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Beaver Creek on Thursday broke ground on a 250-acre expansion of beginner and intermediate ski terrain high atop the mountain with expansive views of the Sawatch and Gore Mountain ranges.
Its new McCoy Park terrain will include two new quad lifts, 17 new alpine skiing trails and a smaller network of Nordic trails. In all, the expansion, which will be open for the 2021-22 ski season, takes Beaver Creek up to 2,082 skiable alpine acres, 25 lifts and 167 trails.
Part of Beaver Creek’s “Signature Parks Collection,” McCoy Park will offer learning terrain, with a dedicated family-friendly zone, along with intermediate, gladed and groomed runs – all with mountain-top views on the western edge of the resort.
“Combined with our world-class ski and ride school instructors, our commitment to this type of terrain sets Beaver Creek apart as the destination for families seeking mountain adventures,” Beaver Creek Chief Operating Officer Nadia Guerriero said in a press release.
Guerriero and other ski company and United States Forest Service (USFS) officials planted shovels on the site of what will become a new ski patrol facility, warming hut and bathrooms for the public.
“A project like this takes so much planning and coordination. We’re lucky to have great partners at the USFS and so many experienced members of the team, from planning to mountain operations to lift installation,” said Gary Shimanowitz, vice president of mountain operations for Beaver Creek.
“Adding these two lifts will change the flow on the mountain, as we saw when we introduced Red Buffalo Park,” Shimanowitz added. “We’ll provide a better experience for our guests, spreading skiers and riders out into varied terrain across the mountain.”
Carl Eaton, the son of Vail founder Earl Eaton, was 15 when Beaver Creek opened on Dec. 15, 1980. As a sophomore in high school, Eaton skied with a VIP opening day paper ticket and went on to work at Vail and Beaver Creek for the next 38 years. Eaton, also on hand for Thursday’s groundbreaking, is now director of lift maintenance at Beaver Creek.
“The Signature Parks Collection is what sets Beaver Creek apart from other resorts,” Eaton said. “On opening day in 1980 I skied what is now known as Red Buffalo Park, so to be a part of adding this McCoy Park installment is a great honor.
“Beaver Creek has expanded and evolved through the years, but has always stayed true to the family experience,” Eaton added. “It’s what keeps me and my family here year after year. It has been great to watch my son, now 10, grow up learning to ski here.”
The McCoy Park expansion is part of big capital spending spree by Vail Resorts around the country, including a new high-speed lift at Peak 7 in Breckenridge, a new high-speed lift at Keystone and major upgrades at Okemo.