Alaska, United States
Alyeska Resort is a ski resort that is located in Girdwood, Alaska, approximately 50 miles (80 km) from the city of Anchorage. Mount Alyeska is part of the Chugach mountain range. It is the biggest ski mountain in the state of Alaska. The Alyeska Ski Corporation was founded in 1954, and the first chair lift and day lodge were opened in 1959. The Roundhouse ski lodge and ski patrol station at the top of the mountain began construction in 1960, and is still standing today. It currently houses a museum.
Currently, Alyeska has six (6) chair lifts and one (1) high-speed tram. Of the 6 chairlifts, one is co-owned by Alyeska and the Tanaka Corporation (Chair 5). Chair 6 is a high-speed detachable quad, while Chairs 4, 7 and 3 are normal quads. Chair 1 is the oldest chair lift on the mountain, and leads all the way up to the Roundhouse.
Both Chair 1 and the tram end halfway up the mountain. Chair 1 ends at the Roundhouse, while the tram ends in a much newer facility. The facility contains a 4-star restaurant, and is connected to the Roundhouse by a short wooden walkway. At the base of the tram is the Hotel Alyeska.
Chair 6 goes to the highest lift served point on the mountain. Several areas above Chair 6 are occasionally opened, but require hiking to access. Plans to build a new chair lift higher up the mountain have been announced.
Mount Alyeska is a fairly challenging mountain, and has a much higher percentage of advanced and expert runs, as compared to most other mountains in North America. It has a small section for the novice, but the rest of the mountain is almost entirely for the intermediate and the advanced skiers.
Alyeska hosted World Cup ski races in 1973; men's and women's giant slalom. Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe sharpened his racing skills at Alyeska as a teenager in the 1980s.
Alyeska was bought in December 2006 by John Byrne III, who says he plans to make many new improvements to the resort, concentrating on people who come to ski for the day.