When we announced the Sugarloaf 2020 Road Map last summer, the focus was on Burnt Mountain, and the 650-plus acres of new terrain coming over the next three years. And rightfully so. The new terrain is unrivaled in the East, and makes Sugarloaf the largest ski are this side of the Rockies. But the plan was always about much more than terrain.
Today, Sugarloaf General Manager John Diller announced the next step in the Sugarloaf 2020 plan: a new lift to replace the existing Spillway chairlifts. Last summer when we announced Sugarloaf 2020, we said that a new Spillway was the top priority in our lift replacement strategy. Today that became a reality.
The new quad will feature a conveyor loading system, which will improve the lift loading experience, reduce lift stoppage time, and allow the lift to run at speeds of up to 500 feet per minute, making it the fastest fixed-grip lift on the market. The lift will travel 3,746 feet, rise 1,457 vertical feet, feature a total of 16 towers, and will be powered by a 400 horsepower motor. An additional 400 horsepower Cummins Diesel engine will serve as a backup.
The new lift has been designed to be as wind-resistant as possible. It will travel at a lower height, and will be installed closer to the treeline to reduce its exposure to wind. The specially designed chairs will be heavier than a standard four-person chair, making them more wind-resistant and less susceptible to chair-swing.
The construction process will begin in May as soon as the current ski season is complete, and is scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2011-12 season.
Diller also announced today that $150,000 will be allocated this summer to upgrading the drive systems in the Sugarloaf SuperQuad, and Phase 2 of the Burnt Mountain terrain expansion will move forward as planned, adding another 135 acres of glades for next season.
Watch the video of Diller’s announcement below, and scroll down for additional photos of a similar model lift as seen at Bridger Bowl, and schematic drawings of the top and bottom terminals.