Afton Alps

As part of Vail Resorts’ urban-scaled winter sports facility strategy, the design team was challenged to provide a bold & exciting new look to an existing local ski lodge, along with the creation of new spaces to serve a new generation of extreme athletes.

The project scope included renovations in two primary areas of the Afton Alps property. First, a significant façade renovation of the existing Guest Services building, transforming it from obscurity into the primary visitor entrance and transaction point for the park. Secondly, a newly imagined Landing Zone space, designed to foster an energized environment as part of a new snowboarding terrain park. The existing structure of the Ski Patrol building needed to remain due to cost-constraints, but a fresh, contemporary appearance was achieved with an extensive façade renovation.

The complex angles and bends of the faceted façade were engineered using a modular backbone of gridded structural steel and outriggers of various lengths. This allowed for quick and simple construction with standard steel sizes, despite the intricate design. The Afton Alps ownership was also excited to create a new snowboarder “village” at the base of the challenging terrain park. The design team was tasked to convert existing accessory buildings into a self-contained region with gathering space, outdoor dining and food services, all while maintaining excellent spectator views up the slope The only existing building on-site (old tubing rental office) needed a face-lift to anchor the new Landing Zone, as well as a canopy to shelter spectators viewing snowboarders on the slopes above.

Altogether, the design team achieved a fresh face-lift despite tight budgetary and time constraints. Preservation of existing structures, and simple, yet striking, construction details allowed for fast construction. The facilities are hugely popular with the new younger generation of snowboarders and skiers.