With snow guns blasting and crowds cheering, Stephen Kircher, Boyne Resorts’ President of Eastern Operations, cut the ribbon on Sugarloaf’s newest chairlift, the Skyline Quad, at 12pm on Saturday, Dec. 17. The new lift was installed over the summer as part of the resort’s ten-year development plan, called Sugarloaf 2020.

The first 100 people to ride the lift also received a commemorative t-shirt to mark the occasion. The first four official seats on the new lift were auctioned off over the summer, with the proceeds going to benefit four different local non-profit organizations: the Sugarloaf Charity Summit, the Western Maine Center for Children, the Sugarloaf Ski Club, and Carrabassett Valley Academy.

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Excited skiers load the first chair of the Skyline Quad. Photo Courtesy of Sugarloaf.

The $3 million new lift, manufactured and installed by Dopplemayr, is a state-of-the-art fixed-grip quad and follows the same path as the old Spillway East lift -- which derailed in December 2010 and was removed over the summer 2011.

“This is great news for Sugarloafers everywhere,” said Sugarloaf GM John Diller. “With the new Skyline Quad, skiers and riders will enjoy greater uphill capacity and reliable access to some of Sugarloaf’s most unique and storied terrain. This is a big step in our Sugarloaf 2020 plan and our crew worked hard all summer to keep things on schedule, so it’s very exciting to finally see it come to life.”

The new quad features a conveyor loading system -- think magic carpets -- which will improve the lift loading experience, reduce lift stoppage time, and allow the lift to run at speeds of up to 500 feet per minute, making it the fastest fixed-grip lift on the market. The new lift travels 3,746 feet, rises 1,457 vertical feet, features a total of 16 towers, and is powered by a 400 horsepower motor. An additional 400 horsepower Cummins Diesel engine serves as a backup.

Skyline was designed to be as wind-resistant as possible, with shorter towers, heavier chairs, and several hundred feet of wind-fencing.

Sugarloaf opened for the season on November 22, 2011.

Current conditions at Sugarloaf.