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SAM Magazine—Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, March 29, 2023—Solitude is planning more than $16 million in off-season capital improvement projects, including an upgrade of its Eagle Express quad, Utah’s first detachable chairlift.Solitude

The investment will fund four projects all set to commence this spring and summer. In addition to the new lift, projects include updated snowmaking infrastructure, three new Wyssen remote avalanche control systems (RACS), and new downhill mountain bike trails.

Installed in 1989, the Eagle Express will be replaced with a six-place Doppelmayr chair. The move will increase uphill capacity and decrease congestion elsewhere on the mountain, said resort officials. Construction will begin this spring and the lift is expected to be operational by mid-December. 

Snowmaking improvements will focus on upgraded equipment to allow continued snowmaking on open runs that previously were closed during snowmaking operations. Though coming off a record-breaking snow year that enabled the resort to extend its season through May, resort officials said the upgrade will create a more efficient and sustainable operation moving forward.

“These improvements to our snowmaking system will be crucial as we work to open terrain early in the season and create a base that serves as our snowpack’s foundation when that natural snow comes,” said Amber Broadaway, Solitude president and COO.

Also scheduled are three new Wyssen tower RACS, installed across the expert-only, hike-to Fantasy Ridge area. The upgrade will allow for automated, remote detonation instead of hand charges. The towers will enable crews to complete their jobs and open terrain more quickly.

Finally, bike park designer Gravity Logic will build a series of new downhill mountain bike trails accessible via Solitude’s Moonbeam Express chair. The flow trails will vary in difficulty, with jump lines on the advanced trails. Construction is set to begin this spring.

Several additional off-season projects include: “modest” renovations to The Inn at Solitude, the Honeycomb Grill and St. Bernard’s restaurant; improved road access to the Roundhouse event venue; new music and PA systems at three main lodges; and a potential new parking reservation system.