawing board. Salt Lake City and nearby mountain resorts are in the midst of a massive construction boom to prepare for the 2002 Winter Olympics. About 1,500 hotel rooms, a 121,000-square-foot addition to the convention center, a $312 million light-rail system, and a new base-area village and conference center at The Canyons (formerly Wolf Mountain) are all coming in 2000.
Throughout the west, ski areas have been improved and more are opening: Blacktail, the first new ski area to open on national forest land in Montana in more than 20 years, is up and running less than one hour south of the town of Kalispell and Big Mountain ski area.
COLORADO Breckenridge Hotel News * The Hilton has been renamed the Great Divide Lodge, spending $4 million to redo the 208 guest rooms, public areas, and 12,000 square feet of meeting space.
* The campus of the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center is a 40-acre site that offers conference space forprograms. A mountain lodge has rustic accommodations for 25 people.
Crested Butte Hotel News * Sheraton Crested Butte Resort, steps from the main ski lift, is fresh from a $10 million expansion that added 109 suites and 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
Keystone Hotel News * The River Run village by the Gondola is nearing completion, with 620 lodging units and 180,000 square feet of retail space. The village is connected to the conference center and other lodging properties by free shuttle buses.
* A $5 million renovation of Keystone Lodge included adding data ports in each of the 152 rooms, a new fitness center, and a heated swimming pool.
Vail Hotel News * The Vail Marriott Mountain Resort has completed a $14 million renovation of guest rooms, ballrooms, meeting space, lobby, and restaurants, and added a spa.
* The Vail Cascade just completed a $3 million renovation of its 149 rooms and will begin an $11 million upgrade of meeting and public spaces this year.
* The Sonnenalp Resort in Vail Village has completed a $15 million renovation of Austria Haus, one of the property's three "hauses," into 25 oversize guest rooms and 18 luxury suites.
Resources Aspen Chamber Resort Association
* (800) 262-7736 Fax: (970) 925-9008; www.aspen.com
Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce * (970) 349-6438, (800)545-4505 Fax: (970) 349-1023 www.crestedbuttechamber.com
Vail Valley Tourism & Convention Bureau * (303) 534-3487 Fax: (303) 892-5628
Telluride Conference Services * (970) 728-6900 Fax: (970) 728-6364; www.telski.com
IDAHO Sun Valley Hotel News * The venerable Elkhorn Resort, Sun Valley's largest hotel, spent $5 million to upgrade its 132 rooms and its 7,500 square feet of conference space, and will open a new golf clubhouse this spring.
Resources Sun Valley Ketcham Chamber *(208) 726-3423, (800) 634-3347 Fax: (208) 726-4533 www.visitsunvalley.com
MONTANA Kalispell Hotel News * Cavanaughs Hospitality of Spokane purchased the Best Western Outlaw Inn last year and is renovating the property's 220 guest rooms. The hotel has 12,000 square feet of meeting space.
Resources Travel Montana * (406) 444-2654, (800) VISIT-MT Fax: (406) 444-1800; www.travel.mt.gov
Flathead Valley CVB (Kalispell) * (800) 543-3105 Fax: (406) 257-2500; www.fcvb.org
RENO/LAKE TAHOE South Shore (Nevada) Hotel News * Harrah's Lake Tahoe Casino Hotel has completely redone its 455 rooms. The property has 18,000 square feet of meeting space accommodating groups of up to 900 people.
* Heavenly is due to break ground this summer for a gondola that links up the casinos and hotels downtown to the mountain. It's one phase of a $200 million redevelopment program for the South Shore that will also include a convention center, hotels, and retail space.
North Shore (California) Hotel News * Granlibakken Resort and Conference Center, a 160-room condo conference center nestled in the pine trees, has added a spa.
* The Resort at Squaw Creek has added a new, faster chairlift from the property to the main mountain at Squaw Valley.
Resources Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority * (800) AT-TAHOE, (530) 544-4040 Fax: (530) 544-2386
North Lake Tahoe Resort Association * (916) 583-3494, (800) 462-5196 Fax: (800) 815-8185; www.tahoefun.org
UTAH Park City Hotel News * The Wolf Mountain ski resort was bought last year by Maine-based American Ski Company and renamed Canyons. Already up and running are new ski lifts and the mid-mountain Sun Lodge, available for meetings and dinners after the lifts close. Also, a whole new base area is under construction, including the slope-side Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center, due to open in December with 360 rooms and 10,000 feet of meeting space.
* The 200-room Olympia Park hotel, the largest in the Park City area, is undergoing a $10 million reconstruction to be completed in June. The hotel has 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
Salt Lake City Hotel News * The Kimpton Group has purchased the 12-story Continental Bank building downtown and is renovating the Art Deco structure into an upscale boutique hotel, for completion in late 1999.
* La Quinta Inns & Suites broke ground in December for a 212-room hotel across the street from the convention center, to open in December 1999.
* Little America Grand is a 777-room, deluxe property opening in 2000 adjacent to the 850-room Little America, four blocks from the convention center. The Grand will have eight executive suites on each of its 23 floors and 80,000 square feet of meeting space.
Resources Park City CVB * (435) 649-6100, (800) 453-1360 Fax: (435) 649-4132; www.parkcityinfo.com