Construction and installation of the chairlift by Doppelmayr USA Inc. is expected to occur from May 6 through October 31, 2013 at an estimated cost of $6 million.
Servicing high volumes of skiers and riders, the currently existing Chair 6 provides primary lift access to the upper mountain trails at Alyeska Resort and is considered by many to be the heart and soul of Alyeska Ski Resort. Popular skiing and snowboarding runs accessed by Chair 6 include Christmas Chute and the North Face, Silvertip, Trapline, Mighty Mite and High Traverse. The existing chairlift was originally installed in 1988.
“I am very excited for this new addition,” said Di Hiibner, ski area general manager. “We are committed to ensuring we have a reliable chairlift for our guests. With this new lift, Alyeska Resort will have invested over $14 million dollars in ski area improvements over the last two years. We are committed to continued improvement of the ski area for the enjoyment of our guests.”
The new chairlift is manufactured and will be installed by Doppelmayr USA Inc. Skiers and riders at Alyeska will notice that the new Chair 6 will be substantially identical to Ted’s Express, the high-speed quad installed last summer to replace the old Chair 4.
The new Chair 6 will utilize the existing alignment, and the necessary ground work for the chairlift installation includes terrain re-grading for both top and bottom lift terminals, removal of existing lift towers, extensive electrical and utility work, as well as overall summer road improvements in order to accommodate the heavy machinery needed to install the new chairlift. The project also includes installing a new weather station at the top, upgrading utilities and installing natural gas. The installation is scheduled to take five months.
Due to the installation of a new Chair 6, there will be no May skiing this year. During the summer season certain areas of the mountain will be closed intermittently to hiking, biking and other traffic during the summer season. Closures will change on a daily basis and the Resort will strive to have as much terrain open as often as possible. The Resort will update its SKI-SNOW hotline (907-754-7669) and its website’s Summer Trails Report on a regular basis and urges guests to check for construction updates before heading up the mountain to go hiking or biking.
Repairs of the damaged tram cabin, made by CWA Constructions of Switzerland, are nearly complete. Tram operations will cease on or about April 23, 2013, in order to affect final repairs. The tram is currently scheduled to reopen with two fully operational cabins on or about May 23, 2013.