On Dec. 9, 2013, the resort had announced its intention to replace the Centennial lift with a traditional six-person chairlift, but after further consideration and discussions with the lift manufacturers, chose a more robust, flexible and guest-oriented approach. The new combination lift will provide the same uphill capacity as a six-person chairlift, but allow guests to have a choice of whether to ride in a gondola cabin or on a chair, which will be served by two separate queuing lines. This type of lift will be a significant benefit to beginner skiers and riders, and kids, particularly those engaged in ski school lessons, as riding in the gondola cabins offers a much easier load and download experience at the beginning and end of the day. In addition, with the combination lift, guests who prefer to keep their skis on will be able to use the lift in the same way they do today. Finally, by having gondola cabins as part of the new lift, guests will be much better able to access the Spruce Saddle area for current and future nighttime and summertime dining and recreational activities.
“The unique and dramatic benefits to our guests to be able to install a combination lift with gondola cabins and chairs and replace one of the most utilized lifts at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain are tremendous and completely in line with the Beaver Creek brand promise to deliver high-quality guest experiences,” said Doug Lovell, vice president and chief operating officer for Beaver Creek Resort. “After careful consideration, we believe this is exactly the right solution to position Beaver Creek for the future and address the resort’s continued growth and diverse guest needs.”
The new combination lift will transport 3,400 people per hour in a combination six-passenger chair and 10-person gondola cabin format (up from the current capacity of 2,800 people per hour).
Beaver Creek received U.S. Forest Service approval in 2013 to upgrade the Centennial lift to a six-person lift; the Forest Service reviewed the modification to a combination lift and determined it was consistent with the original decision. The resort plans to begin installation in June 2014, weather-permitting, and hopes to complete the project by mid-November.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.comand consumer website is www.snow.com.