New and improved Afton Alps


Photo by Natalie Gjermo

Afton Alps preps for new season with Vail by putting in two new tow ropes, a brand new terrain park, and Epic Mix. Senior Lucas Ingalls said, “I hear my friends talking all the time about how excited they are for the terrain parks. It seems like that’s all they talk about.”

Charlie Haumersen

Last year, Vail bought Afton Alps, which meant lots of changes have been made to the ski resort. Work was done last summer, so the riders will see the difference this year. All employees, skiers, snowboards and tourists will be going to the new, Afton Alps.

Vail  is spending $10 million to improve the ski resort. Not only are they expanding the resort, they are greatly improving terrain parks, advancing the chalet’s dining and kitchens, improving snow guns, and more.

Senior Diana Gunderson said, “Afton’s new saying is that it will be epic, and I completely agree with that statement. I think that with Vail buying Afton it will create great advantages, not only on the hill, but in the chalet. I’m excited to see the changes.”

With Vail now owning Afton Alps it clearly sets a higher standard for Afton. This will improve Afton’s reputation in a good way. With lots of competition in Minnesota, people who know Afton is now owned by Vail will choose to ski there.

Junior Siri Brachman said, “I tend to head out to Trollhaugen a lot during the winter because of its longer seasons, but now that I heard Vail is buying it and making many improvements I think Afton might move to the top of my list.”

Not only are these changes great to the customers, but also to the employees. Every Afton Alps employee will become a Vail employee which means free lodging and free skiing in Vail. Also the customers of Afton who buy season passes will receive 25 percent off at any of the resorts Vail owns.

By Natalie Gjermo

Employee Ana Frascone said, “The new perk with Vail owning Afton I like most is the free skiing and lodging at Vail, I will definitely be making it out to Vail this winter.”

One of Vail’s main focuses in improving Afton is advancing the snowmaking operators. They will improve them and receive many more to expand the ski season. They are adding 72 new snowmaking guns of all different sizes. There will be a new pump house with wider pipes that can make snow twice as fast. Afton will open earlier and stay open later in the season. This will be a great advantage to the employees and riders.

Senior Lucas Ingalls said, “I hear my friends talking all the time about how excited they are for the terrain parks and the snow guns this year. It seems like that’s all they talk about.”

With the brand new changes being made, the changes will be interesting to see how it impact the customers and employees. Many people will want to check it out and see what the hype is about.