What’s new: Sugar Bowl expands terrain park, upgrades lodge

Sugar Bowl will build a top-to-bottom terrain park, featuring beginner up to large features. The park will be located off the Judah lift, and will contain 21 new terrain park features, including a 13-foot butter box, 20-foot chubbie box, 10-foot quarterpipe box and a 10-foot wall ride.
Courtesy of Sugar Bowl Resort

A local favorite for skiing and riding, Sugar Bowl Resort, is gearing up for the upcoming winter season with expanded youth and terrain parks, a new beginner lift, remodeled rooms, new dining choices and more.

The mountain is targeting Nov. 29 for opening day, conditions permitting, and will come into the 2019-20 season with new features on the snow and an upgraded experience off it.

“Most importantly, we have a variety of new products to keep skiing and riding exciting, including the new 13-foot mini-pipe which will greatly enhance Sugar Bowl’s terrain parks,” said Greg Dallas, Sugar Bowl president and CEO. “Following on the heels of last season’s record winter, we’re excited to welcome skiers and riders back to Sugar Bowl this season with some new and more affordable options!”

Among the improvements made at the mountain heading into the upcoming winter season include a new covered surface lift for beginners, lift safety improvements, a remodel of rooms in the Sugar Bowl Hotel, a renovated Mid-Mountain Lodge with new food options, snowmaking improvements, a top-to-bottom terrain park with new features, and new shuttles to provide access to the village and Judah Lodge. Additionally, Sugar Bowl will introduce an e-commerce platform that will make it easier for guests to purchase lift tickets, rentals, lessons and more.

When completely open, Sugar Bowl will feature 12 lifts, 100 trails, four peaks and 1,650 skiable acres.

New beginner lift, improved safety

This season Sugar Bowl has replaced its Flume Surface Lift on the Judah side of the resort with a new, 240-foot covered surface lift.

The lift will protect beginners from the elements with the aim of helping create a positive experience for first-time skiers and riders. The new lift will also allow for more consistent operation during storm conditions by making it easier for operators to manage access.

The resort has also installed drop posts to the safety bars on the White Pine, Christmas Tree, and Nob Hill lifts as part of the nation-wide Kids on Lifts safety initiative. The National Ski Areas Association, along with others in the ski industry, developed the Kids on Lifts initiative and website in 2012 to help educate parents and children about loading, riding, and unloading from chair lifts. For more information, visit

Youth and terrain parks

Perhaps the highlight for up-and-coming skiers and riders will be Sugar Bowl’s addition of a new 13-foot mini-pipe. The resort purchased a Zaugg pipe cutter to construct the pipe.

Sugar Bowl will also build a top-to-bottom terrain park, featuring beginner up to large features. The park will be located off the Judah lift, and will contain 21 new terrain park features, including a 13-foot butter box, 20-foot chubbie box, 10-foot quarterpipe box and a 10-foot wall ride.

Renovations and remodels

Sugar Bowl has also remodeled its Mid-Mountain Lodge, which is located at the base of Christmas Tree Express and Mount Lincoln Express.

The new lodge, according to the resort, will feature a contemporary take on a traditional Austrian ski lodge. Guests can also expect new food choices.

The Sugar Bowl Hotel has also been renovated with 12 of the Mountain View rooms being upgraded with new furniture, painting, carpeting, lighting, and window and door treatments.

Snowmaking, power outages, season passes

Sugar Bowl will continue its planned multi-year investment of $8 million in snowmaking upgrades.

Last year, the resort spent $3 million to kick off a project that more than doubled Sugar Bowl’s water pumping capacity, and reduced both energy consumption and the time it takes to cover its snowmaking terrain by two-thirds.

The resort hasn’t been able to take advantage of the recent cold weather, due to Pacific Gas and Electric Company turning off power to protect against extreme weather conditions and high fire danger.

“This has been very unfortunate given the fantastic conditions we are seeing right now,” said Jon Slaughter, executive director of marketing and sales for Sugar Bowl Resort, in an email. “We don’t anticipate regaining power at the resort until late this week.”

Due to the power outages, the resort announced today it will extend season pass sales until Wednesday. The resort’s adult season passes range from $379 for midweek only, and up to $809 for unrestricted access. There’s also an option for those looking to cross-country ski at nearby Royal Gorge. The cross-country ski area doesn’t yet have a projected opening date, which, according to Slaughter, will depend on the amount of snowfall the area receives heading into winter.

Accessing the mountain

Sugar Bowl is making it easier for guests to get on the mountain this season with the launch of a new e-commerce platform.

The mobile-friendly site will allow guests to book trips, buy season passes and lift tickets, rent gear, book lessons and more.

Once on the mountain, the resort will have two new shuttle busses to assist with guest transportation. The 15- and 21-passenger shuttles will take guests from parking lots to the village or Judah Lodge.

For more information on Sugar Bowl or to purchase tickets, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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