It may take a few years, but Sunlight Mountain Resort intends to add 100 acres along its eastern boundary serviced by a fourth fixed grip chairlift. Glading work has already begun and will continue into next summer. “This is a multi-year effort,” General Manager Tom Hays recently told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. “We are in the very early stages of a process that includes building a capital fund, negotiating additional financing, permitting processes with the county and Forest Service, mapping, planning, and shopping for lifts.” The project is estimated to cost $4 million and is dependent on another season or two as successful as 2018-19.
New runs will be cut on private land below the Midland Traverse and will remain hike-out until the lift is installed. The chair will load just above Four Mile Creek and unload above the Beaujolais and Rebel trails. “We’re excited to expand skiing and riding on the already legendary East Ridge,” said Marketing and Sales Director Troy Hawks. “These new runs mean our local skiers and riders will have even more powder to explore and exploit.” If all goes well, the new lift could spin in 2021.
“Sunlight is evaluating the addition of a high-speed detachable lift.”
“Understanding that lift ticket and season pass prices would likely increase with the addition of a high-speed lift, please rank how favorable this would be.”
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Waterville Valley secures $7.5 million for future projects including multiple unspecified lift upgrades. “To answer one burning question, we do have multiple options in development regarding the High Country lift,” the resort says on Facebook.
The average lift ride in the United States and Canada takes just under five minutes. In fact, only about four percent of lifts (fewer than a hundred) take more than ten minutes to ride. You wouldn’t know it hearing the average skier complaining about long and slow lifts at just about any ski area. Below are the ten longest lifts by actual ride time at design speed. Of course lifts do not always run at their design speed but this gives a pretty good idea of the longest rides. Two of the top ten are detachable lifts that are so long that they take more than 15 minutes.
1. Burfield Quad – Sun Peaks Resort, BC – 1997 Doppelmayr Fixed-grip quad
9,510 feet at 453 fpm = 21 minutes
2. Cyclone – Sunrise Park Resort, AZ – 1983 Yan Fixed-grip triple