New gondola cabins, additional ski terrain, improved snowmaking and two new snowcats highlight $7 million in capital improvements at Vermont’s Stratton Mountain Resort this summer.
These projects follow on the heels of last year’s $10.5 million investment that touched virtually every aspect of the resort experience. Additional projects this summer, including new Village shops and restaurants, expansion of the Carlos Otis Clinic and the Patricia Kaltsas Performing Arts Center at Stratton Mountain School, bring that two-year total to more than $21 million in resort improvements.
Manufactured by Sigma, an affiliate of Leitner POMA, the 58 new gondola cabins feature a rubber mounted frame designed for a smooth ride. Carpeted flip-up seats and exterior ski and snowboard racks create a comfortable carriage for 12 passengers.
New cabins and cable replace the originals built in 1988; a new gear box was installed at the start of last season bringing the gondola project in at about $3 million. With a trip time of less than eight minutes, the Stratton gondola carries 2,400 people per hour and runs 7,580 feet from base to the summit of southern Vermont’s highest peak with a vertical rise of 1,742 feet.
More than $1 million is being spent on 350 high efficiency, low energy HKD snowguns, bringing Stratton’s fleet of tower mounted snowguns to more than 1,000. In addition to boosting firepower, the efficient HKDs make Stratton’s move from diesel to clean electric compressors complete, saving 60,000 gallons of fuel annually.
“It’s a win for the environment, and our bottom line,” explains Snowmaking Manager Kevin Booth.
This summer’s snowmaking project also includes 20 new air/water snowguns for a total of 75 portable air/water snowguns.
“While these air water guns are not our go-to gun, they work well in the early season and for touch ups,” explains Booth. “We just want to have as many tools as possible!”
Stratton has also added two new Prinoth BR 350 grooming machines to the fleet, one of which is winch ready for grooming steeper terrain.
Two new Blue Square (intermediate) glades extend beyond the western boundary for a total of 125 acres of gladed terrain designed for all abilities ranging from the wide open Emerald Forest to the tight and technical double black runs like Squirrel’s Nest.
Photo: New gondola cabins at Stratton Mountain / Stratton Mountain.