Killington to Add Bubble Six-Pack, South Ridge Quad & New K-1 Cabins

Powdr Co. will invest a whopping $16 million on lift improvements at Killington Resort this summer, adding two new chairlifts and upgrading the cabins on the K-1 Express Gondola.  The Snowdon Quad will be replaced with Vermont’s fourth six-place bubble chair, turning the current 10-12 minute jog into a four-and-a-half minute minute blip.  This new flagship lift will move 3,000 guests per hour and feature bubble chairs along with indoor parking.  “While we are committed to staying core to our beastly advanced terrain, we are also putting the focus on our blue family-friendly terrain.” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort in a release. “The investments we’re making will re-shape the guest experience for years to come. Uphill capacity will increase to 48,000 per hour and the downhill enhancements will create more diverse terrain for all levels of skiers and riders.”  Built by built by Leitner-Poma of America, the new Snowdon lift will be similar to the bubble sixers at Mt. Snow and Okemo.

The old Snowdon quad, which used a mix of new and used Poma parts when it was built in 1987, will move to South Ridge.  A triangle-shaped Yan there stopped carrying skiers in 2011 and the terrain hasn’t been directly serviced since.  The new quad will follow the downhill alignment of the old triple and feature new hangers, grips and electrical controls.

K-1 will see all new Sigma Diamond 8 cabins to replace the CWA Omegas from 1997 along with a new haul rope.  Stratton’s gondola received the same cabins in 2014 and Killington will keep K-1s cabins as spares for Skyeship 1+2.  Powdr will also finally complete the gondola’s cabin parking facility so the shiny new cabins can be stored inside.

The new lift and two relocations will cost $7.8 million with the gondola upgrades totaling $2.2 million.  If all that wasn’t enough, the Beast of the East is also going to add Axess RFID ticketing for 2018-19, relocate the Snowdon Poma (built in 1958!) to Ramshead and make significant trail improvements.  These moves represent the largest capital program at Killington in more than 20 years – since the American Skiing Company days.  Welcome to lift announcement March!

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21 thoughts on “Killington to Add Bubble Six-Pack, South Ridge Quad & New K-1 Cabins

  1. Kyle Ward March 1, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    This is a bombshell announcement, especially by New England standards. It seems like it is very rare to see such capital improvements focused mostly on lift infrastructure here. The Snowdon Franken-Quad (it also has a Yan bottom return terminal) was slow and will be better utilized as a weekend/holiday lift on South Ridge, where you can go escape the crowds and lap that pod on busy weekends – something I’ve missed at Killington since the triple was removed.

    Like

    • Misha Flynn March 1, 2018 / 6:27 pm

      This is a Mueller indictment level bombshell.

      Liked by 2 people

      • reaperskier March 1, 2018 / 8:52 pm

        Indeed it is

        Like

  2. Robb March 1, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    Wow lots of great investment announcements this week for the Northeast!! Fantastic post!

    Like

  3. Collin March 1, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    I think this is the biggest lift project there since the Skyeship Gondola in 1994. The only thing Otten did was the Needle’s and Ramshead HSQ’s.

    I’m surprised with the lack of a Ramshead upgrade since the line is always so long, but the Snowdon bubble 6 will help with that. Maybe they’ll add another bubble 6 on Ramshead in 2019 or 2020.

    The K1 cabins were in really bad condition and the lift is high hours and getting unreliable. The upgrades it will receive will help it run much more reliably.

    Not sure how they’re going to find time to replace the cabins as they need that lift for the summer season right up to Columbus Day Weekend and then it needs to be ready in Late October for the start of ski season.

    Like

    • Max Hart March 1, 2018 / 5:44 pm

      From previous comments on a post where this was less relevant:
      “Just going to say I called it back in January”
      “It’s about time. The old CWA Omega cabins suck. I’m not a tall person and I can’t even stand up in [them]!
      South Ridge Quad will improve flow, but I’m not sure why they would bother moving the Poma. K has made no secret that it is not an easy lift to maintain. In fact, most of the spare parts were just cannibalized from a Poma at Pico. I think it would make more sense to go with a new T rather than relocating the Poma. It’s a piece of history (1958 Pomalift), they should leave it where it [is] in its original location.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Collin March 1, 2018 / 5:48 pm

      The poma primarily exists as a race training lift although it is open to the public. My guess is it will continue to be in the new location.

      They want to get the racers off Bunny Buster as they want it available to the public with the increased lift capacity. Since they won’t be training there they won’t need that lift there anymore. My guess is they think the poma is worth maintaining and it is cheaper than a new T-bar. I’m sure they carefully discussed all of this with Leitner Poma, who I’m 99% sure is doing the whole project.

      Like

      • Kyle Ward March 1, 2018 / 5:54 pm

        Agreed, I would be shocked if Leitner Poma doesn’t get this work.

        Like

    • Max May 10, 2018 / 11:03 am

      The cabins shouldn’t take long to replace. They just have to take them off the line and put the new ones on.

      Like

  4. reaperskier March 1, 2018 / 5:52 pm

    Woah, this is crazy!!! A bubble chair, new south ridge lift & new K1 cabins? I am surprised.

    Perhaps this was a BEAST of an annoucement (no puns intended).

    Like

    • Collin March 1, 2018 / 6:34 pm

      Their biggest project for 2018, unless Alterra announces something bigger.

      Like

      • reaperskier March 1, 2018 / 6:35 pm

        Alterra can’t possibly topple the BEAST of the EAST, right?

        Like

      • Collin March 1, 2018 / 6:39 pm

        They could potentially announce a big western project. I think they have something planned for Steamboat. But it could go Doppelmayr.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter Landsman March 1, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    Poma relocation map from Mike’s presentation to the Killington community:

    Like

    • reaperskier March 1, 2018 / 8:51 pm

      Are they now going to call the snowdon poma the swirl poma?

      Like

  6. Peter Landsman April 23, 2018 / 7:44 am

    Some info from Act 250 permit applications:
    The Swirl Poma relocation will cost $190k and be done in house. Location is quite high on Ramshead Mountain.
    https://anrweb.vt.gov/PubDocs/ANR/Planning/1R0827-6/Published/Application%20Documents/009%20Land%20Map%20Ramshead%20Swirl.pdf

    Snowdon Six keeping the same alignment as the quad and will cost $6 million.
    https://anrweb.vt.gov/PubDocs/ANR/Planning/1R0061-2/Published/Application%20Documents/006%20Google%20Earth%20Snowdon%20Quad%2001%20-%20Copy.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

    • Collin April 25, 2018 / 9:38 am

      That map shows it going above the current top of Ramshead. That’s not where it’s going. It will start at the intersection of Swirl and Easy Street and go to near the top of the high speed quad.

      Like

  7. AM May 10, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    How did the old triangle lift work? In the pictures, it looked like there were 2 lifts going into one station, unless that was a mid station.

    Like

    • Max Hart May 10, 2018 / 4:21 pm

      From the top, the downhill side took a straight route down “The Jug” trail to the bottom terminal. From there, the uphill side went up “Lower Pipe Dream”, then went around a turn consisting of two bullwheels at what was, at one point, a mid-station loading terminal. The midstation was later abandoned, and the lift was left with a funny triangle line.

      One thing that I have never figured out is how the lift was tensioned, because if the bottom bullwheel moves back or forward during tension adjustments, the angle between the downhill and uphill side of the lift changed, putting both sides out of alignment. The tensioning was via counterweight at the bottom terminal.

      Like

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