Cranmore Mountain’s East Double Chair, the oldest operating double in New England, will be retired at the end of this season and replaced with a new fixed-grip triple.
A long time favorite with Cranmore skiers, the lift was installed in 1955 and has been going strong ever since. The new triple chair will add 300 vertical feet and have two additional towers increasing the uphill capacity by 50 percent. Though the top terminal will remain in the same place when the new lift is installed, a change in the lift line and the additional length will allow skiers access to five additional trails.
According to GM Ben Wilcox, the change in configuration of the lift and the fact that it can be accessed from other routes rather than just from the summit, as was the case previously, will be a great help in spreading out the crowd and alleviating lift lines around the mountain on busy days.
“We are excited to be adding this new triple in to the mix here at Cranmore,” Wilcox told SnoCountry. “Due to the age of the East Double, there are no longer parts available to purchase, so upgrade options have also become difficult without major retrofitting. This new triple will provide a new experience for our guests who will now find it worthwhile to stay in the East Slope area of the mountain longer, especially during busy days.”
Cranmore will be hosting a “Retirement Party” for the East Chair on March 18. Skiers and riders can get one last ride starting at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m. local ski historian Tom Eastman will give a short presentation on the history of the East Chair in the Meister Hut followed by a talk by Ben Wilcox on the new triple. Chairlift aficionados who may want one of the old chairs can register for a drawing, either in person on the 18th or by phone with a credit card. Winners may purchase a chair for $500. The new triple is scheduled to be ready for the 2012-2013 ski season.