Big White Ski Resort Ltd announced to a live radio audience the installation of the new Snow Ghost Express - a state-of-the-art $7M six-passenger chairlift, that will be constructed at the base of the popular Ridge area. Big White has built its world-renowned reputation on providing guests with some of the shortest lift wait times in the industry, in order to provide the best available on-slope experience. Big White boasts the second-highest skier visits in BC and the third-highest in Canada.
The Snow Ghost Express is named after the legendary snow covered trees that Big White is famous for in its alpine region. The Leinter-Poma lift will be built using a local Kelowna contractor. "This is the best equipment in the world at this time," commented Resort President, Peter Schumann, "and we again pride ourselves on using local talent to construct and supply most components to the Snow Ghost Express." continued Schumann.
The Snow Ghost Express will be the longest six-passenger chair in Canada - 6190 feet, (1862 metres) long, and will whisk skiers and riders to the top in just under six minutes. Situated parallel to the current Ridge Rocket Express, the Snow Ghost will service Big White's most popular runs and terrain. The two lifts combined will generate an uphill capacity of 5,400 skiers per hour (ten passengers every seven seconds) and increases the hourly lift capacity to an impressive 28,000 riders per hour. Big White's lift inventory is one of the most modern, comfortable, and quickest in North America.
Skiers and riders will benefit tremendously from this resort improvement, especially during peak periods. "We are thrilled that so many skiers and riders from around the world have made Big White their destination of choice again this winter," said Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Big White Ski Resort. "The record breaking number of guests during our Christmas, Presidents Week and Spring Break periods clearly indicated that we had to expand our existing carrying capacity, especially around the Ridge base. The Snow Ghost Express will definitely minimize waiting times, and will make everyone feel like a local." Construction of the Snow Ghost Express commenced on April 18th, 2006, a day after the resort closed for the season.
In addition to the Snow Ghost Express, Big White Ski Resort Ltd. will:
1) Upgrade the Paradise, Meadowlark, Serwa’s and Exhibition runs, allowing the resort to open earlier in the season, snow permitting.
2) Upgrade the Happy Valley beginner ski and snowboard area by installing a 400 foot Magic Carpet lift allowing for a comfortable, safe and enjoyable learning experience.
3) Complete the 70 million gallon reservoir known as Paul Lake. This $4M project will secure Big White’s water needs well into the future.
4) Continued summer grooming projects at Gem Lake, Black Forest, and in TELUS Park.
5) With the popularity of last year's new Black Forest parking lot (600 car capacity), additional capacity will be added to the Black Forest Express quad, which will have its capacity increased by 34% in order to accommodate 2,400 skiers per hour.
[From official press release]