10 Best New Ski Resorts for 2020
Learn what's coming 'round the mountain this season.
Whether you're in it for the fresh powder or the après ski (hey, we don't judge!), there are plenty of reasons to look forward to the mountain season. But 2020 is an especially golden year, thanks to a crop of exciting new ski resorts. From remote backcountry bowls and year-round slopes to glamorous French chalets and rugged Wild West ranches, here are the alpine escapes we can't wait to visit.
Sun Valley, Idaho
As America's oldest destination ski resort, Sun Valley is still regarded as one of the best. And now, it'll be even better thanks to a major expansion. By the 2020-2021 ski season, there will be another 380 acres of skiable terrain on Bald Mountain and a slick high-speed quad connecting to The Roundhouse restaurant. For your winter crashpad, choose between the hip Hotel Ketchum, the new Limelight Hotel Ketchum, or the budget-friendly Sun Valley Inn, which opened a year after the resort and has been recently renovated. In the next few years, keep an eye out for the $53 million Auberge Resort Sun Valley, the region's most anticipated addition.
Bonus: Alaska Airlines and United are adding nonstop seasonal flights to Sun Valley's Friedman Memorial Airport through the end of March. The former departs from Seattle and the latter from Chicago.
Bluebird Backcountry, Colorado
Colorado's long been a hotspot for destination skiing, and now a new outdoor adventure awaits. Enter Bluebird Backcountry, a new liftless ski area (yes, you read that right) that opened February 15 for a test run. Don't expect an Aspen- or Vail-like resort here: This is skiing for the hardcore, with 1,500 acres leased from a rancher—only 300 of which are marked off like a traditional ski run. Everything else takes place in the backcountry, where skiers hire a guide to take them through rugged, ungroomed (and avalanche-evaluated) trails without the crowds. While this option is limited for the season, there's sure to be more available when the ski area fully opens.
Woodward Park City, Utah
While most flock to Park City Mountain, families and groups of friends now have another fun option just 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City: Woodward Park City, America's first all-in-one action sports and ski resort, opened in December. Grab a daily access pass to hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding, slide down the tubing park, or explore the 66,000-square-foot Action Sports Hub, featuring an Acro Zone with tumble track and spring floor, trampoline area, and parkour zone.
Niseko—located on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island—has long been one of the best places to catch the country's so-called "Japow" snow. (The area gets around 50 feet of fresh powder each season!) Here, you can schuss down the glades and bowls of the four interlinked ski resorts: Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village, and Annupuri. In January, Hanazono welcomed a glamorous new Park Hyatt hotel (the same brand whose Tokyo outpost was made famous in the box-office hit Lost in Translation.) If you really feel like splurging, book one of the Annupuri or Yotei signature suites, which come with a private onsen and terrace, overlooking Mount Yotei. Complementing the ski-in, ski-out property is the Hanazono Edge restaurant, right at the bottom of the Hana 1 Lift station, where you can watch the action while cozying up to some ramen. Next up in Niseko Village? A Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel, due to open for winter 2020-2021.
Lodge at Blue Sky, Utah
Cross-country skiers will fall in love with the Lodge at Blue Sky, a 3,500-acre ranch that's nestled in Utah's striking Wasatch Mountains. The all-inclusive property is both a rustic retreat and wellness escape, with snowshoeing trails, yoga in yurts, horseback cattle drives, and spa treatments around the 70-foot-long infinity pool. Those wanting to hit the downhill slopes can head to nearby Park City Mountain Resort, where the property has a private posh ski lounge, or book a heli-skiing tour that whisks you straight from the property. Back at the ranch, don't miss a tasting at the on-site whiskey distillery followed by a farm-to-table dinner, where the ingredients are sourced straight from the garden. Then, rest up for the night in the sprawling Sky Lodge Suites, the grass-roofed Earth Houses, or the tranquil Creek cabins, hidden in a secluded grove.
Big Snow American Dream, New Jersey
Who said skiing had to be outdoors? Opened in December, this 16-story indoor ski area—the first of its kind in the U.S.—is located in the American Dream shopping mall, just across from MetLife Stadium. Twelve snow guns create the powder (that's 5,500 tons of snow!) for the four acres of indoor slopes that operate year-round. Is it going to give skiers jonesing for the slopes of Colorado a fix? Probably not, but for beginner skiers, curious snowbirds, or Manhattanites wanting to shake up their weekends, it's definitely worth checking out.
Chalet du Mont D'Arbois, France
As the sparkling new sister property of the Four Seasons Hotel Megève, you can expect the same elegance and service as its older sibling. The French resort opened in December at the base of its namesake mountain, Mont D'Arbois. There are three chalets to choose from, each with its own aesthetic: traditional (Eve), bohemian-chic (Alice), and classic luxury (Noémie), which was originally owned by the Rothschild family. Guests can treat themselves to a world-class meal at Le 1920 restaurant, bliss out at the serene spa, or book a stay in the Suite Ideal, a wood lodge perched 6,000 feet up with custom dinners made by a two-star Michelin chef. The slopes are right out the door, but heli-ski safaris are, of course, available as well (it's just that kind of place).
Gravity Haus, Colorado
Skiing meets ultra-hip Soho House-like vibes at the Gravity Haus social club and hotel in Breckenridge. Debuting in December, the 60-room ski-in, ski-out property blends Japanese-inspired elements (hello, mountainside onsen!) with industrial accents like concrete floors and reclaimed wood. You can walk straight to the QuickSilver SuperChair as well as Breckenridge's Main Street, arrange a guided trip into the backcountry, take HIIT classes at the property's Dryland Sports fitness center, or recover after a long day on the slopes in the gym's hyperbaric oxygen chamber. And you better believe the après-ski scene will be hopping here, too: Cabin Juice, the on-site bar, features bespoke beers from local breweries and excellent craft cocktails.
South Tyrol, Italy
Italy's South Tyrol province is a postcard picture of craggy peaks that lance into the clouds and lodges that dot the mountainside. One such chalet is the new ADLER Lodge RITTEN, where guests can choose between a five-star stay in the alpine lodge or in one of the 20 gorgeous stand-alone cabins. The all-inclusive retreat has plenty to keep you occupied: forest saunas, guided hiking, and gourmet five-course dinners (with free-flowing wine, of course). Although you could spend the entire weekend hunkered down at the hotel, the nearby Corno del Renon ski area is a must. There's also a free shuttle to Soprabolzano/Oberbozen, where you can grab a cable car down to Bolzano, a hamlet tucked away in a tranquil valley.
W Aspen, Colorado
Little Nell is no longer Aspen's only ski-in, ski-out hotel, thanks to the new W. The buzzy chain opened its doors in August—the area's first new luxury hotel in 25 years—and is tailored for a younger crowd looking for a hip place to ski (and party) during their vacation. While the 88 rooms are everything you'd want from a W, the 8,000-square-foot rooftop "Wet Deck" is where it's really at (think: a heated pool, hot tubs, DJ booth, dance floor, and stunning panoramic views). Outdoors enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies will also love exploring the 15 Jaw-Dropping Natural Wonders You'll Only See in America.