Utah’s Sundance Announces Two New Lifts

The new owners of Sundance Mountain Resort have ordered two lifts to replace the mile-long Ray’s quad. A three station detachable quad will service Mandan Summit from the base village and a fixed grip quad will provide return access from the backside of the mountain. Both lifts will be manufactured by Doppelmayr USA and installed in advance of the 2021-22 winter season.

Built in 1995, Ray’s currently serves many purposes with a whopping four separate loading/unloading zones. An up and over lift, Ray’s follows a straight line between the base area and Red’s lift, thus not reaching the true Mandan Summit. Both new lift alignments will top out on the peak to better distribute skiers. The new high speed lift will also feature a mid-unload station for beginners. A ride from base-to-summit will last just seven minutes, down from 12+ without stops on Ray’s. The second lift returning from the backside will primarily be used for summer activities.

“I have wonderful memories of skiing the beautiful terrain of Mandan Summit on the old chairlift before 1995,” commented Chad Linebaugh, President and General Manager of Sundance. “We are thrilled for the addition of a new high-speed quad that will restore access to these amazing runs and views.” Other projects slated for this summer include additional snowmaking and parking.

Two private equity firms, Broadreach Capital Partners and Cedar Capital Partners, purchased Sundance Resort from Robert Redford in December 2020.

32 thoughts on “Utah’s Sundance Announces Two New Lifts

  1. Ryan King March 11, 2021 / 4:32 pm

    This makes me extremely excited! As someone who has grown up skiing at Sundance, this is big news. I like this alignment for the new high-speed lift.

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  2. themav March 11, 2021 / 4:37 pm

    Is the plan to remove Ray’s lift?

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    • ne_skier March 11, 2021 / 4:51 pm

      Looks as if that’s what’s happening, and that all of its terrain and some more will be served by the two new lifts

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    • Ryan King March 11, 2021 / 5:00 pm

      Yes. Sundance sent a letter to pass holders today and they said that they will be retiring Ray’s lift.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Utah Powder Skier March 11, 2021 / 5:03 pm

        Are they keeping it, selling it or scrapping it?

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    • Peter Landsman March 11, 2021 / 5:03 pm

      The way the press release is worded, I wonder if the backside lift will use parts from Ray’s rather than being entirely new from Doppelmayr. I’ll try and find out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Donald Reif March 11, 2021 / 6:06 pm

        That would definitely be the cheaper way to do.

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      • themav March 11, 2021 / 9:22 pm

        That makes sense. Thank you.

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      • Pulverschnee March 12, 2021 / 9:51 am

        Both lifts will be brand new Doppelmayr lifts. No old parts will be used.

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  3. Donald Reif March 11, 2021 / 6:09 pm

    My guess is Ray’s Express will be a UNI G lift with a tunnel half-station for the mid-unload similar to Orange Bubble’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aidan Wilson March 11, 2021 / 7:36 pm

    Would it be possible to reuse the chairs on Ray’s for both new lifts? Most detachables have less chairs than fixed grips. I’m pretty sure it has been done before with the Uni-GS. I would assume it would be no different with a Uni-G.

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    • Alex Kennedy March 11, 2021 / 8:37 pm

      They would have to make new hangar arms for the chairs as the hangar arms on Ray’s are meant for a fixed grip. I think they would only re-use them for the return lift. The chairs are pretty old so I wouldn’t be surprised if they just scrapped the whole thing.

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        • ne_skier March 14, 2021 / 5:34 pm

          Superchief is a mechanical nightmare largely due to those chairs. Foolish move on their part

          Liked by 1 person

  5. nvskier March 11, 2021 / 8:09 pm

    “The expansion will include the retirement of Rays lift with renewed access to the Mandan Summit from the base via a Doppelmayr high-speed quad. This lift will provide a 7-minute ride to the Summit, including breathtaking views and lift access to intermediate and advanced terrain. The lift will also include a mid-station unload for novice skiers. An additional fixed-grip quad will provide access to the backside of the Mandan Summit, primarily to be used for summer activities.”

    This excerpt from the press release doesn’t actually specify if they are new or used lifts. Although I imagine the high-speed quad will be, as it may be difficult and/or too expensive to integrate a midstation on a used lift unless they’ve sourced a specific lift with one already. They also named Doppelmayr specifically so that would likely mean they’re ordering it new. As for the backside chair, it says it would primarily be used in the summer so I would expect them to reuse as much of Ray’s Lift as possible for that.

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  6. Ryan March 12, 2021 / 2:29 am

    While I hope they don’t do this.. they could use existing Ray to replace Flathead.. that’s the oldest remaining, built in 1975.. Upgrading it from a FGT to a FGQ..

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    • Skier March 14, 2021 / 11:32 am

      Eww please no. It’s bad enough having Reds as a quad. The ride time compared to Arrowhead is awful. They ran the Arrowhead triple way faster than the Reds quad. It sucks because there weren’t a ton of days that the extra capacity was needed, so on less busy days the extra ride time is annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter Landsman March 12, 2021 / 9:21 am

    Sundance confirmed for me both lifts will be new builds. Ray’s will not be reused at Sundance and is for sale in its entirety.

    Would be perfect for Utah Olympic Park’s West Peak expansion.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Skier March 14, 2021 / 11:30 am

      They still have Arrowhead in the boneyard. Any word on if they’re selling that too or scrapping it? If they’re scrapping it I’d love to buy a chair.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ne_skier March 14, 2021 / 5:45 pm

        It’s definitely not being relocated anywhere in the east due to the lack of safety bars, I doubt that the seatbelts would be seen as a good substitute either. As for out west, it depends on the mechanical condition of the lift and how easy it would be to relocate it. Pretty sure the old Jupiter lift at Stevens couldn’t be relocated due to its profile.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Utah Powder Skier March 14, 2021 / 7:06 pm

          Are you sure about Jupiter? You know it’s all the same guy with different names whos saying that its profile was the reason it was scrapped. If the old Moab Scenic lift was relocated and it had a crazy profile. Jupiter could have easily been relocated as well.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Skier March 18, 2021 / 3:52 pm

          Arrowhead had safety bars it’s final 2-3 seasons. Those seat belts were only on in the summer for a short period

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Alex Kennedy March 12, 2021 / 10:06 am

    Also, the fact that the current quad is Garaventa CTEC, they would be familiar with maintenance.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mike B March 12, 2021 / 11:26 am

    Seems like a missed opportunity for the return lift to be summer only. Running it in winter would significantly help overall flow on the mtn and with the renewed access/terrain off Mandan Summit, it’s a shame you won’t be able to get there from the bottom of Red’s.

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    • Peter Landsman March 12, 2021 / 11:36 am

      The press release doesn’t say summer only, but rather “primarily to be used for summer activities.”

      Like

  10. skibumbarnes March 12, 2021 / 5:42 pm

    I think a HSQ will be an amazing addition to Sundance in my opinion especially the alignment and placing they chose for it. I think Doppelmayr is also a great choice due to their other Garavanta CTEC lifts. Overall, I think this lift could potentially attract more people over their too due to press coverage.

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  11. Donald Reif March 12, 2021 / 5:43 pm

    You can sorta see where the new lifts will end here.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Myles Svec March 12, 2021 / 8:57 pm

    Does anyone know what will happen when they remove Rays with the lift line? Will they turn it into ski run(s) or replant it?

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    • Utah Powder Skier March 12, 2021 / 9:06 pm

      They’d probably do the same thing they did with Mandan, Navajo and the single chair. The won’t be ski runs, but they wont replant it either.

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      • Skier March 18, 2021 / 3:54 pm

        The steep liftline between mid station and top station has an official name and a sign for a few years now. Warren Miller’s The Edge

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Frode Jensen March 14, 2021 / 11:11 am

    Are there plans to replace Flathead? Isn’t it the oldest lift on the hill?

    Is Flathead the lift which still does not have a safety bar? Has a safety bar been installed and/or do the new owners have plans to install one?

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    • Skier March 14, 2021 / 11:27 am

      There’s still no bar on Flathead. It loks like all the chairs had some modifications done over the 2020 or 2019 summer(didn’t ski Sundance for the 19/20 season so I don’t know for sure). There’s new metal welded at the bottom of the backrests/seat. Probably replaced part of the under seat frame.

      Like

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