The Summit at Snoqualmie sits just 45 minutes from downtown Seattle, the 4th fastest-growing major city in America. With 20 lifts spread across four ski areas, the resort hosts nearly 700,000 skier visits in a good snow year, placing it among the top 15 most-visited resorts nationwide (in a bad snow year, it barely opens.) Three of The Summit’s areas – Summit East, Summit Central and Summit West are connected by ski trails while Alpental stands alone on the opposite side of I-90.
The Pacific Northwest region (Alaska, Washington, Oregon) saw a stunning increase of 142 percent in skier visits last year, more than double the two million visits from the year before. That fact, coupled with an aging lift system means The Summit is primed for major upgrades. The resort still has four Riblets dating from the 1960s and seven from the 1970s.
The Summit at Snoqualmie Master Plan approved in 2008 authorizes replacement of 11 lifts and construction of nine new ones with just six lifts remaining in their current state. The first of these projects have already completed, including all new lifts at Summit East/Hyak and the replacement of Silver Fir with a Leitner-Poma high speed quad. That leaves eleven lift projects planned for the next decade or two at Summit Central, Summit West and Alpental.
- Removal of Reggie’s double without replacement
- New Ski School fixed-grip quad adjacent to Central Express
- High-speed quad replacement for Triple-60
- Fixed-grip quad replacement for Gallery and Holiday doubles
- Upgrade of Wildside from a fixed-grip triple to a quad in a new alignment
- Removal of Easy Rider (it hasn’t run in years!)
- Replacement of Dodge Ridge double with a quad in a new alignment further east
- New Baby double chair and Northside quad
- Possible realignments of Little Thunder and Julie’s chairs
- New International detachable quad serving new terrain.
- Replacement of the Sessel double with a longer quad chair serving the International Express.
In March, Boyne Resorts bought 77 acres of private land in between Summit West and Summit Central. Another new lift is planned for this property to fully link Summit West and Summit Central. The Summit’s plan is just one of three major ski expansions planned for the Washington Cascades due to rapid population growth in the Puget Sound region. Fellow Boyne Resort Crystal Mountain plans to add five new lifts in the coming years and we will cover Stevens Pass’ new master plan in a future post.