New Fixed-Grip Triple Chairlift to Replace Oldest Operating Double Chairlift in New England
NORTH CONWAY, NH – Cranmore Mountain in North Conway, NH will hold a “Going Away Party” on Sunday, March 18th to mark the retirement of its East Double Chairlift. The East Chair is being replaced with a triple chairlift to be installed in time for the winter 2012-13 operating season. The East Double Chairlift was installed in 1955 and is the oldest operating double chairlift in New England. The East Slope has been a highlight of the Cranmore ski experience for almost 60 years.
The East Chair, known for its bright red chairs, is a favorite among Cranmore skiers and ski history aficionados alike. The public is invited to ride the East one last time on March 18th, starting at 8:30am (lift ticket or season pass required). Skiers are welcome to reminisce about their favorite days on the East, take a few runs, than meet at the Meister Hut at 9am. Ski historian Tom Eastman will present a short presentation on the history of the East Chair. GM Ben Wilcox will then talk about the new triple chair being installed in its place.
The going away party will also give East Chair fans a chance to sign up for a waiting list to purchase one of the 60 chairs from the lift later this summer.
The new fixed-grip triple chairlift was purchased from Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts. It will have an increased vertical in a new location on the south side of the mountain, adding 300 vertical feet compared to the East Double. The lift will be slightly longer than the East Double but has the same number of chairs. The new lift will have 11 towers where the existing has 9 towers.
The top of the lift will remain in approximately the same location. The lift base would be moved to the Tommy’s Trail area which would add trails including Gibson, Gibson Chutes, Artist Falls, Koessler and Upper Beginner’s Luck to the current East Chair trail access (East Bowl, Easy Street, Gibson Pitch and Schneider). The East Slope experience would go from 3 to 9 trails and the ski vertical from 526′ to 826′. It will increase the uphill capacity for that lift by 50%.
Cranmore President and GM Ben Wilcox stated, “We are excited to be adding this new triple in to the mix here at Cranmore. Due to the age of the East Double, there are no longer parts available to purchase so upgrade options have also become difficult without major retrofitting. This new triple will provide a new experience for our guests who will now find it worthwhile to stay in the East Slope area of the mountain longer, especially during busy days.”
Wilcox continued, “The lift base would also act as a third summit access route for skiers, increasing Cranmore’s summit uphill capacity. With this lift, skiers can now take the South Quad Chair to access the base of this new lift which would then deliver them to the summit. The current East Chair can only be accessed from the summit. On busy days skiers will now be able to ride the Lookout Triple; The Skimobile Express or The South Quad/East Triple to access the summit. Adding a third summit access point will help shorten lift lines on all lifts around the mountain.”
The upgrade of the lift is part of a $1.3 million investment being made at Cranmore this summer, on top of the $7 million in improvements that Cranmore has seen in the last 18 months under new ownership announced in June 2010. In addition to the new triple lift, Cranmore will be installing a new 700 foot zip line for its summer Mountain Adventure Park operation reopening for the season Memorial Day weekend.
For more information, please visit cranmore.com or call 1-800-SUN-N-SKI.