Chairlift Chatter
Lift struggles this winter and grand plans for the future.
Wednesday, January 8, 2020,

Ongoing Construction...
Magic Mountain Black Line Chair, December 2019
Magic Mountain Black Line Chair, December 2019
Magic Mountain Black Line Chairlift, December 2019

Construction of Magic Mountain's long awaited Black Line Quad remains stalled. Though the refurbished Poma was slated for a Martin Luther King weekend opening, delays relating to parts and labor halted terminal construction. The project has not yet been postponed for the season. The Red Chair is currently in operation serving the terrain.

Two Small Ski Areas Without Upper Mountain Service...
Whaleback Chairlift, March 2019
Whaleback Chairlift, March 2019

The double chairlift at Whaleback suffered a mechanical issue prior to the season opener, limiting the area to surface lift operations. Repairs have taken longer than expected and a state inspection will be required before the chairlift can operate. As a result, weekly programs have been postponed until the week of January 13.

Granite Gorge Chairlift, November 2019
Granite Gorge Chairlift, November 2019

The double chairlift at Granite Gorge is idle for a second consecutive season. The area reached a settlement with its insurance company last summer, after claiming the insurance company broke the lift in an inspection in December 2017. Though the lift was repaired and operated that winter, Granite Gorge has only run its surface lifts since the winter of 2018-19. Granite Gorge did not respond to an inquiry about the future of the lift.

In The Future...

The former Wonderama triple chairlift from Windham Mountain has been delivered to the Ski Butternut parking lot. A spokesperson for the resort declined to disclose plans for 1987 CTEC lift. With the exception of the Overbrook triple and novice Paddy Wagon double, all of Butternut's chairlifts are CTEC-related quads. Butternut also operates Ski Blandford and Otis Ridge, which are served by vintage Hall and Poma double chairlifts.

In addition to Butternut, Berkshire East, Lost Valley, and Pats Peak have chairlifts staged for possible future installation.

Permitting for new lifts at Loon and Waterville Valley is ongoing. The expected Forest Service project implementation dates for the projects have been pushed back to April and June 2020, respectively. Loon is proposing to install an 8 person detachable chairlift and relocate the Kancamagus Quad, while Waterville Valley is proposing a new high speed six pack and fixed grip quad.

Green Mountain Valley School received its Vermont Act 250 permit in November for a new T-Bar. $1.4 million Leitner Poma T-Bar will be installed adjacent to the Inverness Quad at Sugarbush.

Vail's 2020-21 lift projects at Okemo have yet to emerge in the Vermont Act 250 system. A high speed six pack is proposed for Jackson Gore, while the existing high speed quad would replace the Green Ridge Triple.

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  • Western Massachusetts Construction Ramps Up - July 28, 2021
  • New Bousquet Lift Opens; New Magic Lift Delayed Again - February 18, 2021
  • Lift Construction Continues Mid-Season - January 16, 2021
  • Lift Construction Season Heading into Home Stretch - October 8, 2020
  • Lift Construction Progressing in Maine and Vermont - July 1, 2020
  • Whaleback Season to End Early Due to Lift Issue - March 5, 2020
  • Upper Valley Ski Areas Struggling - January 19, 2020

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