Improvements coming to Stratton. (Stratton)
$10 million in enhancements for the 2018-19 season at Stratton include a new high-speed Snow Bowl lift and phase one of a mountain bike center.
Now part of Alterra Mountain Company, Stratton skiers will enjoy the ride on a new Doppelmayr lift with easier access to beginner terrain from the summit as well as to signature trails including the double-black diamond World Cup, which hosted Vermont’s first ever World Cup races in 1978.
“This high-speed chairlift will enhance flow, access and reliability,” said Stratton President and COO Bill Nupp. “We expect to dismantle the 31-year-old fixed-grip quad it replaces and fly out the towers as soon as the season wraps up, with the new lift ready for the 2018-19 season, pending final permit approval.”
The lift will be positioned to minimize the impact of wind, with lower towers that hug the tree line on skiers’ left, and built with a parking rail for all 98 chairs to combat overnight icing.
Ride time will go from 14 to five minutes, getting skiers and riders to favorites like Drifter, Spruce and the Meadows.
Work on the yet-to-be-named lift will pause from May 15-August 1, as the rare Bicknell’s thrush songbird is nesting above 3,000 feet, about at the level of the Interstate trail, where the Boreal forest begins.
The latest round of capital investment for Stratton also includes a new grooming machine, a remodel of the Green Mountain Room for weddings and events, plus phase one of a mountain bike center, served by the American Express six-passenger lift to mid-mountain. “We presented homeowners and loyal guests with a list of options for summer activities and mountain biking came in at No. 1,” Nupp added.
Focusing first on family-friendly terrain, the new mountain bike park could open as soon as fall 2018 with 4.6 miles of beginner, intermediate and progression trails. Vermont-based Sinuosity has designed the layout, implementing techniques to minimize the environmental impact and create trail longevity.