Regulars at 49 Degrees North have been hearing rumors of a new lift and other upgrades since the eastern Washington resort got new owners a couple of years ago -- and now it appears they are coming true.
The ownership Nordic Valley has decided to go ahead with plans to install a new chairlift on the northern Utah mountain -- the first phase of an expansion to triple skiing and riding terrain.
Since 1961, the Agassiz chairlift has lifted skiers (and now snowboarders) out of the base at Arizona Snowbowl and up to its 11,500-ft summit. Next season, it will continue to do so -- but in a much faster and more comfortable fashion.
A district court in Placer County has dismissed a lawsuit aimed to block construction of a gondola between California sister resorts Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows -- paving the way for the project to be built.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have been linked by ownership for a while, but soon they may be connected by a gondola.
The Steamboat Gondola has been the main transport onto the northern Colorado mountain since 1986, prompting new owner Alterra Mountain Co. to install a new gondola to get skiers and riders up and on the slopes more quickly.
First high-speed will get skiers and riders on slopes fast. (Eldora Mountain/Facebook)
The first high-speed chairlift on Eldora Mountain will debut this season, as the Colorado commuter mountain settles in under new ownership.
New learning area atop Beaver Creek. (Abby Hein/Beaver Creek)
Virtually all ski and snowboard resorts put their beginner areas at the base where terrain is modest and access easy. Not at Beaver Creek.
First SoCal high-speed goes up at Snow Valley. (Snow Valley)
Being close to the Los Angeles Basin means the lift lines at Snow Valley can be daunting, even for SoCal skiers and riders used to a crowd.
More seats on chairs at Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail next season. (Breckenridge/Facebook)
Vail Resorts, which owns all three Colorado resorts, has plans to replace Keystone’s Montezuma Express, Breckenridge’s Falcon SuperChair on Peak 10 and Vail’s Northwoods Chair to increase capacity and streamline flow in key areas of the mountains.
Each project will be subject to U.S. Forest Service review, but resort officials are confident the new lifts will be up and running by the 2017-2018 season.
At Keystone, the Montezuma Express – installed in 1990 – serves the prime novice and intermediate terrain on the upper front side. The new lift will add two seats to become a six-pack to increase uphill capacity by 25 percent, the resort said.
Also at Keystone, Labonte’s Smokehouse BBQ at the base of North Peak will get a facelift over the summer, including more indoor seating to go with the fav “ski beach” outside.
Breckenridge’s Peak 10 has a large portion of the expert terrain on the mountain, and debuted in 1985-86 with the fixed-grip F Lift. A year later, a high-speed quad went in. The newest Falcon SuperChair will be a six-seat high-speed that will bolster uphill capacity and allow snowboarders and skiers more Peak 10 laps each day.
At Vail, the original Northwoods chair went in 1985 to open up intermediate and advanced terrain on Blue Sky Basin on the upper front side. Resort officials noted congestion on the lift, especially for skiers and riders heading over to the back bowls.
“The replacement of Northwoods will impact a key area of the mountain, especially at the end of the day, as guests are leaving Blue Sky Basin and making their way west,” said Vail’s Doug Lovell.