Stratton announces $6.5 million in capital projects for 2019-2020
By Myra Foster
As winter gives way to summer at Stratton, work begins on the next round of capital projects with a $6.5 million investment in the entire experience from mountain biking and ski/snowboard beginner programs to significant guest arrival enhancements and lift operations.
Stratton’s new lift servicing mountain biking is slated to open this August, pending final permit approvals, with trails designed by Sinuosity, the Vermont based company respected for sustainability and unique layouts that weave together interesting features and fun lines. Serviced by the American Express six-passenger lift, the terrain will be family friendly, offering 4.6 miles of beginner, intermediate and progression trails. Phase one of the project will have eight open trails fanning from mid-mountain. Throughout the summer, First Run in the Village offers mountain bike rentals and tours for all abilities plus new e-bikes.
Beginning this summer, Stratton will take the first steps in revamping the learning area, adding terrain and replacing the snowmaking pipe. “Stratton is proud to be a place where those looking to learn how to ski and snowboard can be comfortable and confident in their experience,” said Stratton Mountain President Bill Nupp.
“When you visit the Green Mountains, we want you to embrace the region’s culture of exploration and the outdoors to the fullest. With this investment in mountain biking and learning programs, we’re able to expand our offerings to all those looking to be a part of the outdoor community.”
The multi-year emphasis on revitalization of the Geoffrey Cornish-designed golf course continues with the first phase of our two-year plan to replace the fleet of golf carts. The scenic and challenging 27-hole course played host to six LPGA tournaments, and was one of the first mountain courses created, which made Stratton a year-round destination back in 1964.
For the 50 anniversary of the Stratton Golf Course, fairways and greens were returned to the original Cornish blueprint. When asked to choose his Dream 18, the notable New England course designer listed Mountain 5, which plays at 621 yards from the blue tees, making it one of the longest in the state of Vermont.
The latest round of capital investment for Stratton also includes upgrades to the Training & Fitness Center with new digital lockers designed to optimize space. New Peloton bikes will be added along with new weight benches, a squat rack and dumbbells.
Another new Prinoth snow cat will join the grooming fleet, and in our continued commitment to safety new protective pads will cover lift towers and snow guns. The Snow Bowl Express lift project also enters its second phase of conservation with hydroseeding and native flora planted on part of Upper Wanderer and Lower Snow Bowl to help promote a lasting boreal environment.
In Stratton’s first year as part of the Alterra Mountain Company’s family of destinations, the old Snow Bowl lift was replaced with a new high-speed Dopplemayer. The Snow Bowl Express was designed and positioned to minimize wind impact with lower towers hugging the tree line, and built with a parking rail for all 98 chairs to combat overnight icing. With a 1,000-feet-per-minute speed, ride time was reduced from 14 to 5 minutes.
Long time skiers and snowboarders described the new lift as “a game changer,” by opening access to favorite trails like Drifter, Spruce, Slalom Glade and the Meadows. Plus, Dino’s Drop became an official trail on the map, following the old Poma line, a not-so-secret powder stash long favored by locals. It’s a narrow line for those looking for a challenge on an old-school, tree lined run.
Last year also saw the addition of BaseCamp for food and drink on the run in the winter and a gathering spot with roof deck for summer fun. Plus, Stratton welcomed WinterWonderGrass, the country’s premier bluegrass festival to the East Coast. A favorite event at Squaw Valley in California and Steamboat in Colorado, Alterra Mountain Company destinations, WinterWonderGrass returns to Stratton on April 10-12, 2020; tickets will go on sale in the fall at stratton.com.
This year’s capital spending reinforces Alterra Mountain Company’s commitment to investment in its family of destinations, including Stratton. Plans for each destination are based on current needs and input from guests that will enhance the experiences, while retaining each mountain’s authentic character.
“Alterra Mountain Company’s unique year-round mountain destinations offer skiers, riders and summer visitors of all ages from all over the world special, memorable experiences, and each aspect of our business plays a part in bringing the guest back year after year and inspiring a lifelong love of the mountains,” said Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “We are committed to investing in everything from lifts to snowmaking to creative dining experiences, and technology that weaves it all together for a seamless visit.”