Major Lift Realignment Underway at Michigan’s Bittersweet

Bittersweet in Michigan is making way for a second detachable chairlift in 2022. The mountain’s current high speed quad, the Sweet Express, will move northwest to replace the Poison Ivy triple this season. That late model Hall has been moved the other direction to replace the Chickory double. Along the way, Chickory will be upgraded with a brand new Skytrac drive terminal.

The lift shuffle come as Bittersweet owner Wisconsin Resorts expands to include six mountains in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario. Throughout its history, the company has invested heavily in both lift and snowmaking infrastructure.

The new Sweet Express is the third lift announced for the state of Michigan in 2022. On Wednesday, Boyne Mountain unveiled plans for the region’s first eight passenger chairlift. Caberfae Peaks also plans to add a new lift next year.

9 thoughts on “Major Lift Realignment Underway at Michigan’s Bittersweet

  1. Detroit Skier October 2, 2021 / 7:54 am

    So is the summit going unserved by a lift this season until the new detachable quad is installed in 2022? Also, with the shortened lift line, will this be potentially the shortest detachable chair on the continent? This seems like such an odd move to add a second detachable. I get having one for marketing purposes, but 2 at an area of this size seems like major overkill.

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    • Jim October 4, 2021 / 6:25 am

      The current High speed is being moved to the right at the top and will be used this season. This opens up the top to add the second high speed which will replace an older triple seat lift.

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      • Detroit Skier October 4, 2021 / 8:40 am

        I’m not a regular there, so take my comments with a grain of salt. I have not been there when it is super busy and don’t know if there are capacity issues with the current skier visits. With the way the summit is currently constructed, is there enough room up there to support 8-10 people per chair load (4 from the realigned lift and up to 6 if the new Sweet Express ends up as a six-pack) during peak times? Unless changes have been made since I have been there, the west side of the summit is mostly blocked off with fencing, so you have to go north or east, and there is not a ton of open space to handle congregating skiers and boarders. Also, I’m not sure of the value of taking the Poison Ivy upper terminal location and moving it back uphill when the majority of riders are likely freestylers running laps of the terrain park. If the moved detachable quad will go to the summit, is there some earth-moving going on to allow for egress to the west or expand the footprint at the top?

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  2. Randy October 2, 2021 / 11:23 am

    I’m just curious why move the quad to replace another chair and build a new quad next year. Why not just build the new quad next year and replace the lift with it then. Seems like alot of work moving lifts around. Also when I read the story I never got the impression they were replacing a lift by moving the quad.

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    • Peter Landsman October 2, 2021 / 9:26 pm

      My thought is next year’s lift will be a six place. I have an email in to them to try and find out.

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      • Ryan October 3, 2021 / 7:34 pm

        thanks, Peter. Can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

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        • Peter Landsman October 5, 2021 / 3:36 pm

          They said the new lift will be a Poma quad as well.

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    • SpartySki October 4, 2021 / 5:50 am

      This move makes sense if their goal is to have all runs, minus the dedicated beginner area, serviced by High Speed Lifts. Bittersweet has a wide flat base with a single high point that all runs start from. From the base you cannot just ski your way over to Sweet Express if you are on the west side of the mountain. Moving Sweet Express over and installing a new High Speed, like Peter says, likely a 6 will help things out a lot at Bittersweet. Bittersweet is by far the biggest and busiest ski area in southwest Michigan and has very long lift lines. There is a lot of population around Bittersweet. This is all an effort to help get more skiers up the hill more quickly at a ski area that is probably doing very well financially. Sweet Express is the lift line that will see the most skiers which is likely why they are moving Sweet Express over and likely bringing in a 6.

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    • Jim October 4, 2021 / 6:28 am

      The current high speed needed to be moved over to make room for the second high speed at the top. The new high speed next year will replace an older lift and will help mover the crowds on weekends better.

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