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New $3.1M Detachable Quad Shortens Sugarbush Ascent, Provides Early-Season Opportunity
Warren, VT (Monday, August 26, 2002)

Many Sugarbush locals have decried the lift realignment at Mt. Ellen (née Sugarbush North), instituted by previous owner American Skiing Company, that required a succession of no fewer than three chairlifts to reach Mt. Ellen’s lofty 4,135-foot summit and its 2,650-foot vertical drop. Now, thanks to the addition of the resort’s new Green Mountain Express (GMX), a Poma high-speed detachable quad, they’ll have the fastest access in Sugarbush history to those heights when this season begins.

“With its massive vertical drop and legendary trails like FIS, Mt. Ellen is one of the East’s great ski mountains,” noted Sugarbush President Bob Ackland. “But the lift configuration created by previous owners was problematic. Guests had to ride a slow fixed grip quad out of the base area, then ride the North Ridge Express Quad, ski down to the Summit Quad, and finally ride it to the summit. On busy days, that could take an hour. Obviously that was not optimal, so this summer we purchased and installed this very fast new lift. Now our guests will ride a state-of-the-art detachable quad from base area to mid-mountain in just seven minutes. From there, it’s a straight shot to the top on the Summit Quad. Total ride time will be about 17 minutes. So we’ve effectively reduced the time it takes to reach Mt. Ellen’s summit by almost 75%. In fact, there has never been faster access to Mt. Ellen’s famous terrain.”

Having a slow, fixed-grip quad at the base area also caused overflow crowding there on busy days. The previous lift could carry only 936 skiers per hour. In contrast, the GMX’s uphill capacity is 2,000 skiers per hour —- a 113% increase of 1,064 skiers per hour. Put another way, the new lift will take 18 more skiers per minute from base to mid-mountain.

The previous lift configuration also prevented early- and late-season access to FIS, arguably the terrain in Central Vermont most suited to fall snowmaking and spring snow preservation. This situation, too, will be remedied by the new GMX. According to Ackland, “The new Green Mountain Express will allow us to offer more and better skiing and riding both early and late at Mt. Ellen, making the most of our snowmaking capabilities there and maximizing Mt. Ellen’s physical advantages.”

All of which means the best news in years for Sugarbush skiers and riders.

“Both Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Ellen are true skiers’ mountains, famed for having some of the most varied and exciting terrain in the entire East,” noted Ackland. “This new lift is just the first phase of our ongoing effort to give guests the fastest, most convenient access possible to those spectacular mountains.”