"Quadzilla" and "Chairway to Heaven" were a few of the suggested names for the new detachable quad chairlift going into Arapahoe Basin this summer. The winner? Black Mountain Express.
Mark La Flamme of the Arapahoe Basin Snow Maintenance Department was the first to submit the winning designation. Mark won a $300 gift certificate at Arapahoe Sports. Rumor is he'll be buying gifts for his fiancé. They plan to get married this summer.
The new lift replaces the Exhibition fixed-grip triple chair which is the main lift at the base area. The Exhibition lift was installed in 1978, making it more than 30 years old. The new lift will cut ride time in half. It now will take just under three minutes to get from the base to mid-mountain. It has a capacity of 2,000 people per hour, a length of 2877 feet, and a vertical rise of 719 feet.
Arapahoe Basin is tentatively scheduled to close June 6. Construction is scheduled to start shortly after that, in mid-June. Some rearranging will be done at the top terminal of the new lift. It will be slightly realigned uphill and to the west, away from Black Mountain Lodge. The lower terminal will stay in the same spot.
A-Basin has set up a Web site to track the new lift's progress, so you can follow the action all summer.