374 Lifts That Aren’t Where They Used to Be

In any given year, about a third of ski areas’ “new lifts” are actually lifts removed from other locations that are finding a new home.  There are entire websites dedicated to the buying and selling of second-hand ski lifts.  By my count, at least 374 lifts in the US and Canada have been re-engineered and re-installed at new places, either at the same ski resort or clear across the country.

Jackson Hole's Sweetwater lift, originally built by Yan in 1983, is in its second state and third location.  Along the way it picked up some Poma chairs and Doppelmayr controls.
Jackson Hole’s Sweetwater lift, originally built by Yan in 1983, is in its second state and third location.  Along the way it picked up some Poma chairs and Doppelmayr controls.

The ski area that has sent the most lifts to other places is, not surprisingly, Whistler-Blackcomb. Ten of its former chairlifts live on at ski areas across the US and Canada.  Some resorts operate fleets of lifts pieced together entirely from other places.  Big Sky Resort operates nine used lifts, many of them hand me downs from other Boyne Resorts.  Removed lifts that don’t get snapped up by other ski areas often end up at amusement parks and zoos.

The Raptor shuffle.  A single Garaventa CTEC fixed-grip quad was installed three different times at The Canyons in just five seasons.
A single Garaventa CTEC fixed-grip quad was installed three different times at The Canyons over just five years in what I call the Raptor shuffle.

A handful of lifts have been moved multiple times.  The Dreamscape lift at Park City (formerly Canyons) is in its third location on the same mountain.  Originally installed by Garaventa CTEC in 1996 as the Saddleback quad, it was replaced the very next season by a detachable quad.  The fixed-grip quad became Raptor, which served the runs between Super Condor Express and Golden Eagle for three seasons, after which it was removed (and still not replaced.)  That same summer, Raptor went to the opposite side of the mountain to anchor a major expansion called Dreamscape.  I would not be surprised to see Vail Resorts replace Dreamscape this coming summer, giving the still-not-that-old quad chair a chance at a fourth life.

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