Upgrades & improvements

Bluewood announces $4.5 million expansion plan

‘Even more fun for everyone’

New and enhanced lifts, a snowmaking system at the base and a more robust power generation system are among improvements planned for Bluewood over the next three years.

“This is the most exciting set of upgrades at Bluewood since we opened more than 40 years ago,” says Kim Clark, Bluewood’s General Manager. “We’re thankful to the Bluewood ownership group for being fully committed to the expansion plan, which will bring greater enjoyment to skiers and riders for years to come.”

The three-phase, $4.5 million expansion and development plan, which is already underway, will keep Bluewood’s familiar hometown vibe on the mountain while providing even more features and fun for everyone.

Also, the U.S. Forest Service will be starting a forest health program this summer in the Blue Mountains. They will assess the types and health of trees in certain areas of Bluewood, thin out dense sections and remove diseased trees.

“We really appreciate our partnership with Bluewood,” says Aaron Gagnon, Walla Walla District Ranger of the Umatilla National Forest. “Their continued commitment and collaboration has been key to providing enhanced recreation opportunities for our communities, while also working with us to improve forest health surrounding this area.”

Clark adds: “We’re grateful to the U.S. Forest Service for their partnership in making outdoor recreation and the mountain experience even better for everyone.”

PHASE 1 2018-2021

Total: $1.3 million

PHASE 1

2018-2021

Total: $1.3 million

Snowmaking system

Planned for the 2021-22 season, a snowmaking system will help build up the base area and extend the season.

Overflow parking lot

Contingent on an agreement with landowners, an additional parking lot with shuttle service will be available starting this winter. This will provide more parking on the busiest days.

The Hub

Completed in 2020 and located at the upper corner of the parking lot to the left of the lodge, The Hub houses the Rentals and SnowSports departments.

Base yurt

Completed in 2020 and located at the base area near the ski racks, this structure is where prepurchased tickets are picked up.

Summit yurt

Completed in 2018, The Yurt at Sun Spot, located at the summit, provides snacks, drinks and a place to take a break.

Prinoth snowcats

Purchased in 2018 and 2021, respectively, two Prinoth snowcat machines provide optimized trail grooming during the ski season.

Easy Rider conveyor lifts

Installed in 2018, two conveyor lifts in the beginner area provide an easy ride for those who are learning and practicing.

PHASE 2 pending approval by the U.S. Forest Service

Total: $2.1 million

PHASE 2

pending approval by the U.S. Forest Service

Total: $2.1 million

Skyline Express lift upgrade

The Skyline Express lift, which carries riders to the summit, will be replaced or modified.

Autoloader

An autoloader for the Skyline Express lift will provide an easier, more consistent loading experience for skiers and snowboarders.

New power generator

A new power generation system will provide greater efficiency and quieter operation than the current system. It will supply electricity for all lifts as well as the lodge and outbuildings.

PHASE 3 pending approval by the U.S. Forest Service

Total: $1.1 million

PHASE 3

pending approval by the U.S. Forest Service

Total: $1.1 million

Vintner’s Ridge lift

Often called “the other side of Bluewood,” Vintner’s Ridge offers more than 200 acres of side country terrain. A new lift will open up service to this area, which is currently accessible only by hiking or snowcat.

FOREST HEALTH PROGRAM

In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service work zones

Better tree and glade skiing

Starting in 2021, as part of a forest health program in the Blue Mountains, the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, will assess the types and health of trees in certain areas of Bluewood. Dense areas will be thinned out and diseased trees removed. This work will continue for several years, greatly improving tree and glade skiing at Bluewood.