The Sheet received an email from a reader a few weeks back asking what was going on at the Mountain.
The reader thought Mammoth was supposed to replace Chairs 1 & 16 this summer.
In fact, this is what Alterra said in its February 28, 2022 press release regarding capital improvements for the 2022-2023 fiscal year:
“Summer 2022 will see the beginning stage of ground and infrastructure work to facilitate the replacement of two key lifts, Canyon Express (Chair 16) at Canyon Lodge and Broadway Express (Chair 1) at Main Lodge. These new high-speed six-pack lifts are planned to debut in winter 23/24.”
But this doesn’t mean plenty isn’t happening this year.
On Monday, August 1, The Sheet toured the mountain with MMSA President and COO Ron Cohen, VP and Senior Advisor Clifford Mann and Director of Mountain Operations Steven McCabe to learn how the mountain is spending its $33 million allocation towards capital investment in 2022-2023.
The main takeaway: You can spend money very quickly as a ski area operator.
The splashy highlight which many will instantly notice: the initiation of a multi-year upgrade at Woolly’s Adventure Summit.
The tube park is being rerouted and elongated.
Another improvement you’ll likely notice: 65 more indoor seats at The Mill and a men’s bathroom which no longer resembles a postage stamp.
Many improvements you won’t notice at all: The replacement of 8,000 linear feet of snowmaking pipe. A new water line to the Outpost, replacing an original line built in 1972. A $2.5 million replacement of the mountain’s radio system. A new liner for the snowmaking pond at mid-mountain. Price tag: $1 million. And a plethora of new snowmaking guns, which generally run $60,000/pop.
As Cohen said the original liner for the pond installed thirty years ago had so many leaks that the pond, with a capacity of 25-millions, could only hold 17.5 million gallons.
The new liner also comes with UV protection, which will extend its useful life.
The rerouting of the tube runs at Woolly’s Adventure Summit will provide a longer 600’ to 700’ ride. and a summer tubing surface will allow for year-round fun.
Future phases will include the installation of one of the longest mountain coasters in North America and the addition of adventure ropes courses and a permanent 3,000-square foot base lodge with food & beverage services.
When complete, Woolly’s will become a year-round adventure center.
MMSA Vice-President of Development Tom Hodges is scheduled to speak about these improvements and future mountain plans at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon this coming Tuesday.