Snow Valley Announces Southern California’s First Six-Pack

Lift 1 at Snow Valley Resort will be replaced this summer with a Leitner-Poma detachable six-place chairlift serving the heart of the mountain.

Snow Valley Resort in the San Bernadino Mountains will join the growing ranks of American ski resorts with a high-speed lift next winter, opening a six-pack in place of Chair 1.  More details are below, but first, resort marketers take note. Snow Valley made two interesting choices today.  One, they announced the new lift on a Sunday, when there is a smaller audience but also a lot less “noise” on the internet (I can’t remember the last time lift news broke on a weekend and yesterday was not an option.)  Two, they teased the announcement with a photo and invited guests to guess the big reveal on Facebook with a chance to win free lift tickets.  As of this writing, that post has garnered 92 comments, likely more than the actual announcement will see.  Many commenters nailed it, while others opined Snow Valley was opening a Starbucks, had discovered a new way to control the weather or would begin offering free beer.  Nothing like a little suspense to grab people’s attention and spur engagement on a Sunday morning.

Now to the lift news.  Snow Valley is one of those high density resorts with twelve Yan fixed-grips and an hourly uphill capacity of 17,500 skiers on 240 acres (at Jackson Hole where I work, we operate a dozen lifts with about the same capacity spread across 2,500 acres.)  Leitner-Poma of America completed a retrofit of Chair 13 at Snow Valley in 2013 and will build the new detachable six-pack, which will ascend approximately 800 feet over 5,000 feet of slope length with a ride time of 4.9 minutes. “This new lift will open up new opportunities for Snow Valley in the future, including the possibility of summer operations,” said Kevin Somes, Vice President and General Manager of Snow Valley Resort.  “We look forward to sharing many seasons of fun ahead and we dedicate this lift to all of our guests and team members.”  The new lift will cost just under $6 million.

Chair 1, a 1973 double with a mid-station will be removed and could end up at another ski area rather than being scrapped.  Mothballed lifts 4, 5 and 10 are also slated to be returned to service in the near future.  After the upgrade, only Mt. Waterman and Mt. Baldy will remain in the Southern California ski market without a detachable.  Snow Valley’s new One is the first lift project announced for 2017-18 in California, historically the second largest market for lifts after Colorado but one plagued by drought the last four years leading up to this banner season.  Leitner-Poma will begin construction as soon as the resort closes, while the Starbucks and free beer will have to wait for another year.  Snow Valley will hold a celebration of the old Chair 1 next Sunday, with a final ride at 4:00 pm and party to follow.


10 thoughts on “Snow Valley Announces Southern California’s First Six-Pack

  1. Cameron Halmrast April 2, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    Curious to know where Chair 5 is on the mountain as its not portrayed on the trail map.


      • Peter Landsman April 2, 2017 / 10:32 pm

        Yeah it disappeared from the trail map around 2000 so you have to wonder what kind of shape it is in. Also a 1973 Yan.


    • STEVE September 9, 2017 / 8:52 am

      There was a chair 7. Anyone recall where it was? Also, it’s september and none of the new lift towers appear to be installed. I cant imagine the new lift being completed in time for this season. Anyone have an update?


      • Peter Landsman September 9, 2017 / 2:18 pm

        It will be finished for this season. Terminals go up in a few days, all the towers in just a few hours.


      • Frank December 12, 2017 / 12:02 am

        Lift 7 went from half way up thunder mountain between chairs 1 and thirteen, to the top of east bowl. You can still see the mound of dirt on top of east bowl where the top station was located.


  2. Dhowe April 2, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    One slight correction and one question: mountain high north (the ex ski sunrise) also lacks a detachable lift. The snow valley trail map shows chairs 4 and 10. Have these been decommissioned? Re: chair 5, that used to run from the base up to mambo alley and had an unloading mid station on lake run. I have vivid memories of the lift as it was where I skied on my second day ever on skis. Good times


  3. ryan April 3, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Rarely are more than 3 lifts open on this mountain. It will be interesting to see if they invest on opening up the top mountain more.


    • STEVE September 9, 2017 / 8:57 am

      I agree. I wont ski at this mountain unless slide peak is open. Chair 9 and 11 open up some really cool and challenging terrain with zero crowds. They need to concentrate on getting and keeping 9 and 11 open.


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