Construction will begin June 1 on a new chairlift at the base of Copper Mountain's Union Creek. The lift will replace the current High Point fixed-grip double chair. That lift has been in place since 1976.

It's one of the first big on-mountain improvements by Copper's new owners, Powdr Corp. "I have been skiing at Copper since college and when Powdr purchased Copper, we did so with a goal of enhancing and improving the on-mountain experience," says John Cumming, President and CEO of Powdr Corp. "I am very excited about taking this first step."

The new lift, manufactured by Doppelmayr USA, will improve the service to all levels of skiers and riders. It will help with circulation in and out of Union Creek. A new trail connection from the east will be added and will make the circulation from the Catalyst Terrain Park, and other terrain, much easier.

The lift can haul 2,400 people per hour, up the hill. It's 4,937 feet long with a vertical rise of 1,005 feet. Ride time is five minutes, which is a lot less than what it is now. The lower terminal will also move to the east side of the Schoolhouse. Construction is set to begin June 1, and the lift will be open by the resort's opening day 2011.

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