The Rocky Mountain region is already a mecca for skiers and snowboarders but many ski areas are hoping to make the deal even sweeter by modernizing their chairlifts this offseason. 2018 proved to be a busy and expensive summer, with many ski areas across the Rockies investing in major lift improvements. Here’s the rundown on all the new chair lifts to take a lap on this winter.
Loveland: The low key resort right off Colorado’s I-70 corridor is stepping into the future with the mountain’s first high speed detachable quad chairlift. Not only will ride time in Lift 1 decrease dramatically from 8 minutes to just 3, but Loveland also has plans to keep improving. Next up– Lift 6.
Arapahoe Basin: Offering 1,500 feet of newly accessed vertical, the Beavers Quad Lift at Arapahoe Basin will be a fun new area to explore for intermediates and experts. Although backcountry enthusiasts were bummed to have a popular area beyond the ropes become inbounds, it will certainly be a thrill to take laps without any hiking required.
Copper Mountain: Among the impressive lift systems at Copper Mountain, the focus this summer was geared towards improving two extremely popular lifts, the American Flyer and American Eagle. Copper committed to providing a modern and attractive resort by making the Flyer a 6 person chair with bubble enclosures while making the Eagle a ‘chondola,’ with 6 person traditional chairs and 8 person gondola cabins.
Winter Park: Another major base area transformation is underway at Winter Park, where the long standing and popular Zephyr Express will be upgraded to a 10 person gondola for this winter. The Zephyr is one of Winter Parks oldest lifts and is well overdue for a replacement, the gondola will be an asset to weddings, and summer mountain biking.
Wolf Creek: The famous powder haven in southern Colorado may not be building the biggest lift this summer but the new Charity Quad will reduce hiking for some awesome zones while also adding 12 new trails. Wolf Creek has grown to ten chair lifts and the Charity Quad Lift is only one of three lifts in a 900 acre zone.
Taos: New Mexico is also seeing some chair lift construction this summer as TSV replaces Chair 1 with a high speed detachable quad. Al’s Dream lift will speed up time considerably. The new chair also has a slightly higher top terminal that will significantly improves mountain access.