Ski resorts are gearing up for the 2001-02 season with new lodges, lifts and other improvements. A roundup of some of the projects in the western U.S.:
* Colorado: Telluride will nearly double its lift-accessible area on Dec. 20 when it opens the 733-acre Prospect Bowl, served by three high-speed lifts and providing runs for novices through experts. (800) 854-3062, http://www.tellurideskihttp://.com. Steamboat is expanding its half-pipe snowboard park into what it says will be the largest half-pipe in the Rockies; the tentative opening date is mid-December. Dubbed Mavericks, it will have 15-foot-high walls and be 550 feet long. (877) 237-2628, http://www.steamhttp://boat.com. Aspen/Snowmass on Dec. 15 plans to open a terrain park nearly two miles long, with ski jumps and other features for snowboarders and extreme skiers. (800) 525-6200, http://www.aspensnowmass.com.
* Utah: Ski resorts in this state, where the 2002 Winter Olympics will be staged Feb. 8-24, have spruced up for the big event. Among the changes: In the Park City area, Deer Valley Resort is opening a new day lodge and gourmet restaurant and has expanded its snowmaking operation. Park City Mountain Resort will open a skiable Town Bridge linking the town with ski runs, allowing visitors to ski down to Main Street. An hour north of Salt Lake City, Snowbasin is opening three day lodges; the largest is 45,000 square feet. (800) 754-8824, http://www.skiutah.com.
* California: Mammoth Mountain later this month plans to reopen the former Mid Chalet at the mountain's midpoint as McCoy Station, with a new gourmet restaurant named Parallax, an expanded food court and a sundeck. (800) 626-6684, http://www.mammothmountain.com.
In the Lake Tahoe area, the first of 139 private condominiums and 19 new shops and restaurants planned this season will begin opening in December at Squaw Valley U.S.A. Also new is an expanded and relocated snow-tubing zone. (800) 545-4350, http://www.squaw.com. Kirkwood is adding 54 condominiums and, in December, a 6,000-square-foot ice skating rink and a swimming pool and spa (weather permitting). (209) 258-6000, http://www.kirkwood.com.
Bear Valley is doubling its snowmaking capacity and opening a park for snow skating, a new sport that uses skateboard-sized boards instead of longer snowboards. (209) 753-2301, http://www.bearvalley.com.
Monorail Links Newark Airport to Penn Station
A $415-million monorail project linking New Jersey's Newark International Airport to New York City's Penn Station opened last month with little fanfare in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. (The offices of one of the partner agencies, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, were destroyed in the attack, and one of the hijacked planes originated at the Newark airport.)
The AirTrain monorail whisks airport passengers to a new rail station where they can catch trains to New York's Penn Station. One-way fares for the combined monorail-train trip, which takes about a half-hour, are $11.15 per person. By comparison, the same trip costs $11 on the Olympia Trails Express Bus (about 30 to 50 minutes) and about $35 to $55, plus tolls, for taxis (about 45 to 60 minutes).
Passengers at the airport can also use the new station to connect to Newark's Penn Station, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor trains and New Jersey bus and rail lines.
The AirTrain operates around the clock except between 2 a.m. and about 5 a.m., depending on the day. (888) 397-4636, http://www.newarkairport.com.
Club Med Suspends Operations at 11 Resorts
Stung by the travel slowdown after Sept. 11, Club Med last month announced it would temporarily close 11 of its resorts worldwide, including three in Mexico. Although the closures extend into next year, spokeswoman Valerie Bihet said Club Med is "absolutely not" planning permanent closures.
Among the resorts being shut down are Playa Blanca, Sonora Bay and Huatulco in Mexico; St. Lucia in the Caribbean; and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The move affects thousands of customers.
Those with canceled trips could rebook at a later time or at a different Club Med resort. Refunds may be given as "a last solution," Bihet said. About 80 Club Med resorts will continue to operate this winter. Reservations have recovered somewhat after dropping 50% in the weeks after Sept. 11 but were still running about 16% behind last year, the company said.
More Dengue Fever Cases Confirmed in Hawaii
The number of dengue fever cases confirmed in Hawaii reached 69 late last month. The vast majority, 55, were on Maui, mostly in the Hana area where the outbreak began. There were also four cases on Kauai and 10 on Oahu.
The disease, spread by mosquitoes, can cause high fever, rash, joint and muscle pain and other symptoms. Recovery can take up to a month. Avoiding mosquito bites is the main preventive measure.