A new quad chairlift built to shuttle Olympic and Paralympic spectators will be moved from Whistler Blackcomb to Sunshine Village after the coming Games. The new lift will replace the aging Strawberry triple lift.
Sunshine has more hurdles to surmount when installing a new lift than most resorts because of its location in Banff National Park. Sunshine received Parks Canada approval Jan. 7.
The Timing Flats lift at Whistler Blackcomb was installed for the 2010 Games, but will be redundant once the Olympics end. The lift, which was added to shuttle spectators, officials, and athletes to the Creekside stadium and finish area, will be dismantled and transported to Sunshine after the Games.
Parks Canada ski area guidelines allow "like-for-like" replacements in snow resorts. The new lift will follow the path of the Strawberry lift, but will be longer. Construction of the upper station is slated to start in April before the end of the ski season to allow for transporting the upper terminal over snow pack to minimize impact on vegetation.
The 35-year-old Strawberry triple--made by Hall Ski Lift Co., which is no longer in business--has faced maintenance challenges and could not run at capacity. The Doppelmayr detachable quad lift to replace it has a capacity of 1,800 guests per hour. Trip time is estimated to be 2.7 minutes.
"Instead of building a new lift from scratch, we will greatly reduce the environmental footprint by moving the lift and reinstalling it," said Sunshine Village president and CEO Ralph Scurfield. "The people of the Bow Valley will have a lasting memory of the 2010 Games right here in their own community."