18 more days, snow on the horizon, and people wondering up and down the streets of Vail with new gear in hand: It must be time for my second installment of “What’s New”! The fine folks on Vail Mountain will begin making snow any day now. We had one great snow last week that has stuck with us and more to come today! They are calling for about 5 inches for down here in Lionshead Village. Sounds good to me! Here are just a few more items that you will see new this season on Vail Mountain.

New Kid Adventure Zones. Now you will see even more animal “greeters” scattered around the mountain, especially on the eastern side. The Vail Mountain crew will also be working on upgrading the existing kid zones. There will be a more cohesive animal-themed look and many of the new features and “greeters” will be made of pine-beetle-kill wood. Recycling at its best!

The BEAST. Vail always strives to be at the cutting edge of technology. The Prinoth Beast is a new, bigger, faster snowcat. Its tiller is almost four feet wider than a traditional snowcat! It can also groom a steeper terrain than what the standard snowcats can do. Vail has added two of these machines to its fleet this winter, grooming approximately 1,200 more acres per day. Hopefully you’ll notice more corduroy than ever!  Check out the video below for more information!

Real-time and Mobile Technologies. Ever wonder what the lift line looks like at the Vista Bahn before you get out of bed? I know I have! Real time updates on things like this is just one of the ways Vail is keeping up with technology. You will be able to see visual images of a number of lift lines, get mobile alerts on powder days, and receive pictures directly to your computer. Visit http://m.vail.com to check out some of their features, including parking lot updates. Also, join the conversation on Twitter and follow @vailmtn. “Like” Vail Mountain on Facebook and connect with other Vail enthusiasts. There are a number of new, useful technologies to discover here at Vail. Check them out before you head back this way and plan your day on the mountain accordingly!