OKEMO TO INSTALL HEATED SIX-PACK BUBBLE CHAIR
LUDLOW, Vt. – Skiers and snowboarders visiting Okemo Mountain Resort this winter will be viewing the snowy landscape through the bright orange tint of a retractable, transparent dome when they ride in the comfort of a new, high-speed, six-pack bubble chairlift with heated seats – the first of its kind in North America.
The new detachable lift, with chairs that seat six people, will be outfitted with heated seating pads and retractable acrylic domes to protect passengers from wind and weather. The new lift, built by Leitner-Poma, will replace Okemo’s Northstar Express lift and is scheduled to begin operation in December.
“There is excitement in the air on the mountain and a buzz around town and among our loyal Okemo skiers, as our Mountain Operation crew dives into the installation of this state-of-the-art lift,” said Executive Vice President and Co-owner of Okemo Mountain Resort Diane Mueller. "Over the years Okemo has had many 'firsts,' beginning with construction of Vermont’s largest snowmaking pond. This lift adds another 'first' to the list."
The length of the new lift will be 6,430 feet with a vertical rise of 1,670 feet. The new six-pack bubble chair will carry 113 chairs at a speed of 1,000 feet per minute and deliver skiers and riders to the summit of Okemo Mountain in 6.4 minutes. The cost of the lift, including installation is $6.9 million.
Plans include the construction of a heated barn at the base of the new lift. Six-pack chairs will be removed from the cable at the end of each day and stored in the barn overnight; preventing a need for snow removal after an overnight snowstorm. In the event of unfavorable nighttime weather, it will also allow the lift cable to be de-iced more efficiently, minimizing lift-opening delays and potential inconvenience to skiing and riding guests.
“We listen to what our guests have to say,” said Vice President and General Manager Bruce Schmidt. “They have been telling us that they want a lift with some protection from the elements so they can have a better experience on the mountain and spend more time on the snow. Unlike a gondola that requires skiers and riders to remove their equipment each time they ascend the mountain, this new lift will offer speed, comfort and convenience.”