Whitefish Mountain Resort Continues Upgrades for Upcoming Season

Crews have been working to expand the beginner ski area, parking lots and have added a ticket pickup stand for peak days

By Maggie Dresser
Whitefish Mountain Resort is shrouded in clouds on the morning of Nov. 26, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Officials on Tuesday announced that crews are working to improve operations at Whitefish Mountain Resort (WMR) for the 2023-2024 season, which includes upgrades to the beginner area, expanding parking lots, renovations to the Base Lodge Bar and a new ticket pickup stand, according to a press release.

A season after mountain managers launched the six-pack Snow Ghost Express chairlift, crews are now working to install a second conveyor carpet and improved snowmaking operations in the beginner area.

The new carpet, manufactured by Sunkid, will begin near the top of the existing Big Easy Conveyor Carpet that is located just above the Base Lodge between chairs 4 and 9. The additional carpet will double the terrain area used by guests and instructors and reduce congestion. Overhead covers will also be installed on each conveyor carpet to keep snow off the surface.

“Whitefish Mountain Resort offers a variety of terrain for all abilities, and now we have created more space for our beginner and novice guests,” said Magdalen Shale, the resort’s director of snow sports. “The addition of the second carpet will open up smooth, consistent learning terrain for our first-time and beginner guests. Having two surface lifts will allow us to spread out, reduce wait times and improve the overall beginner experience.”

Skiers ride to the summit on Chair 1 on opening day of ski season at Whitefish Mountain Resort on Dec. 9, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

To reduce congestion and increase traffic flow, road workers are adding a new, small lot just above the Base Lodge along Glades Drive and an express ticket pickup trailer will be stationed in the Base Lodge parking lot for online ticket sales on busy days.

Additionally, the Base Lodge Bar will add a second cash register and increase the serving capacity.

“All these projects have one thing in common, and that’s our commitment to providing excellent value to our guests,” WMR President Nick Polumbus said. “We want to optimize how we use every area of the resort, so guests can spend less time waiting in lines or searching for a parking spot and more time having fun on the slopes.”

Last season, frequent chairlift malfunctions on chairs 4 and 2 disrupted operations, causing ski patrol to conduct multiple lift evacuations, but WMR spokesperson Chad Sokol said those mechanical issues have been resolved.

“It was a series of small things that needed to get sorted out,” Sokol said. “We attributed a lot that to a busy year for chairlift makers and several resorts had similar issues because they installed their biggest lifts to date and there were supply chain issues.”

For the 2022-2023 season, WMR charted record-breaking visitation for the sixth consecutive season with more than 500,000 skiers with 15,000 passholders tallied, an 8% year-over-year increase.

Opening day at WMR is scheduled for Dec. 7.

Season pass prices will rise on Sept. 30 and will increase again on Nov. 15.

For more information, visit www.skiwhitefish.com.

Excited skiers cheer in the Chair 7 lift line on opening day of ski season at Whitefish Mountain Resort on Dec. 9, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon