Stowe Mountain Resort will debut its new Sunrise Chairlift at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 22nd. The new high-speed six-pack chairlift replaces the Mountain Triple, which was an old fixed-grip chairlift.
The base terminal is right next to the Mansfield Base Lodge, meaning it’s a short walk from the parking lot, which is a major improvement over the arduous hike up to the Mountain Triple. Compared to its predecessor, the Sunrise lift increases capacity by 100%, improves reliability in windy conditions, and gives more access to beginners and intermediate skiers to lower-level terrain.
Bobby Murphy, the General Manager of Stowe Mountain Resort, described the importance of the new lift:
“The Sunrise Lift is the first-ever six-passenger chairlift for Stowe, which has been home to many lift innovations and firsts throughout our 86-year history. I want to extend huge gratitude to the amazing team here at Stowe who helped make this happen. We continue to focus on offering a great experience here at our mountain, and I think the Sunrise Lift will be critical to that.”
Stowe also announced the six individuals who will ride the inaugural first chair:
Nick Chegwidden, Principal Patroller and project lead for the lift upgrade. Nick started with the resort in 2009. Nick has worked in many different roles within Mountain Operations, Snowmaking, Trails, and Ski Patrol. Most recently Nick has been the Project Coordinator of the Sunrise Lift. In his spare time, Nick is a member of the Vermont National Guard and is the Deputy Chief of Stowe Mountain Rescue.
Karen Wagner, Patrol Director. Karen joined the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol in 1992. This role prepared her for a future role as a Risk Manager at the resort. Karen returned to her roots on Ski Patrol, serving as the Assistant Director before becoming the Patrol Director in 2018.
Mark Fletcher, Sr. Manager of Lift Maintenance. Mark started with the resort in 1982 in Lift Maintenance and quickly rose to become the Department Manager. Mark, a National Guard Tank Operator, was called into action to proudly serve in Desert Storm. He returned to resume his role as Lift Maintenance Senior Manager after the war.
Lucie Laporte Keene, Supervisor of the Stowe Children’s Center. Lucie is a lifelong resident of Stowe. She has been a friend and dedicated team member at this resort for over 20 years as a children’s instructor. Her adventurous spirit, passion for riding at Stowe, and love for this community shines thru every day, so it is fitting that she is one of the first to ride the Sunrise Lift!
Brian Lindner, Ski Patroller. Brian has skiing in his DNA. His father, Erwin, was the second paid member of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol and served as Patrol Director from 1943-1947. Brian started working at the resort in 1973 as an instructor and started patrolling in 1988. He has also had a career at National Life, served as an Auxiliary Vermont State Trooper, is a member of Waterbury Ambulance, is Director of Waterbury Backcountry Rescue, and is also an avid historian.
Bill McManis, Ski School Instructor. Since 1963, and now in his 59th winter, Bill is a fully certified Ski Instructor that teaches skiing to Stowe guests. In his spare time, Colonel McManis, a native of Montpelier, is the Inspector General of the Vermont Wing Staff of the Civil Air Patrol.
With all the new snow that they got last week, it’s looking like a great opening day for the new Sunrise chairlift.
Image Credits: Stowe Mountain Resort