Alterra Details Plans for Six New Lifts in 2023

The parent company of the Ikon Pass plans to construct half a dozen new lifts for the 2023/24 ski season in addition to numerous other capital investments across 16 owned resorts. All Alterra lift projects for the upcoming 2023 construction season were previously announced but some details have changed slightly. Privately-held Alterra plans to invest a total of $400 million in resort infrastructure, $50 million for employee housing and $40 million toward technology upgrades to better connect and streamline the guest experience in the year ahead.

At Solitude, the previously announced Eagle Express replacement will now be a Doppelmayr six pack rather than a high speed quad. Solitude and the entire Wasatch have seen an extremely busy winter with plentiful snowfall and a growing Ikon passholder base in Utah.

Steamboat’s Full Steam Ahead initiative continues this summer with completion of the second section of the Wild Blue Gondola and debut of the Mahogany Ridge Express. The gondola will become the longest in North America with a 12 minute ride from base to summit. The first section of the D-Line gondola from Steamboat Square to Greenhorn Ranch debuted this winter and Doppelmayr has already completed tower foundations for phase 2 to Sunshine Peak.

Leitner-Poma of America will build Steamboat’s second new lift this summer, previously known as Pioneer Ridge but now dubbed Mahogany Ridge Express. The new detachable quad will service 655 acres of expert terrain in Mahogany Ridge and Fish Creek Canyon, making Steamboat the second largest mountain in Colorado.

Leitner-Poma will also build the new Pioneer Express at Winter Park, a six pack replacing a 1986 detachable quad. The new lift will feature a mid-loading station for easier access to return skiing.

At Snowshoe, Alterra affirmed the fixed grip triple Powder Monkey will be replaced with a fixed grip quad this summer from Skytrac.

At Mammoth Mountain the Canyon Express #16 will be replaced with a Doppelmayr D-Line detachable six place lift. Notably, the previously announced Broadway Express #1 replacement is no longer proceeding this summer. Mammoth and Alterra are currently working through approvals for redevelopment of the Main Lodge portal which may affect the alignment of a future Broadway Express.

“In our first five years, Alterra Mountain Company has established itself as a proven leader in the outdoor industry, and we intend to continue to innovate by investing in large-scale projects that will deliver differentiated guest experiences,” said Jared Smith, President & CEO of Alterra Mountain Company. “These projects, and our investments in the years ahead, demonstrate our unwavering commitment to evolving our destinations to better serve our guests and to improving the experience our employees can expect when living and working in our mountain communities.”


50 thoughts on “Alterra Details Plans for Six New Lifts in 2023

  1. magicwizard423 March 21, 2023 / 11:05 am

    What about Tremblant new’s quad ?


    • Peter Landsman March 21, 2023 / 11:19 am

      The fixed grip quad going in the summer at Tremblant is being built by a real estate developer so not an Alterra project. Sounds like it will be a private lift for homeowners only.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin Tremblant March 21, 2023 / 11:25 am

        No Peter, the Ski trails of this future lift are supposed to be used as a beginner teaching area
        Have heard if that Quad has been ordered??


        • Peter Landsman March 21, 2023 / 11:30 am

          The developer’s website used to say the lift would be private but it seems now you are right and it will be open to the public. I’m told it has been ordered for delivery in December 2023.

          Liked by 1 person

        • magicwizard423 March 21, 2023 / 4:03 pm

          Maybe it’s sign that the new Timber ridge will finally come, because the first phae of the project was a new beginner zone around Soleil area, and it seems to be it.


        • Kevin.Tremblant March 24, 2023 / 2:20 pm

          I don’t understand all the anticipation for Timbers
          We locals have been in there for years and it’s great in the woods Once there are trails it’s pretty ordinary In the Intrawest Éco Signe Master Plan Timbers was supposed to be another Pod The lift was not supposed to go to the bottom Imagine the bottom of L’Algonquin


        • magicwizard423 March 24, 2023 / 6:22 pm

          Good point Kevin :)
          I think that Tremblant really needs an expansion, because it’s often overcrowded


  2. Kevin R March 21, 2023 / 11:21 am

    Any one know why Steamboat has gone with LP for there new lift?
    They also have mentioned Staff housing at Tremblant! We’re is going to be be and more details
    They won’t be installing the Timber HSQ at Tremblant until the Huge Real Estate projects come on line that are presently being built
    Altera has Sold over $40 million worth of land that they owned at Tremblant
    To bad they are doing what ALL the previous owners have done at Tremblant They make lots of $$$ but it doesn’t get re invested here


    • MSM March 21, 2023 / 12:56 pm

      Are you serious? Tremblant has the second newest lift fleet in Quebec behind Bromont, and has gotten more investment over the last 20 years than 99% of Quebec resorts. “They make lots of money and don’t reinvest it here”, well Intrawest sold Mont Ste Marie, solely to have more capital to poor into Tremblant, along with giving Tremblant half of MSM’s snowmaking infrastructure, groomers, snowmobiles, ski racks, gates, etc. Tremblant is already overbuilt for the size of the mountain, and enjoys the best facilities, infrastructure, and investment in Quebec, so its laughable you think that Tremblant has been anything but fortunate to have Alterra and Intrawest, because without them, Tremblant would look like Mont Ste Marie, and not be in the leagues of Stratton or Stowe.


      • skitheeast March 21, 2023 / 1:27 pm

        Comparing Tremblant to the rest of Quebec is not really fair. It gets more skier visits than anywhere else in Canada outside of Whistler and 10-15% of all skier visits in Quebec. Much of this can be attributed to Intrawest’s investment in the 90s, but both Intrawest and Alterra have not done much there since.

        Also, Mont Ste Marie was sold because Intrawest was real estate focused and needed cash exiting the winter of 2001-02 when the east had a bad snow year, 9/11 slowed travel, and the overall economy stagnated.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kevin. Tremblant March 21, 2023 / 5:34 pm

          Very good points To clarify Ski The East points Intrawest “bought “ MSM because both the Federal and Quebec Government “asked” them to buy it as a Tax deduction for Tremblant
          The Resort of TREMBLANT received around $200 million in Fed and Prov money for the Infrastructure of The Versant Soleil Plus the land swap for The Versant Soleil land that used to be in the Park
          Altera has sold over$40 million in land recently..
          The have probably recouped what they payed for Tremblant


    • Ryan March 21, 2023 / 1:52 pm

      Steamboat went with whomever came in with the best bid and could get the job done in the time frame specified. The days of brand loyalty and commonality are behind us when it comes to many mountains. Technicians can easily be trained to work on other manufacturers equipment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin.Tremblant March 21, 2023 / 5:21 pm

        I disagree As a former Lifty, Lift Mechanic Snow Cat Operator, etc.. Mountain Manager
        there are Huge savings One Fleet of the same equipment Why do you see Resorts like Whistler Blackcom become a Doppelmayr Resort? Parts Inventory, Buying power, knowledge, ease of training illumination of Staff bitching over which one is best etc..,


        • ShangRei Garrett March 21, 2023 / 8:49 pm

          In the case of Steamboat, they already had a (somewhat) mixed fleet, so I don’t think those aspects affected their decision-making as much as they would have at other resorts.


        • pbropetech March 22, 2023 / 8:56 am

          You’re right in many ways, but I’m beginning to see owners (or ownership groups) being less concerned with long-term results in many areas. As a longtime tech I don’t mind working on a variety of machines either; I find it interesting and helpful. But you’re definitely correct about ‘staff bitching over which one is best’- that happens on a nightly basis at our shop :)

          Liked by 1 person

        • Kevin.Tremblant March 22, 2023 / 4:32 pm

          I also think that with there being basically two World Wide lift builder’s and In North two majors lift buyers (Boyne doesn’t count they are Doppel) it’s two the advantage of Altera and Vail to spread their $$
          Thought it strange that Steamboat has basically had a Doppel Crew there for what ??? 5 years and still there??


  3. Stephen Smith March 21, 2023 / 11:26 am

    Nice upgrades and new lifts. Doesn’t seem like Eastern resorts are getting much attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • skitheeast March 21, 2023 / 12:03 pm

      I have heard a lot of mixed feelings from the five eastern resorts (Blue, Tremblant, Stratton, Sugarbush, & Snowshoe). On the one hand, they are being given a ton of flexibility and support to put out the highest quality product possible. On the other hand, the capex they are receiving pales in comparison to the west coast mountains. A disparity will always exist due to the imbalance in revenue, but the company has internally accelerated large-scale projects out west while telling east coast resorts that their projects need more review to achieve perfection before proceeding.

      Jared Smith has been at the helm for less than 2 years, so his vision has yet to be fully executed. However, like Rusty Gregory, he is an LA-guy. David Perry’s background is BC and Aspen, ditto for Karen Sanford, and Mark Brownlie is among the half dozen or so people who came from Mammoth. For ownership, KSL is Denver-based and the Crown Family’s ski experience comes from Aspen. There are just not a lot east coast-oriented people at the top of the company.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ryan March 21, 2023 / 1:55 pm

        The west is where the real mountains, (tall mountains with lots of room and longer trails and more mountain life) real destination skiing, and big money making is at. These are for-profit corporations that own many of these resorts, so they are naturally going to spend where they can make the most money.


        • OttawaSkier March 21, 2023 / 2:12 pm

          Who cares about “real mountains”? All four Intrawest-inherited mountains have base/summit villages and real estate money to be made – look at Tremblant’s new lift this year. Tremblant and Blue Mountain are the 2nd and 3rd busiest Canadian ski resorts, Stratton and Snowshoe are big money makers too.

          Liked by 2 people

        • skitheeast March 21, 2023 / 2:20 pm

          There are plenty of opportunities to make money in the east (and even lose money out west). The NYC area has a bigger GDP than the next two largest in the country (LA & Chicago) combined. DC’s is about the same size at the Bay Area’s. For as much as Denver is talked about with its growth, the Boston area has a GDP about 25% bigger than the entire state of Colorado. Fast growing Utah’s is less than half of the Philadelphia area’s.

          Stowe, Okemo, Stratton, Bretton Woods, among others lead the pack with their higher-end clientele, but plenty of east resorts make a lot of money.

          Liked by 2 people

        • ryand1407 March 22, 2023 / 10:32 am

          Kinda. It is fair to assume western lifts and projects will need to generally need to be more robust. But it’s definitely not as obvious as you might think. Big Bear has traditionally been a big money maker simply cuz it’s close to LA. Basically an easy coast style mountain. Same with AZ snowbowl. Hugely outshown regionally by places like Mammoth, Telluride, even Purgatory. And Snowbowl regularly out-earns Purgatory, because the Phoenix+Flagstaff area has near 5 million people and Durango has 150,000 ish regionally.

          Same goes on the east. Any decent year and Snowshoe rakes in cash. Places like Holiday Valley or Hunter rival bigger names like Jay or Sugarloaf in profits. Location, location, location. It’s why Boyne has a d-line 8 pack on a 500′ bump in Michigan.


  4. skitheeast March 21, 2023 / 11:29 am

    I am really happy Solitude is making Eagle a six instead of a quad. BCC’s growth over the past five years has been enormous, and the previous plan was incredibly shortsighted akin to Stowe’s FourRunner replacement plan a decade ago. The cost associated with purchasing a six instead of a quad is a drop in the bucket for Alterra.

    For the long-awaited Powder Monkey replacement, I hope they move the bottom terminal a little further down closer to Powderidge, but that is relatively minor.

    All of the other highlights were announced over the past few months. Alterra is making a big push to get RFID to all of their resorts (although I am unsure if they are getting every last straggler this offseason).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doug March 21, 2023 / 1:26 pm

      I wish Wasatch One were still on track, or Solitude’s once planned expansion into Silver Fork

      Liked by 1 person

      • skitheeast March 21, 2023 / 1:36 pm

        Alta is using its current political capital for the LCC gondola and not for Grizzly Gulch. Vail wants to keep people on-site and has no intention of connecting west to Brighton (even if Boyne built the lift) or dropping its rope boundary with Deer Valley. Even if Alterra made One Wasatch its number one priority, there is nothing they could do at the moment.


        • Ryan March 21, 2023 / 2:07 pm

          The LCC Gondola while I do believe is a very very good idea and the best solution- has a lot of the locals against it. Most are just fed up with all the growth that has occurred in Utah (same thing for us in Colorado and those in other western states) Many of the locals feel like the resorts are catering too much to destination skiers as well as travelers in the off season, and the once quiet and peaceful areas they were able to go be a part of are gone. There are other reasons of course. But when you live in a free society, those are the consequences unless you own the land or property and make your own rules (within local and federal laws)


    • Ash March 22, 2023 / 11:31 am

      I find it really odd that they’re making Eagle of all lifts a six pack though. While BCC has become much more busy, and Solitude has too, unless there’s a parking expansion (which honestly I hope they never do) there is only so much more capacity that can reach Solitude. As it is Eagle rarely has serious lift lines, if any line at all, whereas Moonbeam and Apex have serious lines much more often, and even Summit gets lines more frequently that Eagle does. Not to mention that there just isn’t that much more capacity on that part of the mountain. A majority of people already ski down Sunshine bowl, which is already almost always crowded.

      I understand that Eagle was already being replaced and that’s why they’re doing this now, but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t invest the money for a six-pack at either Moonbeam or Apex, even if its a few years down the road, where it will actually relieve lift lines.


      • Carson March 22, 2023 / 11:59 am

        I would tend to agree with you on this. I feel that Eagle should still be an HSQ it is only busy in the morning when people are just starting or with the other fact of people lapping sunshine bowl this area has its capacity maxed out. As a new lift is needed though. Id rather see Apex or Moonbeam replaced with the sixpack and then that lift relocated to Eagle.


        • MammothBot98 March 22, 2023 / 1:06 pm

          Worth noting that Eagle already operates at the upper limits of what a high speed quad can do (2800 pph w/ 5.14 second intervals). I didn’t see in the announcement what the capacity of the new eagle 6 is gonna be, but probably something in the 3000s?
          3200 pph on a 6-pack has a 6.75 second interval which is much longer and only a modest capacity boost but the bigger interval will probably help with misloads.

          The size of the chair is only part of the equation. The *other* eagle express (6-pack in Mammoth) can only do 2880 pph, which is barely more than what chair 2, a quad does, but eagle has a leisurely 7.5 interval because of the bigger chairs.


        • V12Tommy March 22, 2023 / 6:43 pm

          There are other factors than just capacity too. Like Mammothbot98 pointed out, you can run the same capacity with a larger interval, which would mean fewer misloads and stops. 6 pack chairs are also heavier, and deal with winds better than a quad does as well. That’s why A-Basin went with a 6 pack to replace the Lenawee triple last summer. You can also sort of future-proof it by building a 6 pack now, with fewer chairs, and then adding more chairs later on when business increases. Breckenridge’s Imperial Superchair opened with only 15 chairs the first year, and then they added an additional 15 the following year to increase capacity.

          Liked by 1 person

      • skitheeast March 22, 2023 / 1:02 pm

        They have proposed upgrading Sunrise to a detachable lift, so that would help alleviate lines at Apex. Moonbeam is a mere 15 years old and runs well, but when it is due for replacement down the road, it will likely be with a higher capacity lift.

        Modern detachable lifts last more than 30 years. Capacity can always be removed by just not using all possible chairs, but it is difficult and expensive to retroactively add later. SLC is growing, Utah’s ski tourism is growing, and not being proactive by being able to accommodate that incoming volume is shortsighted. Public transit is more efficient at moving people in terms of both space and capacity, and the hope is that more busses or an alternative mode (such as gondola or train) will be able to help move people up the canyon over the lift’s 30 year lifespan.


        • julestheshiba March 22, 2023 / 3:12 pm

          I really think for sunrise to get a proper upgrade they have to expand the terrain it serves, its just not nearly enough good stuff to justify lapping it


    • julestheshiba March 22, 2023 / 3:09 pm

      Honestly think its a bit excessive for how crowded that ridge is, I feel like apex would make a better place for a 6 person, if it were me I would replace apex and relocate the current apex to eagle.


      • Carson March 22, 2023 / 8:52 pm

        What is probably the most sad part is the fact that most of this could be taken care of a little bit of line control. As the bottom of Apex is a free for all you constantly having people cut you off no one knows how a line works. as for the Sunrise thing. That lift will never alleviate the joke called Apex. Sunrise cant be expanded on the left side of the lift as that is all US forest service or cabins. Not to mention their Nordic trails too. As Apex should have been relocated back to the former layout of its predecessor about where old powderhorn started at. Sunrise doesn’t need any changes it is perfect as is.


        • julestheshiba March 22, 2023 / 9:08 pm

          I don’t think its really that bad of line management, its mostly just that Apex is the best lappable intermediate terrain. Maybe some loading carpets would help but keep in mind that Apex is a main out of base lift which is why I think it should have more capacity. I went skiing on a peak day and the only lift with a substantial line was Apex. I think the reason Eagle is not very good for intermediate terrain is that almost always Sunshine bowl is the main groomed run of the lift and the lower intermediate runs only access run that is also intermediate is that run. Not only that but the ridge gets super bumpy and slushy later in the day. It really makes sense why Apex is the main lift. I really think replacing Sunrise would be just a band aid on a broken arm.


  5. Peter Landsman March 21, 2023 / 11:44 am

    Update: Snowshoe’s lift will be a Skytrac. Solitude Doppelmayr UNIG, Mammoth Doppelmayr D-Line.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. carletongebhardt March 21, 2023 / 4:21 pm

    Sugarbush is slated to get a Heavens Gate replacement but they announced a couple of months ago that it wouldn’t be this season because the lift manufacturers were booked. Although I think the really only want Leitner Poma here.

    I feel like that replacement would be a prerequisite for an upgrade of Super Bravo to a six pack.

    Stratton’s infrastructure seems fine for now.


    • Kevin.Tremblant March 21, 2023 / 5:07 pm

      Why would they want a LP for Slide Brook?


  7. Aidan Reilly March 21, 2023 / 5:38 pm

    “Alterra completed the installation of six lifts prior to the 22/23 winter season. This year, Alterra will invest in an additional eight lifts, including new or replacement lifts at Steamboat, Mammoth Mountain, Winter Park Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, and Snowshoe Mountain.”

    They say they are investing in 8 new lifts, but only list 6. Where are the other 2 being built?


  8. Muni March 21, 2023 / 11:12 pm

    At this point, it’s nice just to see a reaffirmation of all the previously announced projects, given the recent market turmoil. It will be very interesting to see if the 2024 construction season slows down materially.


  9. ryand1407 March 22, 2023 / 3:50 am

    Chair 1 at Mammoth has been announced as a d-line 6 next summer, regardless of Main Lodge plans. You could pretty safely re-locate the race building and shift the bottom 50’ish uphill and be pretty clear of any future plans. Much more up in the air is the fate of the gondola. Integrate it into the new lodge? Shorten it to just in front?

    (My real hopes) replace it with a 10 person… Or even a 3S.


    • MammothBot98 March 22, 2023 / 9:15 am

      Don’t know about a full 3S system to the summit but a smaller Tri-Line would be awesome!


      • ryand1407 March 22, 2023 / 10:36 am

        Heck yeah, it’s definitely one of the few obvious NA candidates for a multi-cable gondi. Regularly has decent lines, and regularly closes to moderate winds. The old PHB was a dual cable and closed much less.


  10. InyoFace March 22, 2023 / 8:10 am

    Dave McCoy would have replaced Chair 16 during covid when the forest service approved it. Alterra/MMSA is so conservative now with their operations and spending that it is hurting the end result.


    • MammothBot98 March 22, 2023 / 9:16 am

      They would have replaced 1 and 16 back in 2020… what could have been :(


  11. Peter Landsman March 22, 2023 / 9:30 am

    For everyone saying what about x lift at x resort not part of this announcement, remember Alterra likely couldn’t get all the lifts it wanted for this year. They are spending more than double what Vail is doing across a smaller portfolio of mountains.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. julestheshiba March 22, 2023 / 3:14 pm

    In other things I am wondering if Snowbird has any plans for lift replacements or upgrades, I can see Gadzoom or Mineral Basin needing an upgrade soon


  13. Donald Reif March 23, 2023 / 8:54 am

    So Solitude gets a UNI-G six pack while Brighton next door gets a D-Line. I wonder whether Eagle 6 or Crest 6 will be the bigger draw in Big Cottonwood Canyon next winter.


  14. warriors_03 March 24, 2023 / 10:00 am

    Anyone know what the new alignment of Canyon Express #16 will be at Mammoth Mountain? I remember seeing something a while back that it was going to move slightly when it was replaced.


    • Mike B March 24, 2023 / 10:50 am

      Pretty sure it’s just being extended a bit further uphill in an effort to mitigate cross-traffic between those coming from Solitude/Sunset back to Canyon and those transiting from the top of 16 down towards Ch 5 and Mill. Right now that traffic intersects at pretty much a 90 degree angle. By moving up the hill, it will increase the angle of intersection and allow that traffic to mingle for a longer time, in theory reducing likelihood of people running into each other.


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