As rumored for weeks, Grand Targhee confirmed yesterday on Facebook it will replace the aging Blackfoot double chair with a fixed-grip quad over the summer. The Doppelmayr-built lift will increase capacity by 40 percent and run in an improved alignment, although it will be slightly slower than the old lift. Targhee’s Director of Marketing said in a release, “The entire resort team is excited to replace and upgrade the Blackfoot chairlift. The resort ownership is committed to reinvesting in the resort with ongoing improvements that enhance the guest experience. This is the largest and most visible of many recent capital investments.”
Blackfoot is a Riblet center-pole model that’s faithfully served skiers for 42 years. The lift is 3,236 feet long with a vertical rise of 1,200′ and hourly capacity of 1,300. A non-profit in Valdez, Alaska is hoping to buy the lift to create that region’s first lift-served ski area. With a new Blackfoot, Grand Targhee will have four modern quad chairs. The resort also plans to add a third high speed quad in the near future on Peaked Mountain in the area currently used for cat skiing. Removal of Blackfoot begins this week although Targhee will spin its other lifts through April 24th. With this announcement, new lifts in North America are pacing above last year, with 30 projects already announced and hopefully many more to come.