May 29, 2008 – – Solitude Mountain Resort has announced $7 million in lift upgrades for the 2008-09 winter season, two new high-speed chairlifts, commencing from each base area – Solitude Village and Moonbeam Center.
Apex Express will replace the existing Apex double lift with a high-speed quad and provide access to the heart of the mountain. Work has already begun with tower removal on the fixed grip double lift that opened in the late 1970’s. Guests staying in Solitude’s pedestrian village will still enjoy easy lift access as the bottom terminal will remain unchanged – just a few steps over the skier bridge and onto the snow. “Our goal is to have our guests access the terrain they desire quickly and efficiently,” said Dave DeSeelhorst, VP of Operations. “The sole improvement visitors request most are lift upgrades; and these new express chairs allow us to continue offering a world-class mountain experience.”
Moonbeam base area, the primary start point for day visitors, will see its fourth “Moonbeam Lift”, with a new high-speed quad dubbed “Moonbeam Express,” bringing Solitude’s total high-speed lift count to three. The original Moonbeam lift installment, half a century ago, had a different lift line, offered night skiing and was a 10 plus minute lift ride on a double lift. Three years ago Moonbeam III was introduced as a fixed grip quad to meet increased capacity demands from an ever-growing day-skier population. “The new lift will create a faster ride, eliminating a large amount of stops per ride due to passenger loading on a fixed grip lift. Frequent guests will welcome this new lift with open arms,” says DeSeelhorst, “plus it will clear the base area quicker in the morning and after lunch.”
Solitude is regaled as a great retreat for families, likely due to the amount of beginner and intermediate terrain found lower on the front side of the mountain. The new Village and Moonbeam Express will provide guests just learning the sport a much easier loading and unloading experience, hopefully encouraging them to come again and again. Solitude’s goal with terrain and lift improvements, now and into the future, is to create pockets of terrain that are specific to ability levels, which every ability level can appreciate.