SAM Magazine—Wakefield, Mich., Oct. 17, 2022—Snowriver Mountain Resort plans to install a new Doppelmayr six-passenger detachable chairlift for the 2023-24 season at the Jackson Creek Summit area of the resort. The new lift will replace three of the original chairs installed in the 1960s: the Chippewa Double, the Leelinaw Triple, and the Voyager Quad. It will be the only high-speed chairlift in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the first six-pack.
“The new lift will greatly enhance our guest experience at Jackson Creek Summit,” said Snowriver GM Benjamin Bartz. “Because the new lift will be much easier for guests to load and unload, we anticipate smoother operations, meaning guests will spend more time skiing and less time sitting on a lift.”
The Voyageur Express, as the lift will be called, will transport guests to the top of Jackson Creek Summit in 3.5 minutes; without stops, the current base-to-summit ride time is 8-10 minutes. It will have 53 chairs and travel at a speed of 1,000 feet per minute with an initial uphill capacity of 2,800 passengers per hour, which can increase to 3,200 if additional capacity is needed in the future.
The line for the new lift has already been cut and will bring skiers from the base of the existing Leelinaw Triple to the top of the former Chippewa Double, providing easy access to lodging, guest service facilities, and food and beverage outlets.
Charles Skinner and his Midwest Family Ski Resorts acquired Big Snow Resort in August and renamed it Snowriver Mountain Resort. Snowriver has two ski areas located about a mile apart: Jackson Creek Summit (formerly Indianhead) and Black River Basin (formerly Blackjack). Skinner also owns Granite Peak, Wis., and Lutsen Mountains, Minn.
“High speed lifts are a perfect fit for our Midwest ski areas,” said Skinner. “High speed lifts transform the ski experience at our resorts from spending most of the ski day riding the chairlift or waiting in line to enjoying most of the day skiing down the hill.”