Arizona Snowbowl to Install Combination Lift


Arizona Snowbowl’s fourth new lift in six years will be the largest yet –  a chair/gondola combo lift rising almost 2,000 vertical feet.  The new base-to-summit workhorse will operate year round for skiers, snowboarders and sightseers beginning next winter.  “Since its inception, Agassiz has been the beating heart of Snowbowl,” notes the resort.  “With the replacement of the lift, we’re ushering in a new era.  More than an upgrade, the new Agassiz lift completely redefines the Snowbowl experience.”

Unlike most combination lifts, Agassiz will feature eight passenger gondolas between every two chairs (usually the ratio is more like one in four or five.)  Agassiz reaches an elevation of 11,500 feet and enclosed cabins will offer guests a comfortable option in inclement weather.  The gondolas will also provide improved access for guests with disabilities and ride time will decrease from 15 minutes to seven.  Capacity will remain a modest 1,200 skiers per hour so as not to overwhelm expert trails off the summit.

In addition to summer and winter, Agassiz operates all fall for scenic rides.

The Leitner-Poma Telemix will be the third lift in the Agassiz alignment over six decades of history.  The existing Agassiz triple opened in 1986 and is currently inoperable due to a mechanical issue.  The CTEC is expected to be repaired this week and will finish out the remainder of the season.  Once removed, it will be stored for eventual re-installation at a location to be determined.


Mountain Capital Partners has invested heavily in Arizona Snowbowl since purchasing the resort back in 2014.  Improvements to date include a new lodge, two different fixed-grip quads and a six place called the Grand Canyon Express.  2020’s project will be the largest in resort history and one of the most significant lift additions in North America this year.

29 thoughts on “Arizona Snowbowl to Install Combination Lift

  1. skier72 March 5, 2020 / 9:57 am

    Wow, I’m impressed. Now, I guess it’s just Aspen that needs an upgrade. Maybe that will be the new location of the Agassiz triple…


    • julestheshiba March 5, 2020 / 10:53 am

      I have never been there but from what I have seen the area seems kind of small hill, from my perspective this lift should be moved to a new expansion of some kind.


      • Ryan March 5, 2020 / 1:08 pm

        Aggassiz gets HEAVY use so this is the right replacement lift for this area. This is a long ride as-is, so this will be a drastic improvement. Especially for year round use.


    • BRANDON M March 5, 2020 / 1:46 pm

      I was thinking the same thing, Isn’t the Aspen lift parts of the original Agassiz Double?


      • Ray March 5, 2020 / 2:08 pm

        Yes, Aspen lift is the parts from the original 1962 vintage Agassiz lift. They did install a smaller DC drive motor.


  2. tuskvt March 5, 2020 / 11:32 am

    Will the new lift still have a mid-station or will this become an expert only lift?


  3. BarkeeStone March 5, 2020 / 1:15 pm

    I like the idea but what suprises me the most is the carrier to gondola ratio. It’s kind of small if the lift line is very long. Plus having 3 chairs instead of 2 would be better than have a gondola for every 2 chairs.


  4. Meir K. March 5, 2020 / 5:02 pm

    How many chondolas are there in NA, and how are they distributed by manufacturer?


  5. jaytrem March 5, 2020 / 7:31 pm

    Is it Sugar Mountain in NC that has 1 cabin? I guess it’s a chondola???


      • jaytrem March 6, 2020 / 7:32 am

        So it’s a sometimes chondola (singular)! :-)


  6. Max Hart March 5, 2020 / 7:42 pm

    Mountain Capital Partners at it again! I like these guys; I would like to think that LBO Resort Enterprise Corp. would have turned out similarly if they never merged with S-K-I. Like LBO, MCP is focusing on the ski experience rather than developing real-estate, and it seems to be working well for them. AZ Snowbowl is in an especially good spot, only 160 miles from Phoenix, a city of 1.6M people.


    • Meir K. March 6, 2020 / 5:04 am

      I would say it’s more what S-K-I would’ve turned out if it did not merge with LBO.


  7. Thomas Jett March 6, 2020 / 10:10 pm

    What does everybody make of the idea of a lift up to Agassiz Peak? Maybe it could start at the bottom of the Midway Catwalk.


    • Ray March 7, 2020 / 7:03 am

      Agassiz Peak is outside the Snowbowl permit area. It would be very difficult if not impossible to expand the permit area.


    • Ryan Murphy March 7, 2020 / 12:15 pm

      The peak is sacred to the local Indian tribe. While I’m sure there would be ways MCP would get that done if they really wanted to, it would not be worth permanently damaging any relationship they have with people in the area. It’s best left as is. If you really wanna ski it, the skin up from Agassiz shouldn’t be that bad.


      • Ray March 8, 2020 / 2:13 pm

        While MCP can do a lot of things within the boundaries of the permit area, it would take an act of Congress to extend the Snowbowl permit area into the Kachina Peaks Wilderness.


  8. gavin March 8, 2020 / 2:49 pm

    could they add potentially add a lift near the top of Humphrey’s peak into upper bowl?


    • powderforever45 March 9, 2020 / 6:57 am

      That would go out of the permit area and a permit area extension is likely not happening.


  9. Donald Reif March 8, 2020 / 6:19 pm

    This lift won’t need a midstation as Grand Canyon can cover it.


  10. TyG March 11, 2020 / 6:11 pm

    I read they plan to stay within the 777 boundary they’re approved for with the new master plan still, so the new lifts would be within that. Most likely the Aspen double is being replaced by the old Agassiz Triple or a new quad while the other lift will be for new terrain over near the Jeep trail area. This could be where the AT3 ends up, maybe the sunset triple w/AT3 chairs or either a new lift is built over there. On FB they say they’re selling a limited amount of chairs while putting the chair into storage for future utilization. I know every lift in the future will have safety bars as they announced this on a old FB post so I think the chairs might go to the sunset lift next season or the following season and maybe they realign the lift to the south and have the top still end near the current top for the ST3 down the road. No lift will ever be built in the bowl because of the the endangered SF ragwort high up so the NFS will never approve something up there is my guess.


    • Ray April 13, 2020 / 12:12 pm

      I’m wondering if MCP will proceed with the replacement of Agassiz in 2020 or delay it like so many others are doing.


      • Peter Landsman April 14, 2020 / 8:29 pm

        Looks like chairs started to be taken off Agassiz today. An encouraging sign!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s