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Ragged Mt, NH - Problem with 6-Pack Lift? Info?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know why the 6-pack lift at NH's Ragged Mountain is closed? It's the only 6-pack in New Hampshire, and I think they're having an operational problem with it, and haven't told anyone. They haven't even attempted snowmaking on the trails serviced by that lift.

That lift is still not open, and has never opened this year.

Anyone know the story?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 07, 2002 10:57 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Terrapin ]</font>
post #2 of 28
This is what I have heard-don't know if it's rumor or fact. Ragged has had trouble coming up with the cash to pay POMA, so POMA has stopped construction/and or delivering the rest of the lift. The towers are are the only thing in place. Ragged claims that the lift will be completed and operational in early February according to their website.
post #3 of 28
there is a great discussion about the Ragged 6 pack issue going on over at Snow Journal:
http://www.snowjournal.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Forum&file=viewtopic&t opic=148&forum=7

it seems that the reason the lift is not in operation yet is that they have not finished building it yet. click above for a great ongoing discussion on the topic.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Why the 'F' would they purchase a 6-pack if they can't afford it??!
post #5 of 28
Wow.. what a story. Never knew that six pack wasn't in yet. I see ads for it around from time to time. Must be tough explaining to people whent they show up that the lift isn't in yet. It baffles me why a mountain the size of Raggad felt it needed one - the cost must not be that much higher than a quad I guess. Hope they don't end up on NELSAP.
post #6 of 28
You're right Terrapin - you definitely have to wonder who made that decision and based on what financial planning.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
It's so ridiculous. Why don't mid-size family resorts all write down the reasons for failure and AVOID THEM?!

1. Don't go into massive debt.
2. Know your roots
3. Avoid massive debt
4. Have a decent instruction program.
5. Have your own snowmaking pond (ragged has it)
6. See numbers 1 and 3

I thought Ragged was doing that. They hadn't built the obligatory big/dumb base condos, etc.

They'll be lucky to survive this season.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Uh-oh. From Snowjournal.com

"The info is in the Sept 2001 issue of SAM Magazine...It also states that in addition to the 6-pack, ... [Ragged] is building 54 condominium units."

See numbers 1 and 3, PEOPLE!!
post #9 of 28
It all comes down to knowing your market - look at how successful Wachusett has become. Smaller family areas need to market themselves as just that - an afforadable place for mom and dad to take the kids to learn to ski. A place where locals can go and not shell out $50 a ticket, or where people can come by and get in runs after work (night skiing can be HUGE at smaller resorts). Mountains like Ragged lack the size and diversity to be destination resorts, so they shouldn't try to become one.

Edit - spelling

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 07, 2002 06:03 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Llama ]</font>
post #10 of 28
Interesting Sugarbush is having a problem with a POMA lift as well ... any chance this is actually related to the lift manufacturer not the mountain?
post #11 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>look at how successful Wachusett has become<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Wachusett is an easy drive for a million+ people in Massachusetts. Ragged doesn't have that sort of geographical advantage. Most people driving north from Boston will continue onwards to the somewhat larger Ski-93 areas a half hour farther up the road.
post #12 of 28
The problem with the POMA lift at Ragged apparently seems to be financial on Ragged's end. From what I hear the problem at Sugarbush has to do with tower placement.
post #13 of 28
Geoff..try quoting the whole thing next time

My point was that they shouldn't try to become something they aren't - a desination resort with high speed lifts, condos, etc.. Smaller resorts need to recognize the niche they serve and strive to fill that in the best way they can. For a lot of people Ragged was seen as a cheaper and less crowded alternative to the larger resorts in the state - this is where there business comes from. A six pack and some condos don't fit that model. I wasn't saying they should be like Wachusett, just citing that as an example of a business plan that worked in the ski industry as they recognized what they were and how to make it work.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Went to Ragged this saturday. They have the base wheelhouse modular assembly (literally, it's one piece and says "Summit Express 6-Pack" on the side) sitting on the ground, and at the end of the day they were pulling in a huge crane to start erecting it. They also were stringing in the wires all day.

It may be up by February. I don't know what else needs to be done, it can't take long to put on the chairs themselves. Hell, the lift has to be able to do it once every 10 minutes when it's running!

Ragged also has the most amount of ski instructors "per capita" I've ever seen. There was a ring of them waiting for students (all from buses), and there MUST have been 50 - 75 instructors at that area, all in their yellow and black jackets. I think they might have paid for their lift from the revenue from that day's instruction ALONE.
post #15 of 28
Assuming that they do get the summit lift repaired, does Ragged Mountain have any terrain of interest? Since Tenney is closed, I thought of stopping there on a weekday on my way up to Jay Peak and Burke (so I don't waste an entire day on the road).
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
IMHO, it has way better terrain than either loon or waterville. It has a few top to bottom expert runs (try getting that at loon or waterville), of some decent steepness. Showboat is a favorite, and its open from the second peak, under the lift (hence the name). Half of it is moguls, the other half groomed, and there's a steep glade portion to it, as well. A great view of the area as well.

Sweepstakes is another long and fun expert trail from the six-pack served summit. It also has a load of glade trails for a smaller sized mountain. And, ala MRG, they like to keep the big boulders and mid-size rocks in some of the trails (people like to use them as little kicker boxes), and you can see those on Showboat, and some of the other trails. The whole mountain isn't dumbed down like at other South NH mountains.

The intermediate trails are well designed, with some nice terrain changes and curves, and they have an intermediate glade trail which bumps up pretty bad (and was REAL thin cover on Sat). They also have one of the narrowest, steepest, short, expert trails in NE from the third peak (open), it's called Cabin Fever, and you better know what you're doing on it. It's pretty, though. It goes straight down, then turns through the woods.

It's a small mountain, but acre for acre, it has very nice terrain, and the nicest terrain in South NH (WAY better than either Sunapee or Gunstock, since there are actually steep pitches at Ragged). If it was just another dull mountain, people wouldn't be as worried about it's status as they are (the attitude would be "well, who cares")

Has a decent base lodge too for a small mountain, with a bar with nice beers on tap (Red Hook ESB, et. al) and a big central fireplace in the middle.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 14, 2002 10:17 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Terrapin ]</font>
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey, looking good! Today's Ragged RSN pic!

post #18 of 28
I have worked for a lift manufactor during the summers, and from the look of the above picture, theres at least two months left of work to do, provider the weather stays good, and they can get all the electronics and computer dialed in just right. Do you know how many hours aday they are working on it?
Also, another reson why it may be late, is that Poma may of had alot of other installations elsewhere.
This happens a few years ago at The Canyons. They wanted to add 6 lifts and a gondola in one summer, no one lift manufactor could accept that contract, cause they had other installaitons. SO at the Canyons, you see 3 differant manufactored lifts, Ctec/Garventra, Dopplemeyer, and Poma.
Best of luck with the new lift coming on line. Oh averge installation time your looking at 5 months,provided if everything fits togehter right the first time.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
How the hell does it take 5 months to put in a lift? My company can build a power plant in 6 months, and that's a lot more complex it would appear. Ragged's caption for that picture says that work is nearing completion.

What computers are necessary?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 15, 2002 08:20 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Terrapin ]</font>
post #20 of 28
To start off with , theres the surveying,( if a tower site is off by more than 6 in. there will be problems in alinement) Enginners also have to all the blue prints exact,or this too will throw off alingment . Sometimes the install crews can make on site adjustments, if not the part is sent back to be refurbished to exact specs.
The digging of the foundations for each tower,( having to carry all the foundation materails to each tower site)Having a helecopter avable to fly cement and towers themselves to the tower foundations,
(helecopter companies make more money flying water during forest fires.) Having all the differant parts of the lift shipped from around the country,the two major lift companies have thier manufactoring plants in Colorado, Utah, California,and eastern Canada.As well as Europe for the hual ropes, and not to mentione cabins for gondolas and trams.
Then the weather. When it's raining like crazy, lift install companys, don't want thier emplyees taking chances on mud roads, you can't get the crane up to the top when it's been raining for 3-4 days in arow. Plus is there the correct size of crane avabile to rent.
The electrical systems all have to be wired onto each tower, and tested before the inspector will pass it.
Computers monitor all systems on a lift,( the new models) electrcil, the motor that runs the lift, the back up motor, the braking systems, the spacing of the chairs on high speed lifts. And the actual speed of the hual rope. Temps of motors,etc.
Depending on the length of the hual rope, it has to be pulled into place,strung up, by the install crew. They have to go slow, so they don't harm the hual rope, as it is pulling along the ground. Once the haul rope is strung up, rigging has to be set up to set tension, then the splicing on the two ends of the haul rope can take place.
Once the termeanls are in place the welders move in and weld up a storm, welding the differant pieces together.
Once all the above is done, if the lift is on public land, the forest service has to inspect it, the county which it sets in. Then the load test can be completed.
Most resorts begin a yearahead in ordering a lift, so that the manufactor can build the parts for each particular lift. A lift at Deer Valley or Park City, looks the same, but they all have differant specs.
So, if you don't think it takes 5 months to build a lift, you can ak any one in management at a resort, or a Lift Maint.Tech.
post #21 of 28
It's unfortunate that the ragged situation ocurred, but poor planning is poor planning. Does anyone know how their Blue Hills Area is doing now that we've received some snow??? Subject to snow base conditions, it should be humming by now, since until last week there wasn't much snow in NH.

Additionally, I just saw an article in the Union Leader paper, which spoke about Sunapee's new expansion. Can anyone share any info on when this expansion is planned to come on line and how this might effect Ragged????????
Whtmt :
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Blue Hills has been up and running for some time. It's up the street from me. The main trail and the beginner slope are the only ones open right now, but that's usually the case this time of year. The snow looked good.

The new base lodge is almost finished (WAY better than the old MDC one), and they have a new groomer.

As for Sunapee's expansion, outside of building a new lodge, that's going to be it for awhile, since the entire mountain is on state land, which means getting new trails cut will take SOME TIME, if at all.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 16, 2002 06:34 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Terrapin ]</font>
post #23 of 28
Speaking of expansion (this is off the Raggad topic) - does anyone know the status of the Cannon - Mittersill plan?
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Llama:
Speaking of expansion (this is off the Raggad topic) - does anyone know the status of the Cannon - Mittersill plan?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

See my last sentence just above you!
post #25 of 28
Terrapin is right about Mittersill's land status entailing years and years of red tape. But I'll be skiing at Cannon (and am bringing some 24 year-old rock skis for Mittersill) and will give you a report on Tuesday.
post #26 of 28
I had heard that the expansion into Mittersill would be something that was going to be happening rather soon. The state owns the area, so I would think they could get approval rather quickly. Sunapee was state owned but is now leased to the current operators. Part of that lease was to fund Cannon's expansion from what I remember.
post #27 of 28
But, as the article below states, the peak of Mittersill is on USFS land, and then there's the money issue.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 17, 2002 04:56 PM: Message edited 1 time, by jamesdeluxe ]</font>
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Update: An email from Ragged Mountain's staff informs me that they are on target for a January 31st or February 1 opening of the 6-pack.

Good news indeed.
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