Construction has already begun on the only lift project in the state of Connecticut this year at Mt. Southington. The new Northstar triple, built by Partek Ski Lifts, will replace a Hall double of the same name and improve access to beginner terrain. Partek, based in Pine Island, New York, supplies economical fixed grip chairlifts exclusively to small and mid sized mountains. Mt. Southington already operates two Partek lifts called Avalanche and Thunderbolt. Partek is also building a new chairlift for Trollhaugen, Wisconsin this year.
Mt. Southington’s outgoing Hall double has been sold to another New England ski area and may be re-installed for the 2024-25 ski season. That mountain would be the lift’s third home following stints at Craigmeur, New Jersey from 1976 to 1997 and Mt. Southington from 2001 to 2023.
The Summit at Snoqualmie today announced plans to build three new lifts in two years at Alpental, following other recent lift projects at Summit East and Summit Central. Year one at will see construction of a new Sessel triple this summer with a replacement Edelweiss triple and new International triple to follow in 2024. The projects are all part of the Summit 2030 plan announced by The Summit and parent company Boyne Resorts last year.
Sessel will be realigned with a 1,790 foot slope length and 590 foot vertical drop. The existing Riblet lift, built in 1967, rises about 80 feet less. The new Doppelmayr Alpenstar will feature a loading conveyor, boosting rope speed to 500 feet per minute and capacity to 1,800 skiers per hour. The lift will look very similar to the new Hidden Valley triple which Snoqualmie opened this season at Summit East.
Doppelmayr will also commence foundation work for both a replacement Edelweiss chair and brand new International triple this spring. Both these lifts will service upper mountain terrain beginning in the 2024-25 season.
Due to construction, Alpental will close earlier than normal on April 23rd. Most of the ski area is roadless, necessitating over snow access to tower and terminal locations.
Construction has already begun on Sun Peaks Resort’s third new chairlift in six years, the West Bowl Express. The CA$12 million Doppelmayr detachable quad will replace the retired West Bowl T-Bar in a much longer alignment and open in late 2024. West Bowl Express will service approximately 1,000 vertical feet with nearly a mile of slope length in the high alpine. “Sun Peaks continues to evolve and this significant new lift infrastructure will diversify the experience in an important pod of terrain in the resort,” noted Darcy Alexander, Sun Peaks Resort Vice President and General Manager. “Guests will have additional trails and vertical to explore with the convenience and efficiency of detachable lift technology.”
Preliminary site work is already finalized and foundations will follow this summer with steel installation commencing in 2024. When the project is complete next November, Sun Peaks will operate a 100 percent Doppelmayr fleet with eight quad chairlifts and two surface platters.
Doppelmayr will build the first D-Line lift in Utah this summer, a six pack replacing the aging Crest Express at Brighton Resort. In typical Boyne Resorts fashion, the replacement lift will feature 90 degree loading with a conveyor and video screen. Riders will enjoy a 5.3 minute ride time with an hourly capacity of 2,400 skiers per hour. In the summer, Crest will serve mountain bikers with three Bike Clips on each chair. The lift won’t have bubbles or heated seats.
Brighton also announced construction of a new mid-mountain restaurant and implementation of a parking reservation system for next season.
Crest 6 is the 9th new lift project announced by Brighton owner Boyne Resorts for the 2023/24 ski season. Construction is expected to begin in May.
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.”
The ski area owned and operated by Vermont’s Middlebury College today announced the purchase of a Skytrac quad chair to replace its aging Sheehan lift. The existing Poma double dates back to 1984 and rises 415 vertical feet. The new lift will follow the same alignment and service beginner and low intermediate terrain.
This is the first new lift project announced in Vermont for the 2023 construction season and the sixth project confirmed to be built by Skytrac in the United States this year. Middlebury will commence construction this spring as soon as state permits are received.
A public hearing is scheduled for next month regarding a proposal by Berkshire East Mountain Resort to install a base-to-summit high speed quad this summer and another new lift next year. The first lift would run up the Competition slope parallel to the existing Mountain Top triple and Summit quad. It is expected to be a Leitner-Poma detachable quad rising 930 vertical feet in about 3.2 minutes. The plan calls for the Mountain Top Poma triple to be removed and relocated to an expansion area on the northeast side of the mountain in 2024.
This is huge news for Berkshire East, which operates a fleet of four fixed grip chairlifts mostly cobbled together second hand from other mountains. In addition to being the first detachable chairlift at Berkshire East, the new summit lift will also be the first Leitner-Poma detachable in Massachusetts and the 10th chairlift built by the Schaefer Family at Berkshire East and Catamount over the past 20 years.
Ontario’s Mount St. Louis Moonstone has ordered a first-of-its-kind chairlift to replace the aging Adventure Express. The groundbreaking Adventure 8 will feature a unique L-shaped Doppelmayr D-Line terminal with 90 degree loading and a massive 4,250 passenger per hour capacity. It will travel from the Moonstone base lodge to the Moonstone summit. The lift will also feature a direct drive, loading conveyor and heated seats. Together with Whistler Blackcomb’s Fitzsimmons 8 project, Doppelmayr will build Canada’s first two eight place chairlifts simultaneously in the East and West. This is also the first time in North America a six passenger chairlift will be upgraded to a larger lift.
Family-operated Mount St. Louis Moonstone is known for investing heavily in lift and snowmaking technology with a fleet of four six passenger chairlifts already on the mountain. “My family remains dedicated to providing the finest skiing and snowboarding experience in Ontario,” said General Manager Robert Huter. “This advancement helps guests spend more time on the slopes and less time waiting in a lift line.”
Indiana’s largest ski area will make a major lift investment next year, replacing one of its five Riblet chairlifts with a modern Skytrac quad. The new Red chair will feature a loading conveyor and increase uphill capacity over an existing 1987 triple. The project is the fifth publicly-confirmed Skytrac project for next year. Other mountains adding new Skytrac lifts this offseason include Gore Mountain, New York; Nub’s Nob, Michigan; Stevens Pass, Washington; and Wild Mountain, Minnesota.
Just hours after announcing a new lift project on Merrill Hill, Sunday River Resort this afternoon unveiled plans for a much larger machine replacing the Barker Mountain Express. When it debuts next season, Barker 6 will be among the fastest lifts in North America, featuring D-Line technology, bubbles, heated seats and a direct drive. With Jordan 8 in Jordan Bowl and Barker 6 on Barker Mountain, Sunday River will become the only resort in Eastern North America with two flagship D-Line bubble lifts. Barker 6’s chairs and terminals will closely match Jordan 8 but in six passenger gauge.
Few skiers will miss the current Barker quad, a Yan-Poma frankenlift first constructed in 1987. Over the years that machine became known for extended breakdowns and was frequently lampooned on the internet. Barker 6 will be everything Barker 4 wasn’t with 63 ergonomically designed chairs and a 4.5 minute ride time at six meters per second. Each chair will weigh nearly a ton and come with a Sunday River red bubble. The lift will transport up to 3,250 skiers per hour up Barker Mountain with 13 towers.
Doppelmayr will construct the Merrill Hill II and Barker 6 lifts simultaneously this summer and both are expected to open for the 2023-24 ski season. “The recent opening of the Jordan 8, the announcement of Barker 6, coupled with dramatic snowmaking system investments and the addition of a second Merrill Hill lift, all represent big next steps in Sunday River’s 2030 Plan,” said Sunday River President Dana Bullen.
Today’s news continues an extraordinary streak of investment by Boyne Resorts that started in earnest with Ramcharger 8, the first eight place chairlift in the Americas at Big Sky in 2018. After a brief Covid pause, a similar project debuted at Loon Mountain in 2021 and this season Boyne debuted the first D-Line in the midwest and the first eight place lift in Maine with Jordan 8. The 2023 construction season will prove even bigger for Boyne and Doppelmayr with D-Line bubble lifts going in at Sunday River and The Highlands, a brand new tram at Big Sky and terrain expansions with new lifts at Sunday River, Loon Mountain and Sugarloaf. With additional projects at Boyne Mountain and others in the pipeline, the third largest North American resort operator will likely invest significantly more than larger rivals Alterra and Vail Resorts this offseason. Next winter Boyne will operate half of all the D-Line lifts at North American ski areas and 100 percent of eight place chairlifts in the United States.