On Monday, Alterra Resorts announced that it would spend $344 million (company-wide) on capital improvements for fiscal year 2022-2023.
All well and good, but what does this mean for Mammoth?
The highlight: Look for the replacement of the Broadway Express and Canyon Express lifts summer. In their stead will be new six-passenger chairlifts.
Mammoth Mountain President and COO Ron Cohen said the announcement of the chair replacements was made pre-Covid and that Monday’s news marked the fulfillment of that promise.
He said that both chairs, which were originally manufacturers by Yan and then retrofitted by Doppelmayr, needed replacement, if for no other reason than that parts for both lifts have become increasingly difficult to come by. “The ability to maintain them,” said Cohen, “will go away.”
The other part of the story, said Cohen, is that these are the biggest, most-used lifts at MMSA. And that increasing capacity at these resort nodes will help disperse skiers across the entire resort more efficiently.
At least when the resort is operating at full capacity.
The Sheet noted that when it hasn’t snowed for awhile and the main, groomed runs are packed, a sixpack will invite only more on-hill density, not less.
But let’s move on.
We also asked about Eagle Lodge, and when the long-awaited permanent base lodge may be constructed. Or, given climate change, will it ever be built at all, given potential access issues in dry years.
Cohen said that at some point, the Eagle project will go, but for now, the tent was just re-skinned last year, so …
As an aside, Cohen said yes, Eagle is the mountain’s lowest-elevation portal, but it’s still at 8,000-feet. “We are not climate deniers,” he said, adding, “We will plan around it.”
Cohen noted that there are several other improvements scheduled for Mammoth in 2022-2023, including a major upgrade to Woolly’s tube park, which will be surfaced for year-round fun. Look for a follow-up report soon on a comprehensive Mammoth project checklist.