HIGHMOUNT, New York ??вЂќ A crowd of curious onlookers gathered Tuesday, May 2nd at Belleayre Mountain to witness the removal of the towers of the Super Chief chairlift by helicopter. This was a major milestone in the process of changing the lift to a high-speed detachable quad.
As a detachable, the capacity of the lift will remain the same at 2,400 people per hour, but the travel time to the summit will be reduced significantly. A ride that used to take anywhere from 12-15 minutes will now take only 5 minutes. “Our customers will really appreciate the shorter lift ride to the summit,” stated Tom Folts, General Manager of Forest Parks at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The bulk of the work to the chairlift is being accomplished in-house by Belleayre Mountain employees. To complete the project, fourteen of the lift towers will be modified to accommodate the specifications of a detachable chairlift. Within one month, new tower bases will be dug, formed and poured, and the helicopter will return to set the towers the first week in June. After replacing the loading terminal and modifying the chairs, the new and improved Super Chief will be ready for operation in the 2006-07 ski season.
Tony Lanza, Superintendent of Belleayre Mountain, was quick to acknowledge the efforts of all involved. “I’m so thrilled to see this new lift at Belleayre, which could not have happened without the energy of Belleayre Mountain employees and all of our friends and partners. Special thanks go out to Senator John Bonacic, the NYSDEC, and the Coalition for Belleayre, all of whom have recognized the importance of Belleayre in the region.”
It took just 2 ?? hours for a helicopter to hoist the twenty-eight towers from their concrete bases and fly them high above the slopes to land at the Tomahawk parking lot. For more information on Belleayre Mountain and to see pictures of the helicopter in action, visit www.belleayre.com.