Many folks have been asking about our plans to install a new lift on East Ridge. The short answer is that the new lift is not on the list of improvements for the coming season.
When we first announced our terrain expansion plans for East Ridge, we did not assign a specific timetable for completion of the project. From the start we made it clear that the project would be implemented in three phases, and this summer crews are continuing to carry out Phase 2, further glading new and existing terrain.
In the wake of the global pandemic, our planning for a new lift on East Ridge remains tabled in favor of tackling more immediate needs. We were clear from the start that we would not move forward with a new lift if we weren’t able to do so while also maintaining our affordability.
Complicating matters in the immediate are the soaring costs of materials such as steel due to ongoing supply chain challenges. New lift installations are happening at a premium price right now.
Indeed, capital improvement projects look a little different at small, independent, family-owned ski areas than they do at the neighboring multi-national, mega-corporate ski resorts. Consequently, the price of the lift tickets and the length of the lift lines also look different.
Last season Sunlight offered the least expensive lift ticket in Colorado, and that’s a fact that we pride ourselves on. Affordability plays a big role in our mission to provide experiences that leave our guests with so much to smile about.
In terms of future investments in lifts, we are taking a reprioritized look at our needs and at this moment it is very likely that upgrades to our existing lifts will happen before a new lift installation occurs.
Make no mistake, we are not abandoning our plans for East Ridge. East Ridge holds incredible advanced terrain and there is still a strong argument for improving access to it. Or not. We’ve also heard from many folks that don’t mind an added lift ride to get to East Ridge, if only because it helps the powder there last for days, not hours.
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