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September 2013

Construction Site :: September 2013

Resorts were busy this summer with improvements.

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Four major projects this summer at Pats Peak include a new triple chairlift, base area improvements, terrain expansion and snowmaking upgrades. More than $750,000 will be spent on the projects, which are on track to be completed by November 1.

The new triple chair is a relocated 1986 Von Roll that came from Osler Bluff Ski Area in Ontario and is part of the Cascade Basin Expansion. Over the last two years the resort has completedly refurbished the lift by sandblasting all metal parts, repainting the towers, and galvanizing the sheave assemblies, chairs and lifting gantries. The new lift will be 1,800 feet in length with a vertical rise of 350 feet, with a capacity of 1,600/hr. The lift will serve four all-new trails, including much needed beginner and intermediate terrain, and a glade, all with snowmaking.

The Cascade Basin expansion project will continue over the next three years and will add 25 skiable acres to the area, consisting of six trails and glades. The new trails will cater to novice and intermediate skiers and riders. Experts will have a handful of glades to choose from, including one with snowmaking coverage.

Snowmaking upgrades taking place include six additional SMI Polecat fan guns with electrical capacity to improve the output. The additional snowguns will be placed on the FIS race trail. Base area improvements include geothermal heating in the base lodge and on walkways. The system will lessen the area’s environmental footprint.

One of Mt. Bachelor’s biggest projects this summer included breaking ground on its brand-new downhill bike park. Once complete, the bike park will feature more than 13 miles of downhill bike trails. The park was part of the resort’s master plan, recently approved by the Deschutes National Forest, which manages the land where the resort is located.

Resort crews are working with Gravity Logic, which is leading the engineering, layout and design of the park. Work began at the West Village base area, which will also be the bike park’s base, and will proceed up the mountain to Pine Marten Lodge, which will be the top of the bike park. The area is served by the Pine Marten Express chair.

Trail difficulty will range from beginner to advanced, with initial trails opening in September and running on the weekends through mid-October. Starting in the summer of 2014, the park will be part of the resort’s daily operations. The resort is planning to work with a local bike shop to provide rental gear this summer and fall, but plans to develop its own bike shop with sales and lessons by summer 2014.

In addition to the bike park, the resort is planning to install a new chairlift next summer. The 6,800-foot-long detachable quad will be accessed from the base village at Sunrise Lodge, where parking will be expanded. The new lift will open 700 new skiable acres, including a trail that will connect the new lift and trail network to the West Village base area.

Stevens Pass is spending nearly $4 million this summer on lift and terrain improvements. A new high-speed Doppelmayr detachable quad will replace the Jupiter fixed-grip chair in Mill Valley. As well, the resort will be adding new gladed terrain in the South Park area and will expand the glades in the Corona, Pegasus and Orion areas.

This is the first major capital improvement for the new ownership and operating groups (CNL Lifestyle Properties is the owner, and Karl Kapuscinski’s Stevens Pass Mountain Resort, LLC, is the management company), which assumed control at Stevens Pass in November 2011 from Harbor Properties. It will also mark the first new chairlift in 15 years for the resort.

The new Jupiter Express will cut the ride time in half, from eight minutes and 30 seconds to just over four minutes. It will use the same alignment as the current Jupiter quad, spanning 3,755 feet with a vertical rise of 1,344 feet. The new lift is expected to open in December 2013.

The resort’s expanded terrain will include roughly 60 acres of glades on the back side of the mountain, with plans to also open up the South Park terrain, which will further increase skiable acres.

Whiteface will be spending $600,000 this summer to replace and relocate its Public Safety Radio Communications System and the Little Whiteface Ski Patrol Building. The latter will be rebuilt and expanded on a location slightly west of the current building, thereby increasing the recreational space available to visitors exiting the lift and gondola. The building itself will expand by almost 700 square feet to provide space for the addition of public safety radio communications system components. The building will be completed by mid-September.

The project is part of a 17-site communication project to replace Essex County’s aging microwave network. The additional square footage will be occupied by radio equipment and a back-up generator for Essex County. The introduction of public safety radio communication system components will include equipment and antennas to support the Essex County Public Safety System and the State Police’s Law Enforcement Public Safety System. The patrol building will still serve its ski patrol functions in the winter and provide an emergency shelter for gondola riders in the summer.

Bridger Bowl’s $4.1 million dollar multi-lift construction project includes two Skytrac triple chairlifts that will replace the resort’s old Alpine lift, a 1967 Riblet double chair, and will be completed in time for the 2013-14 season. The plan is to revamp lift service to some of its beginner and intermediate terrain.

Laid out in a "V" shape pattern, both new lifts will have base terminals adjacent to the old Alpine chair location. The new Powder Park lift will veer south and unload near the top of the Powder Park run and serve other upper-intermediate runs in that area. The new Alpine Lift will veer north and unload at the top of Montagne's Meadow, providing easy access to lower intermediate and intermediate terrain. The new lifts will also have the advantage of being positioned away from the avalanche paths found at and around the top of the current lift.

The two new lifts will triple the capacity from 1,100/hr to 3,300/hr. Both chairs will also feature ChairKid loading carpets, as do three other Bridger Bowl chairlifts.