EAST BURKE, Vermont ??вЂќ The Burke Mountain Ski Area announced today a multi-million dollar capital improvement plan for the coming season. The plan calls for the installation of a new high-speed detachable quad chairlift, expansion and upgrades to its snowmaking system, improvements to the Sherburne Base Lodge and trail work.
“Our goal at Burke is to offer a premier skiing product for our customers. The improvements we’re announcing today are part of our ongoing commitment to that goal,” says Dick Andross, president of ski area operations.
A Leitner-Poma high-speed detachable quad chairlift will replace the Sherburne Chair, a fixed grip double chair that currently services the lower mountain, prior to the opening of the 2005/06 season. Engineering and design work will begin immediately. Actual construction will commence in July, continue through the fall and be completed in anticipation of an early December opening for the ski resort.
“We are excited to be working with Burke Mountain to bring [to the area] state of the art chairlift technology and local support from our Stockbridge, VT service center”, says Rick Spears, President of Leitner-Poma North America. “Now, Burke Mountain skiers and riders will be able to enjoy the same speed and comfort level that we provide to resorts like Aspen, Jackson Hole and Breckenridge.”
Andross indicated significant snowmaking equipment upgrades will be installed on both the upper and the lower mountain. The new system calls for the replacement and addition of pipes, an upgrade in water pumping capacity and the installation of energy efficient tower guns.
“The upgrades to the snowmaking system will allow us to both add coverage to areas not currently serviced with man-made snow and open terrain more quickly for our customers,” says Andross.
Andross also indicated his crew will create a new “Connector” trail, linking the drop off area of the new high-speed quad chairlift with the base of the existing Willoughby Chair, a fixed grip quad that services the upper mountain.
Prior to the announcement of capital improvements, development at Burke had already been moving forward. This past season saw the ski area add four new units to the Powderhorn Condominium complex, the first such additions in almost 15 years. The Powderhorn complex will be complete when an additional 4 units are built this summer. Meanwhile, work on the Bear Path Condominium complex is expected to commence in either the fall of 2005 or spring 2006. Condominiums first started going up in the Bear Path complex in the late 1980’s.