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# Simple math?

I saw a sign in front of a four passenger chair that said "Coming next season. New 6 passenger chair! 25% increased capacity!!"
When I was in high school, 6 is 50% more than 4. I also have observed that both 4 and 6 passenger both chairs load at about 8" intervals, so that's not the answer. Could it be that they factor in higher "misload" rate?
Any other possible explanation?
Ski lift capacity is measured in skiers per hour. Maybe the 6 chair runs at a slower speed.

Or maybe they just made a mistake.
they may have fewer chairs on the new lift. there's no guarantee that just because they run one 6pack at particular load and speed they will do the same on the coming soon lift.

I would have had the same thought, until I started reading liftblog.com

Turns out resorts can be extremely flexible with uphill capacity on most lifts. The design will have a maximum possible load, but many resorts will actually choose to carry fewer people than possible. Probably saves some cost on chairs, but it also lets them dial in how much they actually feel the terrain can handle on the busiest days. If they want to increase capacity in the future, they just buy more chairs.

With high speed six packs they could overload the top terminal and terrain if they have too many chairs.  Our new six pack here in AZ could have a lot more chairs and I am thankful it doesn't because the top gets packed.

While riding chairs, just out of curiosity, I've timed the distance between chairs. Try it some time. Chairs pass the towers at about 8 second intervals, except for some obviously lower capacity chairs like the Imperial bowl at Breck where it looks like they installed about half the number of chairs it could handle,

I saw the same sign at Vail  Breckenridge. Not minor league outfits.

I also wonder whether conveyor belt loaders really reduce number of "mis-loads".

Yeah, I know. I have too much free time on my hands.

Yeah, it's simple math, more or less.

The standard is ten chairs per minute , or one chair every six seconds - this is the limit in Colorado according to state law. Most other places follow this standard, although I know of one chair that runs at 12 chairs per minute, and many lifts are run at a lower rate.

Number of chairs per minute times the capacity of the chair times 60 will give you the (theoretical) uphill capacity of the lift.  Note that the rope speed is irrelevant - that is, a detachable quad running at over 1000 feet/minute will have the same uphill capacity as a fixed grip running at 350 feet/minute.  A quad char at 10 chairs/minute will have an uphill capacity of 2400/hr.

In practice, detachable lifts have fewer misloads (stops) and fewer empty seats so their real-world capacity is slightly better than a similar fixed grip by about 10%.

I have no idea how they arrived at the 25% figure.  Going from four seats per carrier to six seats per carrier should give a 50% increase, with a bit more in practice if the six pack is a detachable replacing a fixed grip quad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvizer

While riding chairs, just out of curiosity, I've timed the distance between chairs. Try it some time. Chairs pass the towers at about 8 second intervals, except for some obviously lower capacity chairs like the Imperial bowl at Breck where it looks like they installed about half the number of chairs it could handle,

I saw the same sign at Vail  Breckenridge. Not minor league outfits.

I also wonder whether conveyor belt loaders really reduce number of "mis-loads".

Yeah, I know. I have too much free time on my hands.

My understanding is that there are lots of lifts with conveyor loading in Europe.  It's North America that was slow to upgrade in the last decade or two for assorted reasons.  Liftblog.com is a great read when your ski season is over.

Thanks for suggestion. I would hope that ski areas have data on this.

Wish more North American areas had hoods, though I wonder whether it would lead to more frequent wind closures.

I think the answer to the OP's question is that the kind of people who invest \$ millions in new lifts aren't very good at math.

BK

Lifties know how to do 2 things.... and math ain't one of them.  They know how to push the green start button and the red stop button....'usually' they get that right... most of the time. They're also pretty good at getting high... Apologies to lifties at other resorts, I know you're much better... It's just that I ski mostly at Stevens Pass, for those that ski there, you know what I'm talking about

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOJ

Lifties know how to do 2 things.... and math ain't one of them.  They know how to push the green start button and the red stop button....'usually' they get that right... most of the time. They're also pretty good at getting high... Apologies to lifties at other resorts, I know you're much better... It's just that I ski mostly at Stevens Pass, for those that ski there, you know what I'm talking about

And shoveling snow, and helping up people who fall off the chair loading or who fall on the ramp unloading--and keeping a close eye out for them, and bumping heavy chairs, and trying to keep a bunch of impatient people organized in the lift line, and living in overcrowded squalor because housing is so expensive, all for peanuts. Oh, and dealing with obnoxious guests.

Lifties get no respect. Obviously. But I think this is mis-posted.

For the last few weeks the brand new high speed six pack at Arizona Snowbowl has been running at half speed. Why? to allow snow tourists to take scenic rides up the hill. This are pissing off several hundred, to squeeze a few more dollars out of a dozen frozen flatlanders. How's that for simple math.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy

For the last few weeks the brand new high speed six pack at Arizona Snowbowl has been running at half speed. Why? to allow snow tourists to take scenic rides up the hill. This are pissing off several hundred, to squeeze a few more dollars out of a dozen frozen flatlanders. How's that for simple math.

Another very unpopular group are the tourists in the Lone Peak Tram line going up for the view while people who want to ski the peak have to wait longer. And these tourists are skiers, just not able to ski the peak. And the view is better from Andesite, which anyone can ski. (We were lucky on our trip--no view most days).

You really have to wonder what some people in management are thinking. Very scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvizer

You really have to wonder what some people in management are thinking. Very scary.

What's scary?

The foolish decisions about using lifts for sightseeing during ski season you described in your post and also described by Mrgolf.... Maybe "scary" is wrong word. Would you settle for "dumb"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy

For the last few weeks the brand new high speed six pack at Arizona Snowbowl has been running at half speed. Why? to allow snow tourists to take scenic rides up the hill. This are pissing off several hundred, to squeeze a few more dollars out of a dozen frozen flatlanders. How's that for simple math.

I sent them a pissed off FB message today and they claim to not be running the lift slow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvizer

The foolish decisions about using lifts for sightseeing during ski season you described in your post and also described by Mrgolf.... Maybe "scary" is wrong word. Would you settle for "dumb"?

Snowbowl has had a running battle with snow tourists for many years. There is no sledding allowed at our hill, or on the the seven mile road that leads up to the resort, yet they turn up every weekend in their hundreds. The police and staff have an endless battle keeping snow play tourists from parking on the access roads and trying to sled on the trails. They have a "road block" at the bottom of the hill and make sure the people are coming up to the resort to ski or snowboard. Despite the precautions, we still get large groups of "civilians" walking around the base taking photos. They often try to walk up the trails and seem oblivious of the danger they put themselves in. It's just not safe to have clueless kids and grandparents wandering around the lift corral. There are warning signs everywhere, that seem to go unnoticed. The road traffic that these folks generate is so bad, if often turns the twenty minute drive to Flagstaff into a two hour ordeal.

The lift they are using for the scenic rides was brand new this year, and is the first high speed detachable six pack in Arizona. Obviously the resort advertised this fact very heavily, and used it to sell season passes. Now they are encouaging tourists to come up to the resort for mid season scenic rides. Given the recent history and issues with snow play, we are absolutely dumbfounded that the owners/management is promoting this. Especially as that means that they have to slow the lift down to half speed to allow them to load. Obviously it's nice to generate extra income in tickets sales and in the lodge, but........................WTH

I guess they just don't care how the skiers feel and long as they can make a few more dollars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by core2

I sent them a pissed off FB message today and they claim to not be running the lift slow.

Me too. I've made several comments about the lift as well as their lack of honesty reporting conditions and lift closures. My wife gets mad and tells me that they may pull out passes if I keep calling them out...She may be right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy

Me too. I've made several comments about the lift as well as their lack of honesty reporting conditions and lift closures. My wife gets mad and tells me that they may pull out passes if I keep calling them out...She may be right.

LOL @ pull your passes.  Maybe if you staged a protest outside of the lodge.  Also, I highly suggest setting up a fake Facebook account. It is great for stating opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by core2

LOL @ pull your passes.  Maybe if you staged a protest outside of the lodge.  Also, I highly suggest setting up a fake Facebook account. It is great for stating opinions.

I think a certain level of anonymity can be prudent on an open Internet forum, like Epic, but I don't mind Snowbowl knowing it's the real me. I've spent close \$1500 a year there for the last six seasons in passes. They should know if I'm not happy with them. To be fair, I do compliment them as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvizer

The foolish decisions about using lifts for sightseeing during ski season you described in your post and also described by Mrgolf.... Maybe "scary" is wrong word. Would you settle for "dumb"?

You take me too seriously. Just the grumbling skiers do when they have to wait--find someone to blame. During the 5 days we were there I watched about 100 tram  buckets arrive at the loading station. Exactly one had people downloading it. The vast majority of people who ride the tram either ski or tumble down on their own. A lot of the latter. (BTW they offer view rides only from 3PM to 330PM everyday--since they don't want anyone to start skiing down after 3. Since a lot of the skiers who ride the tram are a very disreputable, scary-looking lot who don't smell particularly good (the tram is very packed), I suspect the viewers, especially those with kids, prefer to take the late rides.

But the view truly is better from Andesite. I've heard it said that the best view in the mountains is from an intermediate peak, not the highest. I've been on top of Grand Targhee and Rendezvous Mtns and the view from both is better than the view from the Grand--you get to view the Grand face on from both. Likewise the view from Stroud Pk--11K something--is better than the view from Gannet (13,800 or so--highest mtn in Wyoming) and includes viewing Gannet face on. The highest peak gives you a better 360 view, but everything is flattened and distant. For that matter the view from the rim of the Grand Canyon is not nearly as good as the view from the trail, half way down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy

Quote:
Originally Posted by core2

LOL @ pull your passes.  Maybe if you staged a protest outside of the lodge.  Also, I highly suggest setting up a fake Facebook account. It is great for stating opinions.

I think a certain level of anonymity can be prudent on an open Internet forum, like Epic, but I don't mind Snowbowl knowing it's the real me. I've spent close \$1500 a year there for the last six seasons in passes. They should know if I'm not happy with them. To be fair, I do compliment them as well.

that attitude doesn't work at Squaw Valley, where a number of long time pass holders have lost their passes for mouthing off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy

I think a certain level of anonymity can be prudent on an open Internet forum, like Epic, but I don't mind Snowbowl knowing it's the real me. I've spent close \$1500 a year there for the last six seasons in passes. They should know if I'm not happy with them. To be fair, I do compliment them as well.

To be fair they did pretty good this season keeping the mountain in good shape and lifts running besides those first few hiccups at the beginning of the season. I definitely got my money's worth and will be getting a few more days before it is said and done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat

that attitude doesn't work at Squaw Valley, where a number of long time pass holders have lost their passes for mouthing off.

If filling out online surveys, submitting well written complaints through customer service and asking for clarifications on FB is considered having an attitude and mouthing off, then yes, I guess I could be in trouble.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy

.

The lift they are using for the scenic rides was brand new this year, and is the first high speed detachable six pack in Arizona. Obviously the resort advertised this fact very heavily, and used it to sell season passes. Now they are encouaging tourists to come up to the resort for mid season scenic rides. Given the recent history and issues with snow play, we are absolutely dumbfounded that the owners/management is promoting this. Especially as that means that they have to slow the lift down to half speed to allow them to load. Obviously it's nice to generate extra income in tickets sales and in the lodge, but........................WTH

I guess they just don't care how the skiers feel and long as they can make a few more dollars.