While things are winding down for Winter in North America, things are beginning to heat up in South America. Valle Nevado Ski Resort, located outside of Santiago, Chile is set to open the country’s first ski resort gondola on June 29th — opening day of the season.
The gondola being built will feature 70 six-person cabins and will operate from the base of the newly constructed visitor parking lot and service center named “Curva 17″. The new system will chauffeur skiers and snowboarders up the mountain and deposit them in front of the slopeside restaurant Bajo Zero, which is located in the center of the resort.
Construction of this new gondola has been no small undertaking, and is but one part of a 10-year, $150 million Master Development Plan. The end goal is to eventually establish a Mountain Village at the base of the resort.
In anticipation of the increase in traffic, Bajo Zero restaurant is undergoing an expansion that will add 3,000 square feet of out door dining. After a few runs of skiing or snowboarding, visitors will be able to recharge with a nice lunch in the sun with the Andean scenery in the background.
The resort’s new Curva 17 service area will also reach stage two (of three stages) to include 500 parking spaces, equipment rental, ticket sales, ski and snowboard school sign-up, lockers, a Valle Nevado store, a restaurant and a cafe.
The new additions to Valle Nevado will continue to establish the resort as one of the largest and innovative ski resorts in South America. The resort has a great deal to offer. Visitors will have access to more than 7,000 acres of terrain, but if that’s not enough, there are heliskiing operations that will drop you deep into the peaks of the Andes (the world’s 2nd-highest mountains) for those that want more. Valle Nevado Trail Map 2012