Solitude won’t be the only ski resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon that’s adding a new high-speed six-pack chairlift this summer. After Alterra announced that the Eagle Express at Solitude will be replaced this offseason, Brighton Resort announced that the Crest Express will be replaced as well. A new lift is definitely needed for Crest. The Crest Express, which opened back in 1991, sees the biggest lift lines at the resort.
The high-speed quad will be replaced by a Doppelmayr D-Line high-speed six-pack chairlift. The new lift will have a ride time of 5.3 minutes, a loading conveyer belt at the base terminal, and carry 2400 people per hour. Construction on the lift will begin in May, with an expected opening during the 2023-24 season.
BIG NEWS! Brighton’s first 6-pack chairlift is coming to the 23/24 season! Replacing Crest, Crest 6 will have cutting edge Doppelmayr technology providing guests with a 5.3 minute lift ride to the top and will carry 2400 riders per hour. pic.twitter.com/2ljibqvmgQ
— Brighton Resort (@BrightonResort) March 22, 2023
They will also be adding their first mid-mountain lodge. Located just above the Snake Creek Express, this will feature food, drinks, and bathrooms. This is also expected to open during the 2023-24 season.
An addition that is a bit under the radar in this announcement is the introduction of parking reservations for next winter.
The parking situation at Brighton is, to put it nicely: pretty bad. The parking lot fills up quickly up there, with it sometimes even being full before the lifts spin. I think the long-term move is to add a medium-sized parking garage in between the Brighton Center, Explorer, and Great Western, but there are environmental and logistical hurdles to an idea like this.
They tried to ease this by requiring Ikon reservations this season, but they didn’t do a good job reminding people that this was the policy, so not everyone reserved their days and showed up anyways. This is from personal experience (I forgot, sorry Brighton), along with speaking to friends in Utah about it.
The most interesting part of this to me is whether we see them charge for their parking reservations like they are doing at Alta, or if it will remain free. I’m personally for the idea of the parking reservation system in order to reduce congestion in Big Cottonwood, but I just don’t want it to become a situation where every ski resort close to Salt Lake City is charging for parking.
Image/Video Credits: Brighton Resort