ENHANCING THE BELLEAYRE EXPERIENCE
The summer of 2018 is a busy one for us at Belleayre. The crews have been out on the mountain working double time on multiple projects here, to help further enhance the Belleayre experience.
NEW FOR THE SUMMER OPERATIONS
AQUA TRIKES AT THE BELLEAYRE BEACH - Fun at the Belleayre Beach has just gotten "funner" with the addition of two NEW Aqua Trikes! Anyone in the family, can just hop on a trike and pedal out into the water for a unique experience at the lake. The trikes are a great addition to the facility and a big hit with everyone, especially with the kiddos. The Beach is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
SCENIC GONDOLA RIDES - Take the Catskill Thunder Gondola to the summit of Belleayre Mountain for breathtaking views of the Catskill Forest Preserve. Once you’ve reached the top, you can walk along the summit, have a picnic, or just enjoy the peace and quiet. When you’re ready, you can either hike down or take the gondola back down. Either way, bring your camera as you are sure to get some beautiful shots of the mountains and local wildlife. Catskill Thunder Gondola will be spinning weekends and holidays through September 3.
MOUNTAIN BIKING & TOURS - If you are an experienced rider or if you're new to the sport, Belleayre is the perfect place to get your legs geared up for the biking season. The A & AA loops of our cross country trail system have plenty of mileage to offer riders of all abilities. Visitors may bring their own bikes or rent them here from us. You can also choose to book one of our introductory mountain bike tours. Our staff will show you everything from how to get the most out of your bike to how to conquer hills safely, building confidence, learning new skills, and you might just surprise yourself with what you're capable of doing on two wheels. The tour includes a gondola ride up to the summit, a scenic mountain bike tour across the ridge to the old fire tower and a ride back down the gondola.
NEW FOR THE WINTER
A BIGGER & BETTER TERRAIN PARKS - Area 51 and Area 15 will be getting some TLC this winter. Thats right, the terrain parks will be getting some new jumps, ramps, boxes, rails, pipes and other features to for you to explore. The new features will surley to keep you jibbing and jumping throughout the season.
SNOWMAKING - The snowmaking team are just as busy during the warmer months as they are when they are out making snow. They are hard at work adding to our existing snowmaking capabilities with the addition of 50 low engery tower snowguns to the fleet and 4 new 1500 cfm compressors. These new additions will help with snowmaking efficiency, which means we will be able to make more snow with less resources.
KIDSCAMP AREA - The trail maintenance crews are making the Kidscamp Learning Area bigger & better. Trees have been removed between Lifts #1 & 2 and the kidscamp park, the magic carpet will be replaced with a longer 220' magic carpet, and the entrance to the area will be regraded making it easier to access the available terrain. The newly expanded area will be more efficient for teaching and fun on the snow for all those who participate!
LEARNING AREA - Walking in ski boots and carrying your equipment up to the beginner slope is not an easy task. By adding a magic carpet leading up the beginner area, we have created a solution to help make it easier for our beginners to access the terrain. The former Kidscamp magic carpet will be relocated from Papoose Landing and will be placed in front of the Discovery Lodge. Beginner skiers and snowboards will be able to load the surface lift in front of the lodge and unload by the entrance to the Teaching Area, eliminating some of the uphill climb to Running Bear.
MEDICAL BUILDING - A new state of the art ski patrol building will be constructed in the lower area next to the Teepee Flats teaching area. The main floor will include a trauma room, waiting area with nurse’s station and additional bed space for patients. The building will also contain a locker room and storage for much needed supplies.
OVERLOOK LODGE DECK/LOCKER ROOM - Ongoing Overlook Lodge renovations are continuing. The deck will be replaced for our guests to enjoy during the winter and can be used for weddings & special events during the summer & fall months. The locker room will also be expanded allowing for extra storage and season long rentals.
DISCOVERY LODGE GRADING - Several tons of earth have been removed from in front of the Discovery Lodge and the area has been regraded. The graded area will change the flow of how skiers approach the newly expanded Catskill Thunder Gondola loading area and will also help with the traffic flow, eliminating any bottle necking. Additional drainage has also been added in front of the lodge which will quickly disperse any runoff from the slopes.
SKIER BRIDGE GRADING - The earth that was removed from the Discovery Lodge Grading project was partially relocated to the skier bridge on Lower Deer Run. The soil will be used to widen the trail and regrade it, reducing the pitch on the downhill side of the bridge. This change will help spread traffic out across the trail and make for an easier descent.
NYSEF EXTENDS PROGRAMMING TO BELLEAYRE - The New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) is excited to announce its growing partnership with the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) by offering competitive alpine and freeride programming at Belleayre. Read More »
Discovery Rental Center - The Discovery Rental Center will be expanding the rental fleet with new skis, boots, poles, helmets, and snowboards.
E-Commerce Store - The Belleayre Store will be getting an overhaul making booking simple and easy.
2017-2018 MOUNTAIN ENHANCEMENTS
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $8-million in the New York State Budget to enhance Belleayre Ski Resort’s current facilities with the installation of a new, high-speed gondola, multiple lodge expansions and the addition of modern amenities for both lodges at the resort.
Gondola“Catskill Thunder” will be comprised of 60 cabins that will transport up to 8 adult guests per cabin at a maximum speed of 1000 feet per minute. Patrons will be able to load the lift just above the Discovery Lodge and ride it to the peak of the mountain just towards the east side of the Tomahawk Lift. This project is slated to be completed by December of 2017. It will also allow for future cross-country skiing across the summit, year round scenic rides, lift serviced mountain biking and wedding and party rentals at the summit.
Renovations to the Discovery Lodge will increase current seating capacity, retail space, and food/beverage locations in the near future. While no actual construction will take place this summer, we will be working with engineers on the design and planning phases of the expansion. Electrical upgrades will be underway converting our system from a 4 megawatt service to a 7.5 megawatt service in preparation for the gondola, snowmaking and future lodge expansion.
A new trail will be added to the count this season. The Deer Run extension trail will start just the right of Tomahawk Lift parking lot, cross over the access road via a skier bridge, and wind down to the lower area popping out just above Running Bear into Iroquois.
In addition to a new trail being added, some changes to the existing Deer Run trail will be made in anticipation of increased skier traffic from the summit. The mid-section of the trail, just above the shale bank, will be widened to create a more natural fall line, while on the upper sections, the natural rollers will be filled in creating less of a pitch for easier intermediate skiing from the summit.
In addition to past enhancements of our snowmaking system, we will continue to replace existing lines to create more efficient snowmaking capabilities. We will also be purchasing additional low energy snow guns which will allow us to run more guns at once, pump more water onto the trails using less resources and thus ensuring that will continue to be environmentally & financially more friendly and sustainable.
Catskill Thunder FUN Facts
Number of man hours to install gondola: Over 5,500
Total number of cabins: 60
Spliced length of cabling: 13067.09 ft
Top speed: 1,000 ft per minute
Uphill capacity: 2,000 people per hour
Number of tons of concrete pour for both top & bottom terminals: 200 tons each/400 tons total
Number of towers installed: 16
Tallest tower: 58 ft
Date construction began: July 1, 2017.
Bull wheel size: Drive (bottom) 15.75 ft and the Return (top) 17.06 ft.
Motor size: 600hp electric primary, a 600hp diesel auxiliary & a 130hp tertiary diesel engine
Catskill Thunder Timeline
12/30 - Hear the Thunder Roar as the Catskill Thunder makes its first official turns of the 2017-2018 season at Belleayre. A big thank you shout out to Governor Cuomo and everyone else involved in making this project a reality. We are all super stoked for this big day!! Catskill Thunder officially started loading passengers at 9:37am today!!
12/28-29 Electrical & Load tests being performed!
12/20 - Doppelmayr started hanging the gondola cabins on the haul rope and the first bottom concrete pour started.
12/17 - Cabin #1 making its way to the top terminal. Doppelmayer uses it to make adjustments to the terminals.
12/16 - Started the first concrete pour for the top terminal.
12/11 - The Thunder was spinning with diesel to align the sheaves.
12/7 - The first of three pours for the top terminal deck was completed.
12/6 - Doppelmayr guys started to put the grips and hangers on for the cabins. Plus the first pour on the top deck is ready.
12/1 - The haul rope is on the line and the cable splice will take place next week.
11/28 - The final beam for the skier bridge was set.
11/29 The haul rope is starting its journey, frost walls are formed and ready to pour for the top terminal deck along with the bridge deck being set. We're also working on the snowmaking on Lower Deer Run.
11/16 Work is continuing on track with the Catskill Thunder Gondola and the Lift Team is working extra hard to keep things moving forward for a mid December opening. The skin is on the bottom terminal with the main electric drive and the back up engine installed. All the lift towers are in place. The top abutment on the skier bridge is all finished up with work starting on the downhill side of the bridge.
11/7 The bottom terminal has received roof beams, motors, elements, windows and some color. The majority of the lift towers are now in place and the uphill side of the skier bridge is completed. Lots of stuff is happening!
10/30 And just like that we have the first tower put into place! Work continues on the lower terminal with roof beams, engines, bull wheel and the drive carriage all in place. Precast blocks and deck have arrived and the skier bridge work is progressing with the abutment growing higher each day.
10/23 It has been a busy couple of weeks at the Belle with the ongoing Catskill Thunder Gondola install. The top terminal is coming along very nicely with the installation of the elements, bull wheel is in place and the roof panels, windows and skin are all completed. Work will begin on the bottom terminal any day now. Crews are also working on assembling the cross arms and sheaves for the towers. The skier bridge, located right before the Tomahawk parking lots, is underway and will consist of a precast deck. NYSEG was onsite not to long ago finishing up the upgrade to our switch gear.
10/5 Catskill Thunder has begun to go vertical! The carriage with tensioning system was lifted into place on October 5th along with the roof beams.
9/26 Presents from Switzerland arrived today! Other than an extra T all is well. But don't worry, our Swiss friends will be correcting the misprint. Also received bullwheel pieces and other terminal parts and more pieces will be arriving on a daily basis. P.S. Come to our Fall Festival and we'll have a gondola cabin on display.
9/14 The Belleayre crews are working extra hard to tick those check boxes off on their to do lists. All of the tower footings have been poured, the electric upgrades are well underway, the new Deer Run extension trail is all completed & cleared, and now we have daily arrivals of pieces of the Catskill Thunder Gondola arriving. This past week, we have received sheave trains and steel for the terminals and with lots more to come in the upcoming days and weeks.
8/23/2017 Over the last 2 weeks, there has been a flurry of concrete trucks making appearances all over the mountain. 15 out of 16 tower footings have all been poured along with the upper terminal mast, leaving only one footing and the lower mast to be poured. The Deer Run extension trail is all cut and the lower section of the new trail is all cleared of trees, stumps and other debris.
Electrical upgrades have also begun on mountain, with the moving of the two primary lines. The rest of the work is slated to be completed by mid September with our electrical output increasing by approximately 40%. Don't forget, you can view the lower mountain progress of Catskill Thunder by visiting the Discovery Lodge webcam feed »
If the concrete pours & electrical upgrades don't spark enough excitement for you, we have also just started painting Tomahawk Lift! Everything from the upper & lower terminals, lift towers and the lift shacks will all receive a fresh coat of eye popping, Belleayre blue paint.
8/1/2017 The construction of the Catskill Thunder Gondola is right on schedule! All 6,700 feet of the lift line has been cleared of trees and debris, 10 out of the 16 tower footings have been poured and at the unloading area, the anchoring masts have also been poured. Next week, steel will be arriving in preparation for the next phase of the project.
We are also excited to announce that on Monday, July 31, tree clearing began on the new Deer Run extension trail. The new trail will start just to the right of Tomahawk Lift parking lot, cross under the access road via a skier tunnel, and wind down to the lower area popping out just above Running Bear into Iroquois. We expect the tree clearing will take approximately two weeks to complete.
The Deer Run trail is also under construction in the anticipation of increased skier traffic from the summit. The mid section of the trail, just above the shale bank, is being widened to create a more natural fall line, while on the upper sections, the natural rollers are being filled in creating less of a pitch for easier intermediate skiing from the summit.
7/7/2017 The first concrete pour for the lift towers is complete for Catskill Thunder. There are only fifteen more towers and two terminals to go.
6/20/2017 We are excited to share with everyone that the "Catskill Thunder" gondola project has officially broken ground! Surveying crews and engineers have been busy this spring determining the best place for where the unloading & loading areas will be located and where to put the lift towers. On June 19, 2017, the first tree was cut and the lift line clearing has begun! You will be able to load Catskill Thunder at the Discovery Lodge and ride to the summit of Belleayre - unloading to the right of the Tomahawk Lift. The plans also include a skier tunnel, located below the Tomahawk parking lots, with trail connectors allowing for easy access from the west side trails to the Discovery Lodge.
Other Mountain News: The trail crews have been busy welding and replacing the snowmaking lines on Winnisook, Tongora and Yahoo. Additional low energy guns will be purchased which will allow us to run more guns at once, pump more water onto the trails using less resources. Trail maintenance crews have also started to widen lower section of Deer Run.
2016 - 2017 ENHANCEMENTS
EXPANDED BEGINNER TERRAIN - Trees have been cut around the front of the Discovery Lodge, almost doubling our beginner teaching terrain. The newly expanded area will have separate areas for our snowsports lessons and the general public.
SUPERCHIEF LOADING AREA - The loading area at the Superchief Lift was regraded to and expanded. Regrading of the area will change the drainage of surface water away from the lift during spring months. We added another 25 feet to the loading area as well.
DISCOVERY LODGE - The Discovery Lodge is receiving some TLC with a fresh coat of new paint.
CHAIR LIFT CUSHIONS - 267 seat cushions will be added to the Superchief & Tomahawk lift chairs.
MAPLE SMOKE HOUSE - Make your way to the Discovery Lodge Maple Smoke House for some mouthwatering BBQ! The Maple Smoke House is serving up Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, and Polish Kielbasa Sandwiches. Upgrade your sandwich to a platter and receive some yummy sides of Fresh Slaw, Baked Beans and Cornbread. If you are feeling extra hungry, try the Sampler Platter with all three smoked meats plus all the sides. Insider Information: All of the meats are smoked right here at Belleayre in our one of a kind smoker. Our smoker measures over 9' long and 6' tall and was custom made by our on mountain staff over the summer.
GROOMERS PUB AND LOUNGE - Visit Groomers Pub & Lounge and try out the new furniture! With an assortment of high tops, stools, chairs and tables you can comfortably enjoy the fabulous Belle views in true rustic lodge style!
GLADES - We will continue our efforts to expand and clear our gladed terrain, including widening the Dreamcatcher Glade.
BELLEAYRE BEACH - The Belleayre Beach received a band new fleet of pedal boats. The new boats are self-draining, easy to operate and are virtually maintenance-free.
BELLEAYRE MUSIC FESTIVAL - After taking a year off, the summer concert series is back and has a new home in the Discovery Lodge. The festival will showcase The Yardbirds, Pee Wee Ellis & Billy Harper, Cristina Fontinelli, Paul Green, Anderson East, Paul Green Rock Academy All stars performing the music of Frank Zappa & more!
- SOLAR ENERGY TO POWER BELLEAYRE - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on July 29, 2015, that the three state operated ski resorts at Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface Mountain have committed to using solar power to operate their ski lift and snowmaking operations. Visit the official website of New York State to read the press release.
- NEW WEBSITE - belleayre.com received a new makeover and was launched on June, 4, 2015. The site is now responsive making it easier to view and navigate on multiple devices - mobile, tablets and computers.
- STREAMING WEBCAM - A LIVE streaming webcam was installed and went live January 3, 2016. The Belleayre WebCam is located on the upper mountain at the Overlook Lodge. Take control of the camera and you can pan, tilt and zoom or choose from a preset position to view the Superchief Quad, Lower Wanatuska, Lift #7, Overlook Base area, Chinook trail or the Overlook Bar Deck.
- PHASE II OF THE DISCOVERY RENTAL CENTER - Last season, a new rental building was built and opened on Christmas 2014. Phase II has already started and will consist of putting the finishing touches on the building with fresh paint on the walls, signage, lockers and additional seating for putting on boots. Airlocks will be added to all entrances and exits of the building as well.
- SNOWMAKING UPGRADES - The zoning of the snowmaking lines on the west side of the mountain will continue this summer. This will allow us to efficiently make more snow on the west side, especially on the Deer Run trail, without having to sacrifice snowmaking on other trails.
- DREAMCATCHER GLADE - The addition of the Dreamcatcher Glade was a huge hit with skiers and snowboarders. We are going to continue our efforts in widening and clearing out the glade this summer.
- SKI PATROL - The first aid facilities will be moving out of the Overlook and Discovery Lodges to a more centrally located area. Patrollers can be easily dispatched to either the upper mountain or lower mountain.
- TIGER DEN - The Tiger Den drop off center will be moving to the Discovery Lodge adjacent to the Kidscamp Program. Now all of our children programs will be located in one building.
- NEW MOUNTAIN SIGNAGE - All of our on-mountain signage is getting a new look.
- CHANGES IN SNOWSPORTS PROGRAMS - We have made some changes to some of our snowsport programs.
- Alpine Development - The age limit was lowered to now include 5 & 6 year olds.
- Freestyle Program - Additional early & late season training dates were added to the calendar.
- Coaches-in-Training Program - This new program was added to the lineup for those who want to learn how to become a successful coach at Belleayre.
- Adult Midweek Workshop - The workshop is now split into two 4 week sessions and gives you the most flexibility. Choose one session, two sessions or the full 8 week program.
- New Meeting Place For All Group and Private Lessons - All lessons will meet at the Discovery Lodge. This change allows the ability to have more instructors on hand when booking private and group lessons.
- BELLEAYRE BEACH - Exciting happenings at the Belleayre Beach for the summer of 2015!
- New Food - The Beach Snack Shack added a deep fryer and now can offer french fries, cheese fries and onion rings. The BBQ grill will also get fired up this summer so look for burgers, hot dogs and more food options at the beach.
- New Boat Dock - A bigger and better boat dock was added at the beach. All of our paddle boats and row boats are now conveniently located in one easy to get to place.
- Stand Up Paddle Board Rentals - Anyone of all ages and skill levels can take advantage of this new way of "boating" and experience the lake like never before.
- Beach Parties - A couple of beach parties were added to the calendar of events at the Belleayre Beach. Live music, kids activities, beverages & BBQ throughout the day are just some of the fun events happening at the parties.
2014 - 2015 ENHANCEMENTS
- NEW TRAIL - DREAMCATHER GLADE - The Dreamcatcher glade was added to west side of the mountain, right off of the Deer Run trail. The trail was cleared out and in early November and was opened to the public on February 11, 2015. This new trail was a great addition to the mountain and showcased the variety of terrain that Belleayre has to offer.
- CAFETERIA RENOVATION - The Overlook Lodge cafeteria was completely renovated. The new grab-n-go layout helped reduce lines, bottlenecks and improve the flow through the cafeteria.
- GROOMERS PUB - The Overlook Lodge Carving Board located next to Groomers Lounge received a new makeover and a new name – Groomers Pub. The serving windows were cut open and made wider and additional "bar type" food was added to the menu giving customers more of a variety of food options at the mountain. New for this season at the pub, sit down table service.
- NEW GROOMER - A brand new Piston Bully PB400 winch cat was added to the grooming fleet. The winch cat allows us to push snow up the mountain and to cut back on some snowmaking costs while still providing excellent snow and conditions.
- SNOWMAKING UPGRADES - The summer also brought extensive snowmaking upgrades - including a three "zone" water line segregation to the upper half of the mountain. Also added were 25 new Sky Giant Flanged Heads to our snow guns to increase our existing snowmaking capabilities. Both of these snowmaking
upgrades allowed us to put low energy snow guns at the top of the mountain, make more snow on the upper half of the mountain and become more energy efficient. We also received a new electric Cameron Turbo Air 3000 compressor, which replaced four diesel compressors. The compressor is more efficient than the diesel compressors and also allows us to pump more water at a faster rate.
- NEW RENTAL SHOP - In front of the Discovery Lodge, a new 120' x 50' structure was built and is the new home of the Discovery Rental Zone and Rossignol Experience Center. Phase I of the project was completed on December 24, 2015 and the new rental shop opened on Christmas Day. Phase II of the project will begin during the summer of 2015. Phase II will include additional walls, flooring and new signage. This new rental space streamlined the rental process making it customer friendly, easier and more efficient to get to each station. Wait times were cut down from an hour at times to 20 minutes or less during holiday periods with virtually no wait midweek and much less of a wait on weekends. In the process, bottlenecks were eliminated. Also new this year, the rental shop purchased snowskates for rent – which is a hybrid of a skateboard and a snowboard.
- PARALLEL FROM THE START - The Parallel from the Start Program was added to our snowsports programming lineup. This trademarked program utilizes familiar movements and skis designed with beginners in mind. The 3 day program includes 3 days of beginner mountain lift tickets, 3 days of rentals and 3 days of class lessons. The 3 day Parallel from the Start Program can be used at Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface Mountains or in any combination at the three mountains. After completing all three days, the customer received a free SKI3 Frequent Skier Card. A one day PFS program is also offered and similar one and three day Learn to Snowboard packages are also offered.
- SKI3 PRODUCTS - In addition to the SKI3 Parallel from the Start and Learn to Snowboard packages, other SKI3 items were added to the lineup including the SKI3 Snow Sampler and SKI3 Military Pass. All SKI3 products can be used at Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface Mountains.
- RESTROOM RENOVATION - The Discovery Lodge restroom was completely remodeled with new tile, flooring, stalls and fixtures.
- NEW E-STORE - The ecommerce store was overhauled and was launched during the summer of 2014. The online store is now integrated into our sales program - which will streamline the purchasing of season passes and programming. For the first time, daily lift tickets were available for purchase through the Belleayre.com website and customers saved up to 44% on their daily lift tickets.
- KIDSCAMP - Kidscamp moved into the old rental shop in the Discovery Lodge. This move more than doubled the inside area of the Kids Zone and the extra space was used for seating and registration for the program.