Following the successful construction of four new lifts in 2015 and 2016 and combined with steady Epic Pass sales and early snow fall this season, Vail Resorts has announced its intention to install additional six-seater chairlifts at Keystone, Breckenridge and Vail in 2017. These additions form part of a $122 million capital program that CEO Rob Katz noted in the company’s first quarter results has solidified their commitment “to reinvesting in our resorts, creating an experience of a lifetime for our guests and generating strong returns for our shareholders.”
For Keystone, the 1990 Doppelmayr Uni-model Montezuma will be replaced and upgraded with a new six-seater version. At Breckenridge, the Falcon high speed quad lift on Peak 10 will be upgraded to a six-person detachable. This will open up the hill and allow more patrons to experience the intermediate and advanced terrain that the resort boasts. Finally, at Vail Mountain the chair that will be replaced is the Northwoods Express #11 and will be the resort’s 10th new lift in 11 years. As a result only three CLD-260 first generation detachables will remain in use on the mountain.
Absent from the announcement was who would be installing the new lifts at each resort. Both Keystone and Vail run a combination of Leitner-Poma and Doppelmayr lifts and as a result either company could be signed on to head the projects. Breckemridge’s new lift will presumably be built by Leitner-Poma who have been responsible for the 15 other lifts on the mountain. Although there was no mention of any proposed lifts for Park City or the newest member of the Vail Resort family, Whistler-Blackcomb, these projects are an impressive start and a good indicator of the capital improvements to come.