Payday Express – Park City, UT

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View down from the top.
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The top station departure side.
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Tower 22 looking down.
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View down the line.
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Mid-station in its summer configuration.
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Another view of the alpine slide mid-station.
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Lower lift line.
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Arriving at the bottom station.
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Return terminal in winter.
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Top station view.
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Loading area and lift line.
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In the winter the mid-station is bypassed.
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Upper lift line crossing under the Town lift.
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Unloading area.
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View down the line.
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Side view of the summer unloading platform.
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Lower lift line.
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30 thoughts on “Payday Express – Park City, UT

  1. Duncan N. March 21, 2018 / 12:52 pm

    How do you unload on a non-detachable midstation? Does the lift run slow during summer ops?

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  2. Ryan March 21, 2018 / 2:47 pm

    it runs about 300 FPM in the summer.

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  3. Cooper April 6, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    Why not a normal half detachable mid station? I rode this thing before in the summer and it was slow. Painfully slow.

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    • Ryan Murphy April 7, 2018 / 12:05 am

      Money.

      Like

        • themav April 12, 2019 / 7:21 pm

          Not sure how much money Vail wants to spend on PCMR- especially summer operations that were in place before they got there, but Doppelmayr could easily import a Garaventa MCS station from Switzerland. Either that, or they could try to build a new Stealth II station based on the existing drawings. If they took the second route it would be the only Doppelmayr branded Stealth II, haha. Re-engineering the lift line might be problematic, but there is enough space there to build something similar to what OBX (also at Park City) has.

          Also, the fact that Powdr corp built essentially a fixed-grip mid station is kind of laughable. They were too cheap to do it right the first time! As much as Vail Resorts can feel like a ski monopoly and certainly feels disconnected from the Park City community, PCMR is better ran today than it was 5 years ago.

          The alpine coaster tow, which runs roughly parallel with the upper-lower section of Payday, takes you to the top of the coaster faster than riding Payday to the top of the alpine slide.

          It’s been several years, but I’ve seen them run Payday at “fast” speed to clear the “last chair” a couple of times late at night when closing the lift down. As risk-adverse Vail is, they probably don’t want heavy 6-pack carriers flying through the mid station low to the ground at all, hence why I haven’t seen it in recent years.

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  4. Bryan Carbone December 3, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    Do You have get of at the mid station during the summer or can you ride all the way to the top?

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  5. Ryan Gardner December 6, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    Back in the 80s they made you get off mid-station in the summer. (Alpine slide) So they now allow you to ride all the way to the top? Biking? What purpose?

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  6. Sam A. January 26, 2019 / 6:58 pm

    Does anyone know how the sheave assemblies are lowered for summer operations?

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    • snowbasinlocal12894 January 27, 2019 / 4:57 pm

      Probably a cable or a chain lift. Like any height adjustable terminal/tower.

      Like

  7. Joshua February 28, 2019 / 12:07 pm

    Wait so the lift just runs slow in the summer ?

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  8. Joshua February 28, 2019 / 12:08 pm

    Why can’t the lift run fast and slow down for passengers to unload later?

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    • snowbasinlocal February 28, 2019 / 2:12 pm

      Almost everyone gets off of the mid station in the summer so they cant really. They should get a half mid station like orange bubble.

      Like

  9. Joshua February 28, 2019 / 12:09 pm

    I am also assuming that the lift runs at full speed at the winter right?

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    • snowbaisnlocal February 28, 2019 / 2:13 pm

      Yes

      Like

  10. Maxwell Uguccioni March 1, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    Why can’t it run full speed even when the mid-station is used?

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    • atc1701 March 2, 2019 / 8:53 am

      There’s no detachable equipment in the midstation. People get off the chair on foot at whatever speed it’s going at (a lot like a fixed grip lift).

      Running it at full speed would be extremely dangerous, practically impossible for anyone to get off without serious injury. It has to be run slow enough for people to get off and be able to walk FASTER than it to the staircase. For that reason, it runs very slowly during the summer, no more than 1 or 1.5 m/s.

      Like

  11. BeyondtheLodge April 18, 2019 / 6:15 pm

    I’ve heard they haven’t been able to run this at full capacity, and having to having to have empty chairs. Why?

    Liked by 1 person

    • themav April 18, 2019 / 11:18 pm

      I don’t generally ski PCMR on weekends of holidays (except for a major pow day), but from what I understood it was a failure of lift operations to squeeze 6 people on a chair. People like to be with their group, and if lift ops doesn’t enforce the 6 people to a chair rule, than it leads to 6 person carriers going up the hill with 3,4, or 5 people. The singles line can help somewhat with this, but what really needs to happen is for multiple groups to merge together into groups of 6 each. The maze is setup somewhat to funnel everyone into a queue that’s 3 groups of 2 across, but that doesn’t prevent people from cheating the system.

      With this years epic snowfall, the ski tourists were out in full force. There were times when you probably had to wait 20 minutes to ride Payday from the base area (I don’t ski on days like that). I had a few days up in LCC and BCC this year, and the canyon road and parking situation was just INSANE, even on days I thought would be OK (weekday with no overnight snow). The Ikon pass gave access to all four Cottonwood Canyon resorts, and with the broad reach it had brought lots of tourists to BCC/LCC that wouldn’t have been here otherwise (never mind the 600 inch season total snowfall). It seemed like almost every lift ride someone talked about how they were here on the Ikon pass. I waited longer than I wanted to in lift lines at Alta, Brighton, and Snowbird (didn’t make it to Solitude). The people eaters (HSQ) just couldn’t keep up, to the point that I saw a lift line that was snaking up the mountain.

      It’ll be interesting to see what Ski Utah (the multi-resort marketing agency) says about total number of skier visits this year. It was definitely a busy year, and I bet when the final numbers come in we will be looking at close to 5 million skier-days. I clocked 14 days on my Epic pass at PCMR, I probably had another 5-6 days in LCC/BCC for a total of about 20 full days.

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      • reaperskier April 19, 2019 / 5:24 am

        I wonder if vail will replace payday with an eight pack lift?

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        • Collin Parsons April 19, 2019 / 6:15 am

          I don’t think Vail is really interested in pushing the envelope on lifts. They will always get the cheapest one that has the capacity they want, which is often lower than what it really should be (Google Vail lift lines and see what comes up).

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        • reaperskier April 19, 2019 / 7:00 am

          But why would vail go with the cheapest option?

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        • AvocadoAndy April 19, 2019 / 10:42 am

          Vail doesn’t build lifts like Big Sky does. They go with what’s cheap and what works. It’s the difference between buying a Lamborghini that everyone will love for a few hundred thousand dollars or a cheap car you found on the side of the road.

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        • themav April 19, 2019 / 4:18 pm

          Not only does it go against Vail’s M.O., but Payday has enough capacity at the moment, save for the handful of peak days of the year. Also, there’s Eagle Lift (1800 PPH), and Crescent Express (2400 PPH; underutilized) that also get people out of the base area.

          What Vail should look at doing, but again this goes against the M.O. is add more capacity to Silverlode (far worse crowds than Payday) and Tombstone (3:45PM rush to get back to Red Pine Lodge). Hopefully with Sunrise Express, they’ll allow downloading to provide another drain out of the southern half of the Canyons.

          Like

        • Ski Lift Guy April 19, 2019 / 7:06 pm

          I think all this Vail hate is a little unwarranted. Here is a list of some high end/cutting edge new lifts Vail Resorts has built…

          1. A massive two stage gondola with mid-station cabin parking and the option to run the sections separately or as one. (Blackcomb Gondola- WB)
          2. The longest combination lift in the world. (Centennial- Beaver Creek)
          3. A two stage gondola through a complicated real estate development with a large span and two different line gauges. (Quicksilver- Park City)
          4. A massive flagship gondola with an advanced parking/maintenance facility, heated seats, wifi, advanced drive setup, and custom loading area (G1-Vail)
          5. A high speed quad that was the launch system for a brand new type of terminal (High Noon- Vail)
          6. A two stage gondola with underground cabin parking and the only UNI-GV terminals ever imported from Europe to North America (River Run- Keystone)

          Those don’t seem like cheap, bare-bones options to me. That doesn’t even account for all of the projects at Breckenridge, such as the Breck Connect and Imperial, that were installed earlier. Vail has also shown a strong willingness to replace aging lifts that can cause long lines and maintenance nightmares, rather than ride them out for as longer. Granted, there are certainly some holes in the system (nothing new at Kirkwood and Stowe so far come to mind for me), but I very much think that Vail has pushed the envelope on lifts before and will again. I have heard before that the replacements at Park City are slow going since skier traffic patterns are still settling in after the resort connection, as opposed to other mountains where skier traffic has been established for decades. As for an 8-pack at Payday, there needs to be a solution for the alpine slide access before it can be replaced. Purgatory is in a similar situation with its Twilight lift, the resorts don’t want to remove access to the alpine slide but also don’t want to spend a fortune on a midstation that will only be useful in the summer. Payday’s current midstation is novel, but would not likely be a valid option for a replacement system. I completely agree that Silverlode and Tombstone need to be addressed, but maybe with additional lifts instead of ramping up capacity to an 8. Sunrise will be an interesting replacement due to the complicated property rights in the area

          Big Sky sent shockwaves through the industry with Ramcharger 8 in a very positive way, but I don’t think it now means that Vail is suddenly cheap. It will be interesting to see how the industry responds to this in the coming years (more D-Lines, more bubbles, etc). The bubbles are a particularly interesting topic to me, because they greatly increase skier comfort but at a steep price with increased maintenance hours and decreased wind tolerance. I can think of a lot of lift lines where a bubble would be nice but I hope to never see one due to the wind on the line profile. Vail has stayed out of the bubble arms race so far, and I can’t help but wonder how much the Vista Bahn’s bubbles had to do with that. I also think that although they took a break this year, we will see some high profile lifts at Vail Resorts being built in the next several years.

          Liked by 4 people

        • themav April 19, 2019 / 10:50 pm

          I didn’t mean to be so harsh on Vail.

          A good way of explaining it would be that since VR is a publicly traded company, they have a responsibility to shareholders to not do things “just because”. This means that things are carefully planned to get the maximum value. Guest experience is more than just lifts, and Vail has spent quite a bit on other types of infrastructure at PCMR.

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