A major lift replacement is coming to the Heaven’s Gate terrain pod at Sugarbush. According to The Valley Reporter, the Heaven’s Gate triple chairlift will be replaced by a fixed-grip quad chairlift. The change will not happen in 2023 though, as Sugarbush confirmed that they’ll be saving it for another year, possibly in 2024. The lift will follow the relatively same alignment as the old Heaven’s Gate lift.
The delay is due to Sugarbush/Alterra needing to be able to fund the new lift and source out the workers and parts needed to get the job done. Lifts are in very high demand at the moment, and there is still a large worker/supply chain shortage throughout the United States. The estimated cost for the lift replacement is between $7-10 million. The project was approved by the U.S. Forest Service in September.
The 2023 project will be the realignment of the Reverse Traverse trail, which leads down to the Heavens Gate chairlift. Parts of the current trail don’t go downhill, and it doesn’t feature snowmaking. This has caused logistical issues for getting terrain on Lincoln Peak open. The new alignment would add 3600 feet of snowmaking pipes to the new trail, and it would all go downhill. This project was also approved by the U.S. Forest Service. JJ Toland, the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Sugarbush, described the timeline for the new run:
“We really wanted to get the Reverse Traverse realignment done this season, but we were just not going to be able to get it online in terms of snowmaking for this ski season. That will happen in 2023 and it is significant in terms of capital improvements. This will give people another way off the hill in the early season.”
These moves follow a busy offseason at the Bush. They have spent over $7.2 million on various projects, including new groomers and upgrading their snowmaking capacity. Sugarbush replaced the weir in the snowmaking pond, which will help improve efficiency. In short, get ready for a lot of improvements coming to Sugarbush in the next couple of years.
Image Credits: Sugarbush Resort