Ski areas across the country are amping up their summer operations with new aerial adventure parks, zip lines, canopy tours, water parks, mountain bike parks and more. With the slew of new year-round activities being offered (too many to report on here) its clear that ski areas have a bullish outlook on summer’s potential to significantly add to their overall revenue.
In Wisconsin, summer visitors to Trollhaugen can now test their skills in the area’s new adventure park and zip line tour. The newly added challenge course leads guests through the woods at heights of up to 50 feet where they navigate their way through 40 towers, more than 100 platforms, and 112 elements including hanging tires, spinning blocks, and tight ropes.
In addition, a dual side-by-side 1,000 foot zip line lets riders race each other reaching speeds of 35 mph. As the only such attraction in Northwest Wisconsin and the Twin Cities area, James Rochford, president, said that over time he anticipates summer visitation could grow to be 40 to 50 percent of the area’s overall business.
In Pennsylvania, Camelback opened its new $163 million, eight-story lodge and 125,000 square-feet indoor waterpark that features a Flowrider for surfers, and seven pools, 13 waterslides, and other unique attractions including the longest uphill water coaster in the U.S.
In New York, Bristol Mountain added a zip line canopy tour to its aerial adventure park that opened last summer, and for wakeboarders, the resort also added the first and only cable wake park in the Northeast. The Roseland Wake Park includes a five-tower main cable system and a two-tower cable system for practice and training featuring ramps, rails, and kickers of different difficulty levels.
In Vermont, Killington Resort is investing $3.5 million in expanded summer activities including eight new attractions that include a 4,800 foot alpine mountain coaster, a four-story ropes course with 42 obstacles set above a 5,000 square foot maze, and a 1,200 foot long, two-passenger Sky Ride that transports riders more than 200 feet in the air.
Also in the Green State, Stowe has added zip lines down Mount Mansfield and a tree top Adventure Course at the base of the mountain that includes a series of aerial tree-to-tree connections with various challenge elements intertwined in the design.
Photos haven’t yet surfaced on the internet, but it’s rumored that Robert Redford has been trying out new zip line tour added to Sundance Resort, Utah. Billed as the third-longest zip tour in the U.S., the park opened in May. The two-mile long zip tour employs a patented trolley mechanism that lets riders to control the speed of their descent, allowing for a 2,100-foot vertical drop – reportedly the most of any zip line in the U.S.
In all, Sundance’s zip line tour includes four spans ranging from 936 feet to 3,871, with its longest – the Outlaw – listed as the sixth longest in the U.S. The resort anticipates the new attraction will draw 15,000 to 20,000 visitors, representing about 25 percent of the nearly 100,000 people who take Sundance’s scenic lift rides during the summer.
Other new summer activities at Sundance include a tree-top canopy tour, mountain biking, horseback riding, and hot air balloons.