Major green going into Blue
Blue Mountain Resort. Emily Innes/ Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin/FILE
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS - Blue Mountain Resort is about to get even bigger.
On Sunday morning, the resort announced a $10 million expansion plan that would include an additional 64 aces of terrain, a new high-speed chairlift, and six new trails. This latest announcement brings the total investment made by the resort over the last three years to more than $18 million.
“This is one of the most significant investments in the resort’s 73-year history and the largest expansion of a ski resort in Ontario in recent memory,” said Dan Skelton, President and Chief Operating Officer, Blue Mountain Resort., in a news release embargoed until Sunday morning. “Skiing and snowboarding is alive and well in Ontario, and our investment of more than $10 million demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our guests, employees and regional partners.
"We continue to build towards our goal of being among Canada’s premier resort destinations, offering a unique pedestrian village, luxurious accommodations, state-of-the-art conference facilities, year-round attractions and the best skiing and snowboarding in the province.”
Along with new ski and snowboard trails, additional snowmaking infrastructure and night lighting will be installed on three of the six new trails. The expansion is slated for the existing Orchard area on the south end of the Resort and increases Blue Mountain’s skiable terrain to 364 total acres across 42 trails – the most in Ontario.
The increased terrain provided by the Orchard expansion is equivalent to adding 21% of the Resort’s current terrain, and further establishes Blue Mountain as Ontario’s largest ski and snowboard destination, stated Skelton.
The Orchard has a diverse selection of trails and terrain for all skier and snowboarder levels. The expansion will introduce a new 1.6 km trail that will be the longest beginner trail in Ontario, and addresses volume and demand on existing runs. Blue Mountain will begin building and installing infrastructure this spring (2013), and expects to open the new terrain early in the 2013/14 winter season.
“More trails and improved skiing and snowboarding facilities enhance the visitor experience and give Ontario families more reasons to travel in our province,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I’d like to congratulate Blue Mountain on their expansion and their commitment to helping strengthen Ontario’s snow and tourism industries.”
This latest expansion follows on the heels of several other investments made by the resort in both infrastructure and activities. In the fall, the resort unveiled additional snowmaking equipment that allowed the resort to make more snow, at warmer temperatures.
Blue Mountain Inn has also undergone a full renovation.
Blue spokesperson Collin Matanowitsch said Gravity Logic, the developers of the Whistler Bike Park, will be brought in this summer to undertake an expansion and upgrade of Blue's mountain bike park.
In the summer, Skelton officially opened two rope challenges, a putting course, and a mountaintop Segway tour; that followed the opening the previous year of the Ridge Runner. Skelton said the visitor attendance in the Village at Blue Mountain — all of the attractions are based at the village — has set the demand to have more things to do.
"People are up here for two-and-a-half-day getaways, and they want lots of things to do," said Skelton at the time. "From what we've seen, the demand has meant we've ramped this up pretty quickly."