Ten thousand square feet of mountaintop real estate with sweeping mountain views and an ice bar sounds like a multi-million-dollar price tag, enjoyed only in the big dreams of an avid Zillow-er.
But at Keystone Resort about 70 miles west of Denver, all that stands in the way of that experience is a ride up the River Run gondola on the front side of Dercum Mountain.
And the aforementioned mega-mansion is built entirely of snow.
That’s right, Keystone lays claim to the world’s largest mountaintop snow fort. The resort collaborated with snow- and ice-carving company Snice to bring to life the 10,000-square-foot snow fort, complete with tunnels, slides, ice caves and snow carvings.
And, as of Wednesday (Dec. 14, 2022), it’s back and open to the public after two years off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It's one of our greatest traditions here at Keystone,” resort communications specialist Shayna Silverman said. “It did take a very brief hiatus [...] So we're super excited to have it back and have it back bigger and better than ever.”
The wintertime spectacle – which sits at over 11,000 feet elevation – took Keystone and Snice about two weeks to build. Crews worked at all hours to move the massive amount of snow required to build the fort.
“[The people at Snice are] very seasoned in this and they work alongside our snowmaking and mountain operations team to complete this snow fort,” Silverman said in a video interview from the fort before its opening. “It's really amazing – almost miraculous – to see them put this up in only two weeks because it's so huge and because there's so much detail involved.”
Keystone is banking on the snow fort this season, saying it's bringing back the experience “bigger and better than ever.” Plans are in the works for a second snow fort at the Mountain House base area at the bottom of Dercum.
While the mountaintop snow fort is open, the resort will host a grand opening celebration on the evening of Dec. 23. The event will include fireworks, a DJ and other treats for guests. You’ll need a valid Epic Pass or lift ticket to partake in the grand opening event.