Nonprofit Mountain Announces Enhancement Plans Including New Chairlift
Commencing its 60th-anniversary celebration, the Mt. Ashland Ski Area is unveiling a fresh logo and theme for the upcoming season, accompanied by ambitious plans. The chosen theme, “Elevate Mt. Ashland,” underscores the ski area’s dedication to improving the visitor experience, particularly for those new to mountain sports. Since its initial opening in 1964, Mt. Ashland has retained a significant portion of its original infrastructure and is now poised to breathe new life into the facility as visitor numbers continue to climb. The focus is on revitalizing the facility to meet the growing demands of increased visitation.
“We just came off our biggest winter ever, and opening in summer for the first time,” said Andrew Gast, Mt. Ashland’s General Manager. “Our 60th anniversary is a time for us to celebrate the rich history of our mountain, and to look forward to ensure that the next generation of mountain enthusiasts can have the same experiences as those who have been visiting Mt. Ashland for many, many years.”
Mt. Ashland is set to embark on a significant project involving the installation of a new chairlift, serving as a replacement for the former Poma surface lift. The upcoming Lithia Chair, funded by the largest donation in the history of Mt. Ashland, a generous $2 million contribution from the Sid and Karen Deboer Foundation, and an additional $500,000 from Sid and Karen Deboer, is anticipated to reintroduce access to beginner and intermediate terrain that has remained inaccessible since the removal of the original lift in the 1980s. Construction of the Lithia Chair is set to commence in the upcoming summer, marking a pivotal step towards enhancing the skiing experience at Mt. Ashland.
As part of the comprehensive revitalization efforts for the 60th anniversary, ski area management has unveiled a series of projects, with an initial investment of $1 million in ongoing upgrades. A notable initiative involves the acquisition of two demo-used snowcats by Mt. Ashland, aimed at enhancing slope grooming operations while prioritizing fuel efficiency and minimizing the carbon footprint. The broader “Elevate Mt. Ashland” initiative encompasses planned improvements addressing various facets, including night skiing experiences, enhancements to lodge and arrival services, and upgrades to the aging infrastructure surrounding the ski area. These strategic enhancements aim to elevate the overall visitor experience at Mt. Ashland
“This is a historic time for us, as we truly look to ‘Elevate Mt. Ashland’ in everything we do,” said Gast. “We will continue to make it easier and more accessible for everyone to learn mountain sports, while also making some improvements for our experienced visitors who come up to play year-round.”
For the 60th anniversary season, Mt. Ashland is expanding its schedule to include Saturday night skiing. Traditionally, twilight skiing has been available until 9 pm on Thursdays and Fridays from New Year until early March. This year, the mountain introduces Saturday nights in January and February, offering an extended and diverse skiing experience. The celebration continues with a vibrant event schedule, featuring the 60th Anniversary Party, Slopestyle and Rail Jam series, the culminating Big Mountain Bash at the end of the season, and more.
Weather permitting, Mt. Ashland is scheduled to open for the winter season in mid-December and will remain open every day during the December holidays.