New lifts and terrain are eagerly anticipated each season by skiers and snowboarders.
However, instead of a bevy of new lifts serving new terrain, the theme for the upcoming 2017-18 season seems to be replacing antiquated lifts, often increasing capacity in the process. Below are a few highlights.
1. Sugarbush Resort, VT
Sugarbush will replace both the Village Double chairlift and Sunshine Double chairlift with fixed-grip quads. The aging lifts, dating back to the 1960s, serves beginner terrain at the Vermont resort and is more-than-ready to be replaced from a maintenance standpoint.
2. Belleayre, NY
Belleayre will be installing a base-to-summit gondola called Catskill Thunder. The gondola will have 60 cabins holding eight guests each. It will load at the Discovery Lodge and unload just to the right of the Tomahawk lift’s upper terminal.
3. Sunday River, ME
A new,$2.1 million fixed-grip triple chairlift will replace the Maine resort’s original Spruce Peak Triple chairlift. The modern lift will shorten the ride time from 11 minutes to 8 minutes.
4. Eldora Mountain Resort, CO
Eldora in Boulder County, Colorado, will add its first high-speed detachable chairlift. The six-pack Eldo Express will replace the parallel double Cannonball and triple fixed-grip Challenge chairlifts. Coming out of the base area, the new lift will run 3,239 feet and more than 1,000 vertical feet in 4.5 minutes.
5. Copper Mountain, CO
Copper Mountain will replace the Kokomo triple-chairlift with a high-speed quad that will extend 215 feet farther downhill for better access from Copper’s West Village. The lift serves beginner terrain.
6. Breckenridge Resort, CO
Breck will upgrade the Falcon SuperChair from a quad to a six-pack. Rising 1,404 vertical feet, the lift serves the advanced and expert terrain of Peak 10.
7. Keystone Resort, CO
Keystone will make the same upgrade to its Montezuma Express Lift on Dercum Mountain that makes up the ski area’s “frontside.” The upgraded lift will join the Ruby Express lift as Keystone’s two six-packs.
8. Vail Mountain, CO
Vail Mountain will make the same capacity jump for the Northwoods Express (Chair 11). The current detachable-quad dates back to 1985. The new six-pack will be the mountain’s 10th new lift since 2007.
9. Beaver Creek Resort, CO
Beaver Creek will replace the Drink of Water lift with a high-speed quad that will be known as Red Buffalo Express Lift #5. The lift serves the resort’s higher-elevation beginner terrain.
10. Alta, UT
Alta will take out the old Supreme and Cecret lifts to be replaced with a new Supreme lift that extends much farther down the mountain. The new detachable quad lift will load near Alf’s Restaurant and unload at the same location as the old Supreme lift.
11. Snowbasin, UT
Snowbasin will increase the speed and capacity of the Wildcat Triple Chairlift by replacing it with a high-speed six-pack. The new lift will follow the same path as the old one with a vertical rise of 1,290 feet. Given the beginner and intermediate terrain in the area, the chairs will be spaced a generous 9 seconds apart, giving novice skiers and boarders a little more time to load and unload. Once loaded though, the ride time will be a speedy 5 minutes.
12. Whitefish Mountain Resort, MT
Whitefish will move the Chair 5 Glacier View lift from Ptarmigan Bowl to the East Rim. The old location was not really useful with the Chair 1 Big Mountain Express serving the same terrain. The new bottom terminal at the intersection of Russ’s Street and Moe-Mentum will allow for a new pod of skiing focused on the east side of the resort. In the past, skiers and boarders had to come all the way back to the main part of the resort on Russ’s Street.
13. Snow Valley, CA
Snow Valley will put in a six-pack to replace Chair 1. The lift will be the first high-speed detachable six-seater in Southern California. According to Kevin Somes, the resort’s vice president and general manager, the new lift opens the possibility of summer operations pending environmental approval.