Utah’s Sundance Announces Two New Lifts

The new owners of Sundance Mountain Resort have ordered two lifts to replace the mile-long Ray’s quad. A three station detachable quad will service Mandan Summit from the base village and a fixed grip quad will provide return access from the backside of the mountain. Both lifts will be manufactured by Doppelmayr USA and installed in advance of the 2021-22 winter season.

Built in 1995, Ray’s currently serves many purposes with a whopping four separate loading/unloading zones. An up and over lift, Ray’s follows a straight line between the base area and Red’s lift, thus not reaching the true Mandan Summit. Both new lift alignments will top out on the peak to better distribute skiers. The new high speed lift will also feature a mid-unload station for beginners. A ride from base-to-summit will last just seven minutes, down from 12+ without stops on Ray’s. The second lift returning from the backside will primarily be used for summer activities.

“I have wonderful memories of skiing the beautiful terrain of Mandan Summit on the old chairlift before 1995,” commented Chad Linebaugh, President and General Manager of Sundance. “We are thrilled for the addition of a new high-speed quad that will restore access to these amazing runs and views.” Other projects slated for this summer include additional snowmaking and parking.

Two private equity firms, Broadreach Capital Partners and Cedar Capital Partners, purchased Sundance Resort from Robert Redford in December 2020.

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News Roundup: Next Up

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News Roundup: Climbing

  • Suicide Six debuts new Leitner-Poma quad chair, Red River opens its new Doppelmayr quad.
  • Sundance employees rush a ladder to a chair, climb up and pull a hanging child back up in just minutes.  A man at Seven Springs fares worse.
  • Two of Canada’s richest families still plan to build $3.5 billion ski resort near Squamish.
  • Telluride Mountain Village Gondola turns 20.
  • Jay Peak’s tram is back in action.
  • The AP runs a story on future urban gondolas in the United States.
  • Cannon Mountain’s new LST T-Bar goes down ahead of dedication.
  • If you enjoy this blog, Ski Inc. is a must read.

Instagram Tuesday: Final Push

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

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Instagram Tuesday: Election Day

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

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Instagram Tuesday: Solo

Every Tuesday, we pick our favorite Instagram photos from around the lift world.

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At Sundance, Doppelmayr Races to Replace Arrowhead Lift in 95 Days

Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort faced a challenge last fall.  How could it find enough time to replace an aging lift that brings skiers to the mountain’s summit but also provides access to a hugely popular zip tour?  With ski resorts increasingly becoming hubs for summer recreation, this is becoming a more frequent problem.  Building a lift typically takes at least four months although there are exceptions.  In 2015, Snow King Mountain replaced the heavily-used in both summer and winter Rafferty lift with a Doppelmayr quad in record time – under three months – between closing day of ski season and Independence Day weekend.  This fall, Doppelmayr is making a similar push at Sundance to complete the new Arrowhead Quad.

Sundance’s other triple chair, Flathead, is actually ten years older than Arrowhead, which begs the question of why the latter will be modernized first.  Built by Lift Engineering in 1985, the old Arrowhead could only download 240 guests per hour which no longer worked for summer operations.  Furthermore, Yan used aluminum sheaves (with hubcaps!) on many of its later-model lifts which became prone to cracking.  You’ll notice many Yan lifts of Arrowhead’s vintage sport upgraded line gear from Doppelmayr or Poma.  Rather than upgrading piecemeal, Sundance announced last December it would replace the entire lift with a brand new quad chair.  “With the amount of use Arrowhead Lift sees year-round, this upgrade is exciting to the skiing, snowboarding, ZipTour and summer programs that our guests love so much at Sundance,” director of mountain operations Czar Johnson said in a release announcing the project.

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