Saturday, January 16, 2021, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Magic Mountain January 2021 Splicing
Seemingly nothing has been easy for ski areas since on the onset of COVID-19, and lift installations have been no exception.
Multiple lift installations were postponed in 2020, as Loon and Okemo pushed their projects to the 2021 off season. Saddleback (Doppelmayr high speed quad) and Sugarbush (Leitner-Poma T-Bar) pressed forward, completing turn-key installations for the 2020-21 season.
Bousquet and Magic had more complex projects, as both were installing refurbished 1980s Poma chairlifts on new alignments.
Transported from Stratton in June 2018, Magic's Black Line Quad was originally slated for completion later that year, however state permitting delays deferred construction into 2019. Work continued throughout the 2019-20 season before state COVID-19 restrictions halted construction. Work later resumed, with two haul rope splices taking place in September. Workers began to hang chairs in early December, however the haul rope stretched more than expected. As a result, another splice took place in early January. All chairs have subsequently been installed, however there is "still some key work to get done" before the lift can be inspected and opened. No estimated date of completion has been announced. All ski terrain can be accessed from the existing Red Chair.
Bousquet Summit Triple, January 15, 2021
Bousquet's Yellow Triple made its journey from Haystack earlier this year, with towers being flown onto the mountain in November. The lift replaces Bousquet's original summit chairlift, using a new alignment to provide more convenient access from the base area. Though the lift was slated for a New Year's Day opening, engineering issues have resulted in delays. As only the lower two-thirds of the area are currently accessible via the existing Blue Chair, Bousquet announced yesterday that all Bousquet-only season passholders will also be able to ski at Berkshire East and Catamount until the lift is completed. At present, the rumored optimistic opening date for the lift is mid-February.