Ski Resorts Summer Trips: 7 Places for Year-round Fun
After the snow melts, hiking, biking, horseback riding, zip lining, concertsand outdoor summer fun awaitat ski resorts in the summer season. Many U.S. ski resorts are investing in warm-weather programs and activities to make them year-round destinations."Although summer recreation at ski resortsisn't necessarily a new trend, all ski resorts are seeing a boom in summer visitation and are focused on creating new activities in the summertime," says Dan Sherman, Chief Marketing Officer of ski.com."Most ski resorts have recognized the trendand are aiming to attract even more travelers in a variety of ways, including festivals;mountain biking;and on-mountain activities likeropes courses, zip lines, outdoor climbing walls and alpine coasters." Developments like Snowmass, Colorado'snew on-mountain activity center; new electricbike tours at Idaho's Schweitzer Mountain; and Jackson Hole'sVia Ferrata-an alpine climbing adventure through suspended bridges and along granite wallsunveiled two years ago - are just a few of the initiatives that have enhanced summer recreation at resorts that are primarily thought of as winter destinations.Here are seven ski destinations to consider visiting this season:Snowmass Ski AreaLocation: Snowmass Village, ColoradoMountain bikers will find summer adventurein the addition of 4.8 miles of new trails unveiled last year. Comprising 3,128 acres, Snowmass is the largest of the four Aspen Snowmass mountains, which include Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilkand Highlands. In 2018, Snowmass Village- the destination's main lodging area- has nearly doubled in capacity overthe past six years.Snowmass Mountain boasts 80 miles of dirt and paved trails;The Lost Forest, a new on-mountain activity center that comprisesan alpine coaster,canopy zip line,a climbing wall; and the Treeline Trial Challenge Course, an obstacle course consisting of rappelling, zip lines, bridges and laddersup to 40 feet in the air.Big SkyLocation: Big Sky, MontanaBig Sky Resort is home to summer recreation like hiking, mountain biking,horseback riding trails and fly-fishingon the Gallatin River. Big Skyis located between Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park.Local resort taxes have increased218% fromJuly 2009 to July 2018 due to increased summer tourism, according to the Big Sky Resort Area District Tax Board.With summer becoming more popular at the ski destination, two large music festivals havestarted in the past year: theMoonlight Music FestandthePeak to Skyfestival.Schweitzer Mountain ResortLocation:Sandpoint, IdahoBoasting 2,900 acres of terrain,Schweitzer Mountain Resort is only 85miles from Spokane, Washington. "We've seen an increase in summer visitation over the last several years - for example, last summer, 2018, saw a 40%growth from five years ago," Dig Chrismer,Marketing Manager for Schweitzer Mountain Resort, tells USA TODAY.The destination offersover 40 miles of bike trails for people to explore. "We also addede-bike tourslast summer and saw a steady increase in business over the summer," says Chrismer. "E-bikes make it possible for even more people to get out on the trails without being nervous about the physical demands that can come with traditional mountain biking."Schweitzer also offers18holes of disc golf; huckleberry picking in July through August; horseback riding; and trail running in the summer.Park CityLocation: Park City, UtahPark City Mountain Resort is made up of two ski resorts in Utah, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain. Last year, the destination had its highest-performing summer in the town's tourism history, according to the Park City Chamber/Convention and Visitor Bureau,likely due to its increased summer offerings in the last few years. There are mountain biking and flow trails;an adventure zone-aplaygroundmade up of a spider slide, climbing web, boulders and climbing wall;summer alpine slides and coasters; and the Comet Bobsled, where a professional pilottakes up tothree passengers on a ride down the a bobsled trackat the resort's Utah Olympic Park, built for the 2002 Olympics. Yoga enthusiasts will enjoy being able to practice stand-up paddle board yogain an underground hot springs crater.The destinationalso hosts a numberof summer festivals and events in Park City, including a music festival, arts fest and bicycle race. Fishing enthusiasts take advantage of Park City'sthree neighboring rivers (the Green, the Provo and the Weber) that offer year-round blue-ribbon fly fishing, with the activity is at its peak during the summer months.BreckenridgeLocation: Breckenridge, ColoradoLocated in the heart of the Rockies, Breckenridge was flooded with prospectorssuccessfully searching for and findinggold in the 1800s. From 2008 to 2018, Breckenridge has seen 40% growth in occupancy during the destination's summer season, May through October, according to the Breckenridge Tourism Office. Historic records of snowfall were experienced this past ski season, which means optimal whitewater rafting and stand up-paddle boarding this summer.Over the pastdecade, the resort has expanded its summer offerings with on-mountain adventures. Open from June through September, Breckenridge's Epic Discovery is a combination of adventure pursuits on the mountain, including zip line tours,four-wheelerrides,scenic chairlifts,alpine slidesand mountain biking.GreekPeak Mountain ResortLocation:Cortland, New YorkLocated in the Finger Lakes region of central New York, GreekPeak Mountain Resort is a popular wintertime ski destination. The resort has transformed over the years to become a year-round hot spot for families and adventurers. "The resort reported a 29% increase in tourism from 2017 to 2018, an uphill climb that is expected to continue into this year's season," according to Kaitlyn Marie Head, Director of Sales and Marketing forGreekPeakMountain ResortGreekPeak Mountain Resort has an onsite Outdoor Adventure Center featuring a mountain coaster, a hybrid bungee trampoline;zip lining;a ropes course;as well as the Cascades Indoor Waterpark with a wave pool, four water slides, a cove and hot tubs.The resort added lift access to downhill mountain biking in 2016.Jackson Hole Mountain ResortLocation: Teton Village, WyomingOutdoor enthusiasts will appreciate Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's over 30miles of hiking and biking trails addedin the last few years. In addition, theVia Ferrata, an alpine climbing adventure through suspended bridges and along granite walls, made its debut in summer 2017.For the families, there are also a ropes course, bike park, climbing wall and Frisbee golf course for summer pursuits in the ski destination town. To see the destination from an elevation of10,450feet, the Jackson HoleAerial Tram holds 100 people and takes9 minutes to reach the summit."Jackson Hole Mountain Resorthas grown its summer business over the last decade - 10 years ago the summer business was approximately 12% of our total business,and now it is above 18%," says Anna Cole, Communications Director, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. "Our Aerial Tram is the most popular attraction,and visitation has grown year over year to over 150,000 riders each summer."