Five Mountains Readying Terrain Expansions for 2021-22

Despite an 18 month pandemic, supply chain challenges and continued uncertainty, a handful of US and Canadian ski resorts are putting finishing touches on expansion projects set to debut this winter. Two of these were delayed in 2020 and resumed construction this year while others were actually accelerated during Covid. Many of this year’s projects focus on learning terrain enhancements following the pandemic winter when new and lapsed skiers gravitated toward the mountains.

McCoy Park – Beaver Creek Mountain, Colorado

The lone expansion this year featuring two new chairlifts is Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park, encompassing 250 acres of new high alpine terrain. This beginner zone follows in the footsteps of Haymeadow Park and Red Buffalo Park, which both offer dedicated terrain for new skiers and snowboarders with detachable lifts. The new McCoy Park Express will service 17 trails and the Reunion Quad will provide easy exit from McCoy Park to the Upper Beaver Creek Mountain and Strawberry Park Express lifts.

Lower Juniper – Lake Louise, Alberta

Another beginner-focused expansion featuring a detachable quad is underway at Lake Louise. The new Lower Juniper Express is the second new chairlift here in two years. It will access four new low intermediate trails and provide an alternate out-of-base option to access the upper mountain.

Sunny Side – Snow King Mountain, Wyoming

Shadowed somewhat by construction of a new 8 passenger gondola on the front side of the mountain, Sunny Side at Snow King Mountain will also open this winter. This new backside bowl features extensive snowmaking and a Skytrac fixed grip quad.

Buzzsaw – Searchmont, Ontario

Searchmont hasn’t hosted a single day of skiing since March 2020, which makes its terrain expansion even more remarkable. New owner Wisconsin Resorts took delivery of two Skytrac triples last year, one of which replaced an existing Borvig double. The second lift sat in storage last winter and is now being installed to service two brand new beginner trails.

Merrill Hill – Sunday River, Maine

2021’s only New England expansion is a ninth peak at Sunday River. Merrill Hill features four ski trails and 23 new home sites near the South Ridge base area. This low angle zone will be serviced by a new Doppelmayr fixed grip triple, the mountain’s 15th chairlift.

8 thoughts on “Five Mountains Readying Terrain Expansions for 2021-22

  1. Mike B September 22, 2021 / 12:21 pm

    Are we certain that Sunday River is the only New England expansion? IIRC, Catamount is installing not just 2 new lifts but is also adding/expanding a trail or two?

    They’ve been a little bit cagey on their plans, so perhaps I’m thinking of an older iteration.

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    • Peter Landsman September 22, 2021 / 5:34 pm

      A Poma quad is replacing Glade and a Garaventa CTEC quad is replacing the Catamount chair. So no new lifts servicing new terrain this year is my understanding.

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  2. skier72 September 22, 2021 / 1:54 pm

    What kind of terrain will the new Snow King expansion serve? Looks very interesting

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  3. Thomas Jett September 22, 2021 / 7:12 pm

    Do we know what the timeline will be for Upper Juniper? Could we see Lake Louise installing it next year?

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  4. Calvin September 22, 2021 / 7:58 pm

    Is the Berkshire East expansion off? That was supposed to be cut and the lift installed this year.

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    • Peter Landsman September 22, 2021 / 8:15 pm

      Recent satellite images show no cutting took place this summer and that is consistent with reports the expansion was postponed.

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  5. skitheeast September 23, 2021 / 11:19 am

    I will never complain about a ski mountain expanding, but I wonder how necessary McCoy Park will be with Red Buffalo and Haymeadow already in existence. My only thought is that it will be much more convenient for those coming from Avon or Arrowhead.

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