The countdown to ski season has officially begun, but it’s no time to relax for Kirkwood.
The resort’s employees worked all summer to prepare for the 2013-14 season, and more projects are planned through its Nov. 22 opening,
“At the end of the season, the checkered flag goes up,” said Dave Myers, director of mountain operations. “But then the green flag goes up again to prepare for the next season.”
Kirkwood has taken on several projects since its doors closed last season, including a new bar, food choices and mountaintop facility. Some were completed before the season begins, but others will continue over the next few weeks.
At the top of Chair 10, a new two-story building was constructed this summer to store a vehicle used for clearing snow. The previous facility — built around the time of the chairlift in 1984 — didn’t offer a place for storage, and the machine was left outside during storms.
Without having to conduct frequent vehicle repairs, crews can now clear snow at a faster pace, spokesman Kevin Cooper said. They can also use the facility as a place of refuge, protecting them in the events of large storms.
“By having this facility up there,” Cooper said, “it’s really going to add to our ski patrol and mountain operations efficiency.”
Overall, its allows guests of the resort to start skiing and snowboarding as soon as possible, he said.
Additionally, the resort will set up a facility at the base of Chairs 5 and 6. That building will house K-Bar, a full bar and gathering center with indoor and outdoor seating for guests, Cooper said.
The facility is currently being built in Switzerland, but it should be shipped to Kirkwood in the next 20 days.
“It’s going to be a great, new, center hub,” he said.
Kirkwood is also remodeling Cornice Grill, a sports bar previously known as Bub’s across from Chair 6. Aside from aesthetic changes, the resort is adding large screen TVs and more food choices.
“It’s going to be a great, fun place to go,” Cooper said.
Myers said the resort plans on holding a grand opening ceremony for its many projects later this year.
With opening day less than two weeks away, Kirkwood was busy making snow this week. The process started Sunday, but stopped later in the week after temperatures warmed.
Cooper said the resort is currently on track to reach the amount of snow needed for a Nov. 22 opening. But, if enough natural snow arrives before then, officials could open Kirkwood earlier than that.
“We just want to make sure we’re providing a quality surface to slide on,” he said.