New lift, new terrain to debut in 2011-12
Work is part of $4.3 million in offseason upgrades related to Sugarloaf 2020 plan
Sugarloafers will enjoy new ways to get both up and down the mountain this season, with a new, state of the art quad chairlift and up to 100 acres of new terrain in Brackett Basin. The new lift and terrain expansion represent the next steps in the Sugarloaf 2020 plan, and are the centerpieces of $4.3 million in offseason upgrades at Sugarloaf.
The Sugarloaf 2020 Ten-Year Road Map was announced by Sugarloaf in August of 2010 and represents a comprehensive ten-year vision for development at the resort. The first phase of the 2020 plan, the 270-acre Brackett Basin development on Burnt Mountain, opened in January of 2011.
The new lift, called the Skyline Quad, will be a state-of-the-art, fixed-grip, quad chairlift built by Dopplemayr, and follows roughly the same path as the old Spillway East lift. The $3 million lift is currently in the final stages of construction, and is scheduled to be completed before the start of the winter season.
“When we announced the Sugarloaf 2020 plan in 2010, we said that this lift new lift was the top priority in our lift replacement strategy,” said John Diller, Sugarloaf General Manager. “Skyline will provide greater uphill capacity for our guests, and its design will ensure reliable access to some of Sugarloaf’s most unique and storied terrain.”
The new quad features a conveyor loading system, which is expected to improve the lift loading experience, reduce lift stoppage time, and allow the lift to run at speeds of up to 500 feet per minute, making it the fastest fixed-grip lift on the market. The lift will travel 3,746 feet, rise 1,457 vertical feet, feature a total of 16 towers, and will be powered by a 400 horsepower motor. An additional 400 horsepower Cummins Diesel engine will serve as a backup.
Skyline has been designed to be as wind-resistant as possible. It travels at a lower height, and has been installed closer to the treeline to reduce its exposure to wind. The specially designed chairs are heavier than a standard four-person chair, making them more wind-resistant and less susceptible to chair-swing.
The presence of this new, high-capacity quad in the center of the mountain is expected to rebalance the flow of uphill traffic on the mountain, thus reducing pressure on other lifts and decreasing lift lines across the mountain during peak times.
This summer also saw the continuation of the new terrain expansion in Brackett Basin, with as much as 100 acres of new glades scheduled to open for 2011-2012. Glade crews have been at work in Brackett Basin since July, and have worked to improved and expand upon terrain that debuted last year, as have begun to push Sugarloaf’s terrain further toward Burnt Mountain. The new terrain brings Sugarloaf’s total acreage to more than 1000 developed, skiable acres, the most in the East.
In addition to the new lift installation, roughly $150,000 was allocated to upgrade the drive systems in the Sugarloaf SuperQuad. The upgrades, which will converted the systems from analog to digital, will result in more reliable and consistent operation, with fewer stoppages.
“With the Sugarloaf 2020 plan, we’re confident that we have a good vision for development, that is uniquely tailored to fit the true DNA of Sugarloaf,” said Stephen Kircher, President of Boyne’s Eastern Operations. “Last winter skiers and riders saw the plan come to life, and we’re excited for Sugarloafers to see these next pieces of the plan open this winter.”
For more information on the Sugarloaf 2020 Road Map, please visit www.sugarloaf2020.com. For additional photos, videos, and information on this summer’s upgrades, visit our 2020 Blog at http://sugarloaf2020.tumblr.com.