A Quick Tuesday Update & New Lifts to Talk About

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It’s going to be a quick update today as we’ve only got four ski areas open and there’s not too much to discuss.  I say that but we do have some pretty big news in terms of one ski area announcing new lifts.  Anyways, the midweek temporary closings that I talked about yesterday are here as Massanutten and Wisp Resort are both closed for the next few days.  They are both hoping to re-open on Friday as long as the weather allows for it.  Unfortunately, we’ve got some underdeveloped snow in the forecast over the next several days so we’ll just have to wait and see if that happens.  Both resorts have plenty of snow and the weekend itself looks nice, so I’d imagine both will be fine and open back up on Saturday at the latest.

That leaves Cataloochee, Sugar Mountain, Bryce Resort, and Snowshoe Mountain as your only options for the time being.  All four resorts are looking pretty good right now so you can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose.  The recent video below from messageboard member SnowshoeGuy (go2snowshoe.com) shows some especially amazing looking late season conditions at Snowshoe over the past week.  It looks more like mid-winter out there!

Two New Lifts for Beech Mountain
Some delightful end of the season news is that Beech Mountain Resort is installing two new lifts this offseason.  February, and the last handful of years if we’re being honest, saw the ski area experience significant lift issues.  The high speed quad was out of commission for the last several weeks of the season and then the old Lift 6 broke down as well.  Well, both are being replaced the coming months.  Woohoo!  Here’s the official announcement…

Beech Mountain Resort’s Installation of TWO New Chairlifts Will Decrease Travel Time, Capacity to Summit and Riding Comfort

Beech Mountain, NC—Beech Mountain Ski Resort announces the replacement of two of its main chairlifts, to be ready for the 2018/2019 winter season.

Lift 5, which ascends to the 5,506-foot summit, and was originally built in 1987, is currently being disassembled in preparation for the installment of a new Doppelymayr fixed-grip quad lift.  The Doppelmayr quad lift will include the addition of a loading conveyor to ensure safe boarding, higher travel speeds and shorter trip times.  Lift 5 will now offer 144 chairs with a 6-1/2-minute travel time accommodating 2,400 people per hour. 

Lift 6, currently a double chair lift, also ascends to the 5,506-foot summit and will be replaced with an identical Doppelmayr fixed-grip quad lift.  This new Doppelmayr quad lift will feature 106 chairs offering a 6-1/2-minute travel time with a capacity of 2,000 people per hour.  

Both Doppelmayr quad lifts will feature foot support with upholstered seating and a back rest.  Patrons can now expect to reach the 5,506-foot summit with easy on-and-off loading, comfortable seating, and a more efficient layout to eliminate lift-line congestion.  

Specs and details:

Lift 5

Doppelmayr Fixed-Grip Quad
Loading Conveyor
144 Chairs
6 1/2-minute trip time
Upholstered seating and back support
Foot rest
2,400 people per hour

Lift 6

Doppelmayr Fixed-Grip Quad
106 Chairs
6 1/2-minute trip time
Upholstered seating and back support
Foot rest
2,000 people per hour

Total Capacity= 4,400 people per hour

Beech Mountain Resort will open for summer operations soon, including mountain biking, disc golf, live music, and yoga.  Transportation will be provided to the summit and more information will be released in April.  

Two new lifts that go to the top (with padding and foot rests!) are going to greatly help the resort, especially on the weekends.  Doubling the uphill capacity (current is under 1900 per hour) should do wonders for lift lines.  The conveyor belt loading scheme on Lift 5 should be a nice addition too and help combat beginners from falling when loading.  For those who have never seen or used one before, here’s a video from Massanutten, where they have one, explaining how it works.

Exciting news and I’m looking forward to riding both next season!  RIP High Speed Quad.  You were good to me for many years.

That’s it for today.  I’ll be back tomorrow.  I’m thinking it’ll be a weather geek day where we take a look at some numbers.  Check back then!

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