European Update: New Lifts at Val Gardena, Zermatt

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SAM Magazine-Val Gardena, Italy, Aug. 30, 2007-Val Gardena is replacing a fixed grip triple chair with a new high-speed detachable quad. The new Sole chair will have a capacity of 1,800 people an hour and is one of six being installed in the Dolomiti Superski region this summer. The Sole chair brings the total number of high-speed detachable quads to 13 for Val Gardena.

Zermatt is also installing a new detachable quad. The new lift, which features heated seats, replaces a double chair. The new quad will have an underground station and a capacity of 2,000 people per hour.

Both resorts are also upgrading snowmaking capacity. At the end of the summer, it's expected that 60 percent of Zermatt's terrain will either be on the resort's glacier or will have machine-made snow cover. They're joined by Engelberg, with is also upgrading snowmaking capacity to cover the entire 7,000 vertical foot descent from the top of the mountain to the base. Engelberg's investment over the past three years to bolster snowmaking capacity has totalled 5.3 million Euros, and will result in machine-made snow coverage on 26 miles of ski runs.