Vail Proposes Upgrading Game Creek Lift

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The Game Creek quad is one of seven first generation Doppelmayr detachables built on Vail Mountain between 1985 and 1989.  Only three remain as Vail Resorts renews the fleet, which could continue this summer.

When Vail Resorts unveiled its $150 million 2018 spending plan in December, it included seven new lifts in Australia, British Columbia, Nevada and Utah.  Notably, none were earmarked for Colorado, where the company operates four of the largest resorts in the state with nearly 80 lifts between them.  We learned on Thursday Vail Resorts’ North American skier visits were down 1.9 percent this season through April 15th but lift ticket revenue increased 3.7 percent, keeping MTN on solid financial footing.  Commenting on the season, CEO Rob Katz told investors, “We are pleased with our results as the 2017/2018 ski season concludes, particularly considering the historically low snowfall across our western U.S. resorts for much of the ski season.  Our results throughout the 2017/2018 ski season highlight the stability provided by our season pass, the benefit of our geographic diversification and the success of our sophisticated, data-driven marketing efforts.”

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Now the mothership – Vail Mountain – could be getting in on the new lift action as neighbors Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Loveland and Winter Park do the same this summer.  A Vail Resort Summer 2018 Construction project page posted Thursday on the White River National Forest website notes that Game Creek #7 is proposed to be upgraded.  While there are no supporting documents yet and the project is listed as “developing proposal,” recent history would indicate the 1985 high-speed quad will be replaced with a new detachable quad or six place chairlift.  Vail has already added ten new lifts in the past eleven years and three of the most recent were of the six variety from both Doppelmayr and Leitner-Poma.  Vail has made no formal announcement but the Forest Service expects to conduct public scoping in May followed by a decision in June.

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9 thoughts on “Vail Proposes Upgrading Game Creek Lift

  1. Robert Withey April 21, 2018 / 10:09 am

    Can’t imagine either of the manufacturers could supply a lift if it is only being ordered in June or later. They seem pretty busy as it is.

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    • Collin April 21, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      All of Vail’s currently announced projects are Doppelmayr so this one will be LP. I knew they’d announce something else later as there has not been a year in a long long time when they didn’t buy lifts from both manufacturers. Doppelmayr is so busy this year I doubt they’re under pressure to bid competitively and mountains that haven’t announced yet and don’t care what manufacturer will most likely sign with LP.

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  2. John Janecek April 21, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Even though Vail Resorts hasn’t officially listed Heavenly’s ‘Comet Express’ as needing upgrading, ‘Game Creek Express’ & “Comet Express’ are from the same first-generation of Doppelmayr high speed quad’s. Perhaps Vail Resorts wants to put together a package deal for next year.

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  3. RaflW April 21, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Lift lines at Game Creek can be quite long. But a 6 pack may be too much uphill capacity for the size of the pod. Lost Boy already gets pretty crowded. Not sure what to make of this. If they are having reliability issues and install a new HSQ, that might be best.
    I know it’s pipe-dream silly, but Game Creek seems like the sort of place that could benefit from a side lift. An FGT that ran parallel to Ouzo would be a short ride time, and on powder days, reasonably good intermediates could lap some fun stuff. And on all days, lifting out of the pod onto the Avanti pod would be much more efficient than the longish, flatish traverse on Eagle’s Nest Ridge. But, yeah, not gonna happen. :/

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  4. Jeffrey April 21, 2018 / 3:27 pm

    I hope breckenridge gets an upgrade. We will find out in a week or so

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