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A Flurry Of Lift Construction Set For Colorado This Summer

New-Loveland Five venerable chairlifts at Colorado resorts will be retired this summer, replaced by faster and bigger versions. (Image via Loveland Facebook)

Summer visitors to Colorado ski and snowboard mountains will see plenty of construction going on, as seven resorts across the state string new lifts for the upcoming season.

Vail Resorts begins its capital comeback from the pandemic with two new chairlifts to upgrade bowl skiing and riding on both the front and back of Vail Mountain.

On the backside, a new high-speed four-pack is set to run from the base of High Noon Express to the ridge-top Wildwood Restaurant. On the front, Game Creek Bowl enthusiasts will get up quicker with a replacement detachable six-seater on the same line as the old lift.

In Summit County, Vail-owned Breckenridge will give beginners and ski school-ers more runs to lap out of Peak 8 base with a replacement of Rip's Ride fixed-grip with a high-speed four-pack.

Also in the Vail Resorts portfolio, Keystone's long-awaited Bergman Bowl project will reach fruition next season. Previously only hike-to or snowcat terrain, the frontside expert alpine terrain gets a new high-speed six-seat chair for access to all of its 555 acres and 16 trails. A short run off North Peak to the skier's right will get you to the base terminal.

Two Continental Divide resorts will add chairs this summer. At Loveland, the 40-year-old workhorse Lift 6 double chair will get an upgrade. Plans call for a high-speed triple chair to lift skiers and riders more quickly out of the mid-mountain area, improving access to a dozen blues and greens, and Bennett's Bowl.

Over the divide, Arapahoe Basin will complete the remake of the Lewanee section in its upper front side. The old triple chair will become a high-speed six-person chair in hopes of cutting lift lines and reducing wind-caused delays. It will link with the Steilhang Hut that went in last season.

Tons is going on at Steamboat as owner Alterra has opened its wallet for much-needed renovations at Colorado's northernmost resort. This summer, the first stretch of the Wild Blue Gondola will keep crews busy. Rising out of the main base, the first phase will deliver 10-seat gondolas to a new mid-station atop Bashor Bowl. Next season, the resort plans to complete the gondola to the summit of Sunshine Peak (10,384 feet) to give skiers and riders a more efficient way to get to the upper mountain.

And in southwestern Colorado, Telluride's Plunge-lovers should rejoice with a high-speed quad to replace the 37-year-old triple on the town side. The ride time from the top of Mine Shaft chair to the 11,885-foot ridgetop is expected to be cut almost in half, giving skiers and riders a quicker way to the top of the famed Plunge runs back to town -- plus a quick, back-door access to Telluride's expansive Mountain Village offerings.

 

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