Wisconsin’s Devil’s Head Resort will add a sixth fixed grip quad this summer, continuing a major reinvestment plan executed over the past ten years. The new Doppelmayr lift will replace two Hall chairlifts dating back to 1971 and 1975. Devil’s Head notes the new lift is just the beginning of a multi-year expansion plan to enhance the on-mountain experience for beginners.
Many Upper Midwest resorts experienced plentiful snowfall and high demand for skiing and snowboarding this winter and are looking to the future. The Devil’s Head project is the second lift addition announced by a Wisconsin resort for 2021-22. Trollhaugen also plans to add a new fixed grip chairlift to replace a Hall double.
The largest ski resort in the United States without a detachable lift is taking the plunge. 49 Degrees North today announced Doppelmayr will build a base to summit high speed quad chair this summer replacing the Bonanza #1 double. This transformative project will bring Washington’s second largest ski area into the 21st century. “An undertaking of this magnitude has been years in the making and we are excited to finally be able to share this news,” said Rick Brown, Director of Skier and Rider Services. “We want to thank our guests for their continued support and enthusiasm throughout the years and look forward to continuing to provide truly memorable mountain experiences for all.”
The detachable quad will span 6,644 feet, making it the longest chairlift in Washington State. It will rise approximately 1,850 vertical feet to Chewelah Peak with a ride time of just six and a half minutes. The yet-to-be-named lift will be installed with 900 horsepower, making it one of the largest projects in the country this year.
49 North’s new lift is expected to be completed in advance of the 2021/22 season, at which time Montana’s Discovery will become the largest US ski area without a high speed lift.
Magic Mountain provides the below update on progress towards opening a third chairlift.
On the Black Quad lift front, there always seems to be something. And, the engineering firm who designed the lift has come back with quite a few changes that need to be implemented by Pfister Mountain Services, including changing out some sheave assembly wheel combinations at a few towers and a major overhaul of tower 13 cross arm and uphill sheave assembly. None of this is a quick fix at this point in our construction phase and comes as unwelcome news. And, of course, tower 13 is in a very difficult spot to get to, especially for what equipment will be needed to execute the cross arm changes. No timetable or budget as been provided as of yet. We will continue to keep you posted as news warrants. Certainly frustrating after all this time as we’d like to see our money put to good use for you. All I can say is that the Quad will be a part of our future here at Magic so we can expand uphill capacity and lift redundancy as we grow.
Vail Resorts acknowledges a rough start to the season with skier visits down 16.6 percent, lift ticket revenue down 20.9 percent, retail/rental down 39.2 percent, ski school down 52.6 percent and dining down 66.2 percent through January 3rd.
Sunday River Resort’s 15th chairlift will be installed next summer, one year earlier than originally planned. The Doppelmayr fixed grip triple will service Merrill Hill, a community of 23 home sites located between South Ridge and Aurora Peak. The lift will load near the existing Dream Maker run and service three new trails. Nine of the lots surrounding the lift remain available for sale.
Merrill Hill will become the third lift addition in five years for Sunday River following construction of the Spruce Peak triple in 2017 and the Alera Group Competition T-Bar in 2019. Parent company Boyne Resorts also plans to add Doppelmayr lifts at Big Sky Resort and Loon Mountain in 2021.
When asked about acquisitions on last night’s earnings call, Rob Katz said Vail is focused on positioning the company to be able to make the most of whatever opportunities may come over the next 12 months.
Vail is forced to cancel some guest reservations and black out employee skiing in Colorado this weekend due to limited snow and terrain.