At Big Sky Resort in Montana, North Americas first eight-seat high-speed chairlift will be put into service for the upcoming season 2018/19. Manufactured by Doppelmayr, it features 31 innovations. It is part of the project "Big Sky 2025". With a range of investments, the goal of this project is to catch up with European ski destinations and establish Big Sky as "America's Alp".
Doppelmayr Brings New Tram Technology to Big Sky
The new eight-seater lift will replace the old Ramcharger quad chair on Andesite Mountain, where intermediate and expert runs dominate. The base station at Mountain Village will be shifted approximately 50 ft uphill to create space in the base area.
The facility is part of Doppelmayr's tram generation D-Line and features 31 innovations. For 14 of them, patent applications have been filed. It will be the first of its kind, and exceed the current standard at North American ski resorts considerably.
"We are excited to bring the biggest chair in the world to Big Sky, and to work with the resort team and community to recognize the resort's full potential – rivaling the best of the Alps and our North American brethren," says Stephen Kircher, president of the resort operator Boyne Resorts.
Ramcharger 8 Sets New Standards for the USA
The new Ramcharger 8 chairlift comprises various features that snow sports enthusiasts in the United States have had to go without thus far. The facility has heated designer seats, wind-resistant bubble covers as well as a safety system for children. Conical pillars make for higher structural efficiency - a novelty in North America.
Fully integrated high-resolution LED screens are another one of the striking innovations. Furthermore, the tram will be equipped with an audio system to facilitate communication with the passengers.
The base station will also feature a large LED screen that will show up-to-date information about slopes and weather conditions. Additionally, the loading carpet can raise and lower according to passengers' height. To protect the facility outside of its operating hours, a fully automated underground station will be installed.
Big Sky 2025: competition for the Alps' top ski resorts?
Ski resort operator Boyne Resorts is known for bringing new innovations across the pond. In cooperation with Doppelmayr, the company implemented the first engageable six-pack in the USA at Boyne Mountain Resort in Michigan in 1992.
The investment in the new eight-seater lift is part of the project Big Sky 2025. It entails a number of modernisations in tram technology and infrastructure, with the goal of helping Big Sky Resort catch up with top ski resorts in the Alps. It was launched in 2016, with the construction of high-speed six-pack "Powder Seeker". Along with the installation of the new Ramcharger 8, a new high-speed quad will replace the old Shedhorn double chairlift in 2018.
Plans for Big Sky 2025 also include a complete makeover of Mountain Mall, a large shopping and service centre at the base area. To enlarge the off-piste terrain on Lone Mountain, a gondola will be built.
Skiing at Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort is located in southwestern Montana, around Lone Mountain. With approximately 2,400 ha it is one of the largest ski resorts in the United States. It is home to a large number of diverse runs for skiers of all abilities, various funparks as well as highly demanding Double Black Diamond Runs and freeride bowls that are characteristic for North American ski resorts.
Furthermore, Lone Peak presents you with a stunning panoramic view of Montana and Yellowstone National Park.