| Projects | Archive | 2013-10-04

Lutsen Mountains: New High-Speed Chairlift

LUTSEN, Minnesota - The installation of a new Leitner-Poma six passenger high-speed chairlift on Moose Mountain brings big change for Lutsen skiers and snowboarders. Replacing the fixed-grip double Caribou Chair, the new detachable Caribou Express triples the lift capacity from the load station and reduces the 10 minute ride to a quick 3.5 minutes.

"The new lift will dramatically change time spent on the slope," says Jim Vick, Marketing Director at Lutsen Mountains. "The efficiency of a high-speed chair is fully realized on Lutsen's longer runs. The Caribou Express will save more than 5 minutes per ride. When extrapolated with the increase in capacity, the number of runs in a ski day will grow three or four fold."

The new Caribou Express is strategically located where it takes full advantage of Lutsen's 800 feet of skiable vertical and can access 95% of the terrain on Moose Mountain, effectively serving more than half of Lutsen's total skiable acreage.

"When we purchased the area in 1999, we had a vision for improvements to carry the resort into the future," says Charles Skinner, co-president at Lutsen Mountains. "Base facilities, terrain expansion, lodging, and snowmaking capacity along with the less glamorous but equally important projects like storm water and waste water management, roads, parking and public safety are all essential pieces of the puzzle. The high-speed lift has been the number one guest-requested improvement. All these other investments, though, were a prerequisite to supporting the new lift. We are thrilled to be at a point in our development plan to deliver this prized addition."

The new lift at Lutsen is also expected to boost the economy in Cook County and the north shore of Lake Superior. "Alpine skiers are a driving force in the winter economy," says Linda Kratt, Executive Director of the Cook County Visitors Bureau. "About two-thirds of winter tourism is tied to alpine skiers. An investment of this scale and the impact it will have on the ski experience is expected to translate to millions of dollars for our local economy."

A detachable lift allows each chair to detach from the primary haul cable when it enters both the base and summit station. This allows for easy load and unload at a moderate pace while the haul cable rotates at a higher speed, providing rapid transit when the chair is attached to the cable between stations. Leitner-Poma is a world leader in cable transport systems with more than 8,000 installations in 61 countries. The Caribou Express was manufactured at their Grand Junction, CO facility.

Located 90 miles northeast of Duluth, Minnesota, and with spectacular views of Lake Superior, Lutsen Mountains is the largest ski and snowboard resort in Mid-America, spread over 1,000 acres, with 825 feet of lift serviced vertical, 95 runs and 10 lifts on four mountain peaks. The resort experience includes lodging for more than 3,000 people, numerous restaurants and live music seven nights a week in the peak winter month

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