Boyne Resorts has firmed up an approximately $10 million deal with Doppelmayr USA to build a flagship detachable lift in The Bowl at Big Sky Resort and replace the damaged Challenger double with an all-new fixed-grip triple chair this summer, according to multiple sources. The resort announced back in February that two new lifts were coming but has yet to officially say much else. These will be the first new lifts built in Big Sky since Moonlight Basin, Spanish Peaks and the Yellowstone Club went bankrupt in 2008-10 and a sure sign that the region has bounced back.
The big story here is the six-pack replacement of the Lone Peak triple which will be just the sixth lift in North America to feature chairs with bubbles and heated seats. The others are at Park City, Sunshine Village, Okemo and the private Hermitage Club in Vermont. The new six pack’s alignment will be altered from the current lift for better traffic flow and the bottom station will feature 90-degree loading. The lift will be just over 3,000 feet long with a vertical rise of approximately 800 feet and ride time of just three minutes.
The new Challenger lift will be a bottom drive/bottom tension fixed-grip triple with loading carpet, capable of spinning up to 500 feet a minute for a 9.5 minute ride. The Challenger double chair that broke in February only ran 396 fpm. Challenger will most likely feature Doppelmayr’s Tristar drive/tension terminal and an expanded unloading area next to the summit of the Headwaters double.
The Big Sky region has the largest contiguous lift network in the Western Hemisphere with more than 50 lifts spread across Lone Peak, Pioneer and Andesite Mountains. These two new lifts will join six detachable chairlifts and the Lone Peak Tram in Big Sky Resort’s lift fleet. Presumably the region will see more lift upgrades in the coming years and both Big Sky Resort and the Yellowstone Club are looking at building new gondolas.