Eight Seater Coming to Sunday River’s Jordan Bowl

Doppelmayr will build the fastest eight place chairlift in North America for the 2022-23 season, a Sunday River Red bubble chair in Jordan Bowl. Dubbed Jordan 8, the lift will feature the world’s first red-colored bubbles along with heated seats, a loading conveyor and direct drive. Jordan 8 will spin a blazing 6 meters a second, shaving a minute off the ride time of the current Jordan Bowl Express and transporting 3,200 skiers per hour. “We are proud as a team and so excited to bring the latest Doppelmayr technology to Sunday River,” said Stephen Kircher, CEO of Boyne Resorts. “With each milestone in the Sunday River 2030 plan, Boyne Resorts is enhancing the experience across the board with major investments in infrastructure.”

The current Jordan high speed quad will be refurbished to replace the Barker Mountain Express for winter 2023-24. Some may wonder why Jordan for a D-Line lift rather than Sunday River’s original peak with an older detachable quad. The answer lies in Jordan Bowl’s popularity with guests, the amount of wind and snow it sees as well as the fact Sunday River owns thousands of acres next door. The Jordan/Oz peaks and future terrain beyond will be known henceforth as the Western Reserve. “The Jordan 8 is a significant jumping off point for the Western Reserve, creating a portal that could double our skiable terrain in the coming decades,” said Dana Bullen, President of Sunday River. “This lift also acts as an immediate catalyst for upcoming renovations to the Jordan Hotel, new activities and amenities.” Both Jordan 8 terminals will feature glass weather protection, allowing all 60 chairs to be parked without a separate storage building. Each chair weighs 2,262 pounds, making the lift wind resistant during storms.

Jordan 8 is the third major lift project announced by Boyne Resorts for 2022. Also in New England, the company is relocating the former Kancamagus detachable quad at Loon Mountain to replace Seven Brothers. Last week, Boyne Mountain unveiled plans for Disciples 8, the Midwest’s first eight passenger chairlift. When Disciples 8 and Jordan 8 open next winter, Boyne Resorts will operate eight seat chairlifts at four of its nine mountains and 80 percent of all the eight seaters in the United States.

47 thoughts on “Eight Seater Coming to Sunday River’s Jordan Bowl

  1. teleturner October 7, 2021 / 8:04 am

    Yet Sugarloaf can’t get ANYTHING… sigh

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    • Max Hart October 7, 2021 / 8:24 am

      Hold that thought…

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      • teleturner October 7, 2021 / 8:26 am

        ???? fill me in

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        • Utah Lost Ski Area Project October 15, 2021 / 5:39 pm

          It looks like Sugarloaf is building a T-bar in 2022. That’s at least something.

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    • Steve October 7, 2021 / 9:35 am

      SL is as usual the poor stepsister.

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    • skitheeast October 7, 2021 / 1:05 pm

      After the Boyne Mountain announcement a week or two ago, people complained that the northeast was getting nothing. Now, Boyne announces a massive project at Sunday River and the complaint is that Sugarloaf gets nothing. My guess is that Sugarloaf will get an announcement and people will ask where the love for Loon or Big Sky is…

      Boyne has been very steady in its plans to announce improvements one mountain at a time. Sugarloaf has a 2030 plan and West Mountain is scheduled to be installed in 2023, with Timberline and Double Runner replacements to follow. Boyne has committed a ton of capital and resources to all of their resorts, so try and be patient.

      Liked by 1 person

      • teleturner October 7, 2021 / 1:28 pm

        We have been patient. We haven’t had a new lift in 10 years, and we only got that one because the old one fell down. Last real new lift project was 1997, probably before you were born!

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        • skitheeast October 7, 2021 / 2:05 pm

          Boyne only fully purchased Sugarloaf (and Sunday River) in Summer 2018, so they were unable to do much between when they started operating the resort in 2007 and then. Therefore, you have to view this as year three of new ownership. If you have ever been a part of a large company or organization that gets a new CEO or executive team, you would know it takes some time for there to be actual change. Boyne has shown that they have a vision with Sugarloaf 2030 and a willingness to spend by starting on similar plans at Sugarloaf’s sister northeast resorts. Yes, it can be frustrating to see Loon and Sunday River receive new chairlifts a year or two earlier. However, as I mentioned earlier, West Mountain is coming online in 2023 with other new lifts and infrastructure to follow. There is a visible light at the end of the tunnel.

          I am a little owner than you may think, and something I like to think I have learned throughout the years is the ability to see a company or leader going places instead of stagnating. At this moment in time, Boyne seems to be genuinely committed to improving all three of their northeast resorts for the foreseeable future. ASC’s poor financial decisions screwed over Sugarloaf for about a decade around the turn of the century and have continued lingering over the resort in some aspects ever since, but it is misplaced to direct this anger at Boyne when they are now trying to improve the mountain.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Collin Parsons October 7, 2021 / 7:33 pm

          @SkiTheEast, I think that is true that Boyne gets blamed for the lack of investment in eastern resorts, despite the fact that they did not own the resorts until the summer of 2018. Of course, they’re the ones who sold them to CNL, but they were not in charge of the capital improvements. Over 11 years, CNL only built 6 lifts:

          Lincoln Express, Loon (2007)
          Tote Road, Loon (2007)
          Chondola, Sunday River (2008)
          Rivers Edge, Loon (2010)
          Skyline, Sugarloaf (2011)
          Spruce Peak, Sunday River (2017)

          Of those, Skyline and Spruce were only installed to replace lifts damaged in accidents, Rivers Edge is a private lift, and Tote Road is only a transfer lift, serving no skiable runs. That leaves just 2 lifts, the Chondola and the Lincoln Express as being truly impactful. Truly an abysmal record. And under the previous owners (Booth Creek for Loon and ASC for SR and SL), Loon only received 1 new lift (North Peak Express), and SR and SL didn’t get anything for 10 years. That many years of neglect takes time and money to fix.

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      • Anthony October 7, 2021 / 6:24 pm

        Eight-pack to Alpental when?????

        😁

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        • Myles Svec October 7, 2021 / 7:07 pm

          Or something at Brighton

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  2. Philip Keeve October 7, 2021 / 8:55 am

    What are the odds now that the new Silverlode at Park City will be a D-Line installation?

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    • curtis October 7, 2021 / 8:59 am

      Considering it’s vail the chances are not very high unless dopplmayr don’t make uni-g 8 packs anymore. If they do go D line it certainly won’t have bubbles or heated seats, like disciples 8

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      • Philip Keeve October 7, 2021 / 9:29 am

        Agreed on the bubbles and heated seats, though the length doesn’t necessarily justify either of those.

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        • Donald Reif October 7, 2021 / 10:38 am

          Vail Resorts doesn’t build ground-up lifts with bubbles and heated seats.

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    • Peter Landsman October 7, 2021 / 11:01 am

      I’d say pretty good but we do not know for sure the new Park City lifts will be Doppelmayr. Leitner-Poma is building more lifts in Utah than Dopp this year and I’m sure they would love that to continue. The last new lift at PC was built by Skytrac, part of the Leitner-Poma group.

      Liked by 1 person

      • themav October 7, 2021 / 11:27 am

        Just saw this now (otherwise I would’ve incorporated this into my response), but I would agree. The Leitner-Poma group could very well be a supplier in this case.

        If they were to install the 8 place lift at Park City, it might look something similar to the new 8-seat lift at Mt Hutt. IIRC LPOA is the distributor in NZ/Aus for Leitner lifts.

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        • Peter Landsman October 7, 2021 / 11:37 am

          LPOA used to build lifts for New Zealand but the last two there came from Leitner in Europe. Likely the first LPOA 8 pack here will use American LPA terminals with European made chairs.

          Liked by 3 people

    • themav October 7, 2021 / 11:17 am

      I don’t think a Uni-G 8er has been installed in Europe in a few years now. My guess is the odds are pretty high it’ll be a D-Line. That has not been confirmed, however.

      My personal opinion is they should install a D-Line lift. That is not based on the customer experience, but based on the expected lifespan of a lift lasting 25-30 years, and at some point the Uni-G will be discontinued, so having parts commonality with newer generation Doppelmayr lifts may be a benefit. I figure at this point the Silverlode 8 will be here to stay for quite a while.

      What I’m also curious about is the Eagle 6 lift too. I could see that more easily being a Uni-G, to match the King Con lift right next door. On the other side, if they did a D-line for Eagle, there could potentially be parts commonality with the Silverlode 8.

      Parts commonality is why McConkey’s was installed as a 6 place. It actually ended up saving them big time when they had all of the Kissling gearbox failures back in 2005-2006, and they were able to part out McConkey’s to save the base area and other important lifts.

      I think we also may be seeing the beginning of a turning point in the North American lift market. There have been a number of 8er lifts announced in recent weeks, coupled with more six-packs than before too. While I realize that we don’t necessarily have to be a mirror image of Europe, I am not surprised to see North American operators pivot more towards that approach. Even outside of Europe, if we look at places like New Zealand which have traditionally had more simplistic lifts, there have been a few new 6 (D-Line) and 8 place (Leitner) installations there.

      Just my 2 cents.

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      • Lily October 7, 2021 / 1:44 pm

        I’m expecting Eagle to be the current Silverlode, like what was done with King Con and Motherlode.

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        • Donald Reif October 7, 2021 / 2:16 pm

          Silverlode is almost 25 years old. It’s more likely to become a parts donor for Payday, McConkey’s and Bonanza than be reused as Eagle.

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        • curtis October 7, 2021 / 3:36 pm

          Eagle is retaining the mid station so they have to build a new lift instead of relocating silverlode

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  3. Mike B October 7, 2021 / 9:13 am

    This seems….rather ambitious and optimistic of an investment. I mean, by the time Sunday River gets financing, regulatory approvals and the underlying demand to make the 8 seater investment worthwhile, this lift will be nearing the end of its usable life (30 yrs). I’ll be pretty surprised if they ever make it as far west as the South Brand Jordan River basin – basically will have to add the equivalent of a Jordan Bowl and Aurora Peak combined before you get there. At a minimum, this must imply that major base area investments are forthcoming to the Jordan Bowl area, likely downhill from the Jordan Hotel extending to the base of the lifts there. It would make zero sense unless this is a major new portal b/c it takes a minimum of two lifts to get there rt now from the current base areas, one of which is a fixed grip no matter what route you take.

    Definitely a head scratcher for me with this one.

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  4. skitheeast October 7, 2021 / 10:31 am

    I guess this is one way to satisfy Boyne’s desire for an eight-pack at Sunday River and the resort’s preference to not have one at Barker! If the Western expansion is truly imminent as well, then having that much capacity does make sense. Rather build it out now with too much capacity in the short term instead of having too little capacity in the medium or long term. It would also be nice to see a map of exactly where these thousands of acres are, as I would think any expansion of that size would need another base area as well.

    It is also great to see Barker getting replaced. However, it definitely needs an upgrade from a quad. Does the FourRunner replacement debacle ring a bell? If they simultaneously announced plans to upgrade Locke to a detachable lift with a relocated base terminal, I would be okay, but this is incredibly short-sighted, which is especially disappointing give Boyne is not known for being cheap with its lifts. Plus, there are plenty of other places where a detachable quad could have been useful at the resort. Either White Cap or Aurora could have used this lift instead.

    Like

    • Donald Reif October 7, 2021 / 10:44 am

      I mean, the current Barker dates to 1987 while Jordan Bowl is a 1994.

      Either they’ll supply new grips and terminals in the process of reinstalling Jordan Bowl on Barker. Or they’ll do something like Big Sky’s reinstallation of Ramcharger 4 as Shedhorn 4, and enclose the existing UNI terminals in a UNI-G skin.

      Like

    • Donald Reif October 7, 2021 / 10:52 am

      “The current Jordan high speed quad will be refurbished to replace the Barker Mountain Express for winter 2023-24.” Sunday River needs to clarify whether this means they’ll replace the grips and terminals entirely, or just be refitting the existing terminals with a UNI-G skin. Maybe they’ll spring for the former because that would ensure Barker is less of a maintenance nightmare than the current Yoma.

      Like

      • Big Mountain October 7, 2021 / 4:59 pm

        I think the UNI-G skin is the bare minimum of what they should build at Barker.

        Like

  5. Butterside October 7, 2021 / 12:29 pm

    Going with an 8 at Jordan is not totally surprising, but I’m surprised in a bad way that Barker is being replaced with the old Jordan. That is such a high profile lift that has gotten a lot of negative publicity over the last few years with all the down time. At least the new (refurbished) Barker will run faster than the current one, but I wish they took a page out of Big Sky’s playbook and put a D-Line 6 here. I agree with the other posters that the old Jordan would be better used to replace one of the other FG lifts at SR.

    Like

  6. Peter October 7, 2021 / 1:45 pm

    Hopefully the decision to put the signature lift at Sunday River at Jordan means they will develop the base of the Jordan lift into a village style base area. Sunday River really lacks any great base areas. White Cap, Barker, and South Ridge are all outdated lodges with nothing exciting about them at all. Jordan definitely has enough area at the bottom and a village of some sorts there would significantly boost the guest experience, as well as eliminate the amount of people traversing back and forth to get to and from the area. Maybe even a Snowmass-like pulse gondola could transfer people between the village and the hotel.

    I am also curious to see if any new trail cutting will be done on Jordan and Oz. During a lack of snowfall or during icy conditions, there is really only 3 trails this lift would serve (Rogue Angel, Excalibur, and Lollapalooza). Maybe 4 if snow is made on Lost Princess. The increase in capacity and the lure of the new lift will surely bring more skiers to this area, and only 3 trails might not be sufficient.

    Like

    • Calvin October 7, 2021 / 4:29 pm

      The Jordan 8 will have 60 chairs. Current Jordan HSQ has 113. While the Jordan 8 will be faster we’re not talking about significant capacity increase.

      Like

    • carletongebhardt October 8, 2021 / 10:22 am

      That’s what I find, it can take a while to get over to Jordan from the other bases, and then there’s often not much to ski, and then you have to traverse back over. It definitely needs it’s own base lodge. And it’s disappoint that Barker isn’t getting a six-pack, given that it’s still the center of resort until the Western Reserve gets built out, which will take years.

      Like

      • Mike B October 8, 2021 / 11:13 am

        Exactly – hence my original comment above that this seems a little premature. By the time they complete the base, lift and trail infrastructure to make the 8 pack worthwhile, it will be time to replace the lift. Truly mystifying why they’d go big here first vs. at the ageing, crowded core of the mountain.

        Like

  7. Dan October 7, 2021 / 4:18 pm

    Boyne needs Leitner Poma!!!!

    Like

  8. Muni October 7, 2021 / 8:12 pm

    Does anyone have intel on the “Western Reserve” expansion, or perhaps what Sunday River’s SUP boundary is? I don’t see any details on Sunday RIver 2030 … except that it’s a “long term” plan.

    Like

    • Max Hart October 7, 2021 / 8:41 pm

      Sunday River is on private land- the ski area currently occupies ~2,000acres of the 10,000 acre parcel it sits on. The remaining land is almost all located west of Jordan and Oz, almost as if it was acquired for future ski terrain. Oh wait…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Calvin October 7, 2021 / 8:57 pm

        There’s a reason it’s nickname is “Someday Bigger” 😂

        Like

      • Myles Svec October 7, 2021 / 8:58 pm

        I’m guessing they will need another portal or 2 if they want to expand more west of Jordan.

        Like

        • Utah Lost Ski Area Project October 7, 2021 / 9:37 pm

          I wonder if that’s the reason why Barker doesn’t get as much of an upgrade as Jordan. A new base area would shift traffic away from the Barker area, resulting in less lines on Barker.

          Like

        • Mike B October 8, 2021 / 11:19 am

          Right, but when? 5 yrs from now? How long will it take to build a new portal that will have some gravity of its own? At a minimum, you’re talking about a brand new day lodge and than related skier services components/ski school etc… Right now, they are investing to bring people over to a lift/pod where there isn’t much “there” there.

          Now they could go and announce a new 6 pack in place of the Locke Mtn Triple next yr that would make this announcement start to be more understandable, but it seems they went to step 4 of the plan before steps 1-3 were in place.

          Like

  9. Peter October 28, 2021 / 3:31 pm

    Why does Boyne/Sunday River seem to not care at all about parking structures at Sunday River? the Chondola probably has the most pathetic excuse for a parking structure and for the Jordan 8, they are using the terminals as parking structures. There is definitely plenty of room at the base of Jordan for a parking barn, so I am curious why they chose this option.

    Like

    • Muni October 28, 2021 / 4:51 pm

      The Chondola opened in 2008, so much of its planning and development probably took place in the final years of American Skiing Company ownership. ASC in general didn’t seem to have too much respect for taking care of gondola cabins … K1 at Killington only got a fully enclosed parking barn a couple years ago when Powdr replaced all the cabins.

      The terminal-as-storage is actually a pretty neat idea. Foundations are expensive (especially on top of a mountain), so it probably saves a lot of money. Ramcharger can also store chairs in the terminal, and I think that’s exactly what they did the first year of operation, before the parking structure was finished.

      Like

      • Doppelmayr FTW October 28, 2021 / 6:37 pm

        Ramcharger only did that for about a week before the rails were finished. If R8 had no bike carriers, and wasn’t adding about a dozen more chairs in the future, it would have the same terminal parking as Jordan. It is a far cheaper and less impactful solution.

        Like

  10. Big Mountain November 6, 2021 / 3:39 pm

    Sunday River says they’re going to move the top terminal down 15 feet, but there’s a pretty steep incline right there and in order to get out of Jordan you need to take Kansas so are skiers going to need to hike up towards Kansas now?

    Like

    • Tucker Stanton November 22, 2021 / 8:43 pm

      Yes, the summit of the new lift is coming down in elevation, but 15 feet is really not that much of a difference. The plan is with Jordan 8 is that they are going to blast the top of Jordan Bowl so the pitch getting into Kansas will be less steeper, and more accessible when the new lift is installed (the top terminal will also be moved back to prevent congestion, although it don’t know far). After they blast the summit, Kansas will be slightly re-routed to start where the ski patrol hut (formerly Roundabout) is now, and the gulley in-between Oz and Jordan will be filled in slightly so there is no big curve / flat area after. This will also take out the steep pitch that is there now.

      Keep in mind this project is still in finalization, so plans are still subject to change.

      Like

  11. SkiEnthusiast422 November 27, 2021 / 5:00 am

    My big question is not necessarily the new lift here.

    I think it is fantastic that Sunday River Resort is planning to replace the Jordan Express Quad with an Eight Pack Heated Bubble Express Lift.

    The question I have is about grips on the Jordan Express Quad. Will they replace the current grips with a newer style grip like the DS104 Grip (I believe) you see on the newer Doppelmayr Lifts prior to installing it over on Barker Peak in 2023-24? I think this might help this lift a lot.

    I know the current Jordan Express Quad utilizes a grip that similar to the DT104 style grip. Similar to the Bethlehem Express at Bretton Woods & the Loon Mountain Gondola (I believe).

    If anyone knows, please fill me in.

    Like

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