Debuting this season at Big Sky Resort in Montana, will be the United States first 8-person capacity ski chairlift. The high-tech and expensive ‘Ramcharger 8’, is a gigantic improvement for the resort along with an interesting development in the ski industry as a whole.  While Europe already has many 8 person capacity chairlifts, the unprecedented lift at Big Sky is sure to garner some publicity.

As ski resorts have improved from simple fixed grip double chairs to high-speed detachable quad lifts with heated seats, the new Ramcharger 8 will raise the bar once again. The new chairlift will feature auto locking safety bars, multimedia displays and even a public address system for emergencies. These technological innovations come among a host of impressive features that also help make the chairlift the safest ever designed.  Beyond a faster ride time and increased efficiency, the Ramcharger can operate in strong winds up to 60 mph. avoiding the dreaded ‘wind hold’ of skiers worldwide.

Image: Big Sky Resort

In an era where ski resorts are desperately looking for the next thing to grow business and attract younger customers, lift technology appears to be a viable strategy. Creating more reliable, efficient and technologically advanced chairlifts is a way to mitigate the issues of crowds, delays and danger that prevent more people from skiing and snowboarding each winter.

As we wait patiently for the snow to start falling and ski resorts to reopen, Big Sky is also inching closer to completion of their new project. Maybe the 8-pack at Big Sky won’t totally create a renaissance of snow sports in America, however as skiers we are nonetheless excited for the opportunity to experience a major development in our sport and hopefully reap some awesome benefits as a result.