Another new chairlift is coming to North Carolina’s largest ski area. Sugar Mountain Resort and Doppelmayr will partner to build a fixed grip quad this summer called Big Birch, replacing the Green triple. The new lift will transport 1,792 skiers per hour to mid-mountain, an increase of 22 percent.
“Building new ski lifts makes Sugar Mountain Resort happy,” notes a press release. “Moving people seamlessly, efficiently and comfortably from point-to-point is our goal and most importantly, it makes guests happy.” Other recent additions at Sugar Mountain include the Summit Express, Easy Street and Gunther’s Way lifts, all by Doppelmayr. The lift company and Sugar Mountain’s owner both hail from Austria, hence their strong partnership.
Note: Any news dated April 1st should be read with caution. However, I do not believe this is a joke. After all, Sugar announced the new Easy Street quad on April 1st, 2019!
Fifty years after its trusty beginner chairlift opened, Sugar Mountain says the Brown Hall double has carried its last skiers and snowboarders. Next winter, a Doppelmayr detachable quad chair will run up the Easy Street slope, more than doubling uphill capacity to 2,400 people per hour. The new lift, tentatively dubbed the Silver Bullet, will also improve ride time from more than six minutes to two and a half while making loading and unloading more comfortable.
“Replacing the original Easy Street lift is not just an upgrade, it is example of the continued commitment to offering our guests an exceptional mountain experience,” said Sugar Mountain Resort owner Gunther Jochl in a statement. “The majority of our guests are beginners who go on to develop skiing and snowboarding as a life-long, family activity. Generation after generation lays roots right here on our beginner terrain. This hasn’t changed in Sugar’s fifty year history.” Sugar Mountain launched its first high speed lift, the Summit Express six pack, in 2015.
The latest Doppelmayr Wir highlights Yellowstone Club’s expansion and more.
The Gondola Project updates us on the Leitner-Poma tram project at San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower transit center.
Aspen Skiing Co. eyes opening the Pandora quad chairlift on Aspen Mountain in 2020.
Majella Group CEO Sebastian Monsour tells the Bangor Daily News his Australian company is still working to close on the purchase of Saddleback Mountain while a former employee is suing for unpaid wages.
Gunther Jochl, the Austrian-born owner of Sugar Mountain, got the CEOs of both Doppelmayr and CWA to come christen his new six-pack Saturday along with the governor of North Carolina. Apparently the lift may get gondola cabins in the future.
A lawsuit from a homeowner could force the closure of Pennsylvania’s second largest ski resort. Seven Springs Mountain Resort operates two six-packs and eight fixed-grip lifts on 300 acres. Unfortunately, four of those lifts and 75 percent of the mountain’s ski runs cross a public road that the homeowner wants opened in winter. There are plenty of other ski resorts that have major highways passing through that close seasonally, including Deer Valley, Bridger Bowl and Mt. Baker.
Cherry Peak, the new ski area in Utah, won’t be able to complete their Summit lift in time for this season. When I was there a few months ago, towers were laying on the ground along the line which will either have to be set or moved elsewhere. Two other triple chairs and a carpet are set to go.
Staying on the mega-resort topic, Hemlock Resort near Chilliwack, BC receives approval to spend $1.5 billion on 23 new lifts and 20,000 lodging beds among other improvements over the next 60 years. Hemlock currently has a 1977-vintage Doppelmayr triple and two even older Mueller doubles. Buried in the linked article is the fact that the ski area never opened last year due to lack of snow.